During its 70 year history, a number of coffee-related controversies have gripped the Central Intelligence Agency - but perhaps none of them had such long-lasting impact on the caffeination of our nation’s clandestine service as a year-long inquiry into the legality of using government funds to buy CIA employees their daily pick-me-up.
We’ve written about the CIA’s frustrations with its cafeteria before, with grievances both petty and the stuff of nightmares. But as internal records unearthed in CREST reveal, at least once that frustration exploded into a full-on mealtime melee.
After the tremendous response to our piece on the CIA’s cafeteria complaints, Michael Morisy immediately filed a follow-up FOIA for the most current copy. Two years and a switch to a far inferior food service contractor later, it’s finally arrived.
In their book The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records, Charles Davis and David Cuillier give the example of requesting cafeteria complaints as a sort of “test” to get a feel for how an agency responds to FOIA. Jason Smathers tried this out on the CIA … and well, the rest is history.