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CIA Releases 5 Million Pages of Declassified Documents

CIA Releases 5 Million Pages of Declassified Intelligence Documents; Exceeds 1999 Total by 2 Million

October 2, 2000

McLean, VA - The CIA announced today the release of 5 million pages of declassified intelligence documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in FY 2000.

"This is the largest release of formerly classified CIA documents ever," said Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet. "It reflects my commitment to be as forward leaning as possible in releasing information that with the passage of time no longer needs to be protected."

The Agency released 3 million pages to NARA last year and 1 million the previous year. The records being released are 25 years old or older as required by Executive Order 12958.

The release includes Directorate of Operations reports dating from the period 1947 through 1955 which provide important insights on the role of intelligence in the post WWII period. It also includes a significant number of finished intelligence products from the Directorate of Intelligence which will be of considerable interest to scholars, researchers, and historians. These intelligence reports chronicle world events from 1947 to the 1970s.

This release also includes material from the Office of Director of CIA and other senior level components, including early memoranda pertaining to the creation, organization and anticipated role of the CIA within the US government.

In addition, the release includes a collection of abstracts of foreign scientific articles, ground photographs and associated reference material, the CIA’s first release of motion picture film, and translations of foreign language material.

--The abstracts describe articles contained in foreign science and technology journals and reports which were acquired by the CIA.

--The ground photography material being released supplements a larger collection which was released last year and contains an index to all of the ground photographs which we have released to date. The photographs depict, among other things, worldwide military subjects, facilities, individuals, events, and geographical locations.

--The released motion picture film coverage includes a wide variety of intelligence, world affairs, and training topics.

--Translated material includes difficult to acquire reports, journals, and foreign media covering a wide spectrum of political, military, cultural, and scientific topics.

A team of reviewers from the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, working with CIA, declassified early satellite photography reports which are also included in the release.

Over 2.2 million pages in electronic format including finished intelligence, Directorate of Operations reports, Office of the DCI material, NIMA reports, and scientific abstracts are currently available at the NARA library in College Park and can be searched by title, date, and text content. An additional 2 million pages in hard copy and film format will be available after NARA archival processing, which will be completed as NARA resources permit. The remaining CIA records are being returned to other government agencies’ archives and presidential libraries and their availability dates are uncertain at this time.

Several hundred people are involved in CIA’s declassification effort, working in its declassification "factory," which was established in 1997. The factory is using advanced technology to bring greater automation to the declassification process in an effort to increase speed and efficiency and make records easier to access via electronic means.

Historical Document
Posted: Apr 12, 2007 07:55 AM
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2008 01:02 PM