Homeland Security Hiding Its Emails: Insiders

Employees concerned over lengthy vetting process for internal records
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2011 10:30 AM CDT
Department of Homeland Security Employees Feared Bosses' 'Meddling' With Internal Documents; Congress Investigates
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano addresses the National Fusion Center Conference in Denver on Tuesday, March 15, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Homeland Security insiders spent months complaining that top Obama appointees were improperly delaying the release of potentially embarrassing files sought under the Freedom of Information Act. In a raft of uncensored emails obtained by the AP, insiders called the vetting process “meddling," "crazy" and "bananas!” The emails also raise the possibility that Janet Napolitano's political advisers might have hidden sensitive emails from journalists.

The “level of attention” the documents were getting was “CRAZY,” the department’s chief privacy officer wrote in one email. “I really really want someone to FOIA this whole damn process,” she wrote. She is now expected to be the central witness in a House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearing on the matter. The AP first requested the emails in December 2009. It received 995 pages of emails 7 months later, but they were heavily censored. Only now has the AP obtained the uncensored versions, which point to the withholding of "embarrassing, crude exchanges." Click for more. (More Department of Homeland Security stories.)

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