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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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CIA’s report on the "The World Situation in 1970" shows a shift in focus towards soft power

CIA’s report on the “The World Situation in 1970” shows a shift in focus towards soft power

The Central Intelligence Agency’s “The World Situation in 1970” report was a strange mixture of realistic concerns, candid admissions, and forced optimism. In one of its more realistically optimistic moments, the CIA reported that the Soviets believed “rational Americans” would want a stable Europe. In response, President Richard Nixon asked if anything could be done to “cause more trouble” instead.

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The CIA's classified crank call

The CIA’s classified crank call

Formerly SECRET meeting minutes uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives show the Agency on the receiving end of an incredibly specific crank call.

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CIA objected to the Federal Employee’s Bill of Rights on grounds it would interfere with Agency's gay witch hunt

CIA objected to the Federal Employee’s Bill of Rights on grounds it would interfere with Agency’s gay witch hunt

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Senator Sam Ervin was working determinedly to get a Federal Employee’s Bill of Rights passed through Congress. The Central Intelligence Agency identified several areas of the bill that they felt were problematic, including how it would interfere with the Agency’s use of the polygraph as a tool to identify and terminate any “homosexual employees.”

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CIA considered working with the creator of "Dragnet" on a TV show about the CIA

CIA considered working with the creator of “Dragnet” on a TV show about the CIA

In 1982, former CIA Director Richard Helms was approached by Dragnet creator Jack Webb about a possible TV show regarding the Agency. Like Dragnet, which, it would focus on realism, and would be at least inspired by, if not based on, events that had happened.

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Dead cats, fouled nests, and the book of horrors - inside the CIA's darkest hour

Dead cats, fouled nests, and the book of horrors - inside the CIA’s darkest hour

A pair of declassified memos from January 4, 1975 reveal just how contentious things were in the lead-up to the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee, with recent exposés having rocked the American public’s faith in the government, already strained by the still-fresh memories of Watergate, and undermined CIA’s legitimacy.

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