DOJ orders destruction of Depository Library Documents

Daniel writes "The following "destroy order" was sent out by the Government Printing Office:--------------------July 20, 2004Dear Depository Librarian:The Department of Justice has asked the Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy all copies of thematerials listed below. Please withdraw these materials immediately and destroy them by any means to prevent disclosure of their contents. The Department of Justice has determined thatthese materials are for internal use only.Documents to be removed and destroyed:Title: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture ProcedureClass: J 1.2:C 49/17Item no: 0717Shipping list: 2004-0276-MShipping list date: May 7, 2004Title: Select Criminal Forfeiture FormsClass: J 1.2:F 76/8Item no.: 0717Shipping list: 2004-0038-PShipping list date: December 12, 2003Title: Select Federal Asset Forfeiture StatutesClass: J 1.2:AS 7/2/2004Item no.: 0717Shipping list no.: 2004-0077-PShipping list date: February 5, 2004Title: Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directoryClass: J 1.89/3:M 74/2004Item no.: 0717 A 11Shipping list no. 2004-0120-PShipping list date: March 24, 2004Title: Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA), PL no.106-185, 114 Stat. 202 (2000)Class: J 1.2:C 49/16Item no: 0717Shipping list no.: 2000-0367-PShipping list date: September 23, 2000Both GPO and the U.S. Department of Justice regret any inconvenienceresulting from this request and we appreciate your cooperation. ...... Both GPO and the U.S. Department of Justice regret any inconvenienceresulting from this request and we appreciate your cooperation.Sincerely,JUDITH C. RUSSELLSuperintendent of Documents------------------------My library DOES NOT select the item number that these docs were sent out under, but a few of the titles strike me as suspicious, particulary the one issued in 2000. It's been in the public domain for four years without incident, and may provide information on how DOJ is using forfeiture laws. Another item that seems strange is the publication on "Select Forefeiture Assets" What harm could result from this disclosure.Perhaps some docs people who do select Item 0717 could comment on whether they think a determination of "Internal Use Only" seems appropriate.IMPORTANT! - If you wish to protest the withdrawal of these materials, DO NOT BOTHER the Government Printing Office! THEY ARE BOUND BY LAW to withdraw materials at the request of issuing agencies. An agency DOES NOT have to provide a justification for a destroy order. This to me is a weakness of the law. Complaints about the withdrawal of this material should be sent to the Atty General's office, or to Dept. of Justice, Criminal Division, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, 202-514-1263. You may write DOJ at: Department of JusticeCriminal Division950 Pennsylvania Ave.Washington, D.C. 20530-0001"


So is the title you refer to a commentary on DOJ policies and precedures relating to the act in question? Because the text of the act is of course available through Thomas: ?dbname=106_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ185.1 06

In any case, thank you for watching this kind of thing. Please keep posting stories like this.

From what I've read so far, it's some sort of training material. I've also read that some libraries hold prior editions of the "Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory" which they are not being required to destroy. It's hard to be authoritative without having the pieces in hand, but only the forms packet really seems truly "internal use only"It's also important to point out there are sometimes LEGITIMATE reasons to withdraw a publication from the depository program. Aside from obvious cases of misprints and other major mistakes, a few documents have made their way into the depository program by mistake.For example, a few years ago, I complied with a "destroy order" on a DEA publication that was a "drug boat" identification guide. The DEA had determined that a majority of drug dealers seemed to make similar modifications to their boats. These common features were compiled into a field guide for DEA Agents. The book was at best a curiousity for the public, and a textbook for drug runners at worst. So it made sense to me both to destroy the document AND not to publicize the fact we were being asked to destroy it.It never made it to the depository program (I hope), but the State Dept's guide to forged passport marks favored by known terrorist groups is another document that I would have destroyed or returned without comment. Just because I think there are far too many secrets doesn't mean I don't think there should be any!In the present case, it looks like DOJ is trying to withdraw materials (except for the forms packet) which were formerly in the public domain, AND which were useful to citizens and their lawyers.

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