Archivists Agreed to Keep Mum About Sealing of Records


The National Archives agreed to seal previously public CIA and Pentagon records and to keep silent about U.S. intelligence’s role in the reclassification, according to an agreement released under the Freedom of Information Act. The 2002 agreement, requested three years ago by the Associated Press and released this week, shows archivists were concerned about reclassifying previously available documents – many of them more than 50 years old – but nonetheless agreed to keep mum.

“It is in the interest of both (unnamed agency) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to avoid the attention and researcher complaints that may arise from removing material that has already been available publicly from the open shelves for extended periods of time,” the agreement said. The National Archives and Records Administration provided a redacted copy of the agreement–originally stamped “secret”–to AP under FOIA this week and then posted the document on its website.


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