Les Whitten

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking #


Due Jan. 17, 2018
Est. Completion None
Awaiting Response


From: Emma North-Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Les Whitten (February 21, 1928 – December 1, 2017) was an American investigative reporter at the Washington Merry-Go-Round under Jack Anderson. Whitten joined the Munich office of Radio Free Europe in 1951 (or 1952), where he worked until 1957. Between 1957 and 1969, he worked for International News Service and United Press International and covered wars in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. In 1973, FBI agents arrested Whitten and Hank Adams as they helped load stolen government documents into his car, earlier taken from the Bureau of Indian Affairs by Native American activists after the Trail of Broken Treaties protest and occupation of the BIA offices. Whitten faced indictment in a First Amendment and ten years in jail. Reporter in Washington wore "Free Les Whitten" buttons; Herblock drew a political cartoon about him. To secure a government witness for Whitten, Jack Anderson asked Interior Secretary Rogers Morton to "slip me some confidential memos on what you’ve done" against Native Americans. Secretary Morton complied: Anderson told Whitten, "If this ever comes to trial we’re going to have a heck of a witness for your defense."

See attached for search parameters and fee category information.

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

  • FBI20fee20category20and20search20parameters.pdf

  • Les20Whitten2C20investigative20reporter20arrested20by20FBI20and20spied20on20by20CIA.pdf

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Emma North-Best

I am appealing the decision to provide only preprocessed documents, as this is contrary to my original request, which stated that "[i]f previously released records are available, then I request a rolling release consisting of those records while additional records are located and processed for release." That the Bureau took over a year to provide preprocessed documents and didn't attempt to locate new documents, as admitted in the response letter, is inadequate and inappropriate.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

This message is to notify you of a new appeal submission to the FOIAonline application. Appeal information is as follows:
* Appeal Tracking Number: DOJ-AP-2019-002216
* Request Tracking Number: 1391857
* Requester Name: Emma Best
* Date Submitted: 01/28/2019
* Appeal Status: Submitted
* Description: FBI appeal

From: Muckrock Staff

To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following request, copied below. 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.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

DOJ-AP-2019-002216 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely Reversed/Remanded.

  • Other-20190809123730-Best, Emma, AP-2019-002216, FBI - Remand



  • 12/15/2017


  • 12/15/2017


  • 12/17/2018

    1391857-0 -Section 1-Imported Media.PDF

  • 12/17/2018

    1391857-0 - Preprocessed Release Letter - 3515059.pdf

  • 01/06/2019


  • 08/09/2019

    Other-20190809123730-Best, Emma, AP-2019-002216, FBI - Remand