Wednesday, March 2, 2016

U.S. Treasury responds to FOIA, says agency has no STORIS records

As of Feb 26 -- last Friday -- I have already received a response from the US Department of Treasury for the FOIA I submitted on Feb 18 (see below). Treasury claims that it has no record of anything related to the STORIS Auction through GSA. This, after GSA claims that it has no records of where the foreign funding came from to purchase the ship. We know from correspondence between the buyer, Mark Jurisich of U.S. Metals Recovery, and GSA that the buyer required a foreign wire transfer of $50,100 to complete the purchase. The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 and the PATRIOT Act of 2001 require the identification of foreign wire transfers in excess of $10,000. It looks like we may be able to add these two laws to the list of those broken by the federal government with the excessing, sale and illegal export of STORIS.

Treasury questions why I am asking them, based on my claim that GSA referred me to their department. It's right there, in black and white, in the GSA letter posted Feb 15. Treasury is instead recommending that I contact the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs to seek records. Anything along those lines would have shown up in the Coast Guard FOIAs I've already submitted. I'm waiting to see if I should FOIA Customs, but it's not even clear at this point why that agency would even be involved with the direct financial transaction of the ship's purchase.

The response from the Treasury is here:

We also have the outstanding FOIA with the State Department submitted Jan 15, 2015. I sent a request for an update on Feb 18 and received a response email from State on Feb 23. The response is as follows:

"We have contacted the Case Analyst and requested an estimated completion date for your case. The Analyst will contact the bureaus doing the searches and the individuals reviewing the material. This will take some time because each case is different. The search and review time varies. The time depends on the complexity of information requested and the time it takes to review the material."
With all of the political maneuvering within the State Department to protect and cover its own interests and those of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staffers with their illegal email activities, don't hold your breath to hear from State anytime soon.

Does anyone in our federal bureaucracy really know what the hell they are doing? It's nothing but a huge brush off and runaround.

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