04. March 2006 · Comments Off on Reclassifying History · Categories: History, Stupidity

The blogosphere seems to have overlooked this story:

US intelligence agencies have been removing thousands of historical documents from public access, the New York Times has reported.

The restoration of classified status to more than 55,000 pages began in 1999, the paper said.

At that time, the CIA and five other agencies reportedly objected to what they saw as a “hasty release” of sensitive information.

The files include documents already published or obtained by historians.

The New York Times said the reclassification programme accelerated after President Bush took office and especially after the 9/11 attacks.


Under existing guidelines, government documents are supposed to be declassified after 25 years unless there is a particular reason to keep them secret.

But some historians argued that the reclassification program is removing material that can do no conceivable harm to national security, the New York Times said.

Some conspiracy theorists and Bush-bashers (even though the project started under Clinton) are running with this. But this seems more like another example of government bureaucrats with too much time on their hands to me. The original NYTimes article is now archived, and access costs, at least for non-subscribers. If anyone can forward me a copy, I would appreciate it.

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