A Singular Opportunity: Gaining Access to CIA's Records

By Evan Thomas


Editor’s Note: Mr. Evan Thomas was allowed to see CIA classified records under the historical access policy. The basic authority for this policy is Executive Order 12356 [April 1982], as implemented in HR 10-24(c)4. Under these provisions, CIA may individual researchers and grant former Presidential appointees access to classified files, once the recipient of this access signs a secrecy agreement agrees to allow the Agency to review his manuscript to ensure that it contains no classified information. Former DCI Robert Gates granted Mr. Thomas historical access in 1992 and directed that the CIA History Staff locate and provide records that would satisfy Mr. Thomas’s research request. Mr. Thomas’s manuscript was subsequently reviewed in accordance with his and secrecy agreement approved on 2 March 1995 by the Information Review Officer of the Directorate of Operations, with the concurrence of the Office of General Counsel. The views
expressed by Mr. Thomas in his manuscript and in this article are his own, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of CIA or
any of its components.