A race to unveil government secrets
By David E. Kaplan
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The Bush administration, widely criticized for its secrecy, is presiding over what may be the greatest declassification of federal records ever. Government agencies are racing toward an end-of-year deadline that requires them to automatically release nearly all records 25 years or older.
The move dates from a 1995 executive order by President Clinton on declassification, which has resulted in release of over 1 billion pages since 1995, according to the National Archives Information Security Oversight Office. The backlog has been so large that officials have repeatedly extended the deadline for all relevant records, but that changes this year
Okay, well let’s just go ahead and release all our dirty, little secrets to the world (including the terrorists, with whom we are currently at war, and stand to be for a long time). Thanks, Uncle Bill - that was some foresight, there, on your part, buddy. On the other hand, I believe it’s about time that full disclosure be made of events and our government’s full knowledge base during the McCarthy era and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI administration be made fully public. Who know’s, maybe we’ll even learn who killed Marilyn Monroe (besides the sleeping pills and alcohol combination, that is). Or maybe why Jimmy Hoffa conspired with the Mafia to cover-up the gunman on the grassy-knoll in the JFK assasination. My, there must be so many secrets there just waiting to be publicly disclosed, it’s just a gold mine. Just think of all the barroom bets you could win if you got the info in advance. I’ll just bet that Frank Sinatra was the second gunman - any takers?
I am sure it is no accident that the deadline is several weeks after the election.
I hadn’t heard of this, it could get very interesting, both in what is released and also what is specifically held back.
As I recall, all the JFK assassination papers were sealed 75 years, beginning in 1964 or so, so they will not be a part of this, or am i wrong?
And I am in apparent agreement with Stork that Marilyn Monroe did not commit suicide. And it was probably RFK that did it.
By the way, we just watched ‘The Misfits’, a black and white movie with Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, it is a very good movie, Ms. Monroe really shows quite a depth of acting ability, (and great beauty) and it was the last film made by either star.
I just loved Marilyn in ‘Niagara’, when she played opposite that, um, guy. Sometimes I could just cry when I remember that I sold my only copy of Marilyn’s 1962 Playboy cover and full centerfold magazine to a buddy in the early ‘70’s for $10.00. That bought a case of beer & a couple packs of smokes, then. That same issue, in pristine condition, now sells easily, and rarely, on eBay for $10,000.00. And that’s no government secret, to stay on topic, haha!
Frankly, I don’t think Marilyn committed suicide either and I also view her as one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. A lot of that beauty captured us all with not just natural attributes, but her personality, the way she moved, just the way she ‘was’. This was a most cruel murder, but murder it was and NOT accident or suicide.
And along those lines, I’ve recently read that since the Michigan farm could not be proven to be the scene of a felony crime, that another $400,000.00 plus will have to go into restoring the property, and rebuilding the owner’s barn, to all modern specifications, of course. Basically, the guy got a government windfall, and some of their land ploughed for free. Thanks again, FBI guys!
I just wonder what criteria are used to decide which documents to declassify, other than the stated one of documents 25 years or older. Plenty of 25-year-old documents are going to be regarding things that are still very sensitive and crucial parts of national defense or of intelligence operations. Simply revealing those could cause all sorts of problems. And of course, there are the documents such as those Dan Jr. mentioned that have been sealed for a set amount of time.
I remember reading (can’t find it now) that around 1876, an inventor approached the British Admiralty with a potential military weapon, and was asking for money to further perfect his invention. When the details of the weapon were revealed, the Admiralty was so shocked, that they ordered it seized, classified “Top Secret”, or the equivalent, and locked-away “In Perpituity”. During the Great War, around 1917, Churchill, as Secretary of Navy, was made aware of the fact of this long-concealed secret weapon. Being somewhat desperate for a break-through in the battle situation, he ordered it unsealed, and inside was found the formula for poison choking gas, already in use at the Fronts.
Weren’t some documents supposed to remain sealed for up to 75 years? I am NOT sure where I somehow either got that information or understanding of it, but it just comes to mind that some information was to remain secret at least until the generation and overlapping ones that may be involved or influenced were deceased.
Think I also read something along those lines. But time has a funny way of treating secrets. Ethel & Julius Rosenburg were executed for trying to pass atomic secrets to the Soviets. Anything they might have had access to and tried to pass is either obsolete and/or publicly available on the internet today.