Not Serious re: Terrorism: GOP House Cut out funding for al-Qaeda, Iraq Records & Research

Representatives on the Hill talk a good game about going back into Iraq or pursuing a global war on terror, but they aren’t actually very interested in all that. Exhibit A: they’ve applied the same austerity to the Conflict Records Research Center as they did to the working poor and Veterans on food stamps.

This is about the most pitiful thing I’ve ever seen, given what is actually happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.:

“CRRC CRRC@ndu.edu
date: Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM
subject: CRRC Status Update July 2014

CONFLICT RECORDS RESEARCH CENTER Institute for National Strategic Studies National Defense University Fort Lesley J. McNair Washington, D.C. 20319

We are writing to provide you with a brief update on the status of the Conflict Records Research Center (CRRC). The CRRC, which has previously received generous funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD(P)), has no funding beyond the end of the current fiscal year. Unless something changes immediately, the center will close its doors sometime prior to September 30, 2014. Throughout the remainder of the fiscal year, CRRC personnel shortages will severely and adversely affect the center’s ability to host researchers, respond to e-mails, update the center’s website, or conduct other CRRC operations.

The CRRC, which focuses on al-Qaeda affiliated terrorism and Iraq, is on the verge of closing its doors just as battlefield victories by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), fighting alongside former elements of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime, remind observers of the continuing need for precisely the sort of research that the CRRC enables and provides. The CRRC has been honored to support innovative research and scholarship on these and other important topics since 2010.

If the CRRC does not receive funding immediately and hire personnel prior to September 30, it will shut down and the National Archives (NARA) will take ownership of all existing CRRC records. As explained below, the records will not be available to researchers for a considerable number of years. In addition, current CRRC holdings, which constitute less than one percent of the records that the center has been working to make available, will be frozen in time. No new records will be added.

NARA officials have informed CRRC staff that NARA would not release CRRC records for at least 25 years, with the exception of a very small number of records in response to Freedom of Information Act Requests. NARA is hard pressed to respond promptly to the vast number of requests it receives. NARA has also informed us that it would release only the CRRC translations, not copies of the Arabic originals, and would redact most of the names in the translations to prevent any possible privacy violations. We have appreciated working with you and value your support.

Sincerely,

The Conflict Records Research Center crrc@ndu.edu ”

fort-mcnair

3 Responses

  1. This is instructive of Congessional legislative incompetence. Google “Conflict Records Research Center congress ndaa 1071″ and you find the problem was language so badly crafted that we would get bad results regardless. Passing created a DOD intelligence honeypot, but having the documents sent to NARA means that they are hidden for a generation. There is apparently not a serious person in the House.

  2. The CRRC is actually a repository of digital copies of captured enemy records. It’s quite useful, though never even got close to the utility it should have had if the US Government had properly populated it. They barely even scratched the surface on that.

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