CIA Inspector General Can't Find A Single Example Of CIA Overclassification

from the oh-really? dept

A few days ago, we wrote about the CIA redacting information regarding the price it paid for a single Amiga computer back in 1987. After such news reports came out, the CIA admitted that this was an error and shouldn't have been redacted. Of course, the only reason the documents with that information came out in the first place was because of the efforts of former CIA agent Jeffrey Scudder, who had come across a bunch of classified documents internally that he realized should no longer be classified. Based on that, he filed a FOIA request for those documents -- leading the FBI to come after him and end his CIA career (despite his actions being entirely legal).

It's hard not to see all of that as evidence that the CIA has a pretty serious overclassification problem. But don't tell that to the CIA. A newly (yes) declassified report from the CIA's Inspector General reveals that they could not find a single example of overclassification by the CIA. None. Nada. The CIA has a perfect score, apparently. They do admit to finding errors in how some information was recorded, but not a single case of overclassification:
If you can't see the image, the key part is:
We found no instance of over-classification in the sample of [REDACTED] finished intelligence reports that we reviewed
Admittedly, the number of reports reviewed is classified here, so perhaps the Inspector General just reviewed one. Or zero. But, uh, wait a second... why is the number of reports reviewed classified in the first place? The number is listed as (b)(3) exemption, which tells you basically nothing. It just incorporates things exempted by other statutes. Basically, it's saying there's some law out there that forbids us from revealing this. Of course, one could argue that this seems like a case of overclassification... in the report that insists that the Inspector General couldn't find any examples of overclassification.

Still, it seems like it should raise some alarm bells when they can't find a single example. It's like cheating students, with poor test-taking history, who suddenly get all the answers correct. It should make the teacher more skeptical. Cheating students often know to at least get one or two answers wrong on purpose, and it's fairly amazing that the CIA couldn't find any examples of overclassification just to keep the red flags from being raised. But, then again, who are we kidding? This is the CIA and it's never been concerned with red flags. It throws them up left and right and no one seems to care.

Filed Under: cia, overclassification


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:59am

    I'd assume they analyzed documents that were public from the start. Then wiped their arses with some foia requests and the Constitution and called it a day.

    Somebody mail them with this very document and label the envelope "EXAMPLE OF OVERCLASSIFICATION".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:00pm

    I believe the word "Zero"...

    is the first word redacted in the report shown above.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:11pm

    Fake

    If this was really CIA handiwork we'd have received a 'can neither confirm nor deny' response

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TAKUMI (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:16pm

    We can't confirm or deny any of this "overclassification" business

    'We can't find any examples of overclassification to show you because whoops, any useful information about overclassification happens to be classified.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:23pm

    "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:26pm

    "CIA Inspector General Can't Find A Single Example Of CIA Overclassification"

    The head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinstein, disagrees with this assessment. When the captain of the Intelligence Committe cheerleading squad complains about overclassification. You know there's a serious problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:30pm

    We found no instance of over-classification in the sample of [REDACTED] finished intelligence reports that we reviewed.

    This comic gem stands on its own.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:39pm

    "We've found no instances of hens being consumed." says Head Fox.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:43pm

    New Dictionary

    In the new government dictionary [REDACTED] means '1'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:44pm

    Inside the box there's no perspective.

    The CIA Inspector General doesn't see overclassification because he's in a position where overclassification is invisible. From his perspective, the people need not know anything, and therefore should not know anything. What the CIA is doing is one-hundred-percent right.

    So, in the next iteration (because we can't change the CIA without breaking it) the people in charge of declassification need to be in a committee outside of the CIA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:58pm

    This is called "zero accountability"

    And the CIA knows it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam West, 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:09pm

    If anyone read the intercept today

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/02/the-nsa-and-me/

    Even external investigations can be suspect and problematic, never mind internal ones that do not and maybe have never turned up any problems.

    People lie a lot, all of the articles over that past decade about white lies, and how that is good for human interaction... Sociopaths take this and use it as a basis and justification of Really Really big Lies, ones that harm people many orders of magnitude more than telling your wife she isn't fat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JohnHalo (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:48pm

    Would you say the Inspector General is partisan or stupid? Or both?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:13pm

    When someone say they are perfect = Very shady

    This reminds me of something I heard many years ago on the telly. A governor or some such, tried to defend the death penalty by stating that there had NEVER been anyone who had been falsely executed in her state. It was easily disproved of course, and anyone with just a little bit of sense would see it for the quite huge lie it was.
    Now I can respect peoples opinions, even if they are very opposite mine, but don't insult our intelligence and say that you are perfect, because it will damage your cause when people start to question your sense of reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:18pm

    It isn't the first redaction in the pictured document snippet that's ironic. It was an intentional joke.
    It's the second and third redactions that were unintentional:

    The second redaction was supposed to read "'Submit an Article' page at Cracked.com."

    The third redaction was supposed to read "Onion"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 1:44am

    Of course

    They don't think Overclassification is possible since they don't want the plebs knowing they exist in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 2:42am

    CIA Inspector General Can't Find A Single Example Of CIA Overclassification

    Probably should have taken the blind fold off first, huh

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 6 Oct 2014 @ 7:11am

    The public is the enemy. The purpose of redactions is to keep information out of the hands of the enemy. The goal is to keep the public in the dark.
    Everything was classified just as much as it needed to be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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