Judicial Watch's John Althen received an interesting response from officials at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) when he requested copies of "all records of complaints" about the agency's controversial new pat-down process.
The answer sent to Judicial Watch in an unsigned letter told the group that "we need to define complaint." The letter went on to inform Judicial Watch that it would have to provide significant details about the specific documents it was seeking before government employees would be able to locate them.
Of course, if an FOIA requestor like Judicial Watch can only access those documents it knows about, odds are good they won't request documents they don't know about, but which might very well be most important.
We understand that the Judicial Watch response to TSA's request will include the following:
"Oxford English Dictionary says:
"1. The action of complaining; the utterance of grief, lamentation, grieving.
"2. An expression of grief, a lamentation, a plaint.
"3. Outcry against or because of injury; representation of wrong suffered; utterance of grievance.
"4 a. (with a and pl.) An utterance or statement of grievance or injustice suffered.
"b. spec. A statement of injury or grievance laid before a court or judicial authority (esp. and properly a Court of Equity) for purposes of prosecution or of redress; a formal accusation or charge."