During my time at MuckRock, I’ve written extensively about the triumphs and tragedies of the Central Intelligence Archive cafeteria(s), including such FOIA favorites as “The Jazz Salad Incident,” “Bacon Accounting,” and “That Scene From Animal House But It’s All The Guys Who Couldn’t Kill Castro.” Before I go, I wanted to share one of my favorite finds from the CIA archives: The description of an employee’s aborted attempt to smuggle chicken out of the cafeteria in her purse.
A MuckRock user found an interesting memorandum from the late ‘70s in our recent assignment From the Archives: Memos mentioning Senator Joe Biden, in which the Central Intelligence Agency bemoaned the “burdens” placed on it by the recently strengthened Freedom of Information Act.
The CIA’s chief recruiter of the ‘60s argued that hiring minorities meant racism against white people
While the Central Intelligence Agency’s efforts to recruit more people of color stretches back decades,those efforts were unfortunately tainted by racism, as demonstrated by memos from the Agency’s chief recruiters in the ‘60s and ‘70s. In one sentence, the Agency recruiter declared that the age of hiring token POC was over. In the next, they declared that hiring POC meant passing over white applicants who were “better qualified.”
The “Halloween Massacre,” the most horror movie-sounding thing to ever happen to the Central Intelligence Agency, was a bureaucratic nightmare that pushed out the Agency’s most senior employees. CIA officers were so outraged at the “massacre” that they reportedly responded with everything from screen-printing protest shirts, leaving graffiti in Agency buildings and even cussing out newly-appointed CIA Director Stansfield Turner (via telegram).
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.