FOIA request regarding Kurt Blome files

Jeffrey Kaye filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking # 1237735-0 ; AP-2014-00994
Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Jeffrey Kaye

To Whom It May Concern:

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

This is a FOIA request for all files pertaining to the former Nazi doctor Kurt Blome, who was tried and acquitted at the Nuremberg Doctors Trial, and later was said to be employed by the United States as a "camp doctor" at the European Command Intelligence Center at Oberursel, West Germany.

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 at MuckRock.com, 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, 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,

Jeffrey Kaye

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Kaye,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/Legal Admin. Specialist
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A no responsive documents response.

From: Jeffrey Kaye

December 9, 2013

Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts appeal:

To: Director, Office of Information Policy
United States Department of Justice
1425 New York Ave., NW, Suite 11050
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

This letter constitutes a formal appeal under the U.S. Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (5 U.S.C. §552/552a) and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

Subject: BLOME, KURT FRIEDRICH LUDWIG
FOIPA # 1237735-0

REQUESTER INFORMATION:
Name: Jeffrey Kaye
Address: Muckrock News Department, MR 8992, P.O. Box 55819, Boston MA 02205-5819
Email: jeffkaye@sbcglobal.net
Phone: 415-260-4222

FOIPA

Along with a letter (attached) dated November 19, 2013, the FBI responded to my request for records relating or referring to Kurt Blome by saying no responsive “main file” records were found. While I queried in regards to “the former Nazi doctor Kurt Blome,” the FBI FOIA office determined (correctly) that I was searching for records and files related to “Kurt Friedrich Ludwig Blome,” which is his full name. By referencing the full name, the FBI must have some record of Mr. Blome in their computer system, as evinced from the response letter.

According to Foreign Scientist Case Files, 1945‐1958, for the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), as held at the National Archives, “Kurt F. L. Blome” is listed as a foreign scientist who came to the United States under Operation Paperclip during the time period noted above. See URL: http://www.archives.gov/iwg/declassified-records/rg-330-defense-secretary/foreign-scientist-case-files.pdf

According to a well-documented book by the journalist Linda Hunt, Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945 to 1990 (St. Martin’s Press, 1991), the FBI and its director, J. Edgar Hoover, were very concerned about the security risk of bringing former Nazi officials and scientists to the United States, both under the Paperclip project and a later incarnation of the same known as “Project 63”. Hoover threatened to investigate those brought to the U.S., and the FBI is known in some cases to have done so. Though there is no document that states that Kurt Blome was investigated, it stands to reason the FBI did not ignore this notorious figure, who had been tried at Nuremberg.

1) The FBI performed an inadequate search for records responsive to my request. This is violative of the FOIA. I appeal the FBI’s inadequate search for records responsive to my request. I request OIP compel the FBI to conduct a new complete and thorough search for records relating or referring to Mr. Blome and to disclose any responsive records to me.

This new search should include, but not be limited to, text searches of the ECF (Electronic Case File).

This new search should also include, but not be limited to searches of/for: main file records, cross-reference records, ELSUR (electronic surveillance) records, laboratory records, FOI/PA records, 190 Files, 197 Files, and (-0, -2, -5) Control Files, the FBI’s administrative records system, confidential indices and filing systems, the Investigative Data Warehouse, seized asset information, and the FBI’s “Bureau Mailing Lists” records system.

Instructions Regarding Search

1. Request for FBI Headquarters, Field Office, and Task Force Office Searches:
I request that a complete and thorough search for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted in any and all indices, filing systems, and locations maintained by FBI headquarters, any and all FBI field offices and/or resident agencies, and any and all FBI and/or Joint task force offices.

2. Request for Main File and Cross-Reference Searches:
I request that a search of all main file and cross-reference indices, filing systems, and locations be conducted for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request.

3. Instructions Regarding “Records”:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, my request includes, but is not limited to, documents, reports, memoranda, letters, electronic files, "See Also" files, "Do Not File" files, "Official & Confidential" files, numbered and lettered subfiles, 1A envelopes, enclosures behind files (EBF’s), "Personal & Confidential" files, restricted files, photographs, audio tapes & videotapes, "JUNE” files, "Obscene" Files, "Subversive" Indexes, Bulky Exhibits, control files, mail covers, trash covers; and any index citations relating to the subject of my request or referencing the subject of my request ("see also") in other files.

When processing this request, please note the D.C. Circuit has previously held that agencies have a duty to construe the subject material of FOIA requests liberally to ensure responsive records are not overlooked. See Nation Magazine, Washington Bureau v. U.S. Customs Service, 71 F.3d 885, 890 (D.C. Cir. 1995). Accordingly, you are hereby instructed that the term “record” includes, but is not limited to: 1) all email communications to or from any individual within your agency; 2) memoranda; 3) inter-agency communications; 4) sound recordings; 5) tape recordings; 6) video or film recordings; 7) photographs; 8) notes; 9) notebooks; 10) indices; 11) jottings; 12) message slips; 13) letters or correspondence; 14) telexes; 15) telegrams; 16) facsimile transmissions; 17) statements; 18) policies; 19) manuals or binders; 20) books; 21) handbooks; 22) business records; 23) personnel records; 24) ledgers; 25) notices; 26) warnings; 27) affidavits; 28) declarations under penalty of perjury; 29) unsworn statements; 30) reports; 31) diaries; or 32) calendars, regardless of whether they are handwritten, printed, typed, mechanically or electronically recorded or reproduced on any medium capable of conveying an image, such as paper, CDs, DVDs, or diskettes.
Furthermore, in line with the guidance issued by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) on 9 September 2008 to all federal agencies with records subject to FOIA, agency records that are currently in the possession of a U.S. Government contractor for purposes of records management remain subject to FOIA. Please ensure that your searches comply with this clarification on the effect of Section 9 of the OPEN Government Act of 2007 of the definition of a “record” for purposes of FOIA.
In addition, the FBI should not interpret this request to exclude records sent to outside third parties, nor should the FBI interpret this request to exclude records originating with outside third parties.

4. Instructions Regarding “Leads”:
As required by the relevant case law, the FBI is required to follow any leads it discovers during the conduct of its searches and perform additional searches when said leads indicate that records may be located in another FBI system. Failure to follow clear leads is a violation of FOIA.

5. Request for 190 Files, 197 Files, and (-0, -2, -5) Control Files:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, my request includes, but is not limited to, 190 files, 197 files, and (-0, -2, -5) control files.

6. Request for Text Searches of the ECF:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that text searches of the ECF (Electronic Case File) be conducted.

7. Request for ELSUR, MISUR, and FISUR Searches:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of all electronic, microphone, and physical surveillance indices, filing systems, and locations for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

8. Request for Electronic and Paper/Manual Searches:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of all electronic and paper/manual indices, filing systems, and locations for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

9. Request for Searches of the FBI’s administrative records system:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of the FBI’s administrative records system for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

10. Request for Searches of Laboratory Records:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of all laboratory indices, filing systems, and locations for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted. My request includes, but is not limited to, searches for laboratory records.

11. Request for Confidential Searches:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of all confidential indices, filing systems, and locations for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

12. Request for Searches of the Investigative Data Warehouse:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of any and all records systems and indices pertaining to the FBI’s Investigative Data Warehouse for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

13. Request for Searches of Seized Asset Information:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of any and all records systems and indices pertaining to seized asset information for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

14. Request for Searches of the FBI’s “Bureau Mailing Lists” records system:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of the FBI’s “Bureau Mailing lists” records system for any and all records relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

15. Request for Searches of the “Special File Room”:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches of the “Special File Room” for any and all records relating or referring to the subjects of my request be conducted.

16. Request for Additional Filing Systems, Indices, and Locations Searches:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, please do not limit searches to the UNI (Universal Index), but please also search the ICM (Investigative Case Management) and ECF (Electronic Case File) indices, filing systems, and locations.

Indeed, for both main file and cross-reference searches, please search all of your indices, filing systems, and locations, including those I have not specified by name and those of which I may not be aware.

17. Request regarding Photographs and other Visual Materials:
I request that any photographs or other visual materials responsive to my request be released to me in their original or comparable forms, quality, and resolution. For example, if a photograph was taken digitally, or if the FBI maintains a photograph digitally, I request disclosure of the original digital image file, not a reduced resolution version of that image file nor a printout and scan of that image file. Likewise, if a photograph was originally taken as a color photograph, I request disclosure of that photograph as a color image, not a black and white image. Please contact me for any clarification on this point.

18. Request for Ticklers:
For both main file and cross-reference searches, I request that searches for any and all “ticklers” relating or referring to the subject of my request be conducted.

19. Request for search of Guardian:
I request that the FBI search the Guardian Threat Tracking system for records relating or referring to the subject of my request.

20. Request for search of CORE:
I request that the FBI search the CORE system for records relating or referring to the subject of my request.

21. Request for search for CART records:
I request that the FBI search for CART notes, reports, and other records relating or referring to the subject of my request.

22. Request for Duplicate Pages:
I request disclosure of any and all supposedly “duplicate” pages. Scholars and journalists analyze records not only for the information available on any given page, but also for the relationships between that information and information on pages surrounding it. As such, the existence of those pages within new context renders them functionally new pages. As such, the only way to properly analyze released information is to analyze that information within its proper context. Therefore, I request disclosure of all “duplicate” pages.

23. Requested Search terms:
Although the subject matter of my request concerns “Kurt Blome” -- or as the FBI response letter of Nov. 19, 2013 termed it, “Kurt Friedrich Ludwig Blome” -- it is likely that the “Friedrich Ludwig” middle names will not appear in many of FBI’s records, or appear as initials of one or both middle names. For example, a record containing the name “Kurt F. Blome” would not likely be located by a search for “Kurt Friedrich Ludwig Blome”. Therefore, I request that the FBI use the search terms “Kurt Friedrich Ludwig Blome,” “Kurt Blome,” and “Kurt F. L. Blome” as well as variations thereof.

Instructions regarding Scope and Breadth of Requests
Please interpret the scope of this request broadly. The FBI is instructed to interpret the scope of this request in the most liberal manner possible short of an interpretation that would lead to a conclusion that the request does not reasonably describe the records sought.

Exemptions and Segregability
I call your attention to President Obama's 21 January 2009 Memorandum concerning the Freedom of Information Act, in which he states:
All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA [....] The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.

In the same Memorandum, President Obama added that government information should not be kept confidential “merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”

Finally, President Obama ordered that "The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the case of doubt, openness prevails."
Nonetheless, if any responsive record or portion thereof is claimed to be exempt from production, FOIA/PA statutes provide that even if some of the requested material is properly exempt from mandatory disclosure, all segregable portions must be released. If documents are denied in part or in whole, please specify which exemption(s) is (are) claimed for each passage or whole document denied. Please provide a complete itemized inventory and a detailed factual justification of total or partial denial of documents. Specify the number of pages in each document and the total number of pages pertaining to this request. For “classified” material denied, please include the following information: the classification (confidential, secret or top secret); identity of the classifier; date or event for automatic declassification or classification review or downgrading; if applicable, identity of official authorizing extension of automatic declassification or review past six years; and, if applicable, the reason for extended classification beyond six years.

In excising material, please “black out” the material rather than “white out” or “cut out.” I expect, as provided by FOIA, that the remaining non-exempt portions of documents will be released.

Please release all pages regardless of the extent of excising, even if all that remains are the stationery headings or administrative markings.

In addition, I ask that your agency exercise its discretion to release records which may be technically exempt, but where withholding serves no important public interest.

Additional Instructions Regarding Request
Please produce all records with administrative markings and pagination included.

Please place any “missing” files pertaining to this request on “special locate” and advise me that you have done this.

Please send a memo (copy to me) to the appropriate units in your office to assure that no records related to this request are destroyed. Please advise of any destruction of records and include the date of and authority for such destruction.

Format
I request that any releases stemming from this request be provided to me in digital format (soft-copy) on a compact disk or other like media.

As provided in the Freedom of Information Act, I will expect to receive a reply to this administrative appeal letter within twenty working days. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions concerning this appeal. Thank you greatly. I appreciate your time and attention to this matter.

Most sincerely,

Jeffrey Kaye

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

From: Jeffrey Kaye

Katherine Pierson
Office of Information and Policy
US Department of Justice
Washington D.C. 20530

Re Appeal #AP-2014-00994

Dear Ms. Pierson,

I am following up a phone call to the OIP office, which informed me you were in charge of my appeal. I also left a voicemail on November 26 requesting more information on the status of my appeal, which OIP received in December 18, 2013. The appeal concerned a FOIA to the FBI, Request No. 1237735 on documents relating to Kurt Friedrich Ludwig Blome. My appeal contests an initial finding of no responsive documents on the original FOIA to FBI.

What I'm asking for here is an update on my appeal, number AP-2014-00994. Please let me know what is happening on this appeal. Is it currently under consideration? If not, how long before it enters this process? How many other other appeals are in front of mine? Is there an estimated date of completion?

Thank you.

Jeffrey Kaye, Ph.D.

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 Nov. 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 #1237735-0 ; AP-2014-00994.

Thank you for your help.

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Kaye,

The request was closed and a NO RECORD response letter was mailed to you on 11-19-2013.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

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