Request for Memo Reviewing Qahtani Interrogation Plan

Jeffrey Kaye filed this request with the US Army Crime Records Center of the United States of America.
Tracking # FA15-1487
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

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 Mandatory Declassification Request for the following document: Memo from Michael Gelles, Psy.D. to Mark Fallon, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Task Force, titled "Review of JTF-GTMO Interrogation Plan Detainee 063", dated November 21, 2002 or November 22, 2002. The document was identified in in Footnotes 598 and 1062, pgs. 80 and 137, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services report, "Inquiry Into the Treatment of Detainees" (Nov. 20, 2008). For a copy of that report, please reference: http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Detainee-Report-Final_April-22-2009.pdf

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The interrogation of Detainee 063 was the subject of a major story at Time Magazine, which published some of the interrogation logs for this detainee. Other articles on interrogation at Guantanamo are too many to list. I note that the subject was also the subject of a major Congressional inquiry, which was publicly released, and which is referenced in the paragraph above.

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. MuckRock is a major news source, and most recently documents published and initially analyzed by MuckRock were published by the well-respected National Security Archive.

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 denied a fee waiver, I would be willing to pay up to $100 prior to notification of need to pay fees. I also ask that 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, Ph.D.

From: Blake, Adrianne C CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dr. Jeffrey Kaye
MuckRock News
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Sent by electronic mail to: requests@muckrock.com

Dear Dr. Kaye,

This is the final response to your attached November 1, 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which was received in this office on November 3, 2014 and assigned case number 15-F-0260.

Please note that this FOIA office only processes requests for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Joint Staff (JS). There is no central FOIA processing point for the entire Department of Defense (DoD) records management; instead, processing is delegated to those officials of the military services and various DoD components who generate and/or maintain the records being sought or reviewed.

We have determined the records you have requested are most likely to be found at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Since U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command operates its own FOIA program, we suggest you submit a request to that office. If you choose to do so, contact information is provided for you below:

U.S. Army Crime Records Center
ATTN: CICR-FP
Russell Knox Building
27130 Telegraph Road
Quantico, VA 22134-2253

Email: usarmy.usacidc-foia@mail.mil

There are no assessable fees associated with this request and this action closes your request with this office.

Respectfully,

Adrianne C. Blake
Government Information Specialist
For Suzanne Council on behalf of
M.L. Wahling, Acting Chief, Freedom of Information Act Division
OSD/JS FOIA Office
adrianne.c.blake.civ@mail.mil

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

The below FOIA request is being referred to your office for processing per the attached instructions provided by the OSD/JS FOIA Office. Please confirm receipt and provide an estimated date of completion.

Thank you very much.

________________

To Whom It May Concern:

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

This is a Mandatory Declassification Request for the following document: Memo from Michael Gelles, Psy.D. to Mark Fallon, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Task Force, titled "Review of JTF-GTMO Interrogation Plan Detainee 063", dated November 21, 2002 or November 22, 2002. The document was identified in in Footnotes 598 and 1062, pgs. 80 and 137, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services report, "Inquiry Into the Treatment of Detainees" (Nov. 20, 2008). For a copy of that report, please reference: http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Detainee-Report-Final_April-22-2009.pdf

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The interrogation of Detainee 063 was the subject of a major story at Time Magazine, which published some of the interrogation logs for this detainee. Other articles on interrogation at Guantanamo are too many to list. I note that the subject was also the subject of a major Congressional inquiry, which was publicly released, and which is referenced in the paragraph above.

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. MuckRock is a major news source, and most recently documents published and initially analyzed by MuckRock were published by the well-respected National Security Archive.

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 denied a fee waiver, I would be willing to pay up to $100 prior to notification of need to pay fees. I also ask that 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, Ph.D.

From: Council, Suzanne F CIV WHS ESD (US)

Mr. Kaye,

The US Army Crime Records Center is not an agency under OS/JS, and is not under our direction. Your request was referred to the Army Crime Records Center as required under the rules and regulations of the FOIA only. That office is responsible to respond to you directly. Your request is closed in our office. Thank you.

Suzanne Council
Senior Advisor
Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff
Office of Freedom of Information
1155 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1155

From: MuckRock

Thank you for your help!

From: US Army Crime Records Center

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 Nov. 1, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #15-F-0260.

Thank you for your help.

From: Chidester, Erin L CIV USARMY USACRC (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Mr. Kaye,
Your request is currently being processed by Mr. Grady. If you have questions
please call him at (571) 305-4246.

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. 1, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FA15-0445.

Thank you for your help.

From: Chidester, Erin L CIV USARMY USACRC (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Please be advised, an acknowledgement letter was mailed to you on 25 November
2014 advising that we are processing your request. Your request is still being
processed and once it has been completed we will send you correspondence.

From: Grady, Stephen J CIV (US)

Caveats: FOUO

Direct replies will not be read by a human.

=======================

***DO NOT FORWARD***

Please note, IAW Para 4-5.a(8) and 4-12.c, AR 25-2, it is a violation of SAFE security policy to share/forward Package passwords.

You must contact the Package originator to have the Package re-sent via SAFE (https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/) to other users.

NOTICE: If any doubt exists as to the safety or origin of the file(s) or the veracity of the sender, the recipient reading this message should NOT download the file(s) and should contact the appropriate Information Assurance Security Officer immediately for further guidance.

Stephen Grady, stephen.grady@us.army.mil has granted you access to a file(s).

File Description: FOIA Response (ARMY CID)

Package ID: 3865886

The file(s) will be available at:

https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/pickupfiles.aspx?id=3865886

Until: 2/26/2015

The password is 893nWrB6%neL7m!

NOTE: This password can only be used ONCE.

If you require assistance, please contact SAFE.Team@amrdec.army.mil and reference Package ID 3865886 and include a copy of this email message in your request.

NOTICE: This e-mail message is intended solely for the use of the addressee. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any reading, dissemination, distribution, copying, or other use of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately.

Thank you.

***This message may be forwarded to SAFE.Team@amrdec.army.mil for technical support purposes.***
Caveats: FOUO

From: Grady, Stephen J CIV (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Jeffrey Kaye;

I have sent you a document via Safe Access File Exchange. I you do not
received them in your regular email, please check your junk mail. Thanks.

Stephen Grady, Jr.
Mr. Stephen Grady, Jr.
Information Release Specialist
US Army Criminal Investigation Command
Crime Records Center (CRC)
Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) Office
27130 Telegraph Road
Quantico, Virginia 22134
COMM: 571-305-4246

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

From: Grady, Stephen J CIV (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Jeffrey Kaye;

I have sent you a document via Safe Access File Exchange. I you do not
received them in your regular email, please check your junk mail. Thanks.

Stephen Grady, Jr.
Mr. Stephen Grady, Jr.
Information Release Specialist
US Army Criminal Investigation Command
Crime Records Center (CRC)
Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) Office
27130 Telegraph Road
Quantico, Virginia 22134
COMM: 571-305-4246

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

From: Grady, Stephen J CIV (US)

Caveats: FOUO

Direct replies will not be read by a human.

=======================

***DO NOT FORWARD***

Please note, IAW Para 4-5.a(8) and 4-12.c, AR 25-2, it is a violation of SAFE security policy to share/forward Package passwords.

You must contact the Package originator to have the Package re-sent via SAFE (https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/) to other users.

NOTICE: If any doubt exists as to the safety or origin of the file(s) or the veracity of the sender, the recipient reading this message should NOT download the file(s) and should contact the appropriate Information Assurance Security Officer immediately for further guidance.

AMRDEC SAFE Access File Exchange Package ID 3865886 has been unlocked. You have been issued a new password and your old password is no longer valid. See below for new password. You may now download the package again.

Stephen Grady, stephen.grady@us.army.mil has granted you access to a file(s).

File Description: FOIA Response (ARMY CID)

Package ID: 3865886

The file(s) will be available at:

https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/pickupfiles.aspx?id=3865886

Until 2/26/2015

The password is u##BfB*JnF8bU!N4

NOTE: This password can only be used ONCE.

If you require assistance, please contact SAFE.Team@amrdec.army.mil and reference Package ID 3865886 and include a copy of this email message in your request.

NOTICE: This e-mail message is intended solely for the use of the addressee. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any reading, dissemination, distribution, copying, or other use of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately.

Thank you.

***This message may be forwarded to SAFE.Team@amrdec.army.mil for technical support purposes.***
Caveats: FOUO

From: Jeffrey Kaye

Office of the Secretary of the Army
c/o Director, U.S. Army Crime Records Center
27130 Telegraph Road
Quantico, Virginia 22134

Re: Appeal on FOIA Case No. FA15-0445

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter constitutes a formal appeal of a denial of my request for a Mandatory Declassification of a memo (MEMO) from Michael Gelles, Psy. D. to Mark Fallon, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF), titled “Review of JTF-GTMO Interrogation Plan Detainee 062,” dated November (21 or) 22, 2002. A copy of my FOIA request and the agency determination which is the subject of this appeal is attached for your convenience.

According to the denial letter, dated February 11, 2015, and signed by Susan Cugler, Director of the Crime Records Center, the denial was based on the claim that the MEMO is exempt from mandatory release to the public under provision of Title 5 U.S.C. 552, Exemption 1 of the Freedom of Information Act. The letter further states that the document in question was properly classified under executive order, and such classification is to protect “national security.”

Ms. Cugler’s letter further states, “This denial, which is made on behalf of Major General Mark 8. Inch, Commander, USACIDC, the Initial Denial Authority for USACIDC records under the FOIA, may be appealed to the Secretary of the Army.” I do so appeal this denial based on the reasons adumbrated below.

1) The claim of harm to national security is at least partially moot, as much of the documentation surrounding the events discussed in MEMO, and the MEMO itself, have already been declassified. If a portion of MEMO still meets classified status, then segregable portions of MEMO should be released. I refer the appellate authority to the following Internet URL, which concerns documents released as part of an ACLU lawsuit, regarding the interrogation plan for Detainee 062, and disputes by other agencies, including the FBI and CITF, regarding that plan. See https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/torturefoia_11062009_pages5to29_annot.pdf

2) Regarding the moot aspect of the claim to protect national security, matters concerning the MEMO, including the fact of the existence of the MEMO itself and quotes from the text of the MEMO were part of the November 20, 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) report, “Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody.” See pages 80-81.

For example, the report states, “(U) On November 22, 2002, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Chief Psychologist Michael Gelles drafted a formal review of a ITF-GTMO draft plan. 598 Dr. Gelles concluded that the interrogation plan "lack[ed] substantive and thoughtful consideration. 599 Among other concerns, Dr. Gelles stated: [“]Strategies articulated in the later phases reflect techniques used to train US forces in resisting interrogation by foreign enemies… [These techniques] would prove not only to be ineffective but also border on techniques and strategies deemed unacceptable by law enforcement professionals…[“]

There is no reason to not release via Mandatory Classification material that was already released to the public. The quotes from MEMO cited here are not the only such quotes already released via the SASC report, but are cited here for illustrative purposes.

3) Regarding Exemption 1, an agency may only withhold records under this exemption where the document is “classified in accordance with the procedural criteria of the governing Executive Order as well as its substantive terms.” (Lesar v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 636 F.2d 472, 483 (D.C. Cir. 1980). I believe that the denial does not meet these terms.

From a procedural standpoint, the government has not met its requirement, as stated in Executive Order 13526, that classified material meet any of the eight categories of information that may be considered for classification, in that “its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to the national security." No reference to any such categories are provided in the denial letter.

The denial letter does put forward as substantive grounds for ongoing classification the potential of harm to national security. But the denial in this case does not meet the government’s burden of demonstrating potential harm by putting forth “plausible” and “logical” arguments regarding such harm (Judicial Watch, Inc., 2012 WL 1438688 at *13 (quoting Am. Civil Liberties Union, 628 F.3d at 625)). That burden is even stronger given the revelations and earlier releases concerning MEMO as described in 2) above.

In conclusion, I ask that the appellate authority overrule the decision made by the lower FOIA authority and release the requested material.

Thank your for your consideration,

Jeffrey Kaye, Ph.D.
MuckRock News

From: US Army Crime Records Center

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: MuckRock

Hi there,

Could you please provide an update on the status of this appeal? No communications have been received from your office since April 2015.

Thanks so much,
Beryl, MuckRock

From: US Army Crime Records Center

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

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