WASHINGTON: The CIA said the recent release of about 700 pages of formerly classified documents from the 1970s is part of an ongoing effort to establish a new agency reputation for being as open and honest as possible.
The two sets of documents, commonly referred to as the "Family Jewels," were compiled in 1973 and include details on surveillance of journalists and negotiations to employ mafia members to assassinate Fidel Castro. Some aspects of the material remain classified, however, with various details within the documents obscured.
The release of the documents, available at www.foia.cia.gov, is in answer to a 1992 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. CIA public affairs director Mark Mansfield said the agency has worked hard to reduce its backlog of FOIA cases despite receiving about 3,000 new requests annually.
In a note from CIA director Michael Hayden to staff and provided to PRWeek, he describes the documents' release as a "process of recollection and self-examination" meant to show that the CIA is faith- fully living up to its "social contract with the American people."