Russ at [FOIA / anti-secrecy] Profile picture
FOIA stan account. I file 100s of requests, then post the documents. Follow for exclusive govdocs & scoops. Work featured on Maddow, NYT, Politico, Time, etc.
Becky Werner Profile picture 1 subscribed
Sep 18, 2018 9 tweets 4 min read
UNREAL. In today's ignored Senate hearing on immigrant family detention, the second-in-command at ICE said this: Then there was this telling moment, brought to us by Senator Harris:

Sep 13, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read

I heard back from the George W. Bush Library about my #FOIA request for Brett Kavanaugh's White House records.

They've finished processing the documents regarding his nomination & appointment to the DC Court of Appeals.
. 2/ They tell me that all of those documents have been posted here:…

They also posted *lists* of the records, down to the folder, from his time as Staff Secretary and Associate WH Counsel.
Sep 12, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
NEW: It's that time again. A new crop of requests from agencies to destroy their records:

Justice Dept: Criminal Division
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Federal Maritime Commission: Inspector General
Forest Service…

Not otherwise online. 2/ As always, we the people have the opportunity to comment on these requests (and on the National Archives's pending approval).

Deadline for this batch is Oct 8 and 10.
Sep 11, 2018 10 tweets 3 min read
1/ The most detailed, damning look at the EPA lying to us about the air quality in NYC in the days after 9/11... was written by the EPA itself.

Specifically, by a scientist in the EPA's Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response.

Here it is:… 2/ A year after being written, it was leaked to the New York Post, which published this article about it but didn't post the report itself:…
Sep 6, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
SCOOP: The NSA is planning to destroy all "records related to complaints and allegations of abuses of civil liberties and privacy" received by its Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency Office:
. They want to destroy all actionable complaints, allegations, etc. just one year after resolution. (Complaints that they decide aren't actionable will be pulped after 90 days.)

The National Archives has already given its preliminary approval.

Sep 5, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
1/ NEW: I've posted more proposals by federal agencies to destroy their records:

Air Force
Defense Security Service
Forest Service
Foreign Agriculture Service

The public (i.e. all of us) has a limited time to submit comments.… 2/ The one really grabbing me is from the Defense Security Service.

They want to destroy important records of their Inspector General (internal watchdog) after just 3 years.

cc: @POGOBlog
Aug 13, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
The Omarosa Tapes: Secret recordings from within the Trump White House

A thread that will probably grow: John Kelley (and multiple lawyers) firing Omarosa in the Situation Room:

Aug 2, 2018 20 tweets 5 min read

Q: At what point are federal agencies allowed to destroy their records?

A: When the National Archives & Records Administration gives them permission.

Last week I started a new project to bring this crucial process into the light:… 2/ When a federal agency (ICE, EPA, CIA, FBI, IRS, FCC, VA, Education Dept, Federal Reserve, Library of Congress, etc., etc.) wants to set up a schedule to destroy records, they submit a "request" to the National Archives, a/k/a NARA.
Jul 31, 2018 10 tweets 4 min read
Remember that advisory board that Interior Secretary Zinke created about big-game hunting, then packed with rich "trophy" hunters, NRA members, Trump associates, etc.?

The Fish & Wildlife Service recently posted 16,000+ pages about it:…

#FOIA While it's great that all this material is now available, a document dump like this means that the important bits are buried.

Hopefully animal rights activists and organizations will dig into this mountain.
Jul 26, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
"For a quarter-century, they have been the stuff of myth among scholars: three missing chapters from “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” reputedly cut from the manuscript after his assassination in 1965 because they were deemed too incendiary."… Also up for auction: "another artifact that scholars have never seen: the manuscript for the published book, which bears dense traces of Mr. Haley’s and Malcolm X’s complex negotiations over the finished text."

(It didn't reach the minimum bid.)…
Jul 19, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
NEW (and possibly a SCOOP?):

Fresh from the White House, the financial disclosures of Larry Kudlow and John Bolton:…

Assets, income / compensation, retirement accounts, stocks, spouse's assets, debts, etc. Bolton's Fox News gig:
Jul 16, 2018 7 tweets 6 min read
1/ So, that HHS collection of medical guidelines that's about to get pulled offline... appears to be well-captured by the @internetarchive's Wayback Machine:… @internetarchive 2/ I spot-checked a bunch of guidelines at random, and every one of them was mirrored in all 4 formats: HTML, PDF, Word, XML.

Also checked random "guideline syntheses" and "expert commentaries," and again, every one I clicked on was there.
Jul 7, 2018 10 tweets 4 min read
THREAD: I'm trying something new: A GoFundMe to get a specific file released.

FBI wants $355 for its file on Bernie Madoff's scam, the largest financial fraud in US history ($40 billion with 51,000 victims in 119 countries).

Let's get it:… 2/ All the details are on the GoFundMe page, but here's a summary.

FBI already processed & released 11,750 pages of its file on Madoff's "investment" company to someone, but it's not online. FBI wants $355 to send it to me.…
Jun 28, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
Update regarding the story I broke about ICE wanting to destroy its records of deaths & rapes of detainees (and National Archives giving the initial go-ahead):

The head of National Archives has posted an update about the situation:…

h/t: @ReclaimTheRecs @ReclaimTheRecs His update doesn't add anything new to the update I provided more than 3 weeks ago.

For background, here's my original article (which includes updates):…
Jun 26, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
A staggering map showing all known ICE and ORR immigrant detention facilities.

A masterpiece created by cobbling together far-flung pieces of publicly available info from FOIA, tax forms, Facebook pages, news reports.... Here's a Wired article about the creation of the map:…
Jun 23, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
A leaked copy of ICE's "Undercover Operations Handbook" has been posted by @UR_Ninja:…

"Also contained in the text is the command structure for ICE agents to obtain approval to break federal laws" @UR_Ninja 2/ A "22-page section covers the detailed world of 'Otherwise Illegal Activity' permitted for informants authorized to commit crimes. Includes entrapment, inducements to engage in criminal activity, the search authority of undercover operatives, altering vehicles..."
Jun 21, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Important, disturbing analysis from the Cato Institute in November 2017:

"Border Patrol Termination Rates: Discipline and Performance Problems Signal Need for Reform"…
. "CBP also changed the definition of 'complaints' in a way that reduces the number of excessive force complaints against Border Patrol officers."
Jun 20, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
1/ So, the policy of automatic separation /appears/ to be over.

Which means that parents & kids will be held together in shadowy detention facilities that get little or no outside oversight.

I've filed bunches of FOIA requests with multiple agencies to get a glimpse inside. 2/ And remember: The Office of Refugee Resettlement at Health & Human Services is running an entirely separate system of facilities for children who show up to the border unaccompanied. (The converted Wal-Mart at Brownsville TX is the most famous example.)
Jun 13, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Excellent! 350+ pages of internal documents from Purdue Pharma have been posted, showing how the company "pushed OxyContin despite risks of addiction and fatalities"

The documents:…

Article:… "The marketing files show that about 75% of more than $400 million in promotional spending occurred after the start of 2000, the year Purdue officials told Congress they learned of growing OxyContin abuse and drug-related deaths from media reports and regulators."
May 29, 2018 5 tweets 4 min read

FBI File: The Swastika Epidemic of 1959-1960…

It's largely forgotten now, but for a few months as the 1950s became the 1960s, there was a tsunami of painted swastikas and similar hateful incidents around the world.

#FOIA This one has been in the queue for a couple of months. I bumped it up because of the mass defacement of the Illinois cemetery on Saturday:…

Even though that incident has gotten lots of press, it's far from the only one recently:…

May 27, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read
In 2016, a court unsealed photos & video frames from inside Border Patrol's holding facilities for immigrants.

The public had never seen the inside of these places before. Media outlets ran only a few images, so I posted all 190:…… The facilities are purposely kept freezing cold. Immigrants call them las hieleras ("iceboxes," "coolers," or "refrigerators").

The silver things you see here are actually human beings wrapped in mylar sheets.