Tag Archives: Classified

AREA 51: Pilot Dies in Crash of Mystery Aircraft

Area 51

THE death of a top US pilot at a secret test facility is wrapped in mystery. The aircraft he was flying hasn’t been revealed, and it took three days for authorities to admit the crash happened.

     LIEUTENANT Colonel Eric Schults died from injuries sustained after the military aircraft he was flying crashed on Tuesday.

The US Air Force won’t reveal what aircraft he was flying.

By Jamie Seidel
www.news.com.au
9-9-17

It also took authorities three days before publicly announcing his death.

Both elements are highly unusual, especially given it came a day before two A-10C Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft crashed on the same weapons testing range. Both pilots managed to eject to safety.

“Information about the type of aircraft involved is classified and not releasable,” Major Christina Sukach, chief of public affairs for the 99 Air Base Wing at Nellis, told military.com.

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Old NSA Records Remain Inaccessible to Researchers

NSA Records Languish at National Archives for Now

     Last year, the National Archives (NARA) acquired a large number of historically valuable National Security Agency records. But they remain inaccessible to researchers, at least for the time being.
By Steven Aftergood
Secrecy News
7-17-17

David Langbart of NARA described the situation at a closed meeting of the State Department Historical Advisory Committee late last year. According to recently published minutes of that meeting:

“The [NSA] records consist of approximately 19,000 folders without any real arrangement. These records mostly consist of technical, analytical, historical, operational, and translation reports and related materials. Most of the records date from the period from the 1940s to the 1960s, but there are also documents from the 1920s and 1930s and even earlier. The NSA reviewed the records for declassification before accessioning and most documents and folder titles remain classified. Langbart concluded that the finding aid prepared by NSA was the only practical way to locate documents of interest for researchers, but it is 557 pages long and is classified.”

The National Archives confirmed that this description remains accurate today.

So not only are these thousands of half-century-old records still classified or otherwise unavailable, but the finding aid that would enable researchers to locate specific documents of interest is itself a classified document.

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Disclosing Classified Info to the Press — With Permission

Disclosing Classified Info to the Press — With Permission

     Intelligence officials disclosed classified information to members of the press on at least three occasions in 2013, according to a National Security Agency report to Congress that was released last week under the Freedom of Information Act.
By Steven Aftergood
Secrecy News
1-4-17

See Congressional Notification — Authorized Disclosures of Classified Information to Media Personnel, NSA memorandum to the staff director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, December 13, 2013.

The specific information that NSA gave to the unnamed reporters was not declassified. But the disclosures were not “leaks,” or unauthorized disclosures. They were, instead, authorized disclosures. For their part, the reporters agreed not to disseminate the information further.

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Size of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Remains Classified | SECRECY NEWS

Size of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Remains Classified

By Steven Aftergood
fas.org
1-8-15

      The U.S. government will not categorically declassify the number of weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal once and for all, but it will consider declassification of the size of the prior year’s arsenal on a case by case basis, the Department of Energy said last week.

In May 2010, the Obama Administration declassified the fact that there were 5,113 warheads in the U.S. arsenal as of September 2009. It was the first time in the nuclear age that the current size of the U.S. arsenal (or any nation’s arsenal) was officially disclosed.

Last year, the numbers were updated through September 2013, when there were a reported 4,804 warheads.

Why not make such disclosures routinely and as a matter of course? Last May, the Federation of American Scientists presented a proposal to that effect to the joint DOE/DOD Formerly Restricted Data (FRD) Declassification Working Group (DWG). Officials rejected the idea.

“The FRD DWG has determined that it cannot agree to your request at this time,” wrote Andrew P. Weston-Dawkes, the Director of the DOE Office of Classification in a December 30, 2014 letter.

Instead, “any public request for stockpile and dismantlement numbers beyond September 30, 2013, should be made as a separate declassification request for the prior fiscal year,” he wrote. “Public requests for this information will not be considered for future out-years.”

Accordingly, we submitted a request this week for declassification of the stockpile and dismantlement figures as of the end of fiscal year 2014 (i.e., September 30, 2014). . . .

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