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The Washington Post
December 13, 1999

Back Channels: The Intelligence Community

By Vernon Loeb
Washington Post Staff Writer

[...]

ON THE WEB: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence recently established an Internet site, http://intelligence.senate.gov, that includes a number of key statutes and executive orders governing the intelligence community. Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' project on government secrecy, applauded the move toward public access but noted one glaring deficiency: The site, he says, lists President Ronald Reagan's Executive Order 12356 as establishing key legal principles for the declassification process.

While Reagan's order, issued in 1982, expanded the government's ability to classify documents, Aftergood said, it was superseded four years ago by President Clinton's Executive Order 12958, which mandates automatic declassification of documents older than 25 years.

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company




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