What Are they Hiding? FBI Tells Florida Cops to Deny Public Records Requests on Orlando Attack

fbi-tells-florido-officials-to-deny-foia-requestsBy Claire Bernish

A letter revealed by the Orlando Sentinel shows the FBI requested law enforcement agencies who responded to and investigated the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub to withhold information from the public.

A letter from the FBI dated June 20 attached to a lawsuit brought by the City of Orlando seeking the release of 911 calls in full, as well as other records pertaining to the shooting, had also been forwarded to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office — but included instructions for law enforcement to deny all requests for information.

Under the guise of protecting the investigation — as well as the victims and their families — the letter asks law enforcement agencies to deny information to anyone asking and “immediately notify the FBI of any requests your agency received” so “the FBI can seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels, as necessary.”

Under an official FBI seal, the letter signed by special agent in charge of the agency’s Tampa field office, Paul Wysopal — who refused to comment to the Sentinel — states, in part:

As you know, this is an active, on-going investigation being conducted by the FBI. The FBI considers information obtained from state and local enforcement agencies in furtherance of its investigation to be evidence or potential evidence. Accordingly the FBI is concerned that public disclosure of such records or information at this time will adversely affect our ability to effectively investigate the shooting and bring the matter to resolution; could endanger the safety of law enforcement officers, and other individuals who have participated in or are otherwise connected with the investigation; and risks unduly prejudicing any prosecutions that may result from the investigation.

Though the letter claims the 911 audio recordings and any other information pertaining to the mass shooting would have an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act’s Section 522(b)(7)(A) — “protecting records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes where disclosure would adversely affect a pending investigation” — the excuse seems flimsy and superficial.

According to the Sentinel, attorneys for media outlets involved argue in the lawsuit for the release of all pertinent records because there exists “a strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy.”

Indeed, as recent revelations proved, law enforcement officers responding immediately to the scene entered the club to stop shooter Omar Mateen, but were told to hold their position until SWAT arrived — something Belle Isle Police Officer Brandon Cornwell said took “15 or 20 minutes — could’ve been longer.”

But under strict orders from the FBI, the City of Orlando continues refusing to release any records “out of respect for Pulse shooting victims and the families.”

However, were the FBI truly looking out for the injured and families of victims, withholding information — which could reveal possible negligence or mishandling of an active shooter situation — wouldn’t be considered. In fact, refusing to release information that might help the families seek recourse or some semblance of justice stands contrary to that end.

President of the First Amendment Foundation, Barbara Petersen, told the Sentinel the “FBI doesn’t have the authority to hijack Florida’s constitution, which guarantees us a right of access to all non-exempt public records.”

Despite the acknowledgement law enforcement would be “obligated to respond to a request under Florida’s Sunshine Law for records and information pertaining to the FBI’s pending investigation, including information that your agency has provided to the FBI in furtherance of our investigation, we request that you withhold the records,” under yet another exemption the agency invokes.

As the Orlando shooting has come under intense scrutiny, and the response and handling of the subsequent investigation by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies remains the subject of controversy, the release of information to the public is crucial.

In the interim, suspicions about the incident’s apparent exception to rules concerning disclosure will remain a topic of debate.

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Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


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25 Comments on "What Are they Hiding? FBI Tells Florida Cops to Deny Public Records Requests on Orlando Attack"

  1. Oh, nothing suspicious going on here…

  2. Have ya’ll seen the interviews with two of the “victims?” One supposedly got shot in the hand, which was covering his face. The shot was with a supposed AR15. There is nothing wrong with either of his hands, and his face is fine. Another victim (woman in tube dress) was supposedly shot through her abdomen from front to back. She’s up, standing, bending, smiling, NOT shot. Did you see the videos of other non-bloody “victims” being carried two blocks by bystanders — TOWARDS The Pulse? One was set down and they all stretched and smiled, when they thought the camera was off. Did you see the video of Judge Andrew Napolitano saying that he saw the FBI report, and it said that the first person who was killed was at 5:15 AM, 3 hours after the thing started, and it was done by the SWAT team? How about the jihadi-to-be that was arrested in California, surrendering his car full of guns and bombs, WANTING to be arrested because he just found out that Mateen was killed in Orlando? He said that was NOT THE AGREEMENT and he (the California guy) was not going to go through with his plans. Of course he requested protective custody and won’t be seen again to testify about anything.

    • Genghis Swan | July 1, 2016 at 12:00 am | Reply

      I have tried to verify this “California jihadi-to-be”, but can only find a few independent websites concurring without any sources or references. Were these websites able to retrieve data inaccessible to everyone else? If so; why, how? And since when has the alternative media operated on allegations, or even worse, anonymous statements? If it were I who discovered this information and wished to share it here, I’d be very sure to provide details, a link, or something. So again, I say some guy in the North Atlantic on a chocolate dinghy framed a patsy cod to do his dirty work and was the one truly responsible for the ruckus at Pulse. An evil pinko squid helped, but we’ve elected to forget – ’cause I said so, right here.

      • Genghis Swan | July 1, 2016 at 12:09 am | Reply

        Amendment to an incomplete sentence: Regarding the jihadi dude from California: When I mentioned “verify”, it is perfectly clear that he exists, but the report of him stating something about “not the agreement” seems pure unsubstantiated nonsense. So again, I am aware of the individual and police report, but have been entirely unable to substantiate the statement regarding “agreements” and such. If True, then this is crucial information and deserves international attention. However, rumors don’t deserve much of anything. Anyone attempting to distinguish around here?

        • Glad you found something, because this site won’t let me post links. Thanks for looking by yourself.

  3. This seems to be a repeated pattern in all of these federally ran operations.

    • It’s a great time to be a crisis actor. And from what I’ve seen there’s no acting skill required. They all really suck as a actors.

      • They all seem to have a ‘left’ bent to their personality. Selling out their country and country men like thy have done through-out history.

  4. The Orlando Chief of Police even admitted that “some” of the victims were shot by cops! Most likely, ALL of the people killed and wounded there were were the result of the actions by the police.

    • Genghis Swan | June 30, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Reply

      If you could be so burdened, citation would be very much appreciated. Not that I doubt such could be, but I will continue doubting either way until evidence is found. And if it’s not too much to ask, try to cite a source that is either the original source, or eventually leads to it (the original source). You know, ’cause I say, the Orlando Police Chief said “Humillyium hum diddy oompha humpa terrorluffagus” – and I swear it on me granddog’s 23rd leg.

  5. Lawsuit time. Use the law and force them to release that public right to know info.

  6. George Washington | July 1, 2016 at 2:49 am | Reply

    Well, it seems all that is left to do is to pay off the mortgages of all the families of the “victims,” raze the club, clear away the first two feet of topsoil and make everybody involved sign non-disclosure agreements.

    At least the federal bureau of incineration’s Mister Wyposal didn’t threaten to arrest anybody for reporting information not coming directly to him like Mister Vance up there in Connecticut did during Sandy Hoax.

  7. They don’t want to be found complicit or found to be supportive and manipulative, or perhaps the gun was given to Mateen by the set up crew.
    Great sum up Gingercake.

  8. Does it count if SWAT charges in, guns blazing, and shoots half the victims?
    Just wondering..

    • Rudy Campilii | July 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Reply

      Yes it would count. But not in this instance because there was no one killed at the Pulse in Orlando.

  9. My guess is that the police did much or most of the killing.

    Not deliberately, just from pure incompetence.

  10. One of the most glaringly obvious mistakes made about Sandy Hoax, is the WEATHER for that “day”!! According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, in Newtown, Connecticut on the 14th of December 2012, the temps were a low of 30.6 degrees F. and 49.3 for the high. On the 15th, they were 32.2 and 46.8. But yet not a man, woman or child there in those videos can be seen with any breath fog coming from their mouth or nose!! Connecticut is like a frigging FREEZER that time of year, which is what immediately triggered my B.S. detector and almost burned it out due to overload! Then when I checked TOFA, there was no doubt at all that it was a hoaxed up story! And why isn’t there any snow on the ground with temps like that? But when I bring this up to people, the cognitive dissonance is so damn loud, it just drowns everything else out. It’s like standing next to a jet engine at full song, or Niagara Falls!

  11. So IF ANYONE was killed did it happen when Swat entered the Club? The FBI could not have that truth coming out. After all guns are the only danger in the US. Not the psychos that use them. All the demorats and some RINO’S are screaming gun bans. It should be a ban on criminals. But the left wing bleeding hearts can’t do the correct or INTELLIGENT thing. Since liberalism is a mental disorder they connected at the hip with psycho criminals. If there is every a gun ban ALL LIBERALS, CONGRESSMEN, PRESIDENT SHOULD GIVE UP GUNS TOO. But you know the cowards will not.

  12. William Burke | July 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Reply

    The fact that the event never happened, THAT’S what.

  13. Apparently, according to the FBI, the law is no longer in effect. It’s being tweaked and twisted to fit whatever sort of shenanigans are being carried out.

  14. Google “The FBI polygraphers will clean-up this mess” — Trust no one in the FBI… except the FBI polygraphers.

  15. The FBI’s desire for complete secrecy here is a warning sign that something is rotten in the State of Florida! Those demanding this information should not be dissuaded by superficial excuses.

  16. Rudy Campilii | July 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Reply

    Could the reason be because no one died at the Pulse in Orlando? Just like no one died at Sandy Hoax.

  17. Genghis Swan | July 1, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Reply

    Here is the quote, extracted from the link you’ve provided:

    “I will say this, that’s all part of the investigation,” Mina said. “But I will say when our SWAT officers, about eight or nine officers, opened fire, the backdrop was a concrete wall, and they were being fired upon.”

    I am not quite sure how this admits or even alludes to the police shooting innocents. Again, I have hardly a doubt that the police would love to do so, but I cannot accept this as anything other than interpolation and low reading comprehension. Mina’s use of “they” may refer to his SWAT, or possibly those inside Pulse. But “eight” or “nine” may just as well imply ‘7 or 10 office employees’, if we are to absolutely insist on seizing something from the crap-shoot of ambiguity. Thanks for providing the link, but I still recommend a bit of self-restraint and critical-thinking between a few trifle hints and the almighty truth.

  18. Hahaha I really like the “Droolers” comment…. …good job !!

    It is true that a high IQ score will disqualify a person from being a police officer.

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