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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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FBI marginalia in the "Ramparts" file reads like an alt-right comments section

FBI marginalia in the “Ramparts” file reads like an alt-right comments section

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a long history of focusing on left-wing activists and politicians, often to the exclusion of groups of actual concern. This pattern continues to this day, as recently documented by Property of the People. The FBI’s file on Ramparts magazine shows how this attitude reflected in internal communications - unable to take to Twitter, agents were forced to scribble right-wing talking points in copies of the magazine.

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Oliver W. Hill’s FBI file reveals casual racism, a lack of Communist ties, and a case of mistaken identity

Oliver W. Hill’s FBI file reveals casual racism, a lack of Communist ties, and a case of mistaken identity

Oliver White Hill is among the country’s most important civil rights attorneys of the 20th century, known for pursuing cases to dismantle segregation in Virginia before and after serving in the army during World War II. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s file on Hill, however, offers its own remarkably skewed, racist, and paranoid view of Hill’s work, in keeping with Director J. Edgar Hoover’s deeply held suspicion of the Civil Rights movement.

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The CIA gave Congress a report on the JFK assassination that was edited to remove human rights violations - and mention of JFK

The CIA gave Congress a report on the JFK assassination that was edited to remove human rights violations - and mention of JFK

As a result of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, the Central Intelligence Agency ostensibly produced a copy of the Hart Report, more famously known as the “Monster Plot,” which was intended to be a definitive account of the Yuri Nosenko affair and a takedown of disgraced spymaster James Angleton. What the CIA actually released, however, resembles Hart’s actual report as much as the television edit of The Big Lebowski resembles the actual dialogue.

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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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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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