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Documents Declassified - Index

"A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."
-- James Madison

Ever heard of the NRO? What's Echelon? Want to peruse the memos of a former CIA Station Chief? To what degree does Big Oil determine foreign policy? After all, who did kill Kennedy?

Often the difference between a conspiracy theory and a legitimate uncovering of secret activities is the proper documentation. Thanks to various pieces of legislation, including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and several Executive Orders, the general public now has access to vast stores of material previously deemed Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential at the highest levels of government.

When these new regulations were conceived, no one (including the government) had any clue that information would become so widely available and easily searchable as it has thanks to the advent of the Internet. However, in 1996, in the spirit of openness and information sharing, amendments to the FOIA mandated that each federal agency create a publicly accessible electronic reading room, guidelines about how to make agency specific FOIA requests, and electronically indexed and searchable databases of information.

This manifestation of American glasnost has been a boon for historians, history buffs, and those who pan for the gold dust of the next Watergate or Pentagon Papers. In the links in this section, you will find access to direct source materials, including memoranda, field reports, telegrams, correspondence, background studies and even detailed minutes of cabinet-level meetings. You'll find entire collections of documents from government intelligence agencies such as the CIA, NSA, and maybe a few others you've never heard about

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