October 2, 1996

Reference: F96-1718

Dear Mr. Nguyen:

Your 28 August 1996 letter to the CIA Office of Public Affairs in which you request "a copy of [our] Agency's declassified file on [your brother] General Nguyen Van Hieu of the South Vietnamese Army" has been referred to the office of the Information and Privacy Coordinator for response. Requests such as yours are processed under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). For identification purposes we have assigned your request the number referenced above.

I must advise you that in all requests such as yours, the CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of any CIA records responsive to your request. The fact of the existence or nonexistence of records containing such information-unless, of course, it has been officially acknowledged-would be classified for reasons of national security under Sections 1.5(c) [intelligence sources and methods] and 1.5(d) [foreign relations] of Executive Order 12958. Further, the Director of Central Intelligence has the responsibility and authority to protect such information from unauthorized disclosure in accordance with Subsection 102(d)(3) of the National Security Act of 1947 and Section 6 of the CIA Act of 1949.

Accordingly, your request is denied on the basis of FOIA exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3). By this action, we are neither confirming nor denying the existence or nonexistence of such records. An explanation of the FOIA exemption cited above is enclosed.

The CIA official responsible for this denial is Lee S. Strickland, Information and Privacy Coordinator. You may appeal this decision by addressing your appeal to the CIA Information Review Committee, in my care. Should you choose to do this, please explain the basis of your appeal.

We regret that we are unable to assist you further.


Lee S. Strickland, Information and Privacy Coordinator