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Some FOIA requesters are seeing an uptick in “Still Interested” letters - here’s how to deal with them

Few things can be more galling for a FOIA requester than to patiently wait on a request for years, only to be told by an agency that if they don’t respond quickly and let the agency know they’re still interested, their request will be closed out. Here’s advice on how to handle “Still Interested” letters.

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Former House Majority Leader worked with the CIA to use a Congressional investigation for propaganda - and it backfired

Declassified CIA documents describe the Agency’s agreement to work with a Senator’s plan to use a 1952 Congressional investigation into Soviet war crimes for propaganda purposes. While it may have worked in the short run, documents indicate that both Agency and State Department personnel believe it may have backfired, and led to charges the U.S. was using biological weapons in Korea.

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State Department cables regarding 2001 UK election predict triumph of “New Labor” centrism

In light of the events of yesterday’s surprising U.K. General Election, we’re taking a look back to State Department cables regarding the 2001 race - where the only clear winner, no matter the outcome, was business.

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1963 State Department cable speaks to a simpler time in Saudi-Qatar relations

On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced that it would cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar, leading a collection of the oil-rich peninsula country’s closest neighbors in a regional economic shutout. However, it wasn’t always this way - a quick trawl through the CIA’s CREST database reminds of us an arguably simpler time in Saudi Arabia-Qatar relations, when something as potentially serious as where one nation ended and the other begun was a relative non-issue.

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American and British governments denied Chagossians the right of return under the guise of environmental stewardship

Between 1967 and 1973, almost 2,000 natives of the Chagos Archipelago were kicked out of their home to make room for an American military base. After decades of lobbying for the right to return, the Chagossians were formally denied last year after the American and British governments started raising questions about the environmental impact of resettlement.

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No response from State Department in two years