This is truly mind-boggling. According to the National Security Archive, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the agency charged with assuring public access to government records, “secretly agreed to a covert effort, led by the Air Force, the CIA, and other still-hidden intelligence entities, to remove open-shelf archival records and reclassify them while disguising the results so that researchers would not complain.” FGI originally reported on this story here and here.
Scott Shanes at the New York Times, who’s been following this story, wrote a piece yesterday entitled “Why the Secrecy? Only the Bureaucrats Know” (registration may be required). There’s also more background, as well as copies of the CIA and USAF mou’s, at Secrecy News.
“Every bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping their knowledge and intentions secret. Secrecy is a source of power, nothing is so fanatically defended.”
–Max Weber “Economy and Society.” 1914