• The CIA had a policy of ignoring declassification requirements

    The CIA had a policy of ignoring declassification requirements

    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.

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  • The CIA and the State Department conspired to exploit a bureaucratic loophole to keep records hidden

    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.

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  • Help crowdsource the CIA's official contact list

    Help crowdsource the CIA’s official contact list

    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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  • Spymaster James Angleton pushed back against argument that the CIA used too many cryptonyms

    Spymaster James Angleton pushed back against argument that the CIA used too many cryptonyms

    In late 1963, the Central Intelligence Agency’s Executive Director sent a memo to Counterintelligence Director James Angleton asking him to review the Agency’s perceived overuse of cryptonyms and excessive security, resulting in a report that would remain classified SECRET for 39 years. Angleton’s conclusion? Not his problem.

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  • CIA internal history blamed interagency conflicts on the National Security Act being "purposefully vague"

    CIA internal history blamed interagency conflicts on the National Security Act being “purposefully vague”

    As part of MuckRock’s ongoing project to declassify and collect internal Central Intelligence Agency histories, the Agency recently released a copy of the history on coordination between inbetween intelligence agencies in the aftermath of World War II. The history outlines various “turf wars,” some which predate the Agency itself, which were the result of disagreements about what the law said and who had what responsibilities. According to the history, many of these disagreements and differing interpretations stemmed directly or indirectly from the language of the National Security Act of 1947, which both established and empowered the CIA, as being “purposefully vague.”

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  • Help release the FBI’s files on notorious CIA-tied drug smuggler Barry Seal

    Help release the FBI’s files on notorious CIA-tied drug smuggler Barry Seal

    In response to a FOIA request filed by Emma Best back in June, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has located close to 22,000 pages of records on Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal, a notorious drug smuggler with ties to the Central Intelligence Agency, whose life was most recently fictionalized in the 2017 film American Made.

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  • CIA file confirms the White House’s role in “The Adlai Stevenson Affair”

    CIA file confirms the White House’s role in “The Adlai Stevenson Affair”

    The details of the negotiations and planning surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis have long been the subject of some contention for historians, with some of the most influential and enduring accounts contradicting what the tapes of those planning sessions tell us. Almost immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis resolved, rumors began floating around Washington D.C. that the narrative that emerged was the handiwork of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in an effort to force the resignation of Adlai Stevenson, Kennedy’s Ambassador to the United Nations. A Central Intelligence Agency chronology, originally classified SECRET and recently released to MuckRock, confirms that the architect of this historical revisionism was, in fact, Kennedy - and reveals that denials of this were based on nothing more than word games.

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  • FBI suspected "Ramparts" was a foreign agent that provided propaganda and intelligence services

    FBI suspected “Ramparts” was a foreign agent that provided propaganda and intelligence services

    Files recently released to MuckRock shed light on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation of the radical Ramparts magazine. Originally classified SECRET, the investigation described in the FBI files was an “internal security” matter relating to the magazine’s registration status. Paralleling and seemingly predicting some of the later investigations of WikiLeaks, the Bureau suspected that Ramparts “may currently be engaged in acts of distribution of propaganda, acting as a political agent, collecting information, forwarding information, et cetera, while acting as the agent of a foreign principal.”

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  • FBI had trouble deciding how often it had used its drones

    FBI had trouble deciding how often it had used its drones

    A release of over 400 pages of documents on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s drone program not only provides a glimpse into the Bureau’s program, they show that the statistics the FBI cited to at least three members of Congress and to an Inspector General inquiry conflict with some of the Bureau’s internal numbers.

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  • FCC complaints allege "Lucifer" is a plot to bring about the apocalypse

    FCC complaints allege “Lucifer” is a plot to bring about the apocalypse

    Recently released FCC complaints about the police procedural Lucifer show that the series not only drew ire for the usual reasons (sex and violence), but for something far, far more sinister: being a plot by the literal devil to corrupt humanity, summon the Four Horsemen, and bring about the apocalypse.

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