Secrecy News Purged from State Dept History Mailing List

Secrecy News was removed from the distribution list for the U.S. State Department history publication “Foreign Relations of the United States” (FRUS) after we reported on errors in several FRUS volumes on March 24 and 26, 2008.

A spokesman for the State Department Historian’s Office confirmed that officials had ordered the removal of Secrecy News from the FRUS mailing list in response to our critical coverage.

In an email message to the series editor yesterday, I asked the Historian’s Office (HO) to reconsider its action. To do so would serve the best interests of FRUS, I suggested.

“I know that a sizable fraction of my Secrecy News mailing list (which now exceeds 13,500 self-selected subscribers) has an interest in FRUS publications. Many of those subscribers are unlikely to be part of other existing networks of academics and historians through which news of FRUS is disseminated,” I wrote.

“I would also willingly publish any criticism of my own writing that HO personnel or HAC [Historical Advisory Committee] members felt was warranted,” I added.

The request to reinstate Secrecy News on the FRUS mailing list awaits a decision by the State Department Historian, Dr. Marc J. Susser.

0 thoughts on “Secrecy News Purged from State Dept History Mailing List

  1. They took you off the list for the correction? They should thank you for the correction. Looks to me like it was only an excuse to get you off the list. Hope you have alternate ways to get the info!

  2. It’s a shame when being helpful is considered something more than the intention — no matter what. In a world where up is down, down is up, and nothing is as it should be, the only way for some people to try to gain perspective and information is here. The FAS has been non-judgemental in it’s efforts to open the eyes of the people who actually care about the history and the present historical significance of documentation. It seems ludicrous for the removal of anything so innocuous as the mailing list being purged … Isn’t it strange to concerned citizens (who do not depend on the mainstream media) to try to be informed _correctly_ without being penalized. I certainly agree with B. Adjemian states — they should thank you–at least for reducing their paperwork overflow!

  3. I went on the FRUS site and tried to find a way to sign up for the mailing list, and could not. Can you direct us to that resource? Additionally, I will forward this shameful situation to my congressional delegation and see if they can do anything about it.

    You have an admirable corps of followers who are in a position to delve into these documents and unearth their inaccuracies. It would be great if we could coordinate these efforts more widely and engage even more people in the effort. I.F. Stone used to do it all by himself; these days, with the amount of materials emanating from government, NGOs, and other sources, that is impossible.

  4. Thanks for the thought. The “mailing list” is not something one can sign up for. It is a list maintained by the Historians Office for members of the press and librarians to receive a hard copy of the FRUS volumes. Removal from the list, while annoying and possibly offensive, is not a tremendous hardship since the text of the FRUS volumes can be found on the State Department web site here.

  5. re: Dale Copps comment

    I am in a “suthern” state and my congressional delegation (GA) consists of a vast number of republican party members. I could try to inform them, and I know that my state’s democrat members are discussing other issues yet would hopefully “discuss” this matter with members across the isle. I know it doesn’t necessarily boil down to a republican vs democrat fight it mainly goes to the issue of what is most important to economic factors, etc. etc. etc.

    re: Steven Aftergood

    Once again your help on this matter (via website texts) is another invaluable service to FAS. Thank you.

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