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News Archive - Feb 2006

Declassification in Reverse at the National Archives

Feb 21, 2006: More details have come to light regarding a secret government program to reclassify documents previously available, and actually remove them from the shelves of the National Archives. The National Security Archive lays out the story in its new essay Declassification in Reverse. Beginning in 1999, six government agencies including the CIA, the DIA, and the Department of Justice, have removed more than 55,000 pages which were previously available to the public at the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland. Additionally, the reclassification program in 2003 expanded its operations to include the Kennedy and Johnson libraries. A letter from a State Department advisory committee warned then-Secretary Madeline Albright that the Foreign Relations of the United States publications were in danger of becoming "an official lie" due to the continuing refusal of the CIA and other intelligence agencies to declassify documents. The New York Times reported on this story as well, in a Feb 21 piece by Scott Shane.

Coretta Scott King Dies

Feb 1, 2006: On 31 Jan 2006, Coretta Scott King died at the age of 78 (see stories in Boston Globe, Times Online, Newsday, and San Jose Mercury News). She was the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement in the 1960s and promoted non-violent action in pursuit of justice and peace. Mrs. King led her family since Dr. King's murder in 1968. Respected and mourned across the world, Mrs. King also caused discomfort among some with her refusal to accept the notion that her husband had been killed by a lone gunman with no apparent motive. Little-remembered or commented upon was the 1999 civil trial which she pushed, wherein a jury found that her husband had been murdered as a result of a conspiracy involving elements of the federal government. See Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on this website for more on this story, including links to the full trial transcript. Mrs. King was a courageous woman who will be missed by many.

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