Letter from the Office of Congressional Affairs to Senator Patrick Leahy re: FBI's Alleged Withholding of Information

The document is a letter from Assistant Director Eleni P. Kalisch of the Office of Congressional Affairs to Senator Patrick Leahy, regarding Senator Leahy's claim that FBI Director Mueller withheld key information about the mistreatment of detainees in overseas locations.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Department of Justice
Federal Bureau.of Investigation
, • .
.Washington, D. C. 20535-0001
. ' JDecember 23, 2004
. Honorable Patrick J. Leahy
• United States Senate
Committee on'the Judiciary .
• Washington,. DC 20510
Dear senator Leahy:

. DATE 05-10-20119 BY 55179 Dn./ STU. •
. I am writing in response.to your letter to Director Mueller dated Deeember 21, 2004
regarding the FBI's failure to provide information to you relating to FBI reports of mistreatment
of detainees in overseas locations. As Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs, I am .
responsible for ensuring that Questions for the Record (QFRs) and Congressional . .
correspondence are handled in a timely and.appropriate.manner.
. . •- • • . • • •
... • ,.: • With regard.tO1he QFRs:submitteclip_the.J;;BIAt VA'7;`2004 foIl eMar20; • •
hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, my office worked diligentlY`to.obtain thorough
and accurate responses tO the nearly 300 questions andtheir subparts posedby Committee . .
members. This required coordination with personnel in 11 different divisions of the FBI, many • '
Of whom were responding to inquiries from the 9/11 Commission, the Government'
Accountability Office, and the Department ofJustiCe Office of the Inspector General. Among:
those QFRs, were yours asking for information relating to reports from FBI Agents of the •
mistreatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Guantanamo Bay. ;We Made every effort to •
respond as quickly as possible to the QFRs without sacrificing quality and, on October 29, 2004,
we delivered our responses to the DePartinent of Justice (DOT)- for review, approval and
• transmittal to the Committee.. We informed the Committee of this by letter on that date.
•" •
. - • Coincidentally, also on October 29, we received your letter making further inquiry on the .
line of questioning covered in your QFRs regarding reported mistreatment of.detainees. Because .
' our responses to these questions were pending DOJ approval, my,office contacted DOJ to advise.
them of your incoming letter and to seek guidance on whethef.Vie could provide the information
.and copies of documents that we had submitted in,reSponse to your QFRs on this topic. DOJ
. advised that they would review the matter'and advise as to what information could be provided. •
. At this time, DOJ is still considering your inquiries. .I regret that I. did not advise you by interim.
' letter of the status ofthis matter. :‘ . • •
OIG -REQ 07/15/O5—PART STAFF) P1310000360
Honorable Patrick J. Leahy
Finally, the Director testified before the Committee. on May 20, 2004 that, although
investigation was continuing, instances of.detainee mistreatment reported byFBI personnel had
been referred to appropriate officials. Subsequent to the hearing, the FBI contacted each FBI
Agent who had served at Guantanamo Bay todnquire•whether any mistreatment Of detainees had
been observed. The responses we.received as a result of that survey are the responses that were
recently released to the American Civil Liberties Union pursuant to a Freedom of Information
Act request. Thus, Director Mueller was not aware of these reports at the time of the .
Committee's hearing but only learned of them afterviard.as a result of the internal review the FBI
initiated in July 2004.
I hope this addresses your concerns and explains the delay in the FBI's respbnse to your
inquiries. As a component of the Department offustice, the FBI must ensure that Congressional
• matters are cobrdinated and that official responses by FBI executives are approved for •
dissemination. If you have any questions about our handling of this matter, please do not hesitate • •
to contact me. •
Eleni P.Kalisch
_Assistant Director - - • • -
Office of Congressional Affairs.
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OIG REQ 07/15/05—PART 1 —(DIR S
TAFF) FBI0000361 G013741