On February 17, the CIA issued a tweet, stating how 750,000 pages of declassified Intel papers, records and research papers had been released @USNATArchives (1).
According to a statement on the CIA website, the newly released documents concur with the CIA’s efforts to “systematically review and release documents under Executive Order 13526” and with the release, the “CIA collection of records on the CREST system increases to nearly 13 million pages” (2).
Details of what is in the newly declassified documents remain scarce, primarily due to the fact that the papers cannot be viewed online and would require traveling to the National Archives in College Park in order to be accessed through CREST.
The ‘inconvenient’ location of the once top secret papers has been criticized. The library journal Info Docket highlights the inconvenience of the documents’ location, stating:
“In order to directly access CREST, a researcher must visit the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. CIA recognizes that such visits may be inconvenient and present an obstacle to many researchers” (3).
However, this has not deterred one CIA Intel researcher hopeful, who is determined to be the one responsible for releasing the documents into the mainstream.
National Security Week
Under the online pseudo name ‘national security geek’, Michael Best launched a project to raise $10,000 in order to release the CIA files to the general public.
As a report on RT highlights, the Kickstarter project has attracted hundreds of backers and has nearly reached its $10,000 goal (4).
“They all want to have a hand in disseminating the unreleased CIA files, numbering about 10 million pages, to the general public,” writes RT.
The report goes on to note that even though the CIA Intel documents have been officially ‘declassified’, they essentially remain “locked up” in four computers at the National Archives in Maryland.
The Kickstarter page explains the difficulty in actually sourcing files on the CREST system. While CREST enables anybody to search the documents stored on its system, they have to physically make the trip to the Records Administration in College Park.
So far, only around 1 million pages out of the 11 million pages on the Archive have been successfully scanned, printed or uploaded in order to be circulated to the public.
While the ‘goodies’ revealed in the documents, for the time being, remain a secret, one goody Best expects to find and publish will be related to The Star Gate Project.
This once classified project took place from 1970 until 1995, and involved, according to the Kickstarter, “remote viewers who claimed to use clairvoyance, precognition, or telepathy to acquire and describe information about targets that were blocked from ordinary perception.”
In 2012, TSW reported that the release of the Final Report of the Nazi War Crimes and Japense Imperial Governemtn Records Interagency Working Group “[enhanced] public confidence in government transparency” (5). Unfortunately, it could be argued that by making this latest release of tens of thousands of once classified CIA Intel documents only available to read on a source that’s pretty inaccessible to most, the CIA and government officials aren’t too keen on the public learning on what lies within the documents.
References & Image Credits:
(3) Info Docket
(5) TSW: Nazi War Crimes Records Used for Intelligence Exploitation