CIA to detail secret Cold War actions

CIA to detail secret Cold War actions
© Getty Images

The CIA is planning to offer details about four previously undisclosed covert actions conducted during the Cold War, a federal advisory committee declared in a report.

It is unclear which actions will be detailed, however they will be from the Ronald Reagan administration or earlier.

ADVERTISEMENT

The disclosures will be published in upcoming volumes of an official State Department compendium of documents, called the Foreign Relations of the United States series.

“CIA consistently reviews both specific documents and compiled volumes in a timely manner, and in 2015 it agreed to acknowledge four covert actions that will be documented in future volumes,” the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation claimed in a report published last week.

The advisory panel is charged with declassifying State Department records and compiling the Foreign Relations of the United States series.

By law, the State Department volumes are supposed to cover events 30 years after they occur, accounting for information that was classified. However, the department has never complied with that deadline due to the challenges of coordinating the declassification of some documents as well as bureaucratic problems and staffing shortages.

The current review of the Reagan administration is especially challenging, the advisory committee noted, because of that administration's repeated reliance on covert actions that require extensive declassification.

Still, the situation has improved.

“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,” the panel claimed.

“It is likely that [the historian’s office] will finally meet its statutory thirty-year timeline as it publishes more volumes in the Reagan administration series over the next few years.”

The pending disclosure was first flagged by the Federation of American Scientists’ project on government secrecy.