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Article About the NDC in The Washington Post

by on December 5, 2011


Here is a good article from Sunday’s Washington Post that discusses the challenges faced by the NDC and its achievements to date.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/national-archives-needs-to-declassify-a-backlog-of-nearly-400-million-pages/2011/11/29/gIQAMAYmPO_story.html?tid=pm_national_pop


Comments

Eric Holzer December 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Why the 3 year deadline? Based on my extensive experience, I am a firm believer that declassification review should not take a second longer or a second shorter than however long it takes (to do it right). In my opinion, it would a bit of an understatement to say that given the number of pages involved, a 3 year deadline seems to be pushing it a bit. Yes limited resources need to be efficiently utilized, but I don’t think a seemly arbitrary time limit should be the primary factor in developing the method of review. I agree with most people out there that the public has a right and a need to be informed about the activities of our government. It is also important that our government be held accountable, but part of the looking out for the public’s interests also involves protecting information. Maybe the public’s well being is better served by a more conservative approach in handling classified material. So really, why 3 years?

Don December 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Eric,

It is important to remember that we are talking about a backlog of records that have been reviewed, sometimes several times. Additionally, many of these records are decades old. By taking a risk management approach, the NDC working together can end the merry-go-round of endless re-review and apply different levels of scrutiny to different series. I would be happy to provide specific examples. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the President has directed us to meet this deadline.

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