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.
A whole lot of transparency: MuckRock users file 50,000 requests
MuckRock’s amazing community of FOIA and public records enthusiasts have crossed another milestone: A user recently filed the site’s 50,000th requests, the 9,486th request this year.
FBI investigated a pair of Bureau impersonators at Disney World
Files originally released to Jason Smathers show that in the Summer of 1989, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Tampa office launched a brief investigation into reports that two individuals that identified themselves as FBI agents to Walt Disney World maintenance workers. How were staff able to determine that these two weren’t legitimate G-men? Well, at least one of the perpetrators was wearing shorts and a tank top.
Washington insider wanted J. Edgar Hoover to leverage his friendship with Walt Disney so he’d produce religious cartoons
As we’ve written before, Walt Disney and J. Edgar Hoover enjoyed a decades-long professional and person friendship, with fringe benefits including union busting and free admission to Disneyland for FBI Agents. There were downsides, however - such as when one unnamed DC insider tried to leverage the Director’s relationship to pressure Disney into making religious cartoons.
The FBI feared communist infiltration of EPCOT
In 1981, Walt Disney World was getting ready to unveil a new gem in its crown of amusement parks, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT. Revolving around a massive sphere called “Spaceship Earth” and a lagoon that initially called for cultural installations from nine countries, EPCOT was intended to be the ultimate harmonious international village, a shining example of global unity. Naturally the FBI had a problem with it.