What we talk about when we talk about █████: Secrecy, overclassification, and the CIA’s hidden history
In 1978, the director of the CIA warned that excessive, impulsive secrecy was a danger — not only to the public’s right to know, but to the agency’s ability to keep the important secrets. 40 years later, that lesson still needs repeating.
While at the CIA, William Barr drafted letters calling for an end to the Agency’s moratorium on destroying records
A memo uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that during his time at the CIA’s Office of Legislative Council, current Attorney General William P. Barr drafted letters calling for the end of the moratorium on destroying records imposed on the Agency ahead of the Church Committee hearings.
On Valentine’s Day eve 1976, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a column by Bob Lancaster, in which the veteran humorist bemoans having the flu. In a self-described malaise, Lancaster ponders what a Valentine’s Day card would look like written in a such a sour state, and then - capturing the post-Church Committee zeitgeist - pens one for our “secret admirers” at the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Lancaster would no doubt be delighted to know that his sweethearts at the CIA were so smitten by his sentiment that they kept a copy, and it remained classified for just shy of 30 years.
Documents obtained by MuckRock reveal both what triggered the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s espionage investigation of The Village Voice, and what caused it to expand to include the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press.