From: Larry W. Bryant <overtci.nul> Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 18:02:00 -0400 Archived: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 11:53:14 -0400 Subject: Freedom-of-Information Appeal - 10-05-02 TO: Secretary of the Air Force ATTN: General Counsel The Pentagon Washington, DC 20330-1000 THROUGH: Chief, National Guard Bureau ATTN: NGB-SDA (Ms. Rose Bird) 1411 Jefferson Davis Highway Arlington, VA 22202-3231 FROM: Larry W. Bryant 3518 Martha Custis Drive Alexandria, VA 22302 DATE: November 5, 2002 Referring to your FOIA staffer Deborah Gilmore's letter to me of Oct. 25, 2002 (by which she declares her agency's denial of my FOIA request of July 29, 2002, for access to all records pertaining to, inter alia, the D.C. Air National Guard's 113th Wing's jet-interceptor pursuit of a mysterious aerial craft on July 26, 2002), I hereby appeal that denial via this e-formatted letter (a signed printout of which I'm snail-mailing to you shortly). My rationale for this appeal follows: (1) Nowhere in Ms. Gilmore's letter (whose content I quote in the postscript below) does she specify the exact nature, quantity, and (putative) classification (CONFIDENTIAL? SECRET? TOP SECRET?) of the sought-for "documents" forwarded to her by (presumably) Andrews AFB personnel. Her failure to provide such particulars puts me at a disadvantage in contesting her agency's decision. For example, how am I to determine whether the "documents" include a copy of the 113th Wing's standing operating procedure on "scrambling" interceptors to pursue and challenge such mysterious craft as the one detected/pursued near Waldorf, Md., on July 26th? What's more, how many of the Andrews-relayed "documents" pertain to detection/intercept missions other than the Waldorf case; and what are the dates, locations, principals, and outcomes of those missions? If you continue to withhold those particulars from me, please note that they doubtless will be ordered releasable when this case proceeds to judicial review. (2) Judging from testimony supplied by certain ground-based witnesses in the Waldorf area, the startling performance characteristics and aerial profile of the craft pursued on July 26th point to its identity as a classic "unidentifed flying object" (as reportable via Joint Army-Navy-Air Publication No. 146) -- one whose origin might well be extraterrestrial. If the craft exhibited no hostile intent or other dangerous contact, then the "documents" would have little or no sensitivity, right? On the other hand, if the craft exhibited hostility or behaved in a threatening manner, then your agency's documentation of that fact, too, should be releasable so as to better prepare the public for future E.T.-craft encounters. In other words, this crucial information on such a worldwide public issue (presumably contained or referred to somewhere in the contested "documents") must yield to the FOIA doctrine of segregability: you must take full, proper, and prompt steps toward segregating the nonclassified portions from the classified portions -- and the classifiable portions from the nonclassifiable ones. My reading of Ms. Gilmore's letter tells me that no-one in her agency has taken this doctrine into account. (3) If any of the FOIA-requested records contain confirmation (or even supposition) that the pursued craft originated from an E.T. source, then the releasability of that fact must be weighed in favor of the public interest (not in favor of continued government-mandated suppression), lest the public be arbitrarily denied its stakeholdership in the related decision-making process. Determining (and publishing) the extent of that confirmation/supposition could derive some impetus from your immediate, full declassification and disclosure of all the germane "classified" documents cited by Ms. Gilmore. On the possibility that you will sustain Ms. Gilmore's denial in whole or in part, I'm furnishing a copy of this appeal to my attorney, Mark S. Zaid of Washington, D.C. LARRY W. BRYANT Director, Washington, D.C., Office of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy Copies furnished to: Chairman, Committee on Government Affairs - U. S. Senate Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary - U. S. Senate Editor, the Internet website of http://www.ufocity.com P.S. Here's the content of Ms. Gilmore's denial letter of Oct. 25th: "Dear Mr. Bryant: "The District of Columbia National Guard has forwarded us documents and your electronic Freedom of Information Act request, dated 29 July 2002. You are seeking information pertaining to the 113th Wing's jet-interceptor pursuit of a mysterious aerial craft on 26 July 2002. Additionally, you seek records pertaining to all other such detection/intercept missions conducted by the 113th Wing during the past 12 months. "We have finalized your request (case 02-138). We have reviewed the documents and have determined the information should be withheld in its entirety. The information is considered classified as it pertains to a military plan or operation. The authority for this exemption is found in the Freedom of Information Act, Title 5, U.S.C. Sec 552(b)(1). "This announces a decision on behalf of Major General Raymond F. Rees, U. S. Army, Acting Chief, National Guard Bureau, who is the Initial Denial Authority for all Army and Air National Guard Freedom of Information Act requests. "The decision to withhold release of this information may be appealed in writing to the Secretary of the Air Force. Any appeal should include the reasons for reconsideration, a copy of this letter, and should be postmarked no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Please address any appeal through Chief, National Guard Bureau, NGB-SDA (Ms. Rose Bird), 1411 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202-3231 to the Secretary of the Air Force. "If you have any questions, please call Ms. Rose Bird at (703) 607-3195. "Sincerely, Deborah Gilmore (Chief, Support Services Division [of the National Guard Bureau])"
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