Feb 19

A couple of weeks ago, The Nation’s Web site published an article I wrote, detailing my frustrations with the FBI’s highhanded treatment of our FOIA requests. Especially frustrating was their policy regarding deletions. Calling their decisions arbitrary doesn’t even close to describing them. I thought I’d include here one of the most incomprehensible deletions I’ve ever seen in three decades of going through FBI files.

Here’s the document:

wc-deletion2

Look at the first deletion on the page. The name blacked out is: Whittaker Chambers! A document recounting an action in the Hiss-Chambers case, an event publicized in every major newspaper in the country, and some dunderhead decides to remove Chambers’ name sixty years later, citing privacy concerns. If you have any examples that are more egregious than that, I’d love to see them.

Oh, there is supposed to be a comments section on this page. Like Janet Jackson’s wardrobe, it occasionally malfunctions. Feel free to email me at jeffismee@yahoo.com if you have a comment but can’t post it.

One final note regarding the deletions, the decision to remove the other names is almost equally outrageous. The first is Mike Catlett, and the second is Donald Hiss.

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