As we kick off what will hopefully be a very transparent Sunshine Week 2018, we want to take a moment to reflect on one of the more absurd finds in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archive so far, and how the work the #OpenGov community can find itself part of the public record.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has made an initial release of its files on television executive Roger Ailes. Consisting largely of glowing background checks for a potential Presidential appointment under Richard Nixon, two interesting details have emerged from the file - the first is a 1974 arrest for felony firearms possession and the second is a brief interview documenting the minor role Ailes played in the FBI’s investigation into John Hinckley, Jr. following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.
Back in the dot printer Eighties, the Central Intelligence Agency was constantly negotiating decisions around computer purchases and evolving equipment, an experience with which many Americans are now familiar. Take a dive into their weekly complaints about copy costs, tech upgrades, and of course, their budget.
This weekend, I was saddened to read about the sudden passing of legendary investigative journalist Robert Parry. Parry is vital reading for anyone interested in American’s hidden history and ironically, the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives offer a curated collection of some of his best work.
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.”