Everything Redacted in 4-Page Document About the FBI’s ‘Sensitive Informant Program’

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue has received three heavily-redacted batches of recently-declassified documents from the FBI in recent days as partial responses to his ongoing quest for materials related to the Bureau’s “Sensitive Informant Program.”  The most recent document, however, could qualify as the most-heavily-redacted document ever offered in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.  Everything — four pages in all — is redacted!  See pics below.

OKC FBI TRANSP 1 OKC FBI TRANSP 2

OKC FBI TRANSP 3OKC FBI TRANSP 4

In an email message Thursday morning, Trentadue describes this latest set of documents as “certainly in line with the Administration’s position on FOIA and the need for ‘transparency.’”

Trentadue has sought details about the “Sensitive Informant Program” in an effort to learn more about the brutal death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in 1995 and about the connection he believes exists between his brother’s death and the investigation of the Oklahoma City Bombing.

As I reported in a Nov. 21 update to this post, federal Judge Clark Waddoups has set May 5, July 28-30, 2014, as the date on which a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial will begin in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division.  The trial will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time, is expected to last three days and could produce some bombshells.

To learn more about Trentatude’s long-running legal battle with the FBI, watch the chilling one-hour video below:

To learn more of my coverage about Trentadue’s battle for justice, read Truth Remains Elusive 18 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing and other articles in my series, Untold Stories of the Oklahoma City Bombing, that dates back to April 2009 and includes more than 30 original articles.

UPDATE #1 2/28/2014 at 4:45 p.m. Central:  I just learned from a source close to the case that the new trial has been pushed back to July 28-30.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). 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 (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

FBI’s ‘Sensitive Informant Program’ Back in the News

Nine months after Jesse Trentadue filed a motion aimed at convincing a federal judge in Utah to allow him access to information about the FBI’s “Sensitive Information Program,” FBI officials provided the Salt Lake City attorney with what he described as “another dump of documents.”

Trentadue Motion for Limited Disc 2-27-13

Click to download motion filed 2-27-13.

Via email this afternoon, Trentadue said the documents he received were declassified a little more than a month ago and reveal the FBI has a sophisticated program to recruit sensitive informants and its agents are going to withhold as much information as possible about that program.

Once Trentadue obtains more details about the “Sensitive Informant Program,” he hopes those details will help him learn more about the brutal death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in 1995 and about the connection he believes exists between his brother’s death and the investigation of the Oklahoma City Bombing.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  As I reported in a Nov. 23 update to a piece published Sept. 9, a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial is set to take place May 5, July 28-30, 2014 in Salt Lake City.  With Judge Clark Waddoups presiding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, the trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. local time and is expected to last three days.  Hopefully, the upcoming trial will grab the attention of more Americans who, like Trentatude, merely want to know the truth.

Untold Stories of the OKC BombingTo learn more about Jesse Trentadue’s quest to learn more about his brother’s deaths, read my posts in the series, Kenneth Trentadue Murder Case, or watch this chilling one-hour video in which he recounts his long-running battle for truth.

To learn more about the bigger picture surrounding this case, read my series, UNTOLD STORIES of the OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING, which includes my Exclusive Interviews About the Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). 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 (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Memo Filed in Advance of 2014 Oklahoma City Bombing Trial

UPDATE #3 2/28/2014 at 4:42 p.m. Central:  I just learned from a source close to the case that it has been pushed back to July 28-30.

UPDATE #2 11/21/2013 at 5:36 p.m. Central:  Judge Clark Waddoups has set May 5, 2014, as the date on which the next Oklahoma City Bombing trial will begin in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division.  The trial will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time and is expected to last three days.  Details about the trial are in the article below.

UPDATE 11/21/2013 at 8:22 a.m. Central:  A spring 2014 court date for another Oklahoma City Bombing trial should be set later today. I will post details as soon as they become available.

Today, almost two months after sharing news about a new Oklahoma City Bombing trial being set for Spring 2014, I received copies of Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue’s proposed Trial Memorandum in which he outlines the case he hopes will result in FBI officials handing over copies of videotapes they have, thusfar, refused to produce.

Untold Stories of the OKC BombingVia the Freedom of Information Act, Trentadue has spent most of the past five years trying to obtain copies of videotape images captured by more than 20 surveillance cameras operating in the vicinity of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City prior to 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995.

While the FBI did produce tapes from the buildings around the Murrah Building, the tapes had been edited, Trentadue said.  As for the tapes from the cameras on the Murrah Building, the contents of which are described in a timeline prepared by the Secret Service, the FBI does not dispute the existence of the unedited versions of the surveillance tapes recorded prior to the blast; instead, they say they cannot find them.  In addition, FBI officials have refused to provided the one-time star athlete at the University of Southern California with a copy of the original videotape showing the arrest of Timothy McVeigh as recorded on the dashboard camera of Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Charles Hanger’s vehicle the day of the bombing.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Below, I offer an excerpt from the document shared with me today.  Please note that I have removed footnotes and, in a few cases, added links for downloading other referenced documents and graphics to lead you to related articles.

Trentadue Proposed Pre-Trial 11-05-13In the Order of September 9, 2013, the Court announced its intention to conduct a bench trial with respect to Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment.  The Court also ordered the parties to submit a Trial Memorandum. In response to that Order, Plaintiff hereby submits his proposed Trial Memorandum.

OKC Bombing Interviews

Click to read interviews.

This suit arises under the Freedom 0f Information Act (“FOIA”). Plaintiff requested the Defendants to produce a number of videotapes: (1) the original Videotape taken by the dashboard camera on Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Charles Hanger’s vehicle showing the arrest of Timothy McVeigh on the morning of April 19, 1995; and (2) surveillance videotapes taken on the morning of April 19, 1995 by exterior cameras mounted on the following, among other, Buildings:  (a) Murrah Federal Building; (b) Journal Record Building; (c) Regency Tower Apartment Building; Southwestern Bell Building, (e) YMCA Building, and (f), as described by a contemporaneous government records, a “security camera” videotape showing “the Ryder truck pulling up to the Federal Building and then pausing (7-10 seconds) before resuming into a slot in the front of the building” and “the truck detonation 3 minutes and 6 seconds after the suspects exited the truck.”  Plaintiff also requested copies of all reports, including 302′s, that described and/or referenced Defendants having possession of these videotapes.

Hussain Al-Hussaini (Quincy P.D. Photo)

Author: ‘Third Terrorist’ Arrested in Quincy, Mass.

In response, Defendants produced 160 pages of documents related to the videotapes but only very few of these documents concerned the videotapes requested by Plaintiff; whereas most of these documents were irrelevant in that they related to videotapes from other locations and even other states, including videotapes of television news casts about the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.  However, Defendants did not produce several key documents related to their having possession of the videotapes requested by Plaintiff.  Defendants, for example, did not produced to Plaintiff a report that the Operations Manager at the Journal Record Building had handed over a videotape to the FBI taken from an exterior camera on the building that had “been blown off the wall” by the explosion and might show the “persons responsible;” a document reporting that the FBI had reviewed videotapes from the Journal Record Building and Southwestern Bell surveillance cameras which were “positive” for images of the “suspects” and/or “explosion” a document showing that on November 25, 1995 two surveillance tapes were being held in the FBI’s Washington Metropolitan Field Office” or a document stating that certain videotapes were being kept in the “valuable evidence vault.”

Trentadue Motion for Limited Disc 2-27-13

Are FBI Informants Working Inside Churches?

Defendants also produced what appeared to be an edited version of the Hanger videotape, but claimed not to be able to locate the original videotape, which they took into evidence on April 27, 1995.  With respect to the videotapes from surveillance cameras that Plaintiff had requested, Defendants provided no tapes from the Murrah Building surveillance cameras nor any records related to those tapes. While Defendants did produce tapes from cameras at the Journal Record Building, Southwestern Bell Building and Regency Towers, they produced none from the exterior cameras directed at the Murrah Building even though they took those tapes in to evidence; and Defendants also did not produce tapes from the YMCA Building or a videotape showing “the Ryder truck pulling up to the Federal Building and then pausing (7-10 seconds) before resuming into a slot in the front of the building” and “the truck detonation 3 minutes and 6 seconds after the suspects exited the truck.”

On May 5, 2011, the Court entered an Order requiring Defendants to conduct additional searches for the videotapes and related records.  The Order further provided that if Defendants did not conduct those searches, they were to explain to the Court Why such searches would not be reasonably calculated to locate the videotapes and documents. Defendants did not conduct the additional searches. Neither did they submit a credible explanation to the Court for not having done so.

‘Operation Fast and Furious’ Coverup Not Unique

Nevertheless, Defendants have moved for summary judgment contending that they have only an edited version of the Hanger videotape, not the original; and that they can not find the Murrah Building surveillance tapes.  Defendants offer no explanation for not producing the other videotapes referenced above. Instead, Defendants insist that they did adequate, but limited, computerized searches of their ZyIndex and ACS data bases for the videotapes and documents which failed to locate additional videotapes or related records, and that is supposedly all that is required of them under the FOIA.

To download the entire document from which the excerpt above was gleaned, including footnotes, click here.

To learn more about the Oklahoma City Bombing, read my series, UNTOLD STORIES of the OKC BOMBING.

To learn more about why Trentadue wants the videotapes, watch the riveting video below:

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). 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 (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

New Book Reveals How Top US Government Officials Withheld Key Information From Senators

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Slightly modified for stand-alone publication, the excerpt (below) from my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, reveals how officials inside the Departments of Defense and Justice withheld key information about interrogation technologies from members of Congress.

100707-F-3431H-016Since 2008, a number of reports have been produced by a variety of governmental and nongovernmental entities.  While some focused on the situation involving detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility (a.k.a., “GITMO”) in Cuba, others looked at the progress — or lack thereof — being made in the war in Afghanistan. From among the reports available, three warrant special attention.

Amidst media-flamed fires of concern regarding allegations GITMO detainees were being mistreated, members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee took steps in 2008 to make themselves appear proactive as the war approached its seven-year mark.

TCM Graphic 2-17-13In addition to holding hearings, they deployed a team of investigators to look into allegations of torture being inflicted upon detainees at GITMO and at other detention facilities in Iraq (i.e., Abu Ghraib, Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca).  The investigation resulted in the publication of an unclassified 263-page report, “INQUIRY INTO THE TREATMENT OF DETAINEES IN U.S. CUSTODY,” dated November 20, 2008.

Over the course of their investigation, according to the report, the committee reviewed more than 200,000 pages of classified and unclassified documents, including detention and interrogation policies, memoranda, electronic communications, training manuals and the results of previous investigations into detainee abuse.  While the majority of those documents were provided to the committee by the Department of Defense, the committee also reviewed documents provided by the Department of Justice, documents in the public domain, a small number of documents provided by individuals and a number of published secondary sources including books and articles in popular magazines and scholarly journals.

PapersIn addition, according to the report, the committee interviewed more than 70 individuals in connection with its inquiry.  Most were current or former DoD employees, and some came from the current and former ranks of DoJ, including the FBI.

The committee issued subpoenas, heard testimony from subpoenaed witnesses, sent written questions to more than 200 individuals, and held public hearings June 17 and September 25, 2008.

Though one might have expected to see several mentions of it, since it is the only approved credibility-assessment tool for use within DoD, the SASC report included only one mention of the word, polygraph.  It appeared in a heavily-redacted paragraph in which interrogators and analysts were said to have attributed the cooperation of one detainee, Mohammed al-Khatani, to several factors, one of which was “his failing a polygraph test.”

Only one detainee cooperated.

The report also included mentions of interrogation techniques that were part of the curriculum at U.S. Military Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape schools and other non-polygraph interrogation techniques that had been authorized by U.S. Joint Forces Command for use during the interrogation of detainees in U.S. military custody by members of a Joint Personnel Recovery Agency team deployed to Iraq in September 2003.

Saddam_Hussein_LRMost remarkable about the committee’s findings, however, were the things not mentioned.

The committee’s report failed to mention a non-polygraph technology that had been used successfully to interrogate detainees at GITMO, to interrogate members of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle (a.k.a., “The Deck of Cards”) in Iraq, and to interrogate a diverse range of subjects at locations around the world.

Likewise, it failed to include a single mention of that non-polygraph technology or anyone remotely related to it.

As a result of the omissions, the polygraph’s leading challenger would remain unknown to anyone relying solely upon the SASC investigators’ report for information upon which to make critical decisions.

To learn about the two other reports and about the non-polygraph technology senior DoD officials continue to keep out of the hands of those who interrogate terror and criminal suspects and out of the hands of our fighting men and women on the front lines of war, order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

The 268-page product of an exhaustive four-year investigation, THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback and ebook versions.  Order your copy today!

FYI:  THE CLAPPER MEMO has received several notable endorsements.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). 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 (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Questions Surround FBI’s Use of Century-Old Polygraph

This morning, I read an article by McClatchy News reporter Marisa Taylor. Published in the Raleigh, N.C., News-Observer, its polygraph-focused content seems to contradict what an FBI supervisory special agent told members of a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary about the polygraph in 1997.

NewsObserver FBI Poly Applicants LR 5-20-13

Click image to read NewsObserver article.

Taylor reported the nation’s top law enforcement agency has been turning down applicants because they fail their polygraph tests. Such moves fly in the face of testimony offered by FBI Supervisory Special Agent (Dr.) Drew Campbell Richardson.

In a piece I published one week ago, I highlighted Richardson’s description of polygraph screening as “completely without any theoretical foundation and has absolutely no validity.”

TCM Richardson Story LR 5-13-13

Click image to read article.

Am I surprised by what Taylor uncovered or that the FBI continues to rely on often-criticized century-old technology? No.

After all, I spent much of the past four years learning about the polygraph and those loyal to it who, for more than 40 years, have waged a “turf war” against any and all challengers to their domain as the federal government’s credibility assessment technology of choice.

Unlike the wars that have been fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam and elsewhere since the early 1970s, this turf war I uncovered has been fought overseas and at home.

Most recently, it has contributed to hundreds of American and coalition casualties in Afghanistan in so-called “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks — that is, when so-called Afghan allies turn upon their foreign colleagues, often with deadly impact.

For details about this turf war, order a copy of my recently-released second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. It’s available in paperback and ebook versions from Amazon.

Order Books Graphic LR 6-15-13

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.

DoD Sticks With Polygraph Despite Extensive Criticism

On Sept. 29, 1997, FBI Supervisory Special Agent (Dr.) Drew Campbell Richardson testified before members of a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary about the polygraph.  Among other things, he described polygraph screening as being “completely without any theoretical foundation and has absolutely no validity.”

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13Upon discovering Richardson is not alone in his assessment, one must ask the question, “Why is the polygraph the only authorized credibility assessment technology for use within DoD when newer, proven-reliable technologies are available?”

I answer that question and many more in my newest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, the product of four years of extensive investigation.

Most importantly, however, THE CLAPPER MEMO exposes the flawed process via which Afghans are being vetted before being allowed to serve alongside U.S. and Coalition Forces troops as uniform-wearing members of Afghan military, police and security units. Those flaws have resulted in hundreds of U.S. and CF casualties, the result of “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks, during the past six years.

In addition, it highlights the fact that the polygraph, despite being the only credibility assessment tool allowed for use by DoD personnel, either (1) isn’t being used as part of that vetting process or, (2) isn’t working well if it is being used as part of the vetting process.  Either way, American casualties continue to add up as a result.

You can order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO in paperback or ebook versions from Amazon.

Order Books Graphic LR 6-15-13

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.

Are FBI Informants Working Inside America’s Churches?

Jesse Trentadue’s ongoing effort to obtain information from the FBI continued this week when he filed a motion (PDF) Wednesday aimed at convincing a federal judge in Utah to allow him access to information about the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program.  The move was made one month after the Salt Lake City attorney filed his first motion — the details of which appeared in a post Jan. 30 — seeking, among other things, to learn whether the FBI has informants working inside American churches.

Trentadue Motion for Limited Disc 2-27-13

Click to download motion (PDF).

Why is Trentadue seeking the information?  Because he believes it will lead him closer to the truth about the 1995 death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City.

Below, I share the fascinating details of his most-recent motion (PDF).  Beginning with the “Background” which begins on page one of the document, the details contained in the document appear below, minus the footnotes contained in the actual document:

The FBI devotes a considerable portion of the Memorandum that it submitted in opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to arguing that this is a typical Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) case involving the adequacy of the FBI’s search for responsive documents and/or the applicability of the exemptions claimed by the FBI for not releasing the documents/records.  But this is not a typical FOIA case. Neither is it an isolated or stand alone case. This case, as the FBI well knows, is the latest front in Plaintiff’s long war with the Bureau to discover and uncover the truth about the Oklahoma City Bombing and a related matter: the murder of his brother, Kenneth Michael Trentadue.

Untold Stories of the OKC BombingThe first battle in this almost decade long FOIA war was fought before this very Court in Trentadue v. FBI, which revealed that persons other that Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier had participated in the Bombing. That first battle, and the documents/records that Plaintiff obtained as a result, also disclosed: (1) the existence of the FBI’s I-Drive and S-Drive computer systems wherein evidence related to the Bombing was kept hidden so as not to be subject to a FOIA request and/or not made part of the FBI’s official Bombing case file; (2) the CIA’s involvement in the Oklahoma City Bombing; (3) “Patriot Conspiracy” or “PATCON” that was a decade or more long FBI undercover operation designed to infiltrate and monitor or perhaps even incite various right-wing organizations; and (4) the existence of a surveillance camera videotape taken on the morning of April 19, 1995, which according to federal government documents purportedly shows not only the destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, but also the persons who carried out that attack.  That first FOIA battle also disclosed the existence of the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program,” which is at the heart of this current FOIA discovery dispute.

The Sensitive Informant Program is the FBI’s disturbing practice of using private citizens as spies on the staffs of members of Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies, on defense teams in high profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies and even among the clergy of organized religions. The Sensitive Informant Program is designed to and does result in the circumvention of the protections guaranteed to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Separation of Powers Doctrine.

In response to Plaintiff’s FOIA request for the policies, rules, protocols and/or procedures governing the FBI’s recruitment and use of such informants in this secret surveillance program which spies on United States’ citizens on United States’ soil, the FBI produced 205 pages, which appear to be but a small portion of its: “Corporate Policy Directive” on the use of confidential human sources, “Confidential Human Source Validation Standards Manual,” “Confidential Human Source Policy Manual,” and “Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide” (collectively the “Manual”). Those portions of the Manual that the FBI actually provided to Plaintiff were heavily redacted. The FBI withheld all of these portions of the Manual on the basis of various exemptions from disclosure under FOIA.

It is Plaintiff’s belief, however, that NO exemption can be asserted to conceal this unconstitutional domestic spy/surveillance program. Simply put, FOIA, which has as its stated purpose the disclosure of the federal government’s wrongdoing, cannot and should not be used to shield the FBI’s unconstitutional actions undertaken on what appears to be a national scale. However, in order to properly frame and present to the Court his challenge to the FBI’s claims of exemption Plaintiff needs to conduct limited discovery into the scope and duration of this Sensitive Informant Program.

In the “Summary of the Argument,” beginning on page four of the motion, he presents the latest details:

Plaintiff’s need for this discovery is simple. If, for example, the FBI has never embedded a Sensitive Informant on the staff of a member of Congress and/or a federal judge, in the national media, within another federal agency, on the defense team in high profile federal and/or state criminal prosecution, inside of a state or local law enforcement agency or among the clergy of an organized religion, it will admittedly be difficult for Plaintiff to assert that NO FOIA exemptions should apply to those portions of the Manual being withheld from him. This is so because a rare or isolated violation of the Constitution by the use of Sensitive Informants may not be sufficient for the Court to override the FBI’s exemption claims.

However, if the FBI’s Sensitive Informant program has been in operation for years and/or involves the placement of many Sensitive Informants on the staffs of members of Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies, on defense teams in high profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies or among the clergy of organized religions, then it is obvious that the Manual is designed to and/or does result in the circumvention of the protections guaranteed to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Separation of Powers Doctrine. If this is so, then it is Plaintiff’s position that the FBI cannot lawfully assert any FOIA exemption to keep secret a clearly unconstitutional nationwide program of domestic spying.

The information that Plaintiff’s seeks by way of this discovery will also be necessary for the Court to determine whether the (b)(1) exemption claimed by the FBI applies. Exemption (b)(1) allows the FBI to exempt certain records provided it declares them “secret” on the basis of national security AND pursuant to an Executive Order allowing for that “secret” designation.

In order to obtain information with respect to the scope and duration of the FBI’s Sensitive Informant Program, Plaintiff has moved to conduct limited discovery consisting of just eleven (11) Interrogatories, the answers to which will document the unconstitutionality of the FBI’s Sensitive Informant Program, thereby allowing Plaintiff to challenge the FBI’s assertion of FOIA exemptions to conceal and/or withhold the Manual from Plaintiff and the American public, and the Court to determine the validity/applicability of those exemptions to the Manual. The FBI, however, vehemently opposes that Motion.

Of course, there is a lot more to the case, but Trentadue’s approach, summed up under the “ISSUE” section of the motion and shared below, seems brilliant to this non-lawyer:

The issue in this case is not the adequacy of the FBI’s search for the Manual. The FBI found the Manual. The issue for the Court to decide is (1) whether the FOIA exemptions advanced by the FBI for withholding portions of the Manual apply and (2), even if they do apply, can those exemptions be lawfully asserted to conceal FBI activities that clearly subvert the Constitution? Furthermore, this issue cannot and should not be decided without the discovery that Plaintiff is seeking to obtain through his Motion to Conduct Limited Discovery.

During an email exchange late Friday, Trentadue used layman’s terms to boil the matter down to one key issue.

“The FBI argues that the discovery (he) seeks would be futile since ‘illegal’ activity by the federal government is shielded from disclosure under FOIA if covered by an exemption,” he explained.

He went on to question how the FBI can, in good faith, claim that a national security exemption allows the Bureau to declare its unconstitutional domestic spying program “secret” and, in turn, allows them to keep their illegal activities hidden from the public.

“It is an absurd — no, arrogant — position for the FBI to take,” he said.

Stay tuned for details about how this case turns out.  Also, be sure to read earlier articles in my series, UNTOLD STORIES of the OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING.

Order Books Graphic LR 6-15-13

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.