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Last week, MuckRock asked for your help going extracting names and affiliations from Central Intelligence Agency’s list of official contacts and liaisons with other government agencies. Since then, MuckRock users have combed through half the list, producing names, affiliations and other leads. The response has been strong enough that we’re launching a new project for the effort.
After the government claimed that FOIA was more useful to Soviet spies than American journalists or citizens, American journalists and citizens were able to use FOIA to expose the “apparently groundless” nature of these charges.
While a number of declassification programs and requirements have historically been in place at the Central Intelligence Agency, its responses to these programs has been mixed at best. One study in the CIA’s declassified archives is extremely optimistic, stating up front that it assumes the Agency would fully implement the intent of the declassification programs. In a stark contrast, another memo revealed that “for many years,” the CIA had no continuing declassification review program - and other policies and guidelines declared that the Agency’s records were simply exempt from declassification.
The CIA and the State Department conspired to exploit a bureaucratic loophole to keep records hidden
In 1955, the Central Intelligence Agency’s Psychological and Paramilitary Operations Staff made some inquiries through their point of contact at the State Department about the storage and accessibility of records concerning CIA operations. When they didn’t receive the answer they wanted, an informal suggestion led to a formal policy to circumvent those requirements by manipulating technicalities and appearances, and in some cases ignoring the records even existed.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives include a list of their official contacts at each executive branch agency in 1975, broken up by Agency component. This presents an all too rare map for future FOIA requests, one that’s especially useful in the instances where the Agency included the reasons for the contacts.
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|Reward for Superior Accomplishment documentation||Processing||Central Intelligence Agency||United States of America|
|Espionage Reward||Processing||Central Intelligence Agency||United States of America|
|ORIS docs||Processing||Central Intelligence Agency||United States of America|
|Ronald Dellums||Awaiting Response||Federal Bureau of Investigation||United States of America|
|CIA-FBI liaisons 1970s (Federal Bureau of Investigation)||Awaiting Response||Federal Bureau of Investigation||United States of America|