National Security Archive Update, February 10, 2005
9/11 COMMISSION STAFF REPORT ON FAA FAILINGS PUBLISHED ON WEB
Document Updates Previous Archive Posting on Censorship of Aviation
Warnings Leading up to 9/11
For more information contact:
Barbara Elias - 202/994-7045
Washington D.C., February 10, 2005 - As a result of a Freedom of
Information Act appeal filed by the National Security Archive, the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) corrected its October
2004 blunder of withholding the names and numbers of aviation
warnings known as Information Circulars that were widely cited and
quoted in the best-selling 9/11 Commission Report. In spite of this
additional material, the released TSA documents continue to withhold
details that were declassified in the recently released 9/11
Commission Staff Report on the pre-9/11 failings of the FAA that
was the subject of a front page New York Times article by Eric
The release of documents on appeal has resulted in the disclosure
of only one sentence of substance, a comment in the June 22, 2001
Information Circular, that states, "such an airline hijacking to
free terrorists incarcerated in the United States, remains a concern."
The sentence was released by TSA on appeal because it can be found
in Chapter 8 of the 9/11 Commission Report on page 256.
The TSA continues to affirm its decision to withhold all other
material in the Information Circulars as Sensitive Security Information
(SSI), despite additional citations of the requested documents in
the 9/11 Commission Staff Report, which is highly critical of the
Federal Aviation Administration for failing to establish better
security practices in response to incoming terrorism warnings.
"These Information Circulars continue to qualify as dubious secrets,"
said Barbara Elias, the FOIA coordinator at the National Security
Archive. "It seems clear that the Transportation Security Administration
did not review these documents on the basis of the information they
contain, they simply redacted everything they could legally redact."
"The government is still ducking the real question, which is whether
the secrecy about these warnings actually makes us safer," said
Thomas Blanton, the National Security Archive director.
The National Security Archive has posted these released TSA documents
on its Web site together with the 9/11 Commission Staff Report.
THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental
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