Throughout the Cold War, the CIA was involved in a wide range of covert operations. Details of four of those top-secret assignments will soon be released.
According to a new report by the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation to the [US] Department of State (HAC), the department has two primary responsibilities:
“It oversees the preparation and timely publication of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, and it monitors the declassification of Department of State records.”
The report, published last week, indicates that the HAC plans to declassify a number of Cold War-era spy missions.
“CIA consistently reviews both specific documents and compiled volumes in a timely manner,” the report reads, “and in 2015 it agreed to acknowledge four covert actions that will be documented in future volumes.”
It remains to be seen which four actions will be described, but the report does specify that none will date later than the administration of Ronald Reagan.
The report also mentions the department’s difficulties in following a federal law which specifies that all records of events should be declassified no later than 30 years after the events occur, unless “compelling reasons can be specified for withholding them.”
Records relating to the Reagan Administration have proven especially difficult to publish, given the former president’s reliance on secrecy.
“Although the Reagan years reflect a spike in covert actions that will present declassification challenges, the [advisory committee] cannot exaggerate how encouraged it is by [the State Department’s Office of the Historian’s] productivity.”
Curiously, in an effort to justify the slow progress of the HAC, the report blames Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
“With a few exceptions, State’s Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS) warrants praise…although problems with resources, staffing, and facilities, exacerbated by the controversies over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails and attendant issues, has impeded its efforts.”
It could be several decades before the details of Clinton’s State Department tenure are made public.