J3X (U.S. Africa Command)

Emma Best filed this request with the U.S. Africa Command of the United States of America.
Awaiting Acknowledgement


From: Emma Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records relating or describing the general structure, bureaucracy and operations of J3X and its liaisons. While open to interpretation, the request's intent is specific enough and may be fulfilled by providing any number of documents, including but not limited to reports and briefings, either internal or for Congressional consumption. Rather than be overly specific about which types of documents are needed, the request focuses on the type of information sought in the awareness that the officials processing this FOIA may be better aware of which sources of the information are easiest to locate and review for release.

According to the March 5, 2008 testimony before the Terrorism and Unconventional Threats Subcommittee, given by Admiral Eric T. Olson, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Navy, "J3X Special Activities is comprised of global and regional UW desks aligned with their respective Global Combatant Commands (GCC) and Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOC). This office also provides requisite information and visibility into which UW capabilities and mechanisms currently exist in each Area of Operation to inform, support or complement operational and/or tactical commanders conducting TSP."

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross- section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, 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. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

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.


Emma Best


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