Tonight’s musical selection is Flobots performing “Occupyearth” at Second Story Garage in Boulder, Colorado.

Classification Stamps on a document

The release of historical classified documents is threatened by the sequester.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the CIA office responsible for declassifying historical documents is closing down. Officials blame the sequester.

The Historical Collections Division, which has declassified documents on top Soviet spies, a secret CIA airline in the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis and other major operations, has been disbanded. The office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests will take over the work.

‘As a result of sequestration, elements of one program office were moved into a larger unit to create efficiencies, but CIA will continue to perform this important work,’ said Edward Price, a CIA spokesman.

‘This move is a true loss to the public,’ said Mark Zaid, a Washington lawyer who frequently litigates against the CIA. He said the CIA office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests ‘is the most obstructionist and unfriendly of those I have dealt with during the last two decades.’

‘This is very unfortunate,’ said Robert Jervis, a Columbia University professor who chairs the CIA’s Historical Review Panel, which advises the agency on declassification. ‘There will be fewer releases. We shouldn’t fool ourselves.’

How are you tonight? It’s an open conversation in the comments.

Housekeeping notes:

  • Please review our About Us page if you need a refresher on site rules, and
  • We encourage you to use our flag system — if you see an abusive comment, user or post, please flag it rather than replying. We review every flag and take the best action available to us.
  • If you have questions or concerns about Firedoglake-specific issues, please limit their discussion to Watercooler posts rather than starting new posts or making off-topic comments in others. But remember,
  • Firedoglake editors and staff are not allowed to comment on any moderation decisions.

Photo by Alex Wellerstein released under a Creative Commons license.