I stand amazed at how much the responses I’ve received from Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. Claire McCaskill and U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner have varied since Jan. 13 when I contacted the offices of these people who purport to represent me and my fellow citizens in the Show-Me State in the U.S. Congress and asked for help in dealing with officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Congresswoman Wagner’s staff has been most responsive. In fact, I received a phone call the same day I sent her both an email message and a message via Facebook. Since then, I’ve exchanged multiple email messages with members of her staff.
Sadly, the congresswoman’s staffers have, so far, been able to generate only a cursory reply letter (dated Feb. 28 and received March 3) from James L. Kaplan, DIA’s Chief of Congressional Relations.
Senator Blunt’s staffers, on the other hand, have been less responsive than Congresswoman Wagner’s, but not the worst among the Missouri delegation. My correspondence with them began when I used the senator’s online communication tool to submit the following message:
Eighteen months ago, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Defense Intelligence Agency. In it, I requested copies of unclassified documents related to polygraph contracts. To date, I have been thoroughly stonewalled. Now, I need Senator Blunt’s help to find out why.
Beyond that, I included a link to an article in which I had outlined my experience to date with the DIA. Senator Blunt’s staffers responded — via snail mail letter dated Feb. 12, not the much-quicker email — by sending me a Privacy Act Release Statement which I had to complete and return by snail mail.
In an auto-signed letter dated March 11 and received a few days later, Senator Blunt informed me that he made contact with DIA officials and that they had responded to his inquiry. Attached to it was a letter from Kaplan that was virtually identical to the one Congresswoman Wagner had received from Kaplan 11 days earlier.
Dragging up the rear in this race to serve their constituent are members of Senator McCaskill’s staff. Despite the fact I had reached out to “Claire Bear” on the same day and in the exact same manner as I had Senator Blunt, it took her staff 92 days — or 34 days longer — to reply with a letter (dated April 9) almost identical to the initial reply received from her Republican counterpart.
So, what is all of the fuss about? As of today, I’ve waited exactly 21 months for DIA officials to comply with requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and fulfill my request for copies of unclassified documents related to Department of Defense purchases of polygraph equipment since Jan. 1, 2000.
And why have DIA officials worked so hard to keep this information out of my hands? Read my book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, and you’ll begin to understand their reluctance.