The National Archives and Records Administration’s recent announcement that there will be no Barack Obama Presidential Library was met with understandable outrage from historians and transparency advocates, who saw it as a blow to a functioning democracy. However, as the National Security Archive’s Nate Jones was quick to point out, this discussion needs to be understood in the larger context of NARA’s current failings in the presidential library system, where FOIA requests can take years, even decades.
Breaking the law with snail mail, large fees for student newspapers, and whether tweets are public record
What’s considered public record or not is not a new debate. But the increasing prevalence of social media use amongst government agencies and officials, such as Twitter, brings up a new debate: If you delete social media posts on an official account, is it a violation of public records laws?
A series of photographs uncovered by Emma Best in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives offers a guided tour of the CIA area of the Washington National Records Center - with a few notable omissions.
The FBI file of Bureau’s lead investigator in the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination makes little mention of his efforts
As the third highest ranking official in the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Cartha “Deke” DeLoach worked some of the Bureau’s biggest cases, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination. However, you wouldn’t know that if you were just going off DeLoach’s own FBI file, which has more about his cholesterol levels in 1968 than leads on the civil rights leader’s murder.
Despite Donald J. Trump’s statement that “JFK Files are released, long ahead of schedule,” last week’s release was not what many expected. MuckRock’s FOIA community gathered on our Slack to discuss what had happened, what people had found, and what next April’s batch of records might bring.