Last year, MuckRock user Jens Porup filed a FOIA with the CIA for a list of all poisons used in covert assassinations. Although Porup could have reasonably expected this request to be rejected under about a half-dozen exemptions, the Agency still managed to throw him a curveball: they claimed they don’t do assassinations.
As justification, the cited the Reagan-era Executive Order 12333, which included a specific prohibition on assassination. Porup appealed, on grounds that there was quite a bit of evidence that even if they weren’t assassinating people anymore, the CIA certainly had (or at least tried to) in the past. That was also rejected, on ground that they hadn’t extended him the right to appeal.
Undaunted, Porup filed again, this time explicitly stating that he was interested in records prior to the 1981 order. Amended or not, the CIA rejected that request as well, under the admirably circuitous logic that they had already rejected Porup’s earlier request.
Porup re-appealed in December of 2015, and the CIA has spent the entirety of 2016 ignoring our faxed request for any updates. Considering the agency’s abysmal track record, it’s unlikely we’re going to hear back any time soon.
it seems more than a little disingenuous for the CIA to not even give Porup the dignity of a national security exemption. But to quote Sharyl Attkisson quoting an unnamed Agency source, “Admit nothing, deny everything.”
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