Collateral Murder US Army Chief Attorney and Legal Services Directorate Reuters Finkel (Unclassified)

Alexa O'Brien filed this request with the United States Central Command - CENTCOM of the United States of America.
Tracking # 13-0182
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Alexa O'Brien

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act directed to the Chief Attorney and Legal Services Directorate who is authorized to act on FOIA requests related to the Office of the Secretary of the Army.

I have sent concurrent similar FOIA requests to CENTCOM; FORSCOM; U.S. Army Freedom of Information and Privacy Office; Judge Advocate General who is authorized to act on requests for records relating to court-martials and administrative investigations; The Commander, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command; The Provost Marshall General who is authorized to act on all requests related to criminal investigations; and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

I would like that my FOIA request be appropriately executed by the U.S. Army Freedom of Information and Privacy Office to include if allowed forwards to:

I hereby request any and all records or data products inclusive of those in electronic form or format for:

1.) Any and all FOIA requests and communications by or between Thomson Reuters Corporation (including their employees); Reuters Group (including their employees); The Washington Post (including their national enterprise editor and independent author David Finkel or other WP employees) and the U.S. Army to include: emails; letters; memos; meeting minutes; meeting notes; transcripts; presentations; audio; video(s); images; final or draft working documents; papers; reports; forms; as well as FOIA processing notes that concern the July 12, 2007 aerial weapons team Baghdad air strike in the district of New Baghdad in Baghdad and/or a video of the incident, entitled, "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi" (aka 'Collateral Murder').

According to a public report:

'Reuters has pressed the U.S. military to conduct a full and objective investigation into the killing of the two [Reuters] staff.

Video of the incident from two U.S. Apache helicopters and photographs taken of the scene were shown to Reuters editors in an off-the-record briefing in Baghdad on July 25, 2007.

U.S. military officers who presented the materials said Reuters had to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get copies. This request was made the same day.

[Major Shawn Turner, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)] said the military had released documents to Reuters [in 2009] in response to the FOIA request showing the presence of weapons on the scene, including AK-47 rifles and an RPG 7 grenade launcher. (Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/04/06/us-iraq-usa-journalists-idUSTRE6344FW20100406)

David Finkel was an embedded media in Iraq in 2007 with 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, also known as the "2-16 Rangers". (Source: http://www.booktv.org/Program/10974/The+Good+Soldiers.aspx)

David Finkel's book, 'The Good Soldiers', published in September 2009, contains a transcript of the audio of the cockpit pilots in the unclassified video "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi". The video was also published by WikiLeaks on April 5, 2010.

I am also requesting any and all records or data products inclusive of those in electronic form or format for:

2.) Any or all incident(s) and/or security violation(s) reporting, investigation(s), inquiry(ies) preliminary; U.S. Army 15-6(s) investigations; findings; classification reviews; national security impact statements; damage assessments; and/or 'debriefings' by the U.S. Army with Thomson Reuters Corporation (including their employees); Reuters Group (including their employees); The Washington Post (including their national enterprise editor and independent author, David Finkel or other WP employees), and/or any other individual in the news media concerning any authorized or unauthorized disclosure of information to include: any record(s) or data product(s) required by Army Regulation 380-5 or otherwise produced emails; letters; memos; meeting minutes; meeting notes; transcripts; presentations; audio; video; images; final or draft working documents; papers; reports; and/or forms about the July 12, 2007 aerial weapons team Baghdad air strike in the district of New Baghdad in Baghdad including a video of the incident, entitled, "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi" (aka 'Collateral Murder') between the dates of July 12, 2007 to the present.

Based on recent news developments, I am requesting expedited processing of my request(s).

As a journalist, I am primarily engaged in disseminating information. There exists an urgent need to inform the public of government activity pertaining to prior authorized or unauthorized disclosure of information related to the July 12, 2007 aerial weapons team Baghdad air strike in the district of New Baghdad in Baghdad and/or a video of the incident, entitled, "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi" (aka 'Collateral Murder' ) to members of the news media.

David Finkel's book was published before the time of the Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 793(e), charge against Private First Class Bradley Manning for the willful communicate of the unclassified video "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi" to a person not entitled to receive it. (Source: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/20110302-manning.pdf and http://books.google.com/books?id=uKMxC5Ka31gC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=2009&f=false)

Private First Class Manning pled to a lesser included offenses for the willful communication of the video to WikiLeaks.org; but did not plead guilty to 18 U.S.C. Section 793(e). Information already in the public realm does not qualify as national defense information. (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/us_v_pfc_legal/plea_and_forum/us_v_pfc_manning_formal_plea_by_exceptions_and_substitutions_february_28_2013.html)

The presiding military judge, Col. Denise Lind, took judicial notice of the date of publication of the Finkel's book on August 29, 2012.

Pfc. Manning testified on February 28, 2013 that after the unclassified video, "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi", was found in mid-February 2010 by his then co-worked Specialist Jihrleah Showman on a shared SIPRNet hard drive, entitled ‘T’, for the S2 Section of the Second Brigade Combat Team at C.O.S. or F.O.B. Hammer, Iraq.

SPEC Showman testified at the Article 32 in December 2011 that CW2 Hack, her commanding officer, was grooming her to be a targeting analyst for a future deployment. She testified that she watched the July 12, 2007 Baghdad apache airstrike video, "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi", four of five times with one other soldier, and three of four officers and discussing it. (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/witness_profiles_us_v_pfc_bradley_manning/us_army/witness_us_v_pfc_manning_specialist_jihrleah_showman.html)

Pfc. Manning testified when he performed open source research on the video (aka "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi" and Collateral Murder) being discussed in the T-S.C.I.F, he 'quickly realize that Mr. Finkel [book ‘The Good Soldiers’ published in September 2009] was quoting...the audio communications of the aerial weapons team crew' in the unclassified video. (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/pfc_bradley_e_manning_providence_hearing_statement.html)

Pfc. Manning testified that he also found:

"[S]everal news accounts involving two Reuters employees who were killed during the aerial weapon team engagement. Another story explained that Reuters had requested for a copy of the video under the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA. Reuters wanted to view the video in order to be able to understand what had happened and to improve their safety practices in combat zones. A spokesperson for Reuters was quoted saying that the video might help avoid the reoccurrence of the tragedy and believed there was a compelling need for the immediate release of the video." (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/pfc_bradley_e_manning_providence_hearing_statement.html)

Pfc. Manning continues:

"Despite the submission [Reuters] of the FOIA request, the news account explained that CENTCOM replied to Reuters stating that they could not give a time frame for considering a FOIA request and that the video might no longer exist. Another story I found written a year later said that even though Reuters was still pursuing their request, they still did not receive a formal response or written determination in accordance with FOIA." (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/pfc_bradley_e_manning_providence_hearing_statement.html)

According to the public record of Court proceedings and defense filings James Culky (sp.) the 4th Cavalry Division, Brigade S2 conducted a classification review of the three Apache gun videos that were sent to his division by FORSCOM after the video was published by WikiLeaks.org on April 5, 2010. (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/witness_profiles_us_v_pfc_bradley_manning/official_classi/witness_us_v_pfc_bradley_manning_james_culky_4th_calvary_division_brigade_s2.html)

Court record shows that investigation of the unauthorized disclosure to WikiLeaks have been conducted by CENTCOM; the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for USFI (US Forces Iraq) and 1st Armored Division (AD); US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU); 2nd Army (US Army Cyber Command). (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/transcripts/transcript_us_v_pfc_manning_motions_hearing_june_6_2012.html)

Within that or in addition, three military intelligence investigations were conducted. (Source: http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/transcripts/transcript_us_v_pfc_manning_motions_hearing_june_6_2012.html)

If you regard these records or data products as potentially exempt from disclosure requirements, I request that you nonetheless exercise your discretion to disclose them.

Please release all reasonably segregable nonexempt portions of documents.

If you deny all or any part of this request, please cite each specific exemption you think justifies your refusal to release the information and notify me of appeal procedures available under the law.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived for searching for, reviewing, or copying the records, please notify me before processing if the amount exceeds $500 (five-hundred U.S. dollars).

I would prefer the request be filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

If you have any questions related to this request please contact me via email at email@alexaobrien.com.

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,

Alexa D. O'Brien
(917) 568-3966
email@alexaobrien.com

From: US Army Chief Attorney and Legal Services Directorate

A letter stating the request for reduced or waived fees has been rejected.

From: Alexa O'Brien

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on March 13, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on March 13, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #13-0182.

Thank you for your help.

From: Freedom of Information Act

Ms. O'Brien,

On 2 December 2013, we responded to your Freedom of Information Act request for "any and all documents in the U.S. Central Command’s possession that pertain to the WikiLeaks website or organization from January 2006 to the present date," advising you that the request is not perfected. In order to perfect your FOIA request, you are required to acknowledge a willingness to pay administrative fees and reference a U.S. dollar amount. If we do not receive a response by 10 December 2013, we will administratively close the case. When responding, please refer to FOIA # 14-0048.

Respectfully,

FOIA Requester Service Center
USCENTCOM/J6-RDF
(813) 827-1810
REMINDER: The information in this email and its attachments is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please contact the sender if you believe you have received this email in error. Please remember that embedded hyper-links inside emails are potentially unsafe and should always be manually typed into a web browser. If you believe that this email or any of the attachments exceeds this system's classification, please immediately report it to our incident response team at ccj6-ia-cnd@centcom.mil or ccj6-ia-cnd@centcom.smil.mil.

From: MuckRock

Hello,

This was a request for update on 13-0182, not 14-0048.

Thank you.

From: Freedom of Information Act

Please respond on your willingness to pay fees for FOIA 14-0048.

Respectfully,

FOIA Requester Service Center
USCENTCOM/J6-RDF
(813) 827-1810

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on March 13, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #13-0182.

Thank you for your help.

From: Johnson, Steven L Mr CIV USAF USCENTCOM CCJ6-RDF

Mr. O'Brien,

My name is Mr. Steven Johnson; I am the case worker for USCENTCOM FOIA 13-0182. I took over processing your request in October 2013. After reviewing the case notes it seems a USCENTCOM Interim Response letter with FOIA case number was sent to your address (P.O. Box 55819, Dept MR 3780, Boston, MA 02205-5819) on or around 25 Mar 13 (attached). In that letter we informed you, "the actual processing time for these documents will depend upon consultation with other DoD components, stateside, overseas, or other agencies."

I am working to consolidate our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) responses. I will try to get USCENTCOM official response to you within the next 60 days.

In the future, it would help USCENTCOM if you provide a telephone number in order for us to talk to a live person.

Happy New Year and have a great day!

v/r

Steven

STEVEN L JOHNSON
GS-12, DAFC
FOIA/PA Analyst
Comm: (813) 529-6689

"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence." Confucious

From: Alexa O'Brien

STEVEN L JOHNSON
GS-12, DAFC
FOIA/PA Analyst
Comm: (813) 529-6689

RE CENTCOM FOIA 13-0182

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Thank you for your email dated January 7, 2013.

You wrote, "In the future, it would help USCENTCOM if you provide a telephone number in order for us to talk to a live person."

You may call me on [redacted] if needed.

Best,

Alexa O'Brien

From: Johnson, Steven L Mr CIV USAF USCENTCOM CCJ6-RDF

Thank you.

v/r

Steven

From: Johnson, Steven L Mr CIV USAF USCENTCOM CCJ6-RDF

Ms. O'Brien,

As stated in my 7 January 2014 email to you I stated a response should be provided within the next 60 days. My goal is to get this to you as soon as it is signed by our approval authority.

v/r

Steven

STEVEN L JOHNSON
GS-12, DAFC
FOIA/PA Analyst
Comm: (813) 529-6689
(N): steven.l.johnson@centcom.mil

"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence." Confucious

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on March 13, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #13-0182.

Thank you for your help.

From: Johnson, Steven L Mr CIV USAF USCENTCOM CCJ6-RDF

Ms. O'Brien,

FOIA 13-0182 is currently with our legal department.

v/r

Steven

From: United States Central Command - CENTCOM

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: United States Central Command - CENTCOM

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: United States Central Command - CENTCOM

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: United States Central Command - CENTCOM

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: United States Central Command - CENTCOM

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: United States Central Command - CENTCOM

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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