More than 400 million pages of Cold War-era documents could be declassified as the federal government responds to President Barack Obama’s order to rethink the way it protects the nation’s secrets.
Among the changes announced Tuesday by Obama is a requirement that every record be released eventually and that federal agencies review how and why they mark documents classified or deny the release of historical records. A National Declassification Center at the National Archives will be established to assist them and help clear a backlog of the Cold War records by Dec. 31, 2013.
Obama also reversed a decision by President George W. Bush that had allowed the intelligence community to block the release of a specific document, even if an interagency panel decided the information wouldn’t harm national security.
Advocates for a more open government are cautiously cheering the move.
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