SOURCE: The Boston Globe (3-29-10)
It is also where the bureau stowed documents considered more embarrassing than classified, including its history of illegal spying on domestic political organizations and surveillance of nascent gay rights groups.
It is the FBI’s “special file room,’’ where for decades sensitive material has been stored separately from the bureau’s central filing system to restrict access severely and, in more sinis ter instances, some experts assert, prevent the Congress and the public from getting their hands on it.
Established in 1948 under the reign of notoriously secretive FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, it remains in use today at FBI headquarters in Washington to safeguard what the bureau considers its most highly sensitive information.
But now, for the first time, the FBI has opened its doors — at least a crack — by releasing hundreds of pages of memos outlining why bureau officials have deemed certain information too hot to handle even for most top-level officials.