The National Security Agency has taken away my name and given me a FOIA Case Number … I plan to appeal …
The National Security Agency may or may not have my “file,” but they got my FOIA number.
I have been mulling over getting any information gathered on me from the Pentagon/CIA/FBI for years now, and, finally, I dashed off an email-electronic request from the National Security Agency’s request site to the NSA’s Freedom of Information Act public request office last week. They didn’t care. That was a shock.
I have been consulting with an attorney about it, well he consulted with me via electronic communications that the NSA/FBI (sound via ultrasound) should really check out. And I haven’t been affected by all this Edward Snowden business going on in the news lately, but the National Security Agency thinks I have and told me to forget all I have seen and heard.
I got a form rejection letter in response to my request for any files, or files, that might be related to me – Shelby G. Spires – and any little electronic beeps and buzzes, binary and digital or otherwise, the NSA might have collected on me.
Via a three-page form letter, surely generated by a computer and collated by a summer intern, I was told in Pentagonese to bugger off.
In more than two decades of reading, digesting, writing about military and security matters, I have seen a lot of files and letters about classified and declassified matter and made a few FOIA requests, mostly to the U.S. Air Force. When I brought the regular envelope in from the box Monday, I knew from the light weight that it was what we writer’s love to call a “rejection form.”
In so many eloquent terms the NSA told me to get stuffed and they didn’t have to give me the time of day:
Here is the key paragraph out of eight lengthy graphs of which two told me how I have been misled by all the reporting on the Snowden releases (they didn’t mention him by name, however)):
“Therefore, your request is denied because the fact of the existence or non-existene of responsive records is a currently and properly classified matter in accordance with Executive Orer 13526, as set forth in Subparagraph (c) of Section 1.4. Thus, your request is denied pursuant to the first exemption of the FOIA, which provides that FOIA does not apply to matters that are specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign relations and are properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order.” (Yes, of COURSE, the italics are added by me – but it is cool I got a double DENIED in the same denial graph.)
This letter was like the lyrics to the Duran Duran song “New Moon on Monday” … it makes no sense. Seemingly words strung together, and I have seen a lot of words strung together.
At first they repeat my request, then give me a little NSA mission background (I learned all this from James Bamford’s “The Puzzle Place” thank you very much) and then told me that I could be affected by all the media coverage of NSA lately.
Man, I have wanted this since 1986 … WTF NSA?
Well, the key graph to me is that I can file a written appeal … I plan to do so … I plan to win.
Also, I know I will laugh at the three sheets of blanked out, redacted “Shelby G. Spires” file I get in a few months, too.
The rest of the letter: