Archives Kept a Secrecy Secret
by CHRISTOPHER LEE
Washington Post, publication date: 12 April 2006
"Independent historian Matthew M. Aid uncovered the reclassification program last summer when his requests for documents formerly available at the Archives were delayed or denied. In February, the Archives acknowledged that about 9,500 records totaling more than 55,000 pages had been withdrawn and reclassified since 1999. The memo released yesterday says some records 'may have been improperly marked as declassified' and their release 'would harm the national security interests of the United States by revealing sensitive sources and methods of intelligence collection.'
But historians who previously obtained copies of records have said many date to the 1940s and 1950s and pose no conceivable security risk.
The program dates to the Clinton administration, when the CIA and other agencies began recalling documents they believed were improperly released under a 1995 executive order requiring declassification of many historical records 25 years old and older. The pace of the removal picked up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."