Matthew M. Aid: Declassification in Reverse





Beginning in the fall of 1999, and continuing unabated for the past seven years, at least six government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Defense Department, the military services, and the Department of Justice, have been secretly engaged in a wide-ranging historical document reclassification program at the principal National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) research facility at College Park, Maryland, as well as at the Presidential Libraries run by NARA.

Since the reclassification program began, some 9,500 formerly declassified and publicly-available documents totaling more than 55,500 pages have been withdrawn from the open shelves at College Park and reclassified because, according to the U.S. government agencies, they had been improperly and/or inadvertently released.

The Genesis of the Document Reclassification Program

The beginnings of this classified multi-agency historical document reclassification program can be traced back almost eleven years to April 17, 1995, when President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12958 Classified National Security Information. The central provision of E.O. 12958 was the requirement that U.S. government agencies declassify all of their historical records that were 25 years old or older by the end of 1999, except for those documents that fell within certain specified exempt categories of records, such as documents relating to intelligence sources and methods, cryptology, or war plans still in effect. (Note 1)

Some U.S. Government agencies moved rapidly to comply with the terms of E.O. 12958. The State Department and Department of Energy (DOE) were notable in this regard, moving quickly to begin declassifying many of their older historical records. In 1997, the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy specifically commended the State Department for aggressively declassifying historical documents on U.S. foreign policy and making them available to the public as part of its acclaimed Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series of publications. Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary declassified historical nuclear weapons stockpile figures and other formerly classified information, such as 1.6 million pages of historical records on human radiation experiments. This was an enormous advance in transparency, especially because Secretary O'Leary worked closely with the Russian government in prompting their release of information on the entire series of nuclear tests undertaken by the Soviet Union under strict secrecy during the Cold War. Secretary O'Leary's 'Openness Initiative' was strenuously resisted by the Defense Department. Both State and DOE also aggressively moved to dramatically reduce their backlogs of FOIA requests. (Note 2)

But by 1999, however, there had been a sea-change within the Clinton administration concerning security classification issues. A controversy over Chinese nuclear espionage, epitomized by the 1998-1999 Wen Ho Lee spy scandal, led to a number of investigations into DOE security practices, and Hazel O'Leary's successor as Energy Secretary, Bill Richardson, tightened the agency's security and halted the Department's document declassification program. (Note 3) Moreover, security officials at DOE had become concerned that the implementation of EO 12958 had led to the inadvertent release in State Department and other agency records at NARA of "unmarked" restricted and formerly restricted data on nuclear weapons. In the fall of 1998, Congress formally authorized the Department of Energy to remove from public document repositories any and all sensitive nuclear weapons design-related information pursuant to Section 3161 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, entitled "Protection Against Inadvertent Release of Restricted Data and Formerly Restricted Data." This legal provision is better known as the Kyl-Lott Amendment, named after its two principal sponsors, which was signed into law on October 17, 1998 by President Bill Clinton. (Note 4) (For a skeptical look at the Kyl-Lott process see "DOE Puts Declassification Into Reverse," by George Lardner Jr., The Washington Post, 19 May 2001.)

According to press reports from this time period, the Defense Department and the U.S. intelligence community were also strenuously resisting implementing the provisions of E.O. 12958, with Defense Department and CIA officials making no secret of the fact that they were pressing for a general rollback of the mandatory declassification provisions of E.O. 12958. These agencies used a range of tactics, including delay. For example, at the request of the Department of Defense, E.O. 12958 was amended in November 1999 to extend the automatic declassification deadline another 18 months until the end of October 2001.

By the fall of 1999, the CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community had become increasingly intransigent in terms of their willingness to declassify documents concerning past covert action operations needed for inclusion in the State Department's Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series. In April 1998, a State Department advisory committee comprised of outside historians and chaired by Dr. Warren F. Kimball wrote a letter to then-Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright warning that the official record of U.S. foreign policy was in danger of becoming "an official lie" because of the CIA's continuing refusal to declassify documents for the FRUS series. (Note 5) More than a year later, the relationship between the State Department and the CIA had further deteriorated. According to comments made before in September 1999 by the then-head of the State Department's History Office, William Z. Slany: "What has become apparent and obvious is the Agency's unwillingness to acknowledge amounts of money, liaison relationships, and relationships with organizations, information that any 'reasonable person' would believe should be declassified. The process has revealed the bare bones of the CIA's intransigence." (Note 6)

The battle between the State Department and the U.S. intelligence community over the declassification of historical records came to a head in the fall of 1999, when shortly after the Kyl-Lott Amendment took effect, six U.S. government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Defense, all three of the military services, and the Department of Justice, wrote a letter to NARA stating that it was the shared belief of all of the agencies signing the letter that a number of State Department documents at the National Archives had been inadvertently declassified when they had been released by the State Department, in some cases ten years before. According to NARA officials, the agencies stated that four specific groups of State Department intelligence records, or Lot Files, totaling 55 records boxes had been improperly declassified in that the initial declassification review did not take into account their "equity" in the classified information contained in the documents. (Note 7)

In 1999, NARA officials withdrew from the public shelves at the National Archive's main College Park, Maryland archival facility all 55 boxes comprising the four "INR Lot Files." According to information provided by NARA, all 55 boxes were once again reviewed by security teams belonging to 13 government agencies between 1999 and 2000, resulting in approximately 1,400 documents totaling 9,750 pages being reclassified and withdrawn from public circulation. The 55 boxes of State Department records were not, however, returned to the open shelves at College Park. Instead, they were retained in the classified storage area on the sixth floor of the College Park facility. The fact that these 55 boxes of State Department records had been withdrawn from the public shelves was not discovered until the author submitted a request to review these records in November and December 2005.

Outside historians who were members of the State Department's Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation vehemently objected to the reclassification of historical documents long residing on the public shelves at NARA, but to no avail. According to the transcript of a December 17, 2001 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, committee chair Dr. Warren F. Kimball: "... strongly and repeatedly expressed his concern over the reclassification of material that was already in the public domain." (Note 8)


Trying to Put the Toothpaste Back in the Tube:
Expanding the Document Reclassification Program in 2001

Apparently, at some point after the Bush administration took office in 2001, the expanded group of U.S. government agencies engaged in the security review of the State Department INR records, now demanded the right to go through all other records held at NARA's College Park facility. The central contention of the multi-agency group was that the same widespread inadvertent declassification of documents that they had discovered in the four State Department Lot Files in 1999-2000 almost certainly had occurred in virtually every other declassified record group at the National Archives containing defense, foreign affairs, and/or intelligence-related documentary materials. At the heart of their argument was the claim that because of a lack of "equity recognition" by the original declassification review teams, in some cases going as far back as the 1970s and 1980s, many additional cases of inadvertent release of classified information had occurred. As a result, the government agencies in question told NARA that they intended to re-review all national security document holdings then sitting on the open shelves of the National Archives in order to find and remove any other documents containing classified information that might also have been inadvertently disclosed.

NARA, which has no classification authority, and as such, no control whatsoever over the records it is a custodian of, had no choice but to comply with the demand of the government agencies. According to NARA officials, a classified interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) lays out the underlying nature and purpose of the historical document reclassification program, and governs the conduct of the reclassification effort at the National Archives. Presumably, NARA is a party and/or signatory to this classified MOU. NARA officials have refused to provide any details concerning the contents of the MOU, citing the fact that it is secret. The National Security Archive has a pending FOIA request for the MOU.

Unlike the Department of Energy, whose document security review program is covered by 1998 Kyl-Lott Amendment and enjoys its own congressionally-approved line-item funding, the post-2001 multi-agency document reclassification program does not enjoy either. According to information currently available, the current multi-agency document reclassification program has not been authorized or approved by Congress, nor has any money been specifically appropriated for this program by either the House or Senate Intelligence Committees.

Lacking Congressional approval for the program, the government agencies involved in the reclassification effort initially resorted to subterfuge to hide their efforts. Beginning in October 2001, each record box designated by NARA staff members for security review was given a label that stated that the records needed to be security reviewed pursuant to the 2001 NARA directive on "Records of Concern."

The CIA's leading role in this effort was made clear at the June 4, 2003 closed session of the State Department's Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, where the CIA representative (identified in the Committee's minutes only as "Sue K.") stated unequivocally that: "Agreement still needs to be reached on documents produced by other agencies with CIA equity, where the documents have been declassified without CIA coordination. If a CIA document was mistakenly declassified by the CIA, the Agency will stand by that decision. (Note 9) But if another agency declassified a document with CIA equity that the CIA never had a chance to review, the Agency would like a chance to review that document and consider re-classification." The chairman of the Committee asked the CIA representative where these documents were physically located, and if they had been published. The CIA representative stated that: "... some were in Foreign Relations, some were in NARA, and some were in [the forthcoming State Department History Office FRUS] Germany manuscript which were recently declassified by State. The CIA made the point that formal reclassification might draw attention to these documents considered sensitive by the CIA. A simple redaction might work." (Note 10)

Raiding the Presidential Libraries

It is now evident that the multi-agency historical document reclassification program was expanded in or about 2003 to include the NARA-run Presidential Libraries, especially a review of previously declassified documents housed at the Kennedy and Johnson Libraries. The following excerpts from a September 15, 2003 meeting of the State Department's Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation dramatize the troubling issues as well as some of the absurdities raised by the secret reclassification program: (Note 11)

"Nancy Smith, of [NARA's Office of Presidential Libraries, noted that DOE and AF [Air Force] reviewers were going to presidential libraries to review information from the open stacks for quality control. Smith said that a problem has arisen occasionally when the Presidential Libraries have documents that were previously published in Foreign Relations and the same document may no longer be able to remain declassified. NARA cites FRUS as a declassification authority, if the DOE or AF reviewers have a concern. So far the Kennedy and Johnson libraries have not alerted Smith to any problems."

"Kimball asked how many documents were affected, and whether the HAC should be concerned. Smith said that she would check into this. Schauble said that there were some 2,000 documents in Department of State records and that some had been published in Foreign Relations."

"Schulzinger noted that there were two types of documents at issue: the first are documents published in Foreign Relations, which the AF would like to remove from the presidential library shelves on principle. The second are documents not published in Foreign Relations, which contain the same type of information found in Foreign Relations documents, but which are in fact different documents. Schulzinger said that he could see the sense in wanting to classify the latter."

"Schulzinger then asked whether documents published in Foreign Relations had been taken off of presidential library open shelves. Smith confirmed that NARA had been instructed, by Ken Stein of the DOE, to reclassify some Foreign Relations published documents.
…. NARA has told the AF that it would be self-defeating to withdraw documents from NARA that are so readily and widely available at non-NARA venues. The AF reviewers working at NARA say that the real goal of their review is damage assessment; i.e. trying to figure out how much information there was that should not have been released. However, the AF is taking a harder line. Schauble did not know what the AF would ultimately decide on this issue."

The Damage Done

The results of the multi-agency reclassification effort since it began have dramatic and disturbing. According to figures released by NARA, since 2001 security personnel from the agencies involved have "surveyed" 43.4 million pages of documents held by NARA (i.e. NARA records boxes were sampled to determine if a page-by-page security review of these records was required); 6.1 million pages of NARA documents have been reviewed on a page-by-page basis (the NARA term of art for this process is "audited"); and that as a result of these reviews, since 2001 9,500 documents totaling 55,500 pages have been reclassified and withdrawn from public circulation (see Document 1). Most of the documents removed to date contained either military or intelligence-related information, in some cases dating back to World War II. (Note 12)

Worst hit by the re-classification program have been the records of the U.S. State Department. According to figures released by the NARA, as of January 2006 a total of 7,711 formerly declassified State Department documents comprising 29,479 pages had been reclassified and removed from the public shelves of the National Archives. (Note 13) After the State Department, worst hit by the security reviewers have been the records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, from which 478 documents totaling 13,689 pages have been re-classified and removed from the public shelves at the National Archives since 2001. (Note 14) The third group of formerly declassified records that military and intelligence community screeners have intensively reviewed arethe records of the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force, from which a total of 282 documents aggregating 5,552 pages have been re-classified and removed from public access at the National Archives. (Note 15)

Many of the documents that have been withdrawn by the screeners since October 2001 fall somewhere between mundane and banal on the security classification sensitivity scale. See for example Document No. 5 concerning the State Department's map and foreign periodicals procurement programs on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community; or Document No. 8, which pertains to the State Department's open source intelligence research efforts abroad in 1948. (Note 16)

Moreover, many of the recently withdrawn documents contain information which could easily be construed as embarrassing to the U.S. intelligence community. "Embarrassment", however, is not a subject matter covered under the various exemptions to E.O. 12958. Perhaps the reclassifiers need to be reminded that Section 1.7 (a) (2) of Executive Order 12958, even in the version revised by President Bush, stipulates that "no … information shall be classified in order to …. prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency." For example, Document No. 6 contains a complaint from the Director of Central Intelligence to the State Department about the bad publicity the CIA was receiving after its failure to predict anti-American riots in Bogota, Colombia in 1948. Document No. 7 deals with an early unsanctioned CIA psychological warfare program to drop propaganda leaflets into Eastern Europe by hot air balloon that did not go particularly well and was cancelled after the State Department objected to the program. Document No. 9 reveals that as of the spring of 1949, the U.S. intelligence community's knowledge of Soviet nuclear weapons research and development activities was poor, at best. As a result, the American and British intelligence communities were completely surprised when the Russians exploded their first atomic bomb six months later in September 1949. Document No. 10 paints a portrait of the state of affairs inside the CIA which is not particularly flattering. Document No. 13 reveals that the CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community badly botched their estimates as to whether or not Communist China would intervene in the Korean War in the fall of 1950. Please note from the withdrawal sheet attached to Document No. 13 that the CIA and DIA security screeners virtually gutted the entire 1951 MacArthur Dismissal file from the Lot 58D776 INR Subjects File 1945-1956, despite the fact that the intelligence failures during the Korean War have been extensively written about over the past 50 years.

Some of the reclassification decisions by the multi-agency security screeners border on the ludicrous. The intelligence community security personnel have reclassified and removed from the NARA open shelves documents that have been published elsewhere, or are publicly available via electronic media from other U.S. government agencies. Of the 15 examples of reclassified documents contained below in the "Documents" section of his briefing, eight have either been published in full as part of the State Department's Foreign Relations of the United States series or in the microfiche supplements to these publications, or are available on the CIA's CREST computer database system of declassified documents. The security screeners have also reclassified and withdrawn documents that had previously been sanitized to remove sensitive classified information [See Documents 6 and 10], or had been declassified pursuant to FOIA requests by outside researchers [See for example Document 9].

Worse still, the multi-agency reclassification is far from over. According to information provided by NARA, the multi-agency historical documentation reclassification effort is not scheduled to be completed until at least March 31, 2007.

The remarkable scale of this historical document reclassification effort highlights the diversion of resources that could be used to review of "Records of Concern" that currently reside on the open shelves at NARA. Included in this group of documentary records are items such as sabotage manuals dating back to World War II, instruction manuals on how to manufacture high explosives from common garden-variety materials, and technical documents relating to Cold War chemical and biological weapons programs that no one would wish to fall into the wrong hands.

To try to correct the reclassification abuses described above, the editor of this compilation is working with historians and the public interest community. The first step was a meeting at the National Archives on January 27, 2006 where NARA officials provided a detailed briefing summarized in document 1. This meeting also allowed the editor and representatives from the National Security Archive, the National Coalition for History, and Public Citizen to voice their concerns. The most recent step is a letter, dated February 17, 2006, sent to J. William Leonard, the director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which plays a key role in monitoring and encouraging more rational classification and declassification practices. The letter, signed by Matthew M. Aid, the National Coalition for History, the National Security Archive, Public Citizen, and Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, describes the problem and asks that Mr. Leonard initiate an audit of the documents reclassified at NARA as well as work with the CIA and other agencies in developing more reasonable guidelines for the declassification review of historical documents. The letter also asked Mr. Leonard to issue a public record on the results of the audit and to initiate the return of documents to the files, with excisions only in instances where legitimate secrets need protection. Updates on the latest developments will be posted on the National Security Archive Web site.

Documents

Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.
Document 1: National Archives and Records Administration, Briefing Paper for Matthew Aid, January 27, 2006. Unclassified
Source: National Archives and Records Administration

This document, written in PowerPoint presentation format, was given to Matthew Aid and other attendees at a January 27, 2006 meeting with senior NARA officials at College Park, Maryland.

Document 2: Agency Document Withdrawal List Broken Down by National Archives Record Group as of January 13, 2006. Unclassified
Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Document 3: Letter from Matthew Aid et al. to J. William Leonard, ISOO, dated February 17, 2006

Documents 4a and 4b: Letter, Acting Secretary of State to Hoyt S. Vandenberg, October 10, 1946, and Memorandum, Vandenberg to Acting Secretary of State, October 7, 1946. Both Top Secret
Source: Prior to being reclassified, both documents were located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 2, File: State-CIA Relations [portion of title withdrawn EO 12958 25X1], Document No. 149. NOTE: These two declassified documents can currently be found in RG-59, Entry 1491 Lot 79D137 Bureau of Administration Intelligence Files, Box 2, File: Cover 1945-48

Document 5: Note, McCluney to Hulten, January 26, 1948, with attached memorandum, The Foreign Service Program in Support of Research and Intelligence. Secret
Source: Before being reclassified, this document was located in RG-59, Entry 1499, Lot 53D28 General Subject Files of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, 1944-1955, Box 19, File: Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence. NOTE: This document was printed in full in microfiche supplement to Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996). Researchers can also access it online at http://www.foia.state.gov

Document 6: Note, Humelsine to Jack, with attached Memorandum of Conversation, Publicity on Bogota Intelligence Reports, April 16, 1948. Secret
Source: Prior to being reclassified, this document was located in RG-59, Entry 1499, Lot 53D28 General Subject Files of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, 1944-1955, Box 19, File: Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence. NOTE: This document was printed in full in microfiche supplement to Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996). Researchers can also access it online at http://www.foia.state.gov

Document 7: Memorandum, Cassady to Williams, Project Ultimate, Critical Delay In, July 23, 1948. Secret
Source: Prior to being reclassified, this document was located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 2, File: [title withdrawn EO 12958 deleted], Document No. 164. NOTE: This document was printed in full in Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996), p. 718 as Document 296

Document 8: Memorandum, Armstrong to Peurifoy, Research and Intelligence Activities in the Foreign Service, December 22, 1948. Secret
Source: Prior to being reclassified, this document was located in RG-59, Entry 1499, Lot 53D28 General Subject Files of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, 1944-1955, Box 19, File: Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence. NOTE: This document was printed in full in microfiche supplement to Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996). Researchers can also access it online at http://www.foia.state.gov

Document 9: Memorandum, Hillenkoetter to Executive Secretary, NSC, Atomic Energy Program of the USSR, April 20, 1949. Top Secret
Source: Prior to being reclassified, this document was located in RG-330, Entry 199 Decimal Files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Box 61, File: CD 11-1-2. NOTE: This document was originally declassified pursuant to FOIA on September 26, 1989 before being withdrawn in July 2005. A copy is currently in author's personal files, which was photocopied at NARA in May 1996

Document 10: Memorandum, Souers to National Security Council, The Central Intelligence Agency and National Organization for Intelligence, December 28, 1949. Top Secret
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 2, File: State-CIA Relationship, 1949-1956, Documents No. 263-264. NOTE: These documents were printed in full in the microfiche supplement to Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996). Researchers can also access them online at http://www.foia.state.gov

Document 11: Memorandum for Record, drafted by Howe, January 19, 1950. Confidential
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 2, File: State-CIA Relationship, 1949-1956, Document No. 262. NOTE: This document was printed in full in Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996), pp. 1058-1059 as Document 411

Document 12: Letter, Johnson to Lay, May 10, 1950. Secret
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 2, File: State-CIA Relationship, 1949-1956, Document No. 269. NOTE: This document was printed in full in the microfiche supplement to Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996). Researchers can also access it online at http://www.foia.state.gov

Document 13: Memorandum, OIR to Fisher, Intelligence Estimates on Chinese Communist Intentions to Intervene in Korea, April 27, 1951. Top Secret
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 4, File: MacArthur Dismissal, Document No. 349. NOTE: Photocopied by author at NARA in May 1996

Document 14: Letter, Webb to Smith, May 2, 1951. Secret
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 2, File: State-CIA Relationship, 1949-1956, Document No. 277. NOTE: This declassified document is currently available in full on the CIA's CREST database in the NARA II Library. The document retrieval number is CIA-RDP80R01731R001300270052-6

Document 15: Memorandum, Howe to Polyzoides, June 8, 1951. No classification
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 4, File: MacArthur Dismissal, Document No. 351. NOTE: Withdrawn in 2001. Photocopied by author at NARA in May 1996

Document 16: Untitled document, June 9, 1951. No classification
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 4, File: MacArthur Dismissal, Document No. 352. NOTE: Withdrawn in 2001. Photocopied by author at NARA in May 1996

Document 17: Memorandum, FH to Armstrong, October 9, 1952. No classification
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 27, File: NSA, Retrieval No. 40819 00027 0001 1. NOTE: Withdrawn December 2005. Photocopied by author at NARA in March 1996

Document 18: Memorandum, FH to Armstrong/Polyzoides, Erskine Letter on NSCID 9, January 19, 1956. Secret
Source: Formerly located in RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956, Box 27, File: USCIB 1945-1959, Retrieval No. 40819 00027 0001 8. NOTE: Withdrawn in December 2005. Photocopied by author at NARA in March 1996


Notes

1. A copy of the original April 17, 1995 Executive Order 12958 signed by President Clinton can be found at http://www.fas.org/sgp/clinton/eo12958.html

2. Senate Document 105-2, Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, 1997, http://www.dss.mil/seclib/govsec/secrecy.htm

3. Associated Press, June 23, 1999.

4. A copy of Section 3161 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, "Protection Against Inadvertent Release of Restricted Data and Formerly Restricted Data," can be found at http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/hr3616am.html

5. Letter, Kimball to Albright, March 6, 1998, http://fas.org/sgp/advisory/state/hac97.html. See also Tim Weiner, "Panel Says CIA's Secrecy Threatens to Make History a Lie," New York Times, April 9, 1998, p. A21.

6. Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, September 13-14, 1999
Minutes, located at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/adcom/mtgnts/11696.htm

7. The State Department records in question were INR Lot Files 58D776, 58D528, 59D27, and 60D403, all of which were contained in NARA Record Group 59, which houses the bulk of the State Department's historical records housed at College Park, Maryland.

8. Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, December 17-18, 2001
Minutes, located at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/adcom/mtgnts/11613.htm

9. It should be noted that the statement by the CIA official cited above that: "If a CIA document was mistakenly declassified by the CIA, the Agency will stand by that decision" is, in fact, not true. Between 1997 and 1999, the CIA released approximately 100 pages of formerly classified documents from three of its archival records groups (the CIA refers to its record groups as "Jobs") and placed them along with other declassified CIA records on the CREST computer database of declassified CIA documents, which researchers can view in the Library of the NARA research facility in College Park, Maryland. After the author and other researchers printed out materials from these three specific record groups, in 2003 the CIA hastily withdrew these three Jobs from the CREST database. Repeated attempts by the author to get the CIA to release the already declassified records from these three CIA records groups through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have to date been unsuccessful. The now missing three CIA records Jobs are: 78S03377A, 78S00977R, and 78S00763R

10. Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, June 4-5, 2003
Minutes, located at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/adcom/mtgnts/21201.htm

11. Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, September 15-16, 2003
Minutes, located at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/adcom/mtgnts/25125.htm

12. By comparison, since 1999 the DOE's Kyle-Lott document review has only resulted in the removal of 5,508 pages of documents determined to contain Restricted Data/Formerly Restricted Data (RD/FRD) nuclear weapons design-related information.

13. The bulk of the State Department records on file at the National Archives are contained in Record Group 59.

14. These records were taken from Record Group 330, which contains the records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

15. These records were taken from Record Group 341, which contains the records of the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force.

16. Other examples abound. In December 2005, a dozen documents (none classified higher than confidential) were withdrawn from Box 22 of RG-59, Entry 1561, Lot 58D776 INR Subject Files 1945-1956 (Folder: Exchange of Classified Information with Foreign Governments Other Than U.K.) pertaining to the Guatemalan agrarian reform program. From the same file, an unclassified document was withdrawn concerning the "Feasibility of Participating in Exchange Program with USSR to Study Highway Transportation in the USSR." Also from INR Subject Files, Box 22 (Folder: Miscellaneous - 1958) an April 17, 1956 unclassified document was removed concerning translations from the Soviet Encyclopedia. From Box 26 of the same INR Subject Files a restricted document was withdrawn from the folder entitled "INR-Travel/Public Appearances 1958-1959" entitled "Foreign Travel in FY 1959. Also from Box 26, File: INR Reorganization, a confidential document was removed concerning "Travel Plans for FY 1959."



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