A Reason to Celebrate …

At midnight on Dec. 31, hundreds of millions of pages of secret documents will be instantly declassified … After years of extensions sought by federal agencies behaving like college students facing a term paper, the end of 2006 means the government’s first automatic declassification of records.

Okay, so some of you might have better reasons, but some of us are, well, nerds …

More seriously, this is an important victory for freedom of information in the United States and those behind these efforts — past and present — deserve a lot of credit. To be sure, the exemptions are too many, but government incompetence will ensure that some embarassing secrets sneak into the public domain. There is very little to admire about the Clinton Administration, but the 25-year automatic declassification deadline stands out.

As we all know, secrets kill … And just like the M14ers, “I love life!”

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6 Replies to “A Reason to Celebrate …”

  1. hey, i love life too!! 🙂 (you should see all the trees they have around with “i love life” written on the base)

    serious question though: will these documents contain blacked out phrases / paragraphs?

    in other words, will we find out who killed jfk?

  2. Great news! i love freedom-of-information.
    Really, though, if i had nothing else to do i would just file freedom-of-information-act requests all day, everyday. Does this mean you don’t have to file requests anymore?! How i’ll miss the bureaucracy!

  3. Laz,

    I am assuming that anything that might be blacked out would not be included in the declassification. The thrust of the change is that declassification becomes automatic after 25 years — meaning review is no longer a necessary requirement. If they have taken the time to black something out, it will not be included.

    Oh, and the Syrians killed JFK. Didn’t you know?

    Oh, and going to beirut in january, so i cannot wait to see the foilage or foolishness …

  4. whoops, ok, i read the article. so after 25 years ,everything is automatically de-classified. so now we get 1981 records! soon iran-contra, US involvement in lebanon in 82-83.

  5. ok, thanks for the explanation. that’s what i thought, but i wasn’t sure. i remember looking through all these kissinger documents a short while back, and all the juicy parts were blacked out …

    maybe we should add jfk to the international tribunal? and if you’re in leb in the first third of january, do let me know. unless you’re planning on pulling a totten 😉

  6. Laz,

    Not going to be there until the 13th, but yes I will be organizing a freedom tent. Freedom from what? I just dont know yet … Sobriety, perhaps … 🙂

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