The Feynman Files.
For the first time, FBI records for Dr Richard Feynman have been released to the public
. They document the Bureau's apparent obsession in the 1950's with outing him as a communist sympathizer, and include notations from several background checks as well as interviews with his colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
posted by zarq
on Jun 6, 2012 -
...this stubborn idea he had about maintaining his sanity took a couple of hard hits when:
1. He presented the shoes that government agents had supposedly melted...which simply looked like worn out running shoes.
2. The government's psychologist and one of Friedman's choosing both concurred that he was totally schizophrenic.
Still, Friedman pressed on, demanding better counsel for himself and filing a second Freedom of Information Act (he was not satisfied with the first) for:
"all documents pertaining to the microwave auditory effect, microwave hearing effect, Frey effect, artificial telepathy, and/or any device/weapon which uses and/or causes such effect; and any covert or undisclosed use of hypnosis"
This FOIA request, however, was much more successful. The document (which was verified by wired.com in 2008 through the US Army Intelligence And Security Command Freedom Of Information/Privacy Office), contained quite a bit of interesting/terrifying information...
posted by Slap*Happy
on Feb 21, 2012 -
A week ago, University of Wisconsin History Professor Bill Cronon wrote a blog post
about the organization he claimed was driving much of the legislation in Wisconsin: ALEC
. Shortly after that, he wrote an op ed
for the New York Times about the legislation.
Now, the Wisconsin GOP have sent a FOIA request to the University requesting all emails that Cronon may have sent containing the terms "Republican, Scott Walker, recall, collective bargaining, AFSCME, WEAC, rally, union ..." and others. Cronon responds
, calling it an "Attack [on] academic freedom". (via TPM
posted by demiurge
on Mar 25, 2011 -
that was used to carry the body of John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital was sold at auction last night for $120,000. Or was it? [more inside]
posted by fixedgear
on Jan 23, 2011 -
The FBI has released their extensive files on US Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the public,
covering their relationship with him between 1961 and 1985. The seven files, totaling more than 2,200 pages of documents reveal
(among other things,) the perhaps unsurprising news that the late Senator received "scores"
of death threats
from radical groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, “Minutemen” organizations, and the National Socialist White People’s Party. The release was initiated by a Freedom of Information Act Request from Judicial Watch
on May 3, 2010, (Complaint pdf
) but the FBI gave the Senator's family the "rare opportunity" to raise objections before releasing the file
posted by zarq
on Jun 14, 2010 -
Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case. "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."
posted by blue_beetle
on Jan 23, 2009 -
Secrecy no more?
The first major overhaul of the Freedom of Information act in years is awaiting President Bush's signature.
It will finally create an "independent" government agency to handle to disputes between records holders and information requesters. The passage of the act comes after, ironically, after an Arizona senator used a "secret hold" to block the bill. He was ferreted out
by a group of journalists.
posted by nospecialfx
on Dec 20, 2007 -
Do you have an FBI file
? Or do your grandpa and grandma
? "Find out now by ordering a copy of their FBI files and learn a bit more about your family history. Best of all, it's free! (Well, except for the cost of a postage stamp.)"
This web site helps you generate the letters you need to send to the FBI to get a copy of your own FBI file. While we're at it, we can generate request letters to some other Federal agencies besides the FBI that you may be interested in (or who may have been interested in you!).
posted by nickyskye
on Nov 2, 2007 -
Same Old Dogs, Same Old Tricks.
In a rare act of bipartisan cooperation, the House of Representatives passed a group of bills
strengthening the FOIA (HR 1309
), streamlining access to Presidential Libraries (HR 1255
), and expanding safeguards for whistleblowers (still in process, HR 985
), with those that were passed having a veto-proof margin. The White House sharply criticized these acts of transparency
as unconstitutional, a threat on the established separation of Powers, and as a threat to national security [pdf
]. All of which heralds back to an earlier time, that looks vaguely familiar
posted by rzklkng
on Mar 15, 2007 -
The NSA Bibliographies The NSA
internally publishes thousands of papers every year, on every topic from spycraft to cryptography to physics & aliens (no, really!). Each year the titles of these papers gets indexed & those indexes are also published internally. The Memory Hole has made a successful FOIA request for a large number of these, spanning almost 50 years. We don't get to see the actual papers, but just the titles are fascinating - including such page turners as "Computer Virus Infections: Is NSA Vulnerable?", "KAL 007 Shootdown: A View from [redacted]", "NSA in the Cyberpunk Future", "Telephone Codes and Safe Combinations: A Deadly Duo", "Coupon Collecting and Cryptology", "Cranks, Nuts, and Screwballs" & my personal favorite, "Key to the Extraterrestrial Messages". When you're done browsing the titles, there's a sample form you can use to request some of the documents yourself!
posted by scalefree
on Oct 2, 2006 -
- The first and last mutiny of the British Army. The story was first told in "The Monocled Mutineer" by William Allison & John Farley which was later made into a BBC drama (script written by Alan Bleasdale
) broadcast in 1986. This program has never been shown since on British terrestrial TV and even resulted in questions being asked in Parliament
about the BBC's left-wing bias. The true facts will be classified until 2017, 100 years after the events. [mi]
posted by longbaugh
on Jan 5, 2006 -
Get Ready For WW4 : FOIA document details SSS preparations for a widespread draft to start with a callup of 36,000 doctors and nurses
: an in depth analysis with a detailed timeline
: "...the SSS is in fact preparing for the real possibility of a Skills, Medical and Combat Draft for 2005. Congress of course must still pass a 1-page trigger resolution reauthorizing current conscription law, but the Selective Service will by early 2005 have geared up the entire draft system and be prepared to register more than 40 million Americans for a new Skills Draft and the Medical Draft....The NY Times on Oct. 19 published a long article on a subcontractor, Widemeyer Communications, that over the summer consulted the SSS on how a Medical Draft could be started up with minimal attention. The SSS said 36,000 doctors and nurses would be taken in the first batch of draftees. Why would Bush need so many? 36,000 is a huge number....Wesley Clark charges in his book Winning Modern Wars, that a senior Pentagon official told him in 2001 that there was a 5-year plan to topple 7 countries"
Here's the Seattle PI's take : "Administration's own actions fuel rumors of draft"
Here's a Feb. 2003 document
(~500k pdf) obtained under the FOIA, on the SSS plans for a widespread draft. (more inside)
posted by troutfishing
on Oct 31, 2004 -
Nuclear Safety Lapses Won't Be Revealed
-- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the change in policy during its first public meeting on power plant safety since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It drew barbs from critics who said the secrecy would erode public confidence in the agency.
Until now, the NRC has provided regular public updates on vulnerabilities its inspectors found at the country's 103 nuclear power reactors, such as broken fences or weaknesses in training programs.
The NRC's release is here,
which also states that they'll be exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests.
posted by amberglow
on Aug 4, 2004 -
"A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Energy Department to release thousands of records
on Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, criticizing the government for moving at 'a glacial pace.' "
Is anyone else interested in this? This is honestly the first time since Bush took office that I've felt optomistic about much.
Anyone old enough to remember the look on Nixon's face as he stepped on to Marine One for the last time, when he turned to give the victory sign? The Vice President surely remembers, I wonder if he's thought of it lately?
posted by jack-o
on Feb 27, 2002 -
The U.S. Department of Justice
issued a revised memorandum
for how to treat requests received under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) that establishing a "sound legal basis" rather than the existing "foreseeable harm" standard for defending FOIA request refusals in court, John Ashcroft FOIA Memorandum, October 12, 2001. This was part of the EFF link below, but it's probably disturbing enough to have it's own discussion.
posted by rhyax
on Oct 26, 2001 -
Ashcroft issues new policy on FOIA requests
that rescinds a 1993 policy that made it somewhat harder for federal agencies to refuse requests for public records. No surprise, especially given the current situation, but the interesting part is the rationale: Ashcroft cites national security, the effectiveness of law enforcement and protecting sensitive business information. "I encourage your agency to carefully consider the protection of all such values and interests when making disclosure determinations under the FOIA." (via Politechbot)
posted by thescoop
on Oct 18, 2001 -