February 22, 2006

The National Archives Responds to Reclassification of Documents

Washington, DC. . . As part of an ongoing review of the reclassification of documents at the National Archives, Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein said, “Inappropriate declassification can subject our citizens, our democratic institutions, our homeland security, and our interactions with foreign nations to potential harm. Inappropriate classification (and reclassification) needlessly disrupts the free flow of information and can undermine our democratic principles which require that the American people be informed of the activities of their Government. This is not an either/or challenge. Deliberate, continuous effort is required to succeed at both. The American people expect and deserve nothing less and the National Archives is determined to fulfill its role in this process.”

In response to complaints and recommendations received from a group of historians and researchers regarding agency classification activity which has resulted in a number of historical documents being withdrawn from the open shelves at the National Archives and Records Administration, the following action has been initiated:

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For press information, contact the National Archives Pubic Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.