CIA publishes more than 12 million classified files online

CIA’s Secret History Can Now Be Viewed Online

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has published over 12 million pages of declassified documents online. The records include UFO sightings along with psychic experiments and extrasensory perception from the Star Gate programme, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development. Previously, the documents were only available to the public on four physical computers at the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. every day.

This is the first time that the CIA is making its database known as CREST or CIA Records Search Tool online. Back in 1995, the CIA was ordered by then-President Bill Clinton to declassify secret government documents at least 25 years old that were also of “historical value.” But the CIA didn’t make the archives searchable until 2000. However, in 2000, the CIA abided by setting up the computers at the National Archives. Years ago, the CIA posted the titles of the CREST collection on its website but it was only accessible in person that required visiting the National Archives.

The CIA decided to move the documents online to show their commitment to increasing the accessibility of declassified records to the public. “Declassifying all the documents in the world doesn’t accomplish anything if people can’t get access to them,” said Steve Aftergood, the Director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

“Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography. The American public can access these documents from the comfort of their homes,” said Joseph Lambert, the CIA Director of Information Management.

The archives cover events from the 1940s to the 1990s (each year, a new batch are declassified) and include details about early CIA history, the flight of war criminals from Nazi Germany, the Cold War, Vietnam, the quarter-mile Berlin tunnel built to tap Soviet telephone lines, the Korean War, the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, foreign translations, scientific abstracts, internal intelligence bulletins and memos from former CIA directors, UFO reports and more.

The entire declassified documents can be found on the CIA’s library website here

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