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Unearthing CREST: CIA's Declassified Archives

After our three-year lawsuit led to the public release of 13 million pages of declassified CIA records, we've begun a daily-deep dive into the depths of the Agency's seven-decade history.

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Incidents from the CIA archives and his FBI file underscore Bayard Rustin's complexity

Incidents from the CIA archives and his FBI file underscore Bayard Rustin’s complexity

From defending the man who had blackmailed him out of the Southern Christian Leadership Council to serving as a character witness for Ariel Sharon, records from the Central Intelligence Agency and his Federal Bureau of Investigation file show civil rights icon Bayard Rustin was a man who couldn’t easily be categorized.

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Decades later, CIA's damage assessment for the "Pentagon Papers" leak is still largely redacted

Decades later, CIA’s damage assessment for the “Pentagon Papers” leak is still largely redacted

A formerly SECRET memo uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that a month after the New York Times began publishing what would become known as “The Pentagon Papers,” the Agency set about assessing the damages. Despite the Agency’s admission that much of the information in Daniel Ellsberg’s leaks was decades old, even in the early ’70s, the report remains almost entirely redacted.

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CIA’s Director of Personnel refused to have a woman “policing” him on gender equality

CIA’s Director of Personnel refused to have a woman “policing” him on gender equality

While recently portrayed as a bastion of progressive attitudes, the Central Intelligence Agency has a history of racial and gender disparity. As late as 1991, women were second class employees who were kept in the lower ranks, with men overwhelmingly occupying senior positions and leadership roles. A series of declassified memos help explain this disparity, showing CIA’s decades old resistance to putting women in charge of anything - even ensuring equal employment practices.

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The journalist and the stolen CIA documents

The journalist and the stolen CIA documents

A series of declassified Central Intelligence Agency memos describe part of the Agency’s investigation into Jack Anderson (of whom the CIA was never a fan), and his sources and methods (which included unethical practices such as homophobic surveillance, blackmail and lying about his sources) - specifically his apparent use of hundreds of stolen Agency documents. The memos even call for a Congressional investigation into Anderson and whether or not he was part of “a deliberate disinformation campaign.”

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FBI cites pending proceedings in 25-year old BCCI bank fraud case

FBI cites pending proceedings in 25-year old BCCI bank fraud case

Decades after the fact, both the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation remain highly secretive about parts of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International money laundering and embezzling investigation and the story of Khalid bin Mahfouz. While the FBI released some documents on Bin Mahfouz and BCCI, with portions remaining redacted under citations of a pending law enforcement proceedings, the CIA flatly refuses to confirm or deny any information on Bin Mahfouz, despite a former CIA Director having publicly (and falsely) accused him of being Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law.

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Awaiting Appeal

CREST upload

Emma Best sent this request to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America