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CIA Admits Errors


Tim Gratz
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[information about JFK Assassination put in highlights by Tim]

Dateline: November 30, 2005

LANGLEY, VA—A report released Tuesday by the CIA's Office of the Inspector General revealed that the CIA has mistakenly obscured hundreds of thousands of pages of critical intelligence information with black highlighters.

According to the report, sections of the documents— "almost invariably the most crucial passages"—are marred by an indelible black ink that renders the lines impossible to read, due to a top-secret highlighting policy that began at the agency's inception in 1947.

CIA Director Porter Goss has ordered further internal investigation.

"Why did it go on for this long, and this far?" said Goss in a press conference called shortly after the report's release. "I'm as frustrated as anyone. You can't read a single thing that's been highlighted. Had I been there to advise [former CIA director] Allen Dulles, I would have suggested the traditional yellow color—or pink."

Goss added: "There was probably some really, really important information in these documents."

When asked by a reporter if the black ink was meant to intentionally obscure, Goss countered, "Good God, why?"

Goss lamented the fact that the public will probably never know the particulars of such historic events as the Cold War, the civil-rights movement, or the growth of the international drug trade.

"I'm sure the CIA played major roles in all these things," Goss said. "But now we'll never know for sure."

In addition to clouding the historical record, the use of the black highlighters, also known as "permanent markers," may have encumbered or even prevented critical operations. CIA scholar Matthew Franks was forced to abandon work on a book about the Bay Of Pigs invasion after declassified documents proved nearly impossible to read.

"With all the highlighting in the documents I unearthed in the National Archives, it's really no wonder that the invasion failed," Franks said. "I don't see how the field operatives and commandos were expected to decipher their orders."

The inspector general's report cited in particular the damage black highlighting did to documents concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy, thousands of pages of which "are completely highlighted, from top to bottom margin."

"It is unclear exactly why CIA bureaucrats sometimes chose to emphasize entire documents," the report read. "Perhaps the documents were extremely important in every detail, or the agents, not unlike college freshmen, were overwhelmed by the reading material and got a little carried away."

Also unclear is why black highlighters were chosen in the first place. Some blame it on the closed, elite culture of the CIA itself. A former CIA officer speaking on the condition of anonymity said highlighting documents with black pens was a common and universal practice.

"It seemed counterintuitive, but the higher-ups didn't know what they were doing," the ex-officer said. "I was once ordered to feed documents into a copying machine in order to make backups of some very important top-secret records, but it turned out to be some sort of device that cut the paper to shreds."

Edited by Tim Gratz
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[information about JFK Assassination put in highlights by Tim]

Dateline: November 30, 2005

LANGLEY, VA—A report released Tuesday by the CIA's Office of the Inspector General revealed that the CIA has mistakenly obscured hundreds of thousands of pages of critical intelligence information with black highlighters.

...

The inspector general's report cited in particular the damage black highlighting did to documents concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy, thousands of pages of which "are completely highlighted, from top to bottom margin."

"It is unclear exactly why CIA bureaucrats sometimes chose to emphasize entire documents," the report read. "Perhaps the documents were extremely important in every detail, or the agents, not unlike college freshmen, were overwhelmed by the reading material and got a little carried away."

Thanks, Tim. I've always assumed there was a logical explanation behind it, and I'm glad to see that it's been cleared up and the CIA is now investigating it. Under DCI Goss, I would expect nothing less than a full public apology, and a full-scale attempt at recovering as much of this valuable information as humanly possible.

FYI, not long ago, the story was going around that it had something to do with the "Red Act," but research yielded the fact that it had either been repealed some years ago, or else had never been passed into law. (This is a matter of continuing inquiry. I will provide updates as necessary.)

Frankly, I didn't expect you to post this given that the author is a rather obscure fellow, and especially with your reputation as an excoriator of all things right of center. Shows good balance, keep it up!

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Right, Pat. I knew you'd get it!

"The Onion" originated and published in my home-town, Madison, oft called (with some reason) Mad-Town.

Here is the "Onion" which was published on November 22, 1963:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/42834

Terrible to use the tragedy for humor, but one has to admit it IS funny.

You will note that the Onion agrees with me that it was Castro and the Mafia! (Although it adds LBJ, the Teamsters and the Freemasons.)

I loved this part:

The [43] assembled killers were taken into custody at Dallas City Hall. As they were being transfered to the county prison, however, all 43 were shot and killed by Jack Ruby, 52, a Dallas night club owner.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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The [43] assembled killers were taken into custody at Dallas City Hall. As they were being transfered to the county prison, however, all 43 were shot and killed by Jack Ruby, 52, a Dallas night club owner.

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Just imagine! Forty-three "lone nuts" working at Dallas City Hall! (And I thought it was a conspiracy....)

FWIW, Thomas

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Guest Stephen Turner

The [43] assembled killers were taken into custody at Dallas City Hall. As they were being transfered to the county prison, however, all 43 were shot and killed by Jack Ruby, 52, a Dallas night club owner.

________________________________________

Just imagine! Forty-three "lone nuts" working at Dallas City Hall! (And I thought it was a conspiracy....)

FWIW, Thomas

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43 lone nuts, sounds like a bag of planters. And for a dumpy guy, Ruby sure was agile. B)

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