Request all CIA documents on SSCI visits to CIA black site prisons

Jeffrey Kaye filed this request with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking # F-2015-00731
Due Feb. 2, 2015
Est. Completion March 13, 2017
Status
Awaiting Response

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:

All CIA documents pertaining to visits by staff or members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) to CIA-run or administered prisons or detainee detention sites from the period September 12, 2001 through September 15, 2006. In particular, I seek all documents related to such a visit in "late 2003" by SSCI staff or members that has already been declassified and made public by the CIA in December 2014.

According to the CIA’s own June 2013 written response to a draft of the SSCI’s executive summary (hereafter, "RESPONSE"), SSCI “staff members” visited the Salt Pit or "Dark Prison" CIA black site in Afghanistan (codenamed COBALT) in late 2003. According to the CIA RESPONSE, SSCI staff found that site compared “favorably” with detainee facilities at Bagram and Guantanamo.

Note: the RESPONSE never identifies the site visited as being the Salt Pit or "Dark Prison" or COBALT, as the name of the prison or detention site is redacted. My identification of the site as the "Salt Pit" stems from the RESPONSE identification of the detention facility as being the same site where Gul Rahman died of hypothermia in November 2002. Numerous news accounts indicated that Mr. Rahman died at a CIA facility in Afghanistan known as the "Salt Pit" or "Dark Prison." See one notable example, "Death shed light on CIA 'Salt Pit' near Kabul," Associated Press, March 28, 2010 (URL: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/36071994/ns/us_news-security/t/death-shed-light-cia-salt-pit-near-kabul/).

My request does not rest upon whether or not the SSCI staff or members actually ever visited the Salt Pit or "COBALT" prison. But per RESPONSE, *some* site was visited, and possibly more than one. While I ask for the names of any sites visited, this FOIA request does not rest upon whether such sites can be named or not, but upon the fact they were visited by Senate intelligence oversight staff or members, and all documentation related to that. Such documentation would include all memoranda, emails, cables, tapes, videos, Powerpoint presentations, slides, photos, notes, expense records or requests, routing slips, or any other documentation that would bear upon such visits.

To assist CIA FOIA personnel in a search of records, I refer to the portion of the RESPONSE which states (page 56, or p. 80 of the full PDF file per URL given below):
“Although conditions at the facility remained sub-optimal throughout its existence, significant improvements at the site prompted two SSCI staff members who visited the facility in late 2003 to compare it favorably with military facilities at Bagram and Guantanamo Bay. In fact, one remarked that [one word redaction] was “a markedly cleaner, healthier, more humane and better administered facility.” [One word redaction] was decommissioned in 2004 in favor of a newer facility...."

Here is the reference URL for RESPONSE: https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/CIAs_June2013_Response_to_the_SSCI_Study_on_the_Former_Detention_and_Interrogation_Program.pdf

I ask that this request be expedited for news purposes. The particulars surrounding what occurred during the CIA's interrogation program from 2001-2007 have been much in the news in the past few months, and I don't feel there's any reason to list the many articles that reference this story. The importance of making the full record known, as much as is possible, was itself a CIA priority, as the very existence and declassification of RESPONSE shows.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest, and would add something new to the public's knowledge of government functioning. 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 addition, I intend to write a substantive article on the matter of this FOIA for Al Jazeera America, where I have been published before. I believe I meet the requirements as a member of the press, having had original reporting previously published at Truthout.org, The Dissenter, and AlterNet.

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. If there are portions of this FOIA release that are not releasable, I ask that all segregable portions be released. I would prefer the request be 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: Central Intelligence Agency

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Central Intelligence Agency

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

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. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #F-2015-00731.

Thank you for your help.

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. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #F-2015-00731.

Thank you for your help.

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. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #F-2015-00731.

Thank you for your help.

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. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #F-2015-00731.

Thank you for your help.

From: Central Intelligence Agency

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

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. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #F-2015-00731.

Thank you for your help.

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. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #F-2015-00731.

Thank you for your help.

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. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #F-2015-00731.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Central Intelligence Agency

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Central Intelligence Agency

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

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