Sunday, 19 March 2017

burn after reading

To honour the conclusion of Sunshine Week, our intrepid friends at Muckrock—serial freedom of information act (FOIA) filers are kicking back the with the second best disinfectants—provocatively named cocktails to take the edge of redaction and glomarisation, like the Shirley Temple (Herbert Hoover style), Deep State, Intelligence Report, and We Were Never Here. I’d add Mistakes Were Made, and just need to figure out the ingredients.
The infuriating “Glomar response” is when the government declares its refusal to speculate on an ongoing investigation or address matters of national security and comes from the name of a salvage vessel that the Central Intelligence Agency commissioned to recover a sunken Soviet submarine in 1975. The plausibly deniable boilerplate that would go on to preface many more secrets went, “We can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the information requested but, hypothetically, if such data were to exist, the subject matter would be classified, and could not be disclosed.”