Guest post by Christopher Horner, CEI.
Today, NOAA finally delivered thousands of pages (hard copy, oddly, despite our request for electronic copies) of additional records that had been withheld during the deliberations over what to produce for a thorough FOIA seeking records relating to the HS, Mann’s appointment, Menne/surface stations, M&M, Climategate and the like.
This is a request from two years ago that has produced thousands of pages of papers and emails (all of the good stuff among which, in an odd coincidence, having already been produced under Climategate) and was the last in a series of four requests in response to which NOAA claimed ‘no responsive records’, when actually referring to records which they possessed but which Susan Solomon had said were really IPCC records and therefore not agency records. The subsequent IG investigation uncovering this response given to others, which we challenged when given to us, affirmed that this claim was not appropriate.
After congressional interest was expressed, NOAA offered differing defenses to us and Congress, what with Congress being subject to certain arguments against release which are not applicable to FOIA (eg seeking to protect the integrity of the scientific review process…), and we being subject to certain FOIA arguments to which Congress is not vulnerable (pre-decisional and the like).
The cover letter and inventory of withheld records, which counsel has been working on for a year, is attached. I have yet to review it in detail; I also will go over the records this week. A very superficial pawing through of the records indicates they’re mostly “IPCC” docs (there are also some emails…remember, these are the docs over which NOAA’s counsel and review panel have been fighting for more than a year, over whether to redact or withhold), and makes one wonder what they were so insistent about. But, as they fought like the devil to keep these secret, there — as the old joke has it — must be a pony in there somewhere.
Here is the cover letter: