The FBI Says ¯_(ツ)_/¯

With the rise of white supremacist and white nationalist groups in the age of Trump, it is increasingly obvious that law enforcement is generally supportive of these movements.

So, count me as dubious of the honesty of the FBI when its for response to an FOIA request on its files on the notorious Nazi website Stormfront was, “Oops, I lost everything,”particularly when their response, which were just reprints of a previous request, took 2½ years to provide:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that it had lost many of its files on the neo-Nazi website Stormfront, MuckRock reported.

Journalist Emma Best filed a FOIA request more than two years ago for the FBI’s information on Stormfront, at one point the most prominent white supremacist website. After years of back-and-forth, the bureau finally responded with just 104 pages. The organization acknowledged that there were likely more files, but that they couldn’t locate them.

Best requested rolling release, which meant that the papers that she did receive, which had already been processed for another request, should have taken 2½ weeks, not 2½ years.

Additionally, she requested that a search be made at field offices that was not done.

You can see the (maddening) exchanges with the FBI over this here.

Do I believe that the FBI slow-walked this request?  Yes.

Do I believe that the FBI is actively supporting white supremacists? No.

Do I believe that the FBI is concerned that some of its agents, contractors, or paid informants might be actively supporting white supremacists, and a review of the records might reveal that?  Yes.

In any case, it’s a profoundly troubling development.

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