Thursday, March 02, 2006

Archivist Urges U.S. to Reopen Classified Files

Scott Shane writes in The New York Times:

After complaints from historians, the National Archives directed intelligence agencies on Thursday to stop removing previously declassified historical documents from public access and urged them to return to the shelves as quickly as possible many of the records they had already pulled.

Allen Weinstein, the nation's chief archivist, announced what he called a "moratorium" on reclassification of documents until an audit can be completed to determine which records should be secret.

A group of historians recently found that decades-old documents that they had photocopied years ago and that appeared to have little sensitivity had disappeared from the open files. They learned that in a program operated in secrecy since 1999, intelligence and security agencies had removed more than 55,000 pages that agency officials believed had been wrongly declassified.

More here.


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