April 19, 2011
The Central Intelligence Agency today declassified the United States Government’s six oldest classified documents, dating from 1917 and 1918. These documents, which describe secret writing techniques and are housed at the National Archives, are believed to be the only remaining classified documents from the World War I era. Documents describing secret writing fall under the CIA’s purview to declassify.
“These documents remained classified for nearly a century until recent advancements in technology made it possible to release them,” CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said. “When historical information is no longer sensitive, we take seriously our responsibility to share it with the American people.”
The CIA presented the new disclosure as an indication that the declassification process was functioning properly, not that it was dysfunctional.
Among other obstacles, “the CIA’s resistance to declassifying documents that are already in the public domain presents a severe challenge,” the Committee said. But CIA is not the only obstacle. “The Departments of Defense, Energy, and Justice (including the FBI) have often been as [culpable] if not more culpable than the CIA for the delays.”
Phi Beta Iota: Panetta must be senile, or signing releases without reading them. We don’t make this stuff up. This particular foolishness was checked three times to ensure it was not a spoof. CIA is not normally this inane, but here it is….an accurate history of foreign relations cannot be written because CIA refuses to comply with legislative and executive mandates on declassification, but here we have Panetta being made a fool of over 1917 and 1918 declassifications. Whoever put D/CIA in this position should be sent to Khost and put in charge of gate security.