Secrecy News Purged from State Dept History Mailing List

06.12.08 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

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.