Public Interest Declassification Board Falters

12.08.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Public Interest Declassification Board was established by Congress in 2000 “to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant United States national security decisions.” (FY 2001 Intelligence Authorization Act, Section 703).

Six years later, it has still done no such thing.

In its first practical test, members of Congress asked the Board to review the classification of two recent reports on pre-war Iraq intelligence to determine if more of the text could be disclosed.

But the Board concluded that it could not proceed without White House approval, which was not forthcoming.

This week, reported Rebecca Carr of Cox News, the Board asked Congress to modify its charter to make clear that White House approval is not required for this purpose.

See “Anti-secrecy board unable to gain traction” by Rebecca Carr, Cox News Service, December 8.

The Board will hold its next meeting on December 15 at the National Archives in Washington, DC.