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Wednesday, April 26, 2017



Thwarting Freedom of Information

Agencies exploit every loophole to evade disclosure requirements

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

On December 13, 2016, I filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI seeking a wide range of documents about a series of highly controversial decisions the bureau made in the weeks leading up to the U.S. presidential election that Democratic lawmakers and supporters of Hillary Clinton have claimed shifted support to her opponent, Donald Trump.


Though the lawsuit is a direct response to the dramatic developments of the presidential election, it also underscores how government agencies stifle the flow of public information. My own immersion into the U.S. Freedom of Information Act began six years ago, when I received an urgent call from Mikey Weinstein, the head of a nonprofit group whose work focuses on enforcing the separation of church and state within the military.

Weinstein told me he had obtained a set of PowerPoint slides from a source in the U.S. Air Force that he wanted to share with me. He said the content was explosive and that if I was interested, it would make for a very good story. I told him to send it over.


Obviously, the story was dependent on that PowerPoint program. Documentation is the lifeblood of an investigative journalist, not only because it helps back up a story but because in many cases there is no story without it. Weinstein later informed me that one of his Air Force pals had used the Freedom of Information Act, commonly referred to as FOIA, to retrieve the PowerPoint slides from the Air Force, which then verified their authenticity for me. His phone call not only gave me a scoop, it launched me on a professional odyssey that has produced reams of important documents in the years since.


The situation today is a marked departure from my experience with the Air Force story. In 2011, Weinstein connected me with his Air Force friend, who gave me a crash course in filing effective FOIA requests, and I studied the half-century-old law, the agencies' FOIA specific regulations and their systems of record, where the documents I was seeking would likely be stored.[...]

Click to read more


Mikey Gets a Non-Threatening
but Inane Email

(The above mentioned email is featured
in the "MRFF's Inbox" section below.)

Monday, April 24, 2017

My friend Mikey Weinstein gets a lot of nasty emails containing threats and anti-Semitic bigotry, but this one is a bit different. The person went to a debate that he participated in and writes a polite but highly illogical email preaching at Mikey to convert to Christianity. I'm going to actually respond to this one.

My husband and I and our next door neighbors from Denver all came to your recent debate at Colo. Christian Univ. We are committed Christians who don't just "think" our faith is right because we 'suspect" that it is. We know it is right. And the only one which is as says John 14:6. There are no other exceptions.

No, you don't know that it is, you believe that it is. Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Zoroastrians are just as certain that their beliefs are true and justify it on the same basis of faith that you do. [...]

Click to read more


Re: Colorado Christian University (CCU) employee's derogatory email to Mikey
before Religious Liberty debate at CCU

Sent Thursday, April 6, 2017

Click to enlarge apology letter

The Derogatory Email

From: (name withheld)
Subject: extreme Christian Groups
Date: April 5, 2017 at 10:02 AM PDT
To: Mikey Weinstein

I would like you to name the extreme Christian groups that have threatened Micky, Until you do I will believe it it true.

(name witheld)

Inbox logo

We receive an enormous amount of emails at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, both from our supporters and detractors.
Through "MRFF's Inbox", we share some of these emails with you.

Click to view MRFF's Inbox

"We came to your debate"

From: (name withheld)
Subject: We came to your debate
Date: April 23, 2017 at 12:14:58 PM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein

Dear Mr. Weinstein.

Please do not reply to this email address as it cannot accept replies. We want to keep our names out of this please. Unlike you we are private people.

My husband and I and our next door neighbors from Denver all came to your recent debate at Colo. Christian Univ. We are committed Christians who don't just "think" our faith is right because we 'suspect" that it is. We know it is right. And the only one which is as says John 14:6. There are no other exceptions.

We have heard and seen a lot about you through the years. To be honest we expected the worst when we heard you were to be invited to the debate. But I must say however that you were very pleasant and nice. Even though it is very clear that you do not understand where you are going to go after you die unless you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. It is sad that you reject the Lord and we grieve for your eternal fate and that of your family.

Hell is a real place and it looks like you are going to be a permanent resident there but we hope not. [...]

Click to read more

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