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FOR Inquiring Minds who want to know…

 
The
U.S. Intelligence Community’s Secret Historical Document Reclassification
Program
Edited
by Matthew M. Aid
For
more information contact:
Matthew Aid

William Burr

Meredith Fuchs

Thomas Blanton

202/994-7000

Posted
– February 21, 2006
Washington,
D.C., February 21, 2006 –
The CIA
and other federal agencies have secretly reclassified over 55,000
pages of records taken from the open shelves at the National Archives
and Records Administration (NARA), according to a
report
published today on the World Wide Web by the
National Security Archive at George Washington University. Matthew
Aid, author of the report and a visiting fellow at the Archive,
discovered this secret program through his wide-ranging research
in intelligence, military, and diplomatic records at NARA and found
that the CIA and military agencies have reviewed millions of pages
at an unknown cost to taxpayers in order to sequester documents
from collections that had been open for years.
The briefing book that the Archive published today includes 50
year old documents that CIA had impounded at NARA but which have
already been published in the State Department’s historical series,
Foreign Relations of the United States, or have been declassified
elsewhere. These documents concern such innocuous matters as the
State Department’s map and foreign periodicals procurement programs
on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community or the State Department’s
open source intelligence research efforts during 1948.
Other documents have apparently been sequestered because they were
embarrassing, such as a complaint from the Director of Central Intelligence
about the bad publicity the CIA was receiving from its failure to
predict anti-American riots in Bogota, Colombia in 1948 or a report
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. It is difficult
to imagine how the documents cited by Aid could cause any harm to
U.S. national security.

To justify their reclassification program, officials at CIA and
military agencies have argued that during the implementation of
Executive Order 12958, President Clinton’s program for bulk declassification
of historical federal records, many sensitive intelligence-related
documents that remained classified were inadvertently released at
NARA, especially in State Department files. 

Even though researchers
had been combing through and copying documents from those collections
for years, CIA and other agencies compelled NARA to grant them access
to the open files so they could reclassify documents. While this
reclassification activity began late in the 1990s, its scope widened
during the Bush administration, and it is scheduled to continue
until 2007. The CIA has ignored arguments from NARA officials that
some of the impounded documents have already been published.

“Every blue ribbon panel that has studied the performance
of the U.S. defense establishment and intelligence community since
September 11, 2001 has emphasized the need for less secrecy and
greater transparency,” said Aid. “This episode reveals
an enduring culture of secrecy in the U.S. government and highlights
the need to establish measures prohibiting future secret reclassification
programs.”

On Friday, February 17, Aid and representatives of the National
Security Archive, the National History Coalition, Public Citizen
Litigation Group, and the Society for the Historians of American
Foreign Relations (SHAFR), wrote to J. William Leonard, director
of the U.S. government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO)
asking ISOO to audit the reclassified documents, to return documents
to the files, and develop better guidelines for the review of historical
records.



Declassification
in Reverse

The
U.S. Intelligence Community’s Secret Historical Document Reclassification
Program

By
Matthew M. Aid

 

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)

This declassified
intelligence estimate,
written only 12 days before Chinese forces crossed into
North Korea, said that Chinese intervention in the Korean
War was “not probable in 1950.” The document
was reclassified in October 2001 despite the fact that
the intelligence failure is well known and has been
written about extensively.

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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