Freedom of Information Act Remains Unfulfilled by DIA

Unless something happens during the next 72 hours, a Freedom of Information Act request I submitted to the Defense Intelligence Agency July 16, 2012, will turn 18 months old.  And it remains unfulfilled.  Why?

PolygraphIt’s not as if I asked for the keys to Fort Knox.  In fact, I asked only for unclassified documents related to government contracts to purchase polygraph equipment.  Specifically, I requested the following:

“…copies of any and all initial and follow-up contracts (i.e., solicitations, contracts, statements of work and task orders) related to the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) or Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) that have been awarded by any Department of Defense Agency to Lafayette Instrument Company of Lafayette, Indiana, and any other contractors, academic institutions, laboratories and subcontractors from January 1, 2000, to present.”

Likewise, it’s not as if DIA officials totally stonewalled me.  In fact, they did offer a minimal response to my request 10 months after it was submitted.  Eight months ago — and less than two weeks after the release of my book, THE CLAPPER MEMO — I received a large DIA-marked envelope in the mail.  It contained only 12 pages of documentation dating back as far as June 25, 2010 — far short of expectations.

DIA-Return-Address-on-Envelope-300x225Adding insult to injury, it contained an invoice of sorts that said I owed the agency $155.80 for “professional search and review time of 3.5 hours at $44.00 per hour, reproduction and release costs of 12 pages at 15¢ per page.”  I have not paid.

The first anniversary of my FOIA request came and went without actual fulfillment, and DIA officials continued to drag their feet.

Several more months passed until I decided to ask readers of this website to call Brentin V. Evitt and ask the DIA attorney why his agency is stonewalling me.  That was almost four weeks ago.

Now, I’m asking my members of Congress to get involved.  I would appreciate you doing the same.

If you’re not sure why this is important, read THE CLAPPER MEMO, and you’ll understand.

UPDATE 1/15/2014 at 4:58 p.m. Central:  After making several phone calls to the offices of my elected officials and to the DIA Office of the General Counsel, I received a message a short while ago from U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.).  She informed me that she has “initiated an inquiry with the Defense Intelligence Agency” on my behalf.  Now, we wait a bit.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

MAKE A CALL FOR FREEDOM — of Information — THIS WEEKEND

I NEED YOU TO MAKE A PHONE CALL! Please call Brentin V. Evitt — at 703-735-6317 or 301-394-5268 — and ask him why officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency have refused to provide copies of the unclassified documents I requested in a Freedom of Information Act request more than 17 months ago!

DIA SealMore specifically, you can ask Evitt, who serves as the DIA’s Deputy General Counsel for Mission Services in the Office of the General Counsel, why his agency has, since July 16, 2012, refused to provide me copies of the unclassified documents described in the paragraph below:

“…copies of any and all initial and follow-up contracts (i.e., solicitations, contracts, statements of work and task orders) related to the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) or Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) that have been awarded by any Department of Defense Agency to Lafayette Instrument Company of Lafayette, Indiana, and any other contractors, academic institutions, laboratories and subcontractors from January 1, 2000, to present.”

The Clapper Memo Front CoverIf he’s not there, leave a message, but go easy on him. As far as I know, Evitt is only responsible for the last 41 days of stonewalling (and not returning my phone calls). But I digress.

Why do I want these documents? Because the information they contain will shed much additional light on the “turf war” I uncovered that’s been raging for more than 40 years between polygraph loyalists and all challengers to their “bread and butter” technology and, to the detriment of many, it shows no signs of letting up.

The product of an exhaustive four-year investigation, THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback and ebook versions and has been endorsed by several high-profile Americans who understand the implications of my findings. Order your copy today!

FYI: In the past, I would have advised those of you who don’t want DIA officials to know who you are when you call to dial *67 before dialing the phone number. With the recent NSA eavesdropping scandals, I suspect dialing *67 will make little difference.

CORRECTION:  An incorrect date was included in this piece, but has been corrected.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Portable Polygraph Technology Remains Shrouded in Mystery

Mystery continues to surround the Defense Intelligence Agency’s refusal to provide copies of unclassified contract documents related to the purchase of portable polygraph devices. To date, the agency’s refusal to provide the documents, requested via the Freedom of Information Act, has lasted almost 17 months.

The video above offers cursory details — and a little criticism — about the portable polygraph devices officially known as the Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS). It accompanied an article published on the MSNBC website April 9, 2008, about the announced deployment of the devices to war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Together, the article and the video combined to capture my attention and, in tandem with events that followed one year later, led to publication of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, in May 2013.

On April 8, 2009, I launched an exhaustive four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment technologies — including one technology (i.e., the polygraph) that deserved to die 10 years ago but continues to be relied upon by the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

Available in paperback and ebook versions, THE CLAPPER MEMO has been ENDORSED by several high-profile Americans who understand the implications of my findings. I hope you’ll order a copy for yourself or a friend.

CORRECTION:  An incorrect date was included in this piece, but has been corrected.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

17 MONTHS: DIA Officials Stonewall FOIA Request for Unclassified Documents Shown to Exist on Government Website

Nineteen days ago, I shared details about Defense Intelligence Agency officials shirking federal law by allowing a Freedom of Information Act request of mine to languish 16 months. Today, I share proof that documents I requested almost 17 months ago — but have not received — do indeed exist.

Lafayette Spending Map 12-09-2013Inside an article published over the weekend, I found a link to USASpending.gov, a site set up as a result of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 which required the Office of Management and Budget to establish a single searchable website, accessible to the public at no cost, which includes for each federal award. Once there, I entered “Lafayette Instrument Company” in the search box near the upper-right corner of the webpage and clicked the “Search” button.

Why Lafayette Instrument? Because, via the FOIA request I submitted to DIA officials July 16, 2012, I am seeking copies of unclassified documents involving that Lafayette, Ind.-based company as described in the paragraph below:

“…copies of any and all initial and follow-up contracts (i.e., solicitations, contracts, statements of work and task orders) related to the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) or Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) that have been awarded by any Department of Defense Agency to Lafayette Instrument Company of Lafayette, Indiana, and any other contractors, academic institutions, laboratories and subcontractors from January 1, 2000, to present.”

It’s obvious, by looking at the contract data shown in the search results for “Lafayette Instrument Company,” that at least four PCASS-related contracts were issued (see below) on Dec. 15, 2000, April 15, 2003, Dec. 14, 2005, and Oct. 5, 2006.

Lafayette Spending Contract 12-15-2000Lafayette Spending Contract 4-15-2003Lafayette Spending Contract 12-14-2005Lafayette PCASS Contract 10-05-2006Why all four of the search results show obligations amounts of $0 is not so obvious. But I digress. The more-important question after discovering this online evidence is this: Why is DIA stonewalling me on the release of unclassified copies of contract-related information regarding the portable polygraph system known as PCASS? Makes me wonder if they have something to hide.

Stay tuned to see how this turns out.

Meanwhile, you can find out what DIA officials and others were unable to hide about the federal government’s use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph, in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. The product of my exhaustive four-year investigation, it’s available in paperback and ebook versions and has been ENDORSED by several high-profile Americans who understand the implications of my findings.

SEE ALSO:

DIA Drags Feet on FOIA Request for Polygraph Contracts Info; and

DIA Effort to Hide Details of ‘Portable Polygraph’ Contracts Marks First Anniversary.

CORRECTION:  The date shown in the third paragraph of this piece was entered inaccurately and has been corrected.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Freedom of Information Act Request Languishes 16 Months as DIA Officials Shirk Federal Law

Recently, officials at the National Security Agency released documents detailing the agency’s repeated violations of its own privacy guidelines. Meanwhile, officials at another spy agency under the purview of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. have stonewalled me for 17 months, refusing to release copies of unclassified polygraph contract-related documents I’ve been seeking via the Freedom of Information Act.

DIA SealIn the FOIA request submitted to officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency July 16, 2012, I was seeking copies of unclassified documents described in the paragraph below:

“…copies of any and all initial and follow-up contracts (i.e., solicitations, contracts, statements of work and task orders) related to the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) or Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) that have been awarded by any Department of Defense Agency to Lafayette Instrument Company of Lafayette, Indiana, and any other contractors, academic institutions, laboratories and subcontractors from January 1, 2000, to present.”

As I lamented in a piece Oct. 9, 2013, my FOIA request has languished and yielded only one less-than-satisfactory initial response from DIA that came in the form of a letter which, coincidentally or not, was dated May 2, 2013 — the release date of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, which takes a critical look at PCASS (a.k.a., “portable polygraph”) and was the reason for my interest in the information. Still, I didn’t give up.

The Clapper Memo Front CoverI picked up the FOIA “ball” again Oct. 22, 2013, and opted for a different approach, contacting James Hogan, director of the Defense Freedom of Information Policy Office in Washington, D.C. After I shared chronological details of my DIA FOIA adventure with him, he informed me he could not provide direct assistance. In the same breath, however, he told me he forwarded my concerns to the DIA FOIA Office and assured me, “The DIA FOIA Office will contact you shortly to provide you with information concerning the status of your appeal.” He also suggested I contact the Office of Government Information Services which, he explained via email, “has among its statutory duties resolving FOIA disputes between requesters and agencies.”

I requested assistance from OGIS Oct. 24, 2013. The following day, they officially stamped my electronic request as “received” Oct. 25, 2013.

Also on Oct. 25, 2013, I received a message from Brentin V. Evitt, a man with a lengthy title (i.e., Deputy General Counsel for Mission Services, Office of the General Counsel, Defense Intelligence Agency) who wrote, “I am looking into the FOIA request and appeal that you have submitted to DIA. I will be back in touch with you as soon as I know more information.”

On Oct. 31, 2013, I informed Evitt that six days had passed and asked him to “provide me an estimate as to when I should expect an update and actual fulfillment of my FOIA request.”

“The OGIS Staff” acknowledged via email Nov. 1, 2013, that they had received my request.

I learned OGIS facilitator Kirsten Mitchell had been assigned to work on my FOIA request Nov. 6, 2013, and, per her request, shared documentation of my FOIA adventure to date. I also learned a few things about OGIS, a subordinate agency of the National Archives and Records Administration, that make me think some government downsizing might be in order:

• OGIS advocates for neither the requester nor the agency, but for the FOIA process to work as intended;

• OGIS provides mediation services to help resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies;

• OGIS strives to work in conjunction with the existing request and appeal process; and

• OGIS may become involved at any point in the FOIA administrative process.

In addition, I learned OGIS really has no authority:

• OGIS cannot compel agencies to release documents;

• OGIS does not enforce FOIA;

• OGIS does not process requests or review appeals;

• OGIS does not provide assistance outside the realm of FOIA; and

• OGIS does not make determinations or dictate resolutions to disputes.

Evitt informed me Nov. 8, 2013, that he had been “unable to locate an administrative appeal from you within our FOIA request/appeals system. I certainly see your initial request and our response, but I can’t find an appeal” and asked me if it would be okay if he treated my latest inquiry as an appeal?

“Am I surprised you are playing this ‘We didn’t receive your appeal’ game? Hardly.” I replied a short time later. “Fortunately, however, I keep good records.”

I went on to explain that I had copied him on my correspondence with OGIS that included all of the necessary details, including the documents he was “unable to locate.”

Where does my FOIA request stand today? Almost three weeks have passed since OGIS facilitator Mitchell entered the picture, and almost four weeks have passed since DIA lawyer Evitt entered the picture. Regardless, my quest continues.

Why are DIA officials thwarting federal law and refusing to fulfill my FOIA request? Because, I suspect, they know they’ll be in trouble if details about the unclassified information I seek are made public.

To learn more, ORDER A COPY of THE CLAPPER MEMO. It comes highly recommended and would make a great Christmas gift.

CORRECTION:  The date shown in the second paragraph of this piece was entered inaccurately and has been corrected.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Federal Government Officials Ignore Best Practices in PR

Personal experience tells me that officials representing federal government agencies and allied organizations are adept at ignoring public relations best practices.

ISAF:NATO Casualties 10-26-13The most-recent example can be found on the International Security Assistance Force website today. According to the casualty reporting figures that appear on the site, there have been no casualties among U.S. and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan since Sept. 26. One needs only turn to the Department of Defense News Releases site for a more-accurate and up-to-date accounting (i.e., seven entries since Sept. 27 that reflect the deaths of 10 U.S. warfighters serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan).

Why don’t ISAF officials do a better job of keeping the numbers up to date? Their track record shows they prefer to run against all best practices in PR by delaying the release of bad news and/or spinning the truth in a manner which Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. is very familiar.

In a piece published June 20, I revealed one startling example of how I was intentionally misled by ISAF public affairs officers but didn’t give up until I got the truth. An excerpt from that piece appears below:

For eight months during 2012, I was told by International Security Assistance Force public affairs officers in Afghanistan that the vetting process was “an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process.” Only after I came across a news item informing me otherwise — which, by the way, an ISAF PAO had no choice but to confirm — did I learn U.S. Special Operations Forces were not only very involved in the process of vetting Afghan recruits, but they had grown very frustrated with that process.

Unfortunately, ISAF officials are not the only ones connected to the U.S. Government with a propensity toward dishonesty, lack of transparency and hoping bad news goes away.

I reveal several of my struggles with federal government agencies in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.  The product of an exhaustive four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph, at places such as Guantanamo Bay and Iraq, THE CLAPPER MEMO comes with glowing endorsements. I hope you’ll order a copy today! FYI: Great Christmas gift!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

DIA Drags Feet on FOIA Request for Polygraph Contracts Info

If the Obama Administration is the “most transparent ever,” then why have I had to wait almost 15 months for Defense Intelligence Agency officials to provide a meaningful response to a Freedom of Information Act request? I suspect polygraph loyalists inside the Department of Defense, DIA’s parent organization, don’t want information about certain unclassified DIA contracts to become public.

Clapper Office Book PhotoOn July 16, 2012, while conducting research for my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I submitted a FOIA request to DIA for the following information:

“…copies of any and all initial and follow-up contracts (i.e., solicitations, contracts, statements of work and task orders) related to the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) or Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) that have been awarded by any Department of Defense Agency to Lafayette Instrument Company of Lafayette, Indiana, and any other contractors, academic institutions, laboratories and subcontractors from January 1, 2000, to present.”

Eleven days later, I received an interim response, pertinent details of which appear below after first being shared in a piece published July 27, 2012, under the headline, DIA Employs Army Tactics in Response to FOIA Request:

Snapshot-of-DIA-Ltr-Text-300x224“We will be unable to respond to your request within the FOIA’s 20 day statutory time period due to unusual circumstances… your request has been placed in our queue and will be worked in the order the request was received. Our current administrative workload is in excess of 1,352 requests.”

In a July 30, 2012, update tacked on to the end of that piece, I shared news received during a phone conversation with Alesia Y. Williams, chief of the DIA’s Freedom of Information Office staff. She told me I should not expect a reply earlier than nine months from today — or April 30, 2013.

April 30 came and went without a peep from Williams or anyone else at DIA. Then, nine days later, I received another letter from Williams. She said it constituted DIA’s official response to my FOIA request July 16, 2012. Coincidentally (or not), her letter was dated May 2, the day THE CLAPPER MEMO — the book for which I was trying to obtain the information — was released.

Williams’ letter was accompanied by 12 pages of heavily-redacted documents dating back to April 2010 — but not to Jan. 1, 2000, as I had requested via FOIA. Otherwise, it contained very little useful information pertinent to the contracts. It did, however, include the insulting paragraph below:

DIA-Return-Address-on-Envelope-300x225“Please remit to this office a check or money order made payable to the Treasurer of the United States in the amount of $155.80,” Williams wrote. “This fee is for professional search and review time of 3.5 hours at $44.00 per hour, reproduction and release costs of 12 pages at 15 cents per page. Please write on your payment the case number assigned to your request.”

The paragraph above was followed by another in which she informed me that I had 60 days to appeal the charges. And I did.

On May 24, I forwarded my appeal in the form of a “To Whom It May Concern” letter to the DIA’s FOIA Office in Washington, D.C. Shared in a piece published the same day, it contained the following argument:

Almost 10 months after I submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request (Case #0329-2012) to your agency, I received a letter (dated May 2, 2013) from Alesia Y. Williams, Chief of the FOIA Staff, containing the Defense Intelligence Agency’s response to said request. Unfortunately, YOUR AGENCY’S FULFILLMENT OF MY REQUEST FALLS FAR SHORT OF REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS.

Since sending that letter, the one-year anniversary of my FOIA request came and went, I’ve had no further communication from anyone at DIA, and one question continues to hang in the air: Why are DIA officials refusing to comply with federal law by providing the documents I requested via FOIA?

It’s not because the information contained in those contracts is classified. No, I suspect it’s better than that. They, a group that includes Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., are afraid the release of the contract information will expose them to even more valid criticism than that contained in THE CLAPPER MEMO.

To learn about that criticism, order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO. It’s available in paperback and ebook versions, and it comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Top Pentagon Spokesperson Aims Advice at Wrong Audience

Among the things he said during a recent gathering at Fort Meade, Md., George Little encouraged military public affairs officers to “think creatively on how best to communicate with the American people,” according to a recent American Forces Information Service article. I wish the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs would have aimed the advice at top DoD leaders and others in Washington, D.C., who stand in the way of the truth.

George Little

George Little

As a former Air Force PAO who now writes for a living, I can say I’ve had the occasion to work with PAOs from all combat-focused branches of the military during the past four years.  Most of the interactions had to do with my exhaustive investigation into the Pentagon’s use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph and certain non-polygraph devices.

While some PAOs were not helpful and others were downright useless, most were good at their jobs.  Among the good ones, many seemed to want to do the right thing but found themselves hamstrung by ambitious general officers in the chain of command.  For career-advancement reasons, they had to follow orders, regarding of whether it was the right thing to do.

Not coincidentally, my aforementioned investigation began in April 2009 after I was stonewalled for almost a month by an Air Force PAO on staff at U.S. Central Command.  The fairly-straightforward set of questions I asked about how well new portable polygraph devices had performed during their first year in combat zones seemed to raise the hackles of certain high-ranking officials.  In turn, however, it led me to asking more questions and reaching similar outcomes.

"INSIDE THE WIRE THREATS -- AFGHANISTAN"For instance, I spent 126 days trying to obtain a copy of an unclassified Army handbook, “Inside the Wire Threat — Afghanistan” via the Freedom of Information Act.  While the Army never provided me the copy, someone else did.

Perhaps the most-egregious example — but not the last — of military PAOs doing the dirty work of commanders surfaced in September 2012.  It was then I learned that International Security Assistance Force PAOs had lied to be for the better part of six months about the vetting process used to screen Afghan recruits before they were allowed to don the uniforms of their country’s military, police and security agencies.

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13In a yet-to-be resolved example, I’ve waited 54 weeks for Defense Intelligence Agency officials to provide me copies of unclassified contracts related to the purchases of the aforementioned portable polygraph devices.  Though I requested copies dating back to January 2000, I received copies dating back only to April 2010.

Adding fuel to the fire of this controversy, DIA’s half-hearted response came in the form of a letter bearing the same date as my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, was released.  As a result, the “official” contracts-related information didn’t appear in the first edition of the book.  If I ever get my hands on it, it will appear in an upcoming revised edition.

Why so many instances of stonewalling and lack of transparency?  I explain them all in THE CLAPPER MEMO.  Available in paperback and ebook versions, it comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

DIA Effort to Hide Details of ‘Portable Polygraph’ Contracts Marks First Anniversary

The one-year anniversary of a Freedom of Information Act request I submitted to Defense Intelligence Agency officials is approaching quickly, and I have yet to receive a meaningful response. Why? It appears DIA officials don’t want the information they should have provided me a long time ago to become public, especially as a chapter in any future edition of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

DIA-Return-Address-on-Envelope-300x225Anyone who accuses me of trying to “stir the pot” by generating controversy in conjunction with the release of my above-mentioned second nonfiction book is only partially correct. As I explain below, my claim has merit.

This saga began July 16, 2012, when I requested the following via FOIA:

“…copies of any and all initial and follow-up contracts (i.e., solicitations, contracts, statements of work and task orders) related to the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) or Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) that have been awarded by any Department of Defense Agency to Lafayette Instrument Company of Lafayette, Indiana, and any other contractors, academic institutions, laboratories and subcontractors from January 1, 2000, to present.”

If you’re new to this subject matter, some background information might help:  PCASS is a credibility assessment technology, commonly referred to as the “portable polygraph,” in which I became interested in April 2008 after the Department of Defense announced it was being deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now, back to the story.

Ten days after submitting my FOIA request, I received an interim response from Alesia Y. Williams, chief of DIA’s FOIA Office. In part, she wrote:

Snapshot-of-DIA-Ltr-Text-300x224“We will be unable to respond to your request within the FOIA’s 20 day statutory time period due to unusual circumstances… your request has been placed in our queue and will be worked in the order the request was received. Our current administrative workload is in excess of 1,352 requests.”

That seemed like an awfully long wait. During a follow-up phone call three days later, I learned from Williams exactly how long it would be. She told me I should not expect a reply earlier than nine months from today — or April 30, 2013.

All I could think was, “Wow!”

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13After watching the estimated date of DIA’s reply come and go, I decided to authorize the release of THE CLAPPER MEMO on Amazon May 2. I would find out one week later that the folks at DIA seemed to have been paying attention.

On May 9, I received a letter from DIA’s Williams. Dated seven days earlier (i.e., the day THE CLAPPER MEMO went on sale), it contained 12 pages of heavily-redacted documents. Unfortunately, the documents contained very little useful information pertinent to the contracts and dated back only as far as April 2010 instead of Jan. 1, 2000, as I had requested.

On top of the lack of information, the letter contained this insult:

“Please remit to this office a check or money order made payable to the Treasurer of the United States in the amount of $155.80,” Williams wrote. “This fee is for professional search and review time of 3.5 hours at $44.00 per hour, reproduction and release costs of 12 pages at 15 cents per page. Please write on your payment the case number assigned to your request.”

Of course, Williams added a paragraph at the end of her letter, letting me know I had 60 days to appeal the charges. And I did appeal them.

Three weeks later, I sent an appeal letter in which I highlighted DIA’s failure to respond in any meaningful way to my FOIA request and let DIA officials know that “Until such time as a genuine effort is made on behalf of your agency to provide the requested documentation, I shall not remit payment as requested.” I have yet to hear a reply.

By stonewalling me for nine and a half months, they managed to keep the information out of the first edition of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

By continuing their stonewalling effort, they are only digging their hole deeper as I intend to continue pursuing the information first requested almost one year ago.

If you’re interested in knowing why DIA officials would go to such lengths to keep secret the unclassified information I requested about PCASS-related contracts, you can find out by ordering a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Endorsed by some real heavyweights in the military and political arenas, the book is available in ebook and paperback at Amazon.com.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

DoJ Actions Against News Organizations Not Surprising

In a speech at the National Press Club Wednesday, Associated Press President and CEO Gary Pruitt said the U.S. Department of Justice’s illegal seizure of AP phone records has had a chilling effect on newsgathering operations.  I, for one, however, am not surprised DoJ officials went to such lengths.

Nat Press Club AP Pruitt 6-19-13I dedicate two entire chapters of my recently-released book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, to the role officials inside one DoJ agency have played in a technological “turf war” that has been raging silently in this country and around the world for more than 40 years.

During four years of exhaustive research, I used the Freedom of Information Act and the Oklahoma Open Records Act to obtain copies of hundreds of email messages exchanged between officials at the National Institute of Justice — DoJ’s research, development and evaluation arm — and recipients of DoJ research dollars.

Not only did these messages open my eyes to questionable inner workings of the agency and its grant system, but they showed me how that system has been corrupted to promote the polygraph, a century-old credibility assessment technology with a less-than-stellar track record over a non-polygraph technology that has proven its value time and again.

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I highlight many of the ways the non-polygraph technology has been used by investigators at more than 1,800 local and state law enforcement agencies across the United States and by others who used it with great success to  interrogate detainees at Guantanamo Bay, members of Saddam Hussein‘s inner circle (a.k.a., “The Deck of Cards”) and enemy combatants on battlefields around the world.

Despite the track record of the non-polygraph technology, it was banned for use by Department of Defense officials no fewer than three times during the past decade.  Today, it remains banned, thanks in large part to Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and a memo he issued six years ago while serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.  As a result of the continued ban, American and Coalition Forces personnel in Afghanistan face higher-than-necessary risk of becoming casualties.

You can find out how I reached that conclusion by reading THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Having already garnered some big-name endorsements and much-appreciated reviews, it’s available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.com.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.