JIEDDO: Iran's Support of the Taliban in Afghanistan (FOIA)

David Scantling filed this request with the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America.
Tracking #




From: David Scantling

Dear FOIA Officer:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552, submitted to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization ("JIEDDO") of the United States Department of Defense ("DoD"). I hereby request the following agency records (including, but not limited to, electronic records):

1) All documents, reports and imagery related to Iranian manufactured weapons delivered to the Taliban and/or captured by Coalition Forces in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, including, but not limited to: Improvised Explosive Devices ("IEDs"), Explosively Formed Penetrators ("EFPs"), Rocket Propelled Grenades ("RPGs"), small arms, and related munitions.

2) All documents, reports and imagery related to Taliban IED and EFP attacks against Coalition Forces and/or Afghan Security Forces in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom which involved Iranian manufactured weapons, materials, and/or components.

3) All documents, reports and imagery related to Iranian Revolution Guards Corps ("IRGC") and/or Iranian Quds Force ("IRGC-QF") support of Taliban IED and EFP supply-chain, manufacturing, financing, and/or training operations and activities in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

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.


David Scantling

From: Marye, Charles

Dear David Scantling: This is an interim response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated January 12, 2015, which was received in this office on January 14, 2015.  Your request has been assigned case number 15-F-0601 and we ask that you use that number when referring to your request.
With regard to your request for a waiver of any applicable fees, a fee waiver is appropriate when "disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(iii) In making a determination, six factors are considered as to whether your request satisfies this statutory standard: (1) whether the subject of the requested records concerns the operations or activities of the government; (2) whether the disclosure is likely to contribute to an understanding of government operations or activities; (3) whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to the understanding of the general public; (4) whether the disclosure is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations and activities; (5) whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and, (6) whether any such commercial interest outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
While the requested information does concern the operations and activities of the government and does not appear to be intended for a commercial interest, it is not clear how the responsive documents - should they exist - would significantly contribute to the public understanding of the operations and activities of the government. After carefully reviewing your request I am denying your fee waiver request because the information stated does not support how the documents will significantly contribute to the public's increased understanding of the operations and activities of government.  Please be aware that we reserve the right to grant a fee waiver should a search find documents that meet the criterion of a public interest fee waiver as described in the previous paragraph.
I have determined that you should be placed in the "other" category for fee purposes as you have indicated that you do not seek access to these records for commercial purposes. The "other" fee category affords you two hours of search time and 100 pages of duplication free of charge. As you did not provide any willingness to pay, search will be halted after your two free hours have been expended. If you wish to add a willingness to pay, please contact the action officer assigned to your request at your earliest convenience.
We will be unable to respond to your request within the FOIA’s 20 day statutory time period as there are unusual circumstances which impact on our ability to quickly process your request.  These unusual circumstances are:  (a) the need to search for and collect records from a facility geographically separated from this Office; (b) the potential volume of records responsive to your request; and (c) the need for consultation with one or more other agencies or DoD components having a substantial interest in either the determination or the subject matter of the records.  For these reasons, your request has been placed in our complex processing queue and will be worked in the order the request was received.  Our current administrative workload is 1554 open requests.
If you would like to discuss how to limit your request in order to speed the processing time, we would be pleased to discuss how you might modify your request.  The action officer assigned to your request is Charles Marye at (571) 372-0407. The toll free number for this Office is 866-574-4970. You may not be aware that we maintain a website and electronic reading room at: http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/ If you are not satisfied with this action, you may petition the Appellate Authority, the Director of Administration,  Office of the Secretary of Defense, by writing directly to the OSD/Joint Staff Freedom of Information, ATTN: Appeals Office, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-1155;  you may also submit your appeal electronically at the following link: .  Your appeal should be postmarked within 60 calendar days of the date of this mail, should cite case number 15-F-0601, and should be clearly marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal." (http://pal.whs.mil/palMain.aspx) http://pal.whs.mil/palMain.aspx
Thank you,
Charles Marye Office of Freedom of Information
Department of Defense
1155 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1155
FAX: (571) 372-0500

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 Jan. 10, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: OSD/JS FOIA Office

Mr. Musgrave,

The OSD/JS FOIA office recently received an automated message requesting a status/update to a previous Muckrock request (MR 15554-12037681). However, per the email below, the requester withdrew this request. Please update your records accordingly.

Thank you,

Aaron Graves
(571) 372-0435

From: MuckRock


Due to a mixup in Mr. Marye's sending the acknowledgement for FOIA 15-F-0601 to the MuckRock email address associated with the withdrawn MDR request, these two separate requests were confused. To be clear: the MDR request submitted to OSD on 2015-01-12 is withdrawn as of 2015-01-20, but please proceed in processing FOIA request 15-F-0601 (as acknowledged below and attached).

Thank you.

From: Marye, Charles C CIV WHS ESD (US)

Mr. Musgrave,
I was the action officer on FOIA 15-F-0601. I was included in an email stream regarding the case. I have pasted the relevant portion below for reference.

I am attaching a copy of the email I received from the requestor Mr. Scantling. He clearly says withdraw his FOIA request and lists the case number 15-F-0601. If Mr. Scantling is still interested in this FOIA request then he needs to either send an email himself stating he still wants the material under the FOIA, or re-submit a new FOIA request. If he is interested in this material then it would be cleanest administratively to submit a new FOIA request so that it cuts any possible association with the MDR request he submitted.

Charles Marye
OSD/JS Office of Freedom of Information
(571) 372-0407

NIPR: charles.c.marye.civ@mail.mil
SIPR: charles.c.marye.civ@mail.smil.mil