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Document Creation Date: 
December 9, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 27, 2000
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Publication Date: 
June 25, 1971
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PDF icon CIA-RDP80-01601R000400010001-9.pdf154.86 KB
VIASHTIIG'10~ `qq .For Release 2001/03/04:CI 80-0 VALE S'I'RE : STA L -EASTERN EDITION-- 11 1197 115 Mm [i c) 4" 7 probably lie there for years," says a Pentagon: er' nment Operations subcommittee began si . rr'1 insider. The Vietnaru study, lie suspects, I e days G of hearings s on the subject. "Ever3'bod)''s '.t_ li/ t'tIi O "tvoulci have been filed away and no one would .been coinulaining about the problem of cla ssi fi? . . have looked at it for 20 to 20 years" if the New cation for ,tars," say:; an aid- Of Pennsyly m?, Archives Are Loaded York Tunes' hadn't laid hands on it. ia's Democratic Rep. William Moorhead, who And the automatic system has gaping loop- is chairing the hearings. "Now we're really holes. Under it, each classified document is` With ~i~assi led Papers trying do sornct.tntg about it. r placed in one of four groups. Two of these catc- hcllu kic flan r v gories lead to eventual downgrading or cleclas- One solution is offered by Sen. ldcimu;sci ` Don't . ell Dt%uel1 sification. But the other two groups, often fa- 4%flisl0e of Maine. Ile's proposing creation of an vorecl by cautious bureaucrats, are exempt independent board empowered to make. govern. from the automatic procedure. nient documents public after a two-year p_-- LC ~lti5 Can Be. 1.1 i E S{. 'd rat' Konliedy and Johnson niod. The board would also be author'izecl "al One thing is certain: The present secrecy any time" to "send relevant documents to the To c arrangements do not prevent deliberate leaks appropriate committee of Congress," ' the Sella. T O echsS].-'y DOCl11.11C?J~ L,S, ta that tend to make a mockery of the system. In tor says. ~3 an affidavit filed in the Washington Post's Acknowledging tlr.i possible adverse impact 1113.oz]. acres e ~. possible adverse !in aot Some Say- 1.0,) 1~r court slrug2:,le against an injunction hallinL; its o; casclostue on the government' fore',rt rela- - publication of some of the Pentagon papers, ex- tcws '~ii-- , ecutive ec itor I enjannn Bradlee recalls that in lions and on the flog; of candid advice to the ~eC1'eh ItequcSL: 101`, 1 ~U 1,9,0.i;d S l President, a Mu_;hi;,? staffer says a viaY roust .2 . when serving as press attache at the U.S. - - E Embassy in Paris, "I Was instructed by a sups- be found to insure that "action papers" con- T'y Riciiaitll J. 1A." VINE i'ior to }eat: Inc contents of a secret. cable deal- taining policy decision are made public while Stncf L'eportcr of Tur: WAr,r, Srr:r: F; Joins, r, ing? with a Soviet note to the American govern- advisory papers" remain private. WASHINGTON--The. 7,000 pages Of the Pcn ment. And I did so, to a correspondent of the ta.gon'a top secret Vie an study leaked to the United Press." At this point, it's far from certain that any l press ma seem like (Juice a heal) of seei'cts. basic reforms will be mado in the ake clas~Jeatiol- ' J~ar]y in the bornbittz;^.i ;n of North y 's remaining hoard process. \I r. Nixon's decision to ntal:e the. I'en r th id Vi t h th t Vi y e ma tit alongs e it's nothing. For instance: Today, almost 26 years after the. end of World War jr, U.S. archives still hold some 100 million pages of classified wear records that remain beyond the public's macil. Most of the material is probably of little in- terest to. anyone except historians. But the staggering volume of state secrets still under .wraps symbolises an old and thorny issue that is getting new attention as a result of publica- tion of parts of the. Vietnam papers. The issue: how and why the government keeps informa- e nam, wom e. Nor etnamese were h claiming that civilian targets in F}eutoi Were being hit, Cyrus Vance, then Deputy Secretary of Defense, held a lengthy briefing for re- porters. During the briefing he described in dc- tail the routes that Navy fighter-bombers were ordered to fly- over and around the city, in an effort to prove that civilian targets hadn't been bombed. The routes were classified secret, be- cause-they obviously were of interest to North Vietnamese anti-aircraft crews. The Post's Mr. Bradlee says that when he was a correspondent for Newsweek Magazine, "President John F. Kennedy once read to me ort a e du ions 1.1-1?f?e- ? One debate in the current cuuLru~c~ y con- p < classification methods could stand im,ruve- ters on the question : "\i'h it right does the New conversation betii ecu him and Nil ita 11_ 1 moot. Critics char'c that under the current York Times have to declassify documents?" cliev in Vienna in 1961. I received his permis?- a system there's a pervasive tendency to over- But observers in and out of the government say sign to use this material." classify documents and there's little }nrpctus that if you look at past and present government ? That's not all, 10"r. Bradlee, who has seen for declassification. practices it becomes clear that'the 'l'imes' ac- the galley -proofs of President Lyndon John- A Judgment 'Matter tion is far from unique. The government pro- son's forthcoming memoirs, maintains that the. Though a 1953 ixccutive Order attempts to cess of declassification is haphazard and cum- book contains considerable amounts of classi- set guidelines for classifying material var. bersome, these people say, and they cite many lied information on the Vietnam War. "There's toasty as top secret, secret or confidential, both past instances in which high and low officials no question about it," he says. "There are sev- defenders have; leaked various clocunionts as the most oral quotations from documents" that are and critics of the system stress that classification way to declassify them. among the parts of the top-secrcd Vietnam of documents is, in the end, "a judgment matter." And the critics maintain How to IOotvnn;rac c study published in the New York Times. that the judgment usually goes in favor of Downgrading' and declassification are the In many cases, according to the etilics, the overclass}fleabag because of various pressures responsibility of the official or office that origi- trouble can be traced to ovetclasslfication at the start. One congressional expert, mho has at wort; within the bureaucracy, gully classified nios Current sets j- b. For one using i desire to avoid trouble with tions irovide for "contintinuouus" review of clasi tangled repeatedly with the Issecutive Branch ~, fled material for these Zurposes and also call on the problem, insists "the only way things superiors prompts in'_tny officials to classify a are going to be changed is to make overclassi- document that could be safely left unclassified in certain cases for "time-phased" automatic cation 'bureaucratically dangerous' "-that o." else give a paper too high a classification. downgrading and declassification. is, set tough penalties for officials who err on Frequently, critics charge, information is But Townsend Hoopes, former Under Secre-.the side of caution. classified because it is "politically sensitive" tart' of the Air Force, maintains that the "vast pit Capitol Mill, an effort is on to reform the and not because its unauthorized disclosuro turnover" oo personnel in tir, upper reaches of labyritathiiic' process by which doctuaents are would claia.n ;er national security. Thus a vet- .the Pentagon means that some classified docu- t.lassified and, sometimes, declass ified. Spoil- cyan Pentagon reporter complainr,, that lists of the mg'e overlooked because the originator of Goring legislators would like to nral:e it easier inilit,try bases schechiled for closin;,r h axe often the atcrial is long gone, Others az;ree. If I for Congress and the public to get its bands on been classified secret-"until the Pentagon write paper and it's classified `secret,' it will government records. This week a House Cov- - chooses to announce it." Approved For Release 2001/03/04: CIA-RDP80-01601 R000400010001-or~i