From: Larry W. Bryant <overtci.nul> Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 22:46:14 -0500 Fwd Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 11:03:23 -0500 Subject: FOIA Pay Dirt From FBI Some (Long-delayed) FOIA Pay Dirt from the FBI: The Chuck Hansen Dossier -- by Larry W. Bryant After months and months of patiently waiting for the U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to fulfill my FOIA request for access to all Bureau records pertaining to the writings/associations/activities of a (not-so-mere) technical writer named Chuck Hansen (who died on March 26, 2003), I now can report my recent receipt of some 61 heavily censored pages from his FBI dossier, which represents part of the 145 pages reviewed for possible release to me -- the remaining pages now being referred to what the Bureau calls an "other government agency (OGA)" (presumably the U. S. Defense Nuclear Agency -- DNA, which figures prominently in the overall dossier). The FBI redactions (including entire pages' worth of information) center on the classified ("SECRET") nature of the dossier. So, I'm expecting to receive not much releasable information from any DNA FOIAphiles once they get around to fulfilling my request. Why so secret? Since 1971, Hansen had gained fame/(infamy?) for his daring to research and write about various U. S. nuclear- weapons development/testing programs. Apparently, some time in the spring of 1993 that daring took an alarming turn, resulting in a counterintelligence investigation by the Bureau's Washington Metropolitan Field Office -- as referred to by a WMFO memo dated May 11, 1993, and titled "Possible Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information to Chuck Hansen, et al., at the Defense Nuclear Agency, WDC [Washington, D.C.]." The memo's principal paragraphs state: "Reference WMFO teletype dated 4/30/93 to the Bureau and San Francisco. "Per referenced teletype enclosed for the Bureau and San Francisco [field office] are copies of xeroxed documents provided by the interviewee, [FBI-redacted] of the Defense Nuclear Agency." Having been on the receiving end of FBI interest in my own critical research into, and writings about, certain government policies/practices (especially about the role of various military and law-enforcement officials in the so-called UFO cover-up), I examine such a dossier as Hansen's with intensity and a keen sense of empathy. For example, I note that, in responding (favorably) to the San Francisco office's request for authorization to interview Hansen, the Bureau headquarters produced the following background information on him: "FBIHQ files indicated that a Peninsula Times Tribune article dated December 11, 1980, mentioned that Charles Hansen was a Mountain View, California, computer programmer, who used public information entirely to compile hydrogen bomb descriptions. "Chuck Hansen submitted a FOIAPA request to the FBI in 1988. He was interested in obtaining a copy of the 'KGB and the Library Target, 1962--present,' as mentioned in an Associated Press wire service story printed in the San Francisco Chronicle, dated May 18, 1988. "Bureau files also indicated that Chuck Hansen submitted a FOIAPA request in 1988, to obtain any records pertaining to himself from 1947-1988. "Note: Instant [memo] forwards Los Angeles [field office] the results of a Bureau indices search for captioned subject." Do you perceive any red flags here? Well, I certainly do. Why does the Bureau feel compelled to store within its "subject" indices the identity of any person who happens to submit an FOIA/Privacy Act request to a given FBI element? Do those requesters whose inquiries concern controversial or sensitive issues become automatically FBI-tagged as potential subversives, worthy of permanent, priority notice within the (now cavernous) files of the Bureau? Does such targeted record-keeping reflect wise expenditure of taxpayer funds (not to mention reflecting conscientious safeguarding of the public's right-to-know and the Bureau's duty-to-tell)? As you ponder those questions, consider the denouement of the Hansen Affair. It comes in the following excerpt from a "SECRET" Aug. 9, 1993, teletype message from the San Francisco FBI division to the FBI director: "Referenced BU airtel authorized SF to conduct interview of Chuck Hansen in an effort to determine how Hansen was able to submit freedom of information requests to the Defense Nuclear Agency, seeking copies of classified historical reports with such specificity as to request certain numbered pages contained in each report. These requests would seem to indicate that Hansen either already had access to the reports requested or was being furnished information concerning these reports which could indicate a possible compromise of classified information. "Contact with Mr. Charles Robert (Chuck) Hansen at 1086 South Bernardo Ave., Sunnyvale, Ca. 94087, to arrange for an interview, resulted in Mr. Hansen stating that he wished to contact his attorney prior to submitting to an interview by FBI agents. "On 8/6/93, attorney [deleted] with the law firm of [deleted], CA., telephonically contacted SF case agent [deleted] in the Palo Alto resident agency, to advise that he was representing Mr. Chuck Hansen. Attorney [deleted] requested the nature of the interview and was advised that this matter was referred by another federal agency and that the question concerned Mr. Hansen's ability to make requests for historical documents, currently classified at the SECRET level, from the Defense Nuclear Agency, with such specificity as to identify specific page numbers requested within those reports. It was emphasized to attorney [deleted] that the Bureau's interest did not concern the fact that Mr. Hansen had submitted freedom of information requests from the Defense Nuclear Agency. The Bureau's interest concerned the possibility that Hansen might already have access to information that is deemed classified. Attorney [deleted] made arrangements for SF case agent to interview Chuck Hansen on 8/10/93 at 2:30 PM in the offices of [deleted] in [deleted], CA., with attorney [deleted] present. "On 8/9/93, Chuck Hansen left a recorded message on the telephone answering machine of the Palo Alto resident agency advising the case agent that 'I am canceling our meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon' and that 'he (case agent) should get back to the people who put him onto me and ask them to put their questions in writing or have them get in touch with my attorney in Washington, D.C., [deleted].' Hansen followed up that call during normal business hours to insure that the case agent received his message; however, he did not wish to speak with the case agent. "For information of WMFO, SF obtained a library copy of Chuck Hansen's book titled 'U. S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History,' published by Aerofax Inc. for Orion Books, 1988." The SF memo goes on to discuss Hansen's acknowledged sources for the book's content, and encourages WMFO "to obtain a copy of Hansen's book for additional information that might be pertinent to this investigation. "SF will submit results of other investigation under separate cover." Finally, in a WMFO memo dated Oct. 20, 1993, the Bureau wraps up its investigation by stating: "On Wednesday, October 13, 1993, the case agent met with [deleted], DNA, [deleted], Virginia. [Deleted] was given [deleted]. [Deleted] advised that DNA [deleted]. Chuck Hansen [deleted]. At this time, [deleted] advised that DNA [deleted]. "[Deleted] thanked the case agent for the FBI's assistance and cooperation in this matter. "Accordingly, WMFO is placing this matter in a closed status."
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