|Submitted||Nov. 26, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
Documents sufficient to learn the sex of "Conon" the dog who is a special operations military working dog in the United States 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force). Given that these dogs routinely get medical care, including known and declassified medical care provided to the dog, these should be documents about Conon including sex, weight and other characteristics.
I further ask that you expedite the processing of this request because it falls into the compelling needs category of 552 (a) (6) (I), primarily due to an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity. Due to conflicting news reports on the characteristics of this dog, it is an urgent need to inform the public on alleged Federal Government activity. Furthermore, the urgent need concerns federal government activity and the consequences of delaying a response would compromise a significant recognized interest.
I am a journalist who has written extensively using FOIA documents for my reporting. I have been published in the Chicago Reader and Splinter News. Under this criteria, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II)
Therefore, we request you grant expedited processing and make a determination within 10 business days, as required by the FOIA statue.
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.
See article at link below; and response from the USSOCOM PAO and let me know if this answer your FOIA request.
"FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY - PRIVACY SENSITIVE: ANY MISUSE OR UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE MAY RESULT IN BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES."
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It does not. We requested documents under 5 US 552 that would be responsive to our inquiry. We are seeing multiple conflicting news reports that only original documents in possession of your office would answer.
Please note, the FOIA program does not answer questions. Please provide specifics to the records you are requesting.
I already specified the records I am seeing. I asked for "Documents sufficient to learn the sex of "Conon" [sic] the dog who is a special operations military working dog in the United States 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force). Given that these dogs routinely get medical care, including known and declassified medical care provided to the dog, these should be documents about Conon [sic] including sex, weight and other characteristics."
To clarify further, Conan the dog was recently injured in combat according to reports declassified by the Commander in Chief. Your office should have medical records from the care of Conan after they they were injured by live electrical documents. Again this is according to declassified statements made by the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. I am requesting those documents.
I am also asking for other records your office may hold, such as check-up documents for Conan the dog. I further request any documents from when Conan the dog was activated for duty which should included in any personnel documentation that JSOC maintains when Conan was assigned to the American Special Operations Military Working Dog (SOMWD) unit.
We referred your FOIA request to US Special Operations Command. The information you requested falls under their purview. You should receive acknowledgement of your request from them shortly.
Dear Mr. Martinez,
U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has received your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (attached) originally submitted to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). It has been assigned USSOCOM FOIA 2020-073. Please refer to this number should you have any questions concerning your request.
Your request is being processed in accordance with procedural requirements promulgated in Department of Defense (DoD) Manual 5400.07, which is available on the internet at: https://open.defense.gov/Portals/23/Documents/FOIA/FOIA_Resources/DoDM%205400.07.pdf?ver=2017-03-15-135646-847. The actual processing time will depend upon its complexity, whether it involves sensitive records, voluminous records, extensive searches, consultation among DoD components or other agencies, and our administrative workload.
We have placed you in the "News Media" category for fee purposes, which means you are obligated to pay for any duplication costs after the first 100 pages; however, depending on the size of the documents, we may provide the final release on CD or electronically and no charges would be applicable.
The USSOCOM FOIA Office has a substantial number of pending FOIA cases; therefore, we process requests in a multi-track processing system based on the date of receipt and the amount of work and time involved in processing each request. We estimate the time for completion to be approximately 12-15 months; it could be more or less. If you wish to discuss this or have any other questions or concerns, please contact this office at FOIA@socom.mil<mailto:FOIA@socom.mil>.
USSOCOM FOIA Team
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information Act request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 26, 2019. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
As stated in our acknowledgment email from December, due a large number of pending FOIA cases, USSOCOM expects it will be at least 12 months to complete processing of your request. Please be assured we are working as expeditiously as possible on your case.
USSOCOM FOIA Team
This is an appeal under 5 USC 552 (Freedom of Information Act) for the processing of my request. As originally stated, I requested a set of documents that are in the public interest and requested that the processing be denied. First, I appeal the denial. Secondly, I am appealing the year-long backlog for processing of my FOIA request as it is very narrowly written.
Please review our appeal,