Saturday, June 12, 2010

Opportunity Calling!

The National Declassification Center has been established.  They are located at NARA II at College Park, Maryland.

This is their website - National Declassification Center

They have a blog -  NDC Blog

They even have a slogan:

Releasing All We Can, Protecting What We Must

A slogan.  Why do they have a slogan?  They ARRB didn't have a slogan. Hmm, doesn't exactly have the pizazz of "Avengers Assemble!"

They are about to have their first meeting on Wednesday June 23, 2010.  It's open to the public, but they do ask that you make an advance reservation / registration.  Details on how to do that are in their press release below.

What I want to point out is that they have a prioritization plan and are asking for public input on what they should tackle first.

Perhaps they should have proofread it first.  You may notice a few errors, for example, in this line, "The following day [the] Archivist of the United States [,] David Ferriero [,] established the NDC to achieve the goals of ensuring that records are reviewed in a timely and efficient [manner]ly, and making these records available to the public."

And on page 2 "Resources Required to Complete Declassification – Some Record Groups (RGs) are have information that must be protected under the provisions established in E.O. 13526, and contain multiple referrals to other equity agencies."  Are have?

And finally, on page 9 "Bureau of Forei1gn and Domestic Commerce."

The diagram on page two really bothers me.  They are dividing all records into four categories.

Category 1 is High Interest, Easy to Process

Category 2 is High Interest, Difficult to Process

Category 3 is Low Interest, Easy to Process

Category 4 is Low Interest, Difficult to Process

They have records of the CIA in, wait for it, Category 1!   CATEGORY ONE!!!

They have records from the Secret Service in Category 3, as in low public interest and easy to process.  It wasn't that way with Secret Service records relating to JFK's travels in the fall of 1963. 

This is an opportunity to request declassification of JFK assassination records and to address the unfinished work that NARA and the U.S. intelligence agencies have basically ignored since the ARRB went out of business.  Please be very polite and respectful to them when writing to them.  And not snarky like I'm being here. This is a new agency with new people. I would also ask for you to have as much specific information as possible, document numbers, RIF numbers, agency file numbers, everything you can so that they can follow up on such requests.

They state right in their prioritization plan, quoting the Public Interest Declassification Board's recommendation, "that records of high public interest receive declassification priority."  So, let's show some high public interest!  

I plan to attend this meeting.  If anyone wants to go and possibly hook up with me before or after the meeting please email me at

Here's their press release:

Press Release
June 1, 2010

National Archives to host June 23rd Public Forum on Prioritization Plan for the National Declassification Center

Washington, DC…On Wednesday, June 23 at 2:00 p.m., the National Archives will hold an open public forum to discuss the draft prioritization plan for the National Declassification Center (NDC) at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will serve as moderator.

This forum is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Attendees should register by June 18, 2010, by calling 301-837-0587. Leave your name, e-mail address, and phone number or e-mail
The plan will serve as a roadmap for the NDC to declassify and process for release Federal records and presidential materials. The meeting will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building, 700 Constitution Avenue, NW, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events Entrance at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue.

A copy of the plan may be found online [].

The National Declassification Center, located at the National Archives College Park, MD, facility, was established in accordance with Executive Order 13526, by Archivist David S. Ferriero on December 30, 2009. Its mission is to align people, processes, and technologies to advance the declassification and public release of historically valuable permanent records while maintaining national security. The initial focus will be to clear the backlog of referrals in reviewed documents both in Federal records and in Presidential materials. The National Declassification Center's web site is

Advance comments about the Plan are welcome. Comments may be posted on the NDC blog

[] or sent by e-mail to The comments will be summarized at the June 23 meeting.

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


  1. Thanks Joe. I'm sending it out on Twitter.

  2. Great blog. This is excellent news. Hopefully the public cares enough about a 47 year old association to be interested in the truth. It's amazing how much compelling evidence is available in most public libraries pointing to JFK's real killers. I make yet one more attempt to shed the light on reams of public domain research in my recent memoir THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE.