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19 september 2008

Out of the Black: The Declassification of the NRO

Washington, DC, September 18, 2008 - Today, on the 16th anniversary of the declassification of the fact of the existence of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and National Reconnaissance Program (NRP), the National Security Archive publishes a collection of documents concerning the declassification decision and its implementation. The NRO and NRP were established in 1961 to coordinate the satellite reconnaissance activities of the CIA and Air Force.

As the documents illustrate, the issue of NRO declassification was considered as early as 1973. The documents further show that DCI Stansfield Turner (1977-1981) concluded that the fact of NRO and NRP existence did not meet the test of classification. As a result, Turner included declassification as part of a plan to revise the system of handling Sensitive Compartmented Information - but that plan was not implemented before the Carter administration was replaced by the Reagan administration, nor thereafter.

The documents also portray the process of declassification that was set in motion in 1992 due to a variety of factors. The memos concern the recommendations from NRO Director Martin C. Faga and DCI Robert Gates, the issues that had to be considered, as well as the actions needed to prepare for and implement declassification.

Visit the Web site of the National Security Archive for more information about today's posting.
(bron persbericht NSA)