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Koebler writes: "A nonprofit organization, a persistent rabble-rouser, and their pro-bono attorney have succeeded in getting the Central Intelligence Agency to post the full contents of its declassified records database online, meaning it’s now possible to access roughly 13 million pages of CIA documents dating back to the beginnings of the Cold War."

CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (photo: Guardian UK)
CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (photo: Guardian UK)


13 Million Pages of Declassified CIA Documents Were Just Posted Online

By Jason Koebler, Motherboard

18 January 17

 

nonprofit organization, a persistent rabble-rouser, and their pro-bono attorney have succeeded in getting the Central Intelligence Agency to post the full contents of its declassified records database online, meaning it’s now possible to access roughly 13 million pages of CIA documents dating back to the beginnings of the Cold War.

Since 2000, the CIA has maintained the CIA Records Search Tool (CREST) at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The CREST database—containing every “historically valuable” record that had been declassified, thanks to a 1995 executive order by Bill Clinton—was technically publicly accessible, but could only be used on four computers at the archives during very limited business hours.

In June 2014, MuckRock, a nonprofit that helps people file Freedom of Information Act Requests, sued the CIA, claiming that the database was “technically public, but in practice largely inaccessible.” (Disclosure: Motherboard works regularly with MuckRock on stories.)

The CIA even noted on its website that visits to the archive “may be inconvenient and present an obstacle to many researchers.”

Kel McClanahan, a lawyer with the National Security Counselors—a group that specializes in transparency law—represented MuckRock pro bono. In the meantime, frequent MuckRock user Michael Best launched another project to put pressure on the CIA. Best planned to spend hundreds of hours sitting in the National Archives, printing, scanning, and uploading the documents so that they could be publicly accessible.

Best’s project was genius: Because the CIA does not charge for printer paper or toner, it would lose money every time he embarked on a scanning mission. Meanwhile, the lawsuit moved forward, and the CIA’s estimate that it would take 28 years to process and upload the files was reduced to six years. Eventually the agency caved altogether, and in October it announced it would put the files online as soon as possible.

“The hope was that the financial pressure, the negative press and making it not only a legal but a practical inevitability that these files would be put online would force the Agency to speed up their timetable,” Best wrote in a blog post.

Tuesday, the agency put the records online. The records include Henry Kissinger’s papers, CIA research and development documents, scientific papers, photographic intelligence reports, news archives, and countless other documents. They can be accessed—in full—here.

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+9 # Dumbledorf 2017-01-18 10:25
Do any of these documents pertain to the CIA's involvement with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? We need to know!
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2017-01-18 21:28
Much of the information on the murder of JFK was released through the Assassination Records Review Board in the late 1990s.

Though there was essentially no corporate media coverage of the information revealed, Douglas Horne published some of the most interesting in a 4-volume series.

Here, in a little over an hour he explains the medical cover-up leading up to, during and after the autopsy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gczP8whHOas
 
 
+6 # librarian1984 2017-01-18 13:04
Yahoo! A ray of sunlight shines on the CIA.

Go MuckRock! And pro bono lawyers*! Go archivists!

(Disclosure: Motherboard is more transparent than the NYT.)


* pro bono lawyer? .. rocback's selfless work? .......... nah.
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2017-01-18 13:09
This archive includes Kissinger's papers. You'll recognize that section by the black void of evil swallowing decency whole.

I saw an event on CSPAN this week that dripped with well-lit horror and perversion. Susan Rice was speaking at the official transition of her position to General 'Loco' Flynn in which she offered an amusing quote from ol' Hank. The venue was the Institute of Peace.

sigh.
 
 
+3 # JJS 2017-01-19 04:51
Yes!
A crack in the door. Past is prologue and having such access is going to shed light on the IAs and their relationship to the congress and the people. Although if you go there, I'm sure you'll be traced.
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/collection/crest-25-year-program-archive

It is a searchable database but I found that the documents, as least the .pdf docs, were not text searchable. They are just images. Be prepared to read.
Very
 
 
+3 # laborequalswealth 2017-01-19 09:34
Why wasn't this today's headline? Outting the corrupt CIA should be Number One news.
 
 
0 # jimallyn 2017-01-20 00:53
Somebody needs to download the entire collection now, before Donald Trump is sworn in.
 

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