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NSA message of interest


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As I continue to research this intersesting fellow I have learned that he was married to a Russian. Information gathered from family and friends indicates that John B. Hurt was fluenet in Russian, which would not be odd considering that his wife was a native of that land.

So I posed the question about this Russian speaking ability to the NSA historian I have been communicating with an received this reply:

"Jim:

Sorry to be late in responding....

I can only confirm that John Hurt knew

Japanese, French, and Latin.

Dave

In previous communications I had received this comment:

" I cannot be more specific about Mr. Hurt's postwar assignments, since most documents about that period are still classified."

As I ponder these pieces of information, is it to much to think that John B. Hurt did in fact speak Russian and that he was working on projects that required that ability and that those "assignments.... are still classified?"

Jim Root

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As I continue to research this intersesting fellow I have learned that he was married to a Russian.  Information gathered from family and friends indicates that John B. Hurt was fluenet in Russian, which would not be odd considering that his wife was a native of that land.

So I posed the question about this Russian speaking ability to the NSA historian I have been communicating with an received this reply:

"Jim:

Sorry to be late in responding....

I can only confirm that John Hurt knew

Japanese, French, and Latin.

  Dave

In previous communications I had received this comment:

" I cannot be more specific about Mr. Hurt's postwar assignments, since most documents about that period are still classified."

As I ponder these pieces of information, is it to much to think that John B. Hurt did in fact speak Russian and that he was working on projects that required that ability and that those "assignments.... are still classified?"

Jim Root

Hi Jim-

Well, that certainly would be the logical conclusion based on what you have discovered and what we already knew.

It is interesting that so much Cold War info is still classified.

Consider:

*As a threat to capitalism and our way of life, communism died along with the USSR in the early 1990's

*A great many of individual combatants in that struggle have also passed on

*Technology has advanced light years since the end of the Cold War, rendering many old methods of collecting data obsolete

So, what exactly are the keepers of these secrets purporting to protect? Or do the powers that be simply feel that that is none of our business?

Sorry for the tangent, but I’m wondering about the institutional processes in place for declassification of documents that the American public has every right to see.

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I think there are a number of reasons why certain documents from the cold-war era are still classified. I can think of only one that strikes me as legitimate:

While it is true that technology has changed, the effective "human intelligence" gathering techniques are largely unchanged. We double computing power every few months, but people are still fundamentally people.

I suspect that many of the remaining docs, however, contain evidence of activities ranging from "legally questionable" to "incidious."

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