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Related Posting

10 October 2004
Archive Calls on CIA and Congress to Address Loophole Shielding CIA Records From the Freedom of Information Act

 

For release January 21, 2005
For more information contact:
Tom Blanton - 202/994-7000
Meredith Fuchs - 202/994-7000

PUBLIC INTEREST IN HIDDEN CIA OPERATIONAL RECORDS IS HIGH

ARCHIVE URGES CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY TO PERMIT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS FOR HISTORICAL MATERIALS

National Security Archive Files Comments on CIA's Decennial Review of Operational Files

Washington D.C., January 21, 2005 - The National Security Archive this week submitted comments on the Central Intelligence Agency's decennial review of the record categories that the CIA has designated as exempt from search and review under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In 1984 the CIA was granted limited protection from FOIA for operational records that are considered so sensitive that it is not productive to search them in response to FOIA requests. The Archive's comments demonstrate that this basis for the exemption is flawed because numerous operational records have been released under special declassification projects regarding the Kennedy Assassination, Nazi War Crimes, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, and other matters that have provided historically valuable information to the public and have not caused any harm to national security.

The Archive's comments addressed a number of specific records that should be subject to FOIA requests and reviewed for release to the public:

  • The Archive requested that the CIA open for FOIA search and review a number of CIA histories that concern publicly acknowledged CIA activities and operations and that concern CIA components that no longer exist.
  • The Archive reminded the CIA of the broken commitment made by three consecutive Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency to declassify records concerning 11 acknowledged covert operations.
  • The Archive urged the CIA to adopt its own history staff's recommendation from 1994 that all operational files older than 40 years be subject to FOIA search and review.

For more information, click to review the Archive's full comments and the Archive's request that the CIA initiate its decennial review.

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