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CIA Releases Two Collections of Historical Documents

June 26, 2007

Today the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released two sets of previously classified historical documents.

“The CIA fully understands that it has an obligation to protect the nation’s secrets, but it also has a responsibility to be as open as possible,” said CIA Director Michael V. Hayden. “I’ve often spoken about our social contract with the American people, and the declassification of historical documents is an important part of that effort.”

The first collection, which some call the “Family Jewels,” consists of almost 700 pages and was compiled in 1973 under Director of Central Intelligence James Schlesinger, who asked CIA employees to report activities they thought might be inconsistent with the Agency’s charter.

In 1974, the CIA provided the documents to Congress. They were exhaustively reviewed by the Presidentially appointed Rockefeller Commission and by the Church and Pike Committees in Congress. Parts of the collection were released to the public in subsequent years.

The release of this collection answers a Freedom of Information Act request from 1992. In the past year, the Agency has made a concerted effort to close out its old cases under the law. Since October 2006 alone, the Agency has reduced the number of FOIA cases older than 5 years old by more than half.

The second collection, the CAESAR-POLO-ESAU papers, consists of 147 documents and 11,000 pages of analysis from 1953 to 1973. The CAESAR and POLO papers studied Soviet and Chinese leadership hierarchies, respectively, and the ESAU papers were developed by analysts to inform CIA assessments on Sino-Soviet relations.

The documents are available online at


Historical Document
Posted: Jun 26, 2007 07:46 AM
Last Updated: Feb 05, 2013 12:22 PM