The following letter and e-mail attaching the letter is being sent to Mr. Michael Mobbs in response to his message yesterday.
address, phone, e-mail
Mr. Michael H. Mobbs
Acting Counsel to the Inspector General
Office of Inspector General
Department of Homeland Security
Washington D.C. 20528
via certified mail, return receipt requested
April 16, 2014
Re: Letter of April 15, 2014
Dear Mr. Mobbs,
I write today hoping you can provide some clarification regarding your letter of yesterday, bearing a date stamp of April 15, 2014, and which was sent to my e-mail referenced above. You described the letter in the e-mail as the “final response” to the “above referenced” appeal. You referenced “Appeal No. 2012-A13 and Request No. 2012-133.” Your e-mail and the attached letter create more questions than answers. Please provide an explanation of your involvement at this time, and answers to the following questions:
1. Is your letter in response to my letter of April 11, 2014 directed to Delores Barber the Deputy Chief, FOIA Officer. In that letter I pleaded for an acknowledgement of five separate FOIA requests sent in January of 2014, only one of which has been acknowledged. Given your reference to the requests of 2012, I assume that you are not intending to provide a response to the requests filed in January of 2014, but I wanted to confirm that. Here is the link to that letter if you have any question about the letter to which I make reference. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/status-report-on-foia-suit/
2. In the future, should I direct future correspondence to you regarding all six of my FOIA requests. Because you are an attorney representing Homeland Security, I would like to make sure that I do not direct any correspondence or phone calls to another person at Homeland Security if they should be directed to you. In an effort to make full disclosure, I will advise you that I anticipate filing suit shortly regarding the failure of Homeland Security to produce responsive documents in a timely manner to each of the five requests, with amended pleadings to follow in the event documents are not produced regarding the sixth request.
3. Is e-mail an acceptable method of communication, or should I continue to communicate with Homeland Security by certified mail?
4. Perhaps you were unaware of the long history I have with Homeland Security and request for documents regarding, among other matters and people, David Chaney and Todd Palin. To ensure that you know the details of that history I provide this copy of a letter sent July 22nd to A.T. Smith setting out details of correspondence I had with Homeland Security and the misleading nature of representations made to me regarding the “enforcement proceedings” that were allegedly pending over one year ago.
The following is a copy of that letter: http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/surprise-letter-to-the-secret-service
Secret Service, a division of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive
SW Building 410
Washington D.C. 20528
July 22, 2013
Re: Production of statement of David Chaney
Dear Deputy Director Smith:
I am in receipt of your letter and the statement of David Chaney. You letter is date stamped Jul. 10, 2013. I am well aware of the letter agreement of July 3, 2013 referenced in your letter, and will abide by the terms of that letter. Pursuant to that letter agreement you closed the files on both of my FOIA requests #20130560 and 20130568, the first of which had been pending for over one year. It was clear that the only way left open to me to get any of the documents requested was to agree to withdraw my requests or file a lawsuit. While I felt the office of Homeland Security had been evasive, and oppressive in its responses to my requests, it was difficult for an individual to take on the entire Federal Government. I made the mistake of assuming that the Secret Service and Office of Homeland Security has not been deceptive. I was obviously naïve in that regard.
Reluctantly I agreed to this proposal for production of the statement, relying on the truthfulness of previous letters and communications. However I now realize that I was a fool to trust the truthfulness of the government’s representations. I was a fool to believe that the members of the Secret Service had integrity. I was foolish to think that the office of Homeland Security would ultimately want what I wanted, which was the truth to come out regarding Todd Palin and his predatory actions.
On February 16, 2012 when Shailey Tripp published the book Boys Will Be Boys I was amazed at the revelations, and the specifics she provided regarding names and descriptions. The lack of a defamation suit by the Palins was illustrative of the truth of the information. However I personally sent letters to Todd, Sarah, and their attorneys inviting a denial of the assertions of Ms. Tripp. Predictably I received NO response to any letters.
Imagine my surprise when Shailey Tripp contacted me to advise that David Chaney, one of the agents involved in the Colombia scandal, had been introduced by Todd Palin to Shailey Tripp, and that she did provide sexual services to him. At the time I didn’t realize that Mr. Chaney has been one of the agents assigned to provide security to Ms. Palin during the ’08 campaign.
I personally put Mr. Merek Schaefer in touch with Ms. Tripp before the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security to whom she gave to verbal statements and one written statement confirming her introduction to, and services provided to, Mr. Chaney. I personally advised every member of the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the allegations so that they could inquire during the hearing about the allegations. I also personally advised Mark Sullivan of the allegations so that he would have an opportunity before that hearing to get to the truth.
Imagine my surprise when I listened to the Senate Subcommittee hearing and heard Mr. Sullivan testify that there was no culture of corruption within the Secret Service, and that the Colombia incident was an isolated event. I could only presume that Mr. Chaney had been asked, and denied the allegations, and that the Secret Service had a reason to believe him. However, because I believed Ms. Tripp, I filed my FOIA request in an effort to determine what Mr. Chaney had reported. That seemed like a logical response and one that every American should be entitled to know.
The Colombia scandal broke on April 11, 2012.http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/secret-service-prostitution-scandal-one-year-later/ It was reported that Mr. Chaney resigned on April 20, 2012. http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/20/us/secret-service. Sarah Palin made her infamous remark “Check this out bodyguard, you’re fired.”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/david-chaney-sarah-palin-secret-service-_n_1440479.html Merek Schaefer was notified of the allegations of Shailey Tripp as early as May 14, 2012, by an e-mail from me.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/e-mail-to-homeland-security-officer-regarding-palin-tripp-and-chaney/
The Senate Subcommittee hearing with Mark Sullivan testifying was held on May 23, 2012, nine days after Mr. Schaefer was notified of the assertions of Shailey Tripp. http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/hearings/secret-service-on-the-line-restoring-trust-and-confidence
On May 28, 2012 I personally asked Merek Schaeffer what happened, and why nothing was mentioned during the hearing regarding the allegations of Ms. Tripp. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/e-mail-to-homeland-security-officer-regarding-palin-tripp-and-chaney/ No response was ever given.
On June 7, 2012 I personally asked Mark Sullivan and Charles Edwards, the Chief Investigator of Homeland Security, why nothing was mentioned.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/letter-to-mark-sullivan-director-of-s-s-and-charles-edwards-inspector-homeland-security-re-todd-palin-and-david-chaney/ No response was ever given.
It was not until after Merek Schaefer, Mark Sullivan and Charles Edwards failed to respond to my correspondence that I was left with no option but to file a FOIA request. That original request was filed on June 18, 2012.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/documents-requested-re-todd-palins-introduction-of-his-prostitute-to-secret-service-agent/
On June 30, 2012 Homeland responded to the request by claiming that the information requested was “personal” and “private.”http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/homeland-security-responds-to-foia-request-re-todd-palin-and-david-chaney/ On July 2, 2012 I filed an appeal of that decision asserting that there was an overriding public interest in obtaining the documents.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/appeal-to-homeland-security-re-palin-chaney-statements/ On August 7, 2012 I sent letters to the attorneys for Todd Palin and David Chaney asking for their agreement to produce the documents. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/letter-sent-to-john-tiemessen-re-release-from-todd-palin/ Of course I never received any response.
On August 20, 2012 I sent a letter to Ms. Ferrell, Special Agent in Charge FOIA listing the many particular reasons that there was an “overriding public interest” in obtaining these documents.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/correspondence-to-homeland-security-re-david-chaneys-introduction-to-shailey-tripp-prostitute-by-todd-palin-pimp/
By November 15, 2012 there were articles published asserting that Mark Sullivan had lied during his testimony before the Senate Subcommittee. The articles did not mention the allegations of Shailey Tripp, but asserted that he was in fact aware of other incidents of Secret Service Agents utilizing services of prostitutes. http://malialitman.wordp.ress.com/2012/11/15/oops-did-mark-sullivan-lie-to-the-senate-or-was-he-just-ignorant/
In spite of multiple phone calls, e-mails and letters I was unable to determine the reason for the lack of a response to my FOIA request. Just one example of such a letter was this one of December 7, 2012.http://twittweb.com/reminder+homelandsecuri-27950684 Sarah Palin herself was demanding greater transparency in government, while Homeland Security was continuing to remain silent about even the reason for non-disclosure. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/palin-demands-transparency-give-her-what-she-wants/
By December 30, 2012 I wrote directly to Janet Napolitano pleading for her help in producing the documents to which I was entitled.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/letter-to-janet-napolitano-secretary-of-homeland-security-re-todd-palin-pimp/
On January 13, 2013 I sent an e-mail to Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins requesting their help. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/e-mail-to-senator-lieberman-and-senator-collins-of-homeland-security-committee-re-todd-palin/ I received no response to those e-mails.
On February 1, 2013 Mark Sullivan announced his resignation.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/mark-sullivans-resignation-may-be-a-response-to-our-attempt-to-expose-todd-palin/
On February 4, 2013 I sent yet another letter to Janet Napolitano requesting production of the documents, and pleading with her to produce the documents without the necessity of a law suit.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/letter-to-janet-napolitano-advising-of-deadline-to-produce-foia-documents/
On February 18, 2013 I sent a letter to President Obama, asking for his help, since not a single call, letter, or e-mail had even been returned.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/letter-to-president-obama-yes-we-can-and-should-protect-women-in-our-homeland/ That letter, like the others, was posted on line through my blog.
On February 19, 2013, the next day, a letter was mailed by Homeland Security agreeing to produce the documents requested in my FOIA request. However just six days later another letter was mailed asserting that the document s were NOT going to be produced. That letter stated “Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 (B)(7)(A) your file is being exempted since disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”
At that point Homeland Security indicated that there was some new type of investigation that was being undertaken, that I could only assume related to Todd Palin and David Chaney. Wanting to be supportive of such an investigation, I did not publish anything about that investigation on my blog for an extended period. In spite of repeated calls I was unable to determine what investigation was underway, of whom, by what agency of government.
On March 29, 2013 I submitted a second FOIA request asking for documents to reveal the retirement benefits U.S. tax payers were paying David Chaney and Mark Sullivan. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/new-freedom-of-information-request-re-david-chaney-ex-secret-service-mark-sullivan-ex-director-of-the-secret-service-and-todd-palin-ex-first-dude/
On April 8, 2013 I sent a letter directly to Todd Palin and his attorney inviting a denial of the allegations of Shailey Tripp. No response was received from Todd or his attorney. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/letter-to-todd-palin-inviting-a-denial-of-the-allegations-of-shailey-tripp/
On April 17, 2013 you sent a letter denying my request for the retirement benefits stating that:
“Pursuant to Title 5 United States Code Section 552(b)(7)(A) the information you requested is being withheld from disclosure as the information was compiled for law enforcement purposes and such disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”
Of course you are aware I appealed your decision on May 7, 2013.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/we-may-be-powerless-to-prevent-injustice-but-we-must-always-protest/
In a final plea of desperation before filing suit I sent this letter on June 25, 2013. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/last-letter-to-homeland-security-before-filing-suit-next-week/ Your letter agreement was sent on July 3, 2013. I agreed to it and returned it to you the day it was received.http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/actual-letter-from-homeland-security/
Your letter producing the statement of David Chaney was received by me on July 11, 2013. It included a three page statement of David Chaney. Other than formalities, the statement itself consisted of a total of a mere 7 lines. The statement was dated June 6, 2012 which was two weeks after the Senate hearing on May 23rd. Obviously this statement was not taken before the Senate hearing. Either no attempt was made before the Senate hearing to determine if a Secret Service agent had used prostitutes while on assignment in the United States before the Senate hearing, or if another statement was taken of David Chaney it was not produced.
The statement of Chaney that was produced indicated that on June 6, 2012 he was still employed by the Secret Service. That was contrary to the information reported indicating that Mr. Chaney had resigned on April 20, 2012. The statement itself indicated that Mr. Chaney denied even knowing Ms. Tripp. If that is the only information you had regarding Ms. Tripp’s allegations then it is hard to imagine why there would suddenly be an investigation undertaken in February of 2013 that would relate to the documents requested, and would justify withholding of the documents.
The denial of David Chaney is also contrary to other information I have received indicating that David Chaney charged the services he received from Ms. Tripp on credit card #5185 6401 011 3587. The amount processed was $40.00 and was for the month ending 8-31-08. It is difficult to reconcile his denial of even knowing Shailey Tripp with this charge.
Please be advised that I am still waiting for the documents requested. I recognize that if you refuse to produce them, that I can’t re-file my formal request for them again until the 6 month period has passed. However please be advised that as soon as I can, I will be requesting the documents again. I hope that there is an investigation underway and that you will be able to make the public aware of your findings, and file appropriate charges soon. I would hate to think that this is just a part of a large cover-up. I would hope that the office of Homeland Security would never refuse to produce documents that should be produced and take advantage of a citizen trying to find the truth.
Because I plan to re-file my FOIA requests in 6 months, please do the necessary to ensure that the documents are neither lost or destroyed during this interim period. Also, please understand that the applicable statute of limitations under Alaska law may run in August of this year, so time is of the essence. More importantly, I have previously advised you that Shailey Tripp had received death threats , and the apartment building she is living in had a fire set in an apartment adjoining hers, when her neighbors were not at home. Disclosure of any information in the possession of Homeland Security regarding this matter might promote the safety of Ms. Tripp.
If the purpose of Homeland Security is to promote the safety and security of U.S. citizens, and if there is a presumption of openness in government, then you will act now.
5. Having waited the requisite 6 months, I refilled the two new FOIA requests, on Jan. 12, and Jan. 13th. These two new requests were identical to the FOIA requests that had previously been filed and which related to David Chaney, Todd Palin, and Shailey Tripp. For your reference here are links to those requests.
a. 1-12-2014 First Request:https://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/new-foia-request-to-homeland-security-re-todd-david-chaney-and-prostitution/
b. 1-13-2014 Second Request:https://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/second-foia-request-to-homeland-security/
I have not received acknowledgement of these requests. In addition to re-filing identical requests for information, I filed three additional requests. They were:
c. 1-14-2014 Third Request: https://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/third-foia-request-enforcement-proceedings-that-never-occurred/
This was a new request asking for documents relating to the “enforcement proceedings” to which Homeland Security referred in their response to me of a year ago regarding why they were unwilling to produce the documents requested. Homeland Security has failed to acknowledge receipt of that request.
d. 1-15-2014 Fourth Request: https://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/4th-foia-request-to-homeland-security-documents-seen-by-mark-sullivan-before-senate-hearing/
This is the only one of the five for which I have received an acknowledgement, but I haven’t received any documents, and have not been promised that a decision would be made by any particular date, in spite of multiple requests. No reason has been given to justify non-production of the documents requested.
This fourth request for documents was focused on the information available to Mark Sullivan prior to his testimony before the Senate. If he lied during that testimony, these documents might provide the needed proof of his untruthfulness.
e. 1-17-2014-Fifth Request: https://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/5th-foia-request-asking-for-documents-related-to-todd-palin-pimp/
This request for documents relates to the history of the Secret Service’s culture of corruption including use of prostitutes, and information that was available to Homeland Security both before and after the Colombia scandal. https://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/5th-foia-request-asking-for-documents-related-to-todd-palin-pimp/
Homeland Security has failed to acknowledge receipt of that request.
6. On April 9, 2014 I filed a sixth request regarding the incident involving the Secret Service in Amsterdam that preceded the President’s visit.
http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/freedom-of-information-act-request-regarding-amsterdam/ While I have not received an acknowledgement of receipt of this request, the statutory period for responding to this request has not yet passed.
Thank you in advance for providing answers to these questions.