Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (Eric Holder Emails)

Anon Fire filed this request with the Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General of the United States of America.
Tracking # DOJ-2017-000506, DOJ-AP-2017-001280
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Patrick Mackie

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Any and all emails sent or received between 12/01/2008 and 09/14/16 that refer to 'Abdulrahman al-Awlaki' or born name 'Abdulrahman Anwar Al-Aulaqi'.

His death has been widely reported in the media. The first two links are reference links. The third link is a link to his birth certificate to clarify which individual I am interested in. Also, his death certificate is shared in the last link.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-airstrike-that-killed-american-teen-in-yemen-raises-legal-ethical-questions/2011/10/20/gIQAdvUY7L_story.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdulrahman_al-Awlaki

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Abdulrahman_al-Awlaki%27s_birth_certificate.png/1920px-Abdulrahman_al-Awlaki%27s_birth_certificate.png

http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB529-Anwar-al-Awlaki-File/documents/20)%20Abdulrahman%20al-Awlaki%20death%20certificate%20and%20State%20Dept%20claim%20cause%20of%20death%20is%20unknown.pdf

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Patrick Mackie

From: Patrick Mackie

For clarification (an error happened when I sent request, below are the records sought):

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Any and all emails sent or received from ex-Attorney General Eric Holder lew.alcindor@usdoj.gov (or any other emails ex-Attorney General Eric Holder used) between 12/01/2008 and 09/14/16 that refer to 'Abdulrahman al-Awlaki' or born name 'Abdulrahman Anwar Al-Aulaqi'.

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d280fa8f97)
* Tracking Number: DOJ-2017-000507
* Requester Name: Patrick Mackie
* Date Submitted: 11/01/2016
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: FOIA request

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d280fa8f4a)
* Tracking Number: DOJ-2017-000506
* Requester Name: Patrick Mackie
* Date Submitted: 11/01/2016
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: FOIA request

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

Attached is this Office's acknowledgement of the above-referenced request.

From: Hotchkiss, Eric (OIP)

Good morning Mr. Mackie,

This is regarding the above-referenced request. We have conducted a search of the email of former Attorney General Eric Holder for mentions of "Abdulrahman al-Awlaki" or "Abdulrahman Anwar Al-Aulaqi" and have located some material that may or may not be of interest to you. As your request currently stands, any mention of the subject of your request is responsive; however, much of the information merely mentions Mr. al-Awlaki but is not substantively about him, or are news articles, publicly available information, etc. Please call my direct # at 202-616-5456 so I can describe what I have located to assist you in determining which records you wish this Office to continue to process. Alternatively, you may reply to this email (eric.hotchkiss@usdoj.gov<mailto:eric.hotchkiss@usdoj.gov>) and I will attempt to categorize the records located, however this method will be a less efficient and accurate way for me to describe what I have found.

Thank you for your time,

Eric Hotchkiss
Government Information Specialist
Office of Information Policy
202-616-5456

From: Patrick Mackie

1. Is there a problem separating emails referencing Abdulrahman and his father Anwar (as they have same last name)?
2. How many potentially responsive records are there if the search is not narrowed?
3. Is there a way to determine how many records are substantively about Abdulrahman?
4. Would you be able to sort the emails into the ones that Mr.Holder sent (including fwd) with more than just a link to a news article?

I think these questions will help me narrow the request. Thank you for the response.

Thank you for your time

Patrick

From: Hotchkiss, Eric (OIP)

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Our search returned 32 total items (including non-responsive attachments and duplicates). Below are a list of the responsive records I have located.

1. An email forwarding the daily "Attorney General's News Briefing and Clips" which is a daily collection of news articles and clippings from around the country-most of the articles are not responsive, all are clippings or full articles from publicly available news articles. The email itself is not responsive.

2. An email informing the Attorney General of the status of a FOIA litigation-the email is not responsive, the attached court document mentions both al-Awlakis. This is the case: https://www.justice.gov/oip/new-york-times-co-v-doj-no-13-422-13-445-2014-wl-1569514-2nd-cir-apr-21-2014-newman-j

3. An email forwarding a memo preparing the Attorney General for this interview with Pete Williams (including some anticipated questions regarding both al-Awlakis); only portions of the memo are responsive: http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/05/18781813-holder-says-he-has-no-intention-of-stepping-down?lite

4. An email forwarding a New York Times news article found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/world/middleeast/us-officials-sued-over-citizens-killed-in-yemen.html and the complaint.

5. An email forwarding the FOIA request available here: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/aclu-v-doj-foia-request-regarding-targeted-killing-anwar-al-awlaki

None of these email contain substantive information or commentary regarding either al-Awlaki, and most, if not all of the information being forwarded are public court documents or material otherwise available online (such as the ACLU FOIA request linked above). Are you interested in any of this information being processed? I would be more than happy to discuss/describe the information located in further detail. I would also be happy to describe our search process to help you understand what was located and why.

Thanks for your time,

Eric Hotchkiss
Government Information Specialist
Office of Information Policy
202-616-5456

From: Hotchkiss, Eric (OIP)

Mr. Mackie,

Pursuant to our conversation of this morning, you are only interested in this Office processing the memorandum described in item #3 below, the memo provided to Attorney General Holder in preparation for his interview with Pete Williams.

Thank you, and let me know if you have any further questions,

Eric Hotchkiss
Government Information Specialist
Office of Information Policy
202-616-5456

From: Hotchkiss, Eric (OIP)

Mr. Mackie,

Attached is this Office's final response to the above-referenced request.

Thank you,

Eric Hotchkiss
Government Information Specialist
Office of Information Policy

From: Patrick Mackie

FOIA APPEAL
DOJ-2017-000506

I am appealing, because the document "a memorandum preparing the Attorney General for an interview with NBC News." Should be disclosed to the public and there is no reason why it should be withheld. In line with Merit Energy Co. v. United States Department of the Interior this document does not meet the "inter or intra-agency" test as this document is intended for use in preparation for a public interview. This document was intended to be used for a public interview, not a private meeting within the justice department, therefore; would not meet the intra or inter agency requirement. The documents does not reveal agency decision making. It reveals preparation for a public interview. The documents were intended to be used for a public event, not an inter or intra agency one.

In this appeal I am requesting the whole memorandum, but if needed I would be okay with the applicable parts responsive to my request.

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

12/21/2016 11:00 AM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-001280

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

DOJ-AP-2017-001280 has been processed with the following final disposition: Affirmed on Appeal.

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