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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

CIA to post millions of CIA declassified documents online

The Central Intelligence Agency said this week that it will post its “CREST” (CIA Records Search Tool) database of more than 11 million pages of historical Agency records that have already been declassified and approved for public release online, making them broadly accessible to all interested users.

CIA IG office “mistakenly” deletes Senate report on CIA torture

This is why US government information needs to be preserved off of .gov servers by FDLP libraries and other non-governmental organizations. It’s not enough that each agency has an Inspector General. Each agency should have one or more libraries collecting, preserving and giving access to its information *regardless* of political embarrassment or any other excuse for government information being deleted and lost.

The CIA inspector general’s office — the spy agency’s internal watchdog — has acknowledged it “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of a mammoth Senate torture report at the same time lawyers for the Justice Department were assuring a federal judge that copies of the document were being preserved, Yahoo News has learned.Although other copies of the report exist, the erasure of the controversial document by the CIA office charged with policing agency conduct has alarmed the U.S. senator who oversaw the torture investigation and reignited a behind-the-scenes battle over whether the full unabridged report should ever be released, according to multiple intelligence community sources familiar with the incident.The deletion of the document has been portrayed by agency officials to Senate investigators as an “inadvertent” foul-up by the inspector general. In what one intelligence community source described as a series of errors straight “out of the Keystone Cops,” CIA inspector general officials deleted an uploaded computer file with the report and then accidentally destroyed a disk that also contained the document, filled with thousands of secret files about the CIA’s use of “enhanced” interrogation methods.

via Senate report on CIA torture is one step closer to disappearing.

DOJ blocks executive branch from reading Senate Torture Report

This is very frustrating to read about this winding saga about the Senate Torture Study. According to Techdirt, the Department of Justice is insisting that nobody in the executive branch has read or will read the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture study released last year. They seem to be saying that if they don’t read it, it isn’t FOIA’able(?!). And now the new chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, is demanding that executive agencies return their copies so that he can destroy them. Senators Feinstein and Leahey have written an angry WTF letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey (below and attached) telling them to “disseminate the full and final Committee Study to appropriately cleared senior individuals in the Department of Justice and FBI, and instruct other appropriate federal departments to take the same position.” This report should NOT be buried and destroyed before the public can read it, and our government is held accountable for illegal and unconstitutional activities.

The DOJ has taken Burr’s lead and claimed that the report is a Congressional record, and that’s also why they insist that no one at the DOJ has opened it — to maintain that it has not become an executive branch record subject to FOIA. Not surprisingly, Senator Feinstein is pissed off about this — because her staffers spent years putting together this report, detailing massive abuses by the CIA and others in torturing people, and the whole point of it was to help the government learn how badly it messed up and to stop it from doing it again. But if no one reads it, then that won’t happen. And, the DOJ now says that not only has it not read it, it has instructed everyone in the exec branch not to read it for fear that reading it would make it subject to FOIA.

CIA Rebuttal to Senate Torture Report

A new, commercially-published book provides official responses from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to 2014 Senate Torture Report.

  • REBUTTAL: The CIA Responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of Its Detention and Interrogation Program, Bill Harlow, Editor, U.S. Naval Institute. Sep 2015. 418 pp. Introduction and essays © 2015 Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute

  • Contents:

    • Introduction: CIA Interrogation of al Qa’ida Terrorists—The Rest of the Story GEORGE J. TENET

    • What Must Never Happen Again? PORTER GOSS

    • Analysis: Flawed, Politicized … and Rejected GEN. MICHAEL V. HAYDEN, USAF, RET.

    • The Senate Majority Report on Interrogation: An Opportunity Lost JOHN McLAUGHLIN

    • First Amendment Wrongs MICHAEL MORELL

    • The Craft of Intelligence and the Value of Detainee Information: Lessons from the CIA’s al Qa’ida Prisoners J. PHILIP MUDD

    • The Legal Case for EITs JOHN RIZZO

    • Broken Covenant JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ JR.

    • The CIA Rebuttal

    • The Minority Report

The report to which the new book is responding is:

  • Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention And Interrogation Program, together with Foreword By Chairman Feinstein and Additional And Minority Views. Report Of The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence (December 9, 2014). 113th Congress, 2d Session, S.Rpt 113–288.
    PDF version [free].
    paper copy [$29].

Only 114 pages of the 418 pages in this book are new material. The remaining 304 pages are freely available elsewhere. The next-to-last chapter of the book (“The CIA Rebuttal”) is a copy of the 136 page Memorandum dated June 27, 2013 that is available on the CIA’s website.

The final chapter of Rebuttal (“The Minority Report”) is a copy of the “Minority Views” of Senators Chambliss, Burr, Risch, Coats, Rubio, and Coburn as published in the original SSCI Report (see the links above) and separately on the Senate Committee’s web site (Committee Releases Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program).

Senate Torture Report: the Senate Speaks

Our friend Daniel Schuman from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) (nee Sunlight) has put together a helpful ebook “Senate Torture Report: The Senate Speaks” (archived copy as ePub, PDF, full text, etc.). The ebook pulls together the speeches on the floor of the Senate of several senators, including the Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein explaining their views and findings. “These speeches are a helpful, succinct introduction to what is now being called the Torture Report.”

On December 9, 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee published a report severely criticizing CIA interrogation practices as brutal and ineffective. The committee released to the public a redacted version of the report’s executive summary—nearly 500 pages long—the culmination of seven years’ work. It includes the views of the majority of committee members, an additional statement by Senator Jay Rockefeller, and the views of dissenting committee members. The full report is classified and runs nearly 6,700 pages.

via Daniel Schuman.