Requesting completed forms re "Use of Restricted Separation Technique"

Jeffrey Kaye filed this request with the SOUTHCOM - US Southern Command of the United States of America.
Tracking # 15-AC-0039-A1
Status
Rejected

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 FOIA requests all copies of forms completed between September 2009 and January 31, 2014 at Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) requesting use of the "restricted Separation technique." The form in question is shown as Figure M-2, "Installation Plan for Restricted Interrogation Techniques," page M-7 in Army Field Manual 2-22.3 (AFM).

According to the AFM, this interrogation plan form "addresses safeguards, limits of duration, interval between applications, termination criteria, and presence of qualified medical personnel for emergencies" (p. M-6). The form in question, used by those requesting Appendix M-related Separation technique approval, also includes a section that asks for "documentation of use (photos, video, notes)."

To be clear, I am not asking for any identifying material regarding individual detainees, interrogators, or other military personnel, which I would expect would not be released anyway, but copies of all forms, suitably redacted to protect identifying information, that nevertheless detail the programmatic and action-oriented details in each form, e.g. sections of the form that ask for justification of the use of the Separation technique, what other Approaches are used in conjunction with Separation, what safeguards and oversight is employed, as well as "Specific Description of the Separation Technique Employment Strategy."

If some of the sections of the requested completed forms cannot be released, I ask that the segregable portions of the form that can be declassified be so released.

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.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Kaye

From: Villalobos, Marco T CIV SOUTHCOM SC-CC (US)

CLASSIFICATION:UNCLASSIFIED

Dr. Key,

We have assigned case control No. SC 14-074-S to your FOIA request.

r/
Marco T. Villalobos
Command FOIA Manager
(305) 437-1108

From: SOUTHCOM - US Southern Command

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 Feb. 9, 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 #SC 14-074-S.

Thank you for your help.

From: Villalobos, Marco T CIV SOUTHCOM SC-CC (US)

CLASSIFICATION:UNCLASSIFIED

Dr. Key,

We're still pending responses from some of the offices we tasked.

r/
Marco T. Villalobos
Command FOIA Manager
(305) 437-1108

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 Feb. 9, 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 #14-F-0444.

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 Feb. 9, 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 #14-F-0444.

Thank you for your help.

From: Villalobos, Marco T CIV SOUTHCOM SC-CC (US)

CLASSIFICATION:UNCLASSIFIED

Dr. Kaye,

Our office just received a response of your FOIA request and we're currently working on the review.

Thank for contacting us.

r/
Marco T. Villalobos
Command FOIA Manager
(305) 437-1108

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 Feb. 9, 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 #14-F-0444.

Thank you for your help.

From: Villalobos, Marco T CIV SOUTHCOM SC-CC (US)

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Dr. Kaye,

The response to this case is currently pending the legal review and further coordination with other agencies.

r/
Marco T. Villalobos
Command FOIA Manager
(305) 437-1108

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 Feb. 9, 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 #14-F-0444.

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 Feb. 9, 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 #14-F-0444.

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 Feb. 9, 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 #14-F-0444.

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 Feb. 9, 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 #14-F-0444.

Thank you for your help.

From: SOUTHCOM - US Southern Command

A no responsive documents response.

From: Jeffrey Kaye


Office of Freedom of Information
Attn: Mr. James Hogan, Chief Defense Freedom of Information Policy Office
1155 Defense-Pentagon, Washington, DC. 20301-1155.

Re Freedom of Information Act Appeal, FOIA Reference #SC 14-074

Dear Mr. Hogan,

This letter constitutes an appeal of the finding of “no responsive documents” for my FOIA request #SC14-074. The finding of “no responsive documents” was sent to me in a February 9, 2015 letter from Southern Command FOIA Manager Marco Villalobos, whose letter is attached to this appeal.

The basis of this appeal is simple. I believe that the relevant departments and/or personnel handling this request construed it in an overly simplistic or concrete manner. In a discussion by telephone with Mr. Villalobos after I received his Feb. 9 letter, it became clear that FOIA officials apparently construed my original request to only concern documents that matched the form reproduced on page M-7 in Army Field Manual 2-22.3 (AFM), “Fig M-2.”

In fact, as my original request stated, I was seeking “all copies of forms completed between September 2009 and January 31, 2014 at Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) requesting use of the ‘restricted Separation technique,’” i.e., copies of all relevant forms and materials, not only those that matched the format of Fig M-2.

References in my original FOIA request to Fig M-2 were merely for sampling of the kinds of information contained in such forms or documents, without ruling out that Fig M-2 was itself used as a relevant form or document. Perhaps some confusion stemmed from the way the request was written, but I was quite clear in my request that I was seeking all forms, not only those that matched Fig M-2. For instance, I wrote in the original 2/9/2014 request, “To be clear, I am not asking for any identifying material regarding individual detainees, interrogators, or other military personnel, which I would expect would not be released anyway, but ***copies of all forms***, suitably redacted to protect identifying information, that nevertheless detail the programmatic and action-oriented details in each form.” (asterisks for emphasis are added)

The fact that there was close supervision and documentation of Separation interrogations was a fact stated over and over in Appendix M of FM 2-22.3. As one example, the manual states, "Staff elements that support interrogation facilities and forces employing separation will comply with paragraphs 4-59 and 4-60 and all controls and safeguards identified in paragraphs M-17 through M-26." Those paragraphs reveal that the relevant forms I am requesting could include interrogation plans, OPORDs (operational orders), legal review, and documentation of the use of the Separation technique.

The fact that documentation of requests for use of Separation exist is stated outright on page M-25 of FM 2-22.3: "Requests for approval of separation will be forwarded (for information
purposes only) via secure means through intelligence technical channels at the same time as they are sent through command channels."

I request my FOIA be returned for prompt, if not expedited, processing by the relevant commands or departments, and that a relevant search for ALL FORMS or documents used in the approval process for use of the Appendix M Separation technique be released.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Kaye,
Muckrock News

From: SOUTHCOM - US Southern Command

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

From: SOUTHCOM - US Southern Command

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

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