New Declassification Releases by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 7, 2009

News releases, National Security Archive [includes links to full text of referenced documents]: “Now that President Obama has announced a review of U.S. secrecy policy, critics of secrecy policy and declassification requesters alike can only hope that those who carry it out understand the serious failings of the secrecy system as it currently exists. One of the absurdities of the system is that historical national security information, even information 60 years old, is subject to standards that are nearly as tough as those applied to recently-produced information. A group of documents recently declassified by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel and a CIA history that ISCAP could not release illustrate the problems raised by current standards, overly strict interpretations of those standards, and legal obstacles blocking the declassification of historical intelligence information…Recently, in response to appeals from the National Security Archive, ISCAP reversed several Central Intelligence Agency initial denials of documents from the 1960s and 1970s. While ISCAP withheld material it regards as sensitive secrets, it nevertheless found that much of the information denied by the CIA could be declassified without harm to national security.”

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