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NARA Records at Risk?


Stephen Roy
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http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/audit-shows-records-national-archives-ri

Washington (AP) - An audit prompted in part by the loss of the Wright Brothers' original patent and maps for atomic bomb missions in Japan finds some of the nation's prized historical documents are in danger of being lost for good.

Nearly 80 percent of U.S. government agencies are at risk of illegally destroying public records and the National Archives is backlogged with hefty volumes of records needing preservation care, the audit by the Government Accountability Office found.

The report by the watchdog arm of Congress, completed this month after a year's work and obtained by The Associated Press, also found many U.S. agencies do not follow proper procedures for disposing of public records.

Officials at the National Archives, which houses the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and other treasured documents at its Washington rotunda, had no immediate comment Tuesday on the findings.

The report comes more than a year after news reports of key items missing at the nation's record-keeping agency. Some of the items have been missing for decades but their absence only became widely known in recent years.

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http://www.cnsnews.c...nal-archives-ri

Washington (AP) - An audit prompted in part by the loss of the Wright Brothers' original patent and maps for atomic bomb missions in Japan finds some of the nation's prized historical documents are in danger of being lost for good.

Nearly 80 percent of U.S. government agencies are at risk of illegally destroying public records and the National Archives is backlogged with hefty volumes of records needing preservation care, the audit by the Government Accountability Office found.

The report by the watchdog arm of Congress, completed this month after a year's work and obtained by The Associated Press, also found many U.S. agencies do not follow proper procedures for disposing of public records.

Officials at the National Archives, which houses the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and other treasured documents at its Washington rotunda, had no immediate comment Tuesday on the findings.

The report comes more than a year after news reports of key items missing at the nation's record-keeping agency. Some of the items have been missing for decades but their absence only became widely known in recent years.

Thanks for posting that Steve.

BK

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Despite receiving much help from NARA, I've felt for some time that they are behind the curve in processing and preserving the things that we have entrusted to their care. It would suck big-time if some important elements of JFK evidence were lost or damaged. They need to get in front of this, or get out and let others come in and do it right.

The part about people stealing originals chills me a bit. I've seen lax security there, and we've all heard stories about overzealous people (this case does inspire emotion) replacing originals with copies. I hope they can prevent this while maintaining accessibility to those of us who want to use the materials honestly.

I'm sure it's a daunting task, NARA, but this is our history.

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Despite receiving much help from NARA, I've felt for some time that they are behind the curve in processing and preserving the things that we have entrusted to their care. It would suck big-time if some important elements of JFK evidence were lost or damaged. They need to get in front of this, or get out and let others come in and do it right.

The part about people stealing originals chills me a bit. I've seen lax security there, and we've all heard stories about overzealous people (this case does inspire emotion) replacing originals with copies. I hope they can prevent this while maintaining accessibility to those of us who want to use the materials honestly.

I'm sure it's a daunting task, NARA, but this is our history.

Considering the volume of documents that have been lost, missing or destroyed since 1963, I have never felt that

anything at NARA has been secure in the true sense of the word.

I mean, if a document disappears, someone has to physically take it.

Some researchers have given accounts of personal experiences going to the various Archive centers, [College Park, MD.,

is just one Archive center], and you get a feeling that "we are here to help you," is not the first descriptive experience that comes to their mind.

In all fairness, that characterization is more in line with experiences of 1960-70's accounts, than it is today.

But as late as 1995 the Secret Service destroyed assassination records that had been specifically listed as being part of the JFK Records Collection, which

indicates to me that there is no punishment for that sort of thing, in the literal sense.

Other JFK related archives are at the various Presidential Libraries, specifically

John F Kennedy, Gerald R Ford and Lyndon Baines Johnson

And lest we forget

LBJ Library - 13 and a half minute missing audio from one tape

Richard Nixon's 18 and a half minute missing audio from a Watergate Era Tape

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's secretary, Helen Gandy destroyed a large amount of documents after his death.

Or how about the venture into the HSCA vault by Regis Blahut; not exactly a moment that fills your mind with

images of storming Iwo Jima......

More

Robert: I am sure anyone with a memory can site instances where Mr. Blakey

appeared rather lacking in his role as the head of the HSCA

but I want to really emphasize that perception did not come from some

lunatic left-wing fringe, by any means, although his credientials, as being

a member of Bobby Kennedy's Organized Crime Task Force back in the old

days, had that real Midas touch......

The ultimate obscenity is the idea that in 2010, he can appear in a documentary

and say words to the effect, if I had known Joannides had any involvement with CIA activities

in 1963, we would have.........yada, yada, yada

See the video - Conspiracy Jack Ruby - The History Channel

Maybe some of you recall Regis Blahut and his activities regarding

opening a safe that contained some rather important documents

pertaining to President Kennedy.

Well below is a internal memorandum regarding a in-house

discussion between Blakey and CIA representatives after

the event. After Blakey is introduced to Gambino the inference

is that hey we are going to really aggresively pursue this

but after Havilland states he is 99.9 % sure Blahut

didn't have any help in his activities, Blakey assumes

that lapdog position that was all to familiar to.....

well, anyone paying attention.

Excerpts from

MEMO:MEETING WITH ROBERT BLAKEY OF THE HSCA

........Blakey immediately requested Regis [Thomas] Blahut's Security File, Gambino demurred and gave him Blahut's official personnel file instead.....

.......As the conversation wound down, I felt it was necessary to ask Mr. Blakey whether or not the HSCA would accept the validity and objectivity of

a CIA investigation of Blahut. Although Mr. Blakey was not prepared to say that the HSCA would accept a CIA investigation, he did say that

before coming out to Headquarters, the Staff had decided that a CIA investigation was the best alternative available to them........

Later in the document Haviland states

"Thus I was saying that my prediction was for a clean bill of health for the CIA through a CIA investigation? Was Mr. Blakey prepared to accept this?

Mr. Blakey said that he was prepared to accept that and that he believed the CIA was not guilty of any complicity in Blahut's activities......

........My interpretation of what Mr. Blakey said was that he wishes CIA to go ahead with the investigation of Blahut andf that he expects us

to come up with a clean bill of health for the CIA."

Haviland Smith, Jr.

SA/DDCI

http://www.maryferre....do?docId=41820

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Guest Tom Scully

...and the problem is???

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/10/agents_raid_home_of_ex-nationa.html

Agents raid home of ex-National Archives official

Updated 6:19 p.m. ET

By Ed O'Keefe, Spencer S. Hsu and Lisa Rein

Federal agents raided the home of a former National Archives and Records Administration employee Tuesday after watchdogs said the agency is leaving itself vulnerable to significant security breaches by failing to properly safeguard sensitive information.

About a dozen federal and local agents executed a search warrant Tuesday at the Rockville home of Leslie Waffen, in the 500 block of Saddle Ridge Lane, said Deputy U.S. Marshal David Ablondi, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Maryland. (An earlier version of this posting inaccurately said the raid took place Thursday.)

A law enforcement official said five U.S. Marshals agents assisted three or four agents with the National Archives Office of Inspector General. They were backed up by a Montgomery County Police squad car. It appeared that Waffen and his wife were awakened by the agents. They were dressed in sweats and a house coat, respectively, said the official, who asked for anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Archives agents arrived with a moving truck and list of items they were searching for. Waffen directed the agents to his basement, where they identified and removed "10 to 20 boxes," a law enforcement official said. Agents were at the home for about 45 minutes, but the official did not identify what was contained in the boxes....

...Waffen was not arrested and was not charged, the official said. Waffen is the former chief of NARA's motion picture, sound and video branch, according to the agency's Web site....

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