THE CIA'S BROKEN PROMISES ON DECLASSIFICATION
''The Intelligence Community and the CIA in particular must build on the openness
Director Webster has encouraged to develop better popular understanding and support for U.S. intelligence activities."
—Robert Gates during his confirmation hearings to become DCI, September 16, 1991
"Initiate in the near-term the declassification of specific events, particularly those which are repeatedly the subject of false allegations, such as the 1948 Italian Elections, the 1953 Iranian Coup, 1954 Guatemalan Coup, 1958 Indonesian Coup and the Cuban Missile Crises in 1962 [and n]otify the public of the availability of the resulting materials."
—Recommendation of the CIA's Task Force on Openness, 1991 (Gates accepted this recommendation in January 1992, promising "a bias toward declassification" of these documents)
"I have also directed review for declassification of significant Cold War covert actions more than 30 years old. These include the following: activities in support of democracy in France and Italy in the 1940s and 1950s; support to anti-Sukarno rebels in Indonesia in 1958; support to Tibetan guerrillas in the 1950s and early 1960s; operations against North Korea during the Korean War; and, operations in Laos in the 1960s. In reviewing these actions for declassification, we are building on the steps my predecessors took in announcing plans to declassify records on the Bay of Pigs operation, the coups against President Arbenz of Guatemala and against Prime Minister Mossadeqh in Iran, and operations in the Dominican Republic and the Congo."
"To remain confident as we face the future we must learn from our past, and that learning must be based on information that is both accurate and as comprehensive as possible. Just as revelations about intelligence required the history of World War II to be rewritten, so too the information we have may require a rewriting of critical events in the Cold War. The events of the last four years have rendered obsolete much of the language of our generation -- the language of containment, of confrontation, of cold war with the Soviet Union -- and with it the need to keep much of this information classified. Scholars and historians have researched and written a great deal on the key events of the Cold War. It is time that we contribute to their work and to our collective understanding of this extraordinary period in history."
—DCI R. James Woolsey, testifying before Congress, Sept. 28,1993
"We have doubled the resources devoted to the agency's declassification of
historically valuable records [W]e have also promised to review records of 11 covert
actions of the cold war era."
—DCI John Deutch, Letter to the Editor, New York Times, Page A30, May 3, 1996
''[W]e continue to face the dilemma of where to apply our available resources. [In addition to the Bay of Pigs and Guatemala, w]e also will initiate declassification reviews, as soon as resources are available, of the materials involved in the covert actions undertaken during the Korean War, and in the Congo, Laos, and Dominican Republic during the 1960s. ... We will address the remaining five covert actions identified by my predecessors as soon as the others have been completed. The fact is, we do not have sufficient resources at the current time to review the documentation involved in these five remaining covert actions.... I have opted, therefore, to hold the reviews of these covert actions in abeyance for the time being."
—DCI George Tenet, July 15, 1998