Saturday, April 08, 2006

Executive Order 12958

That order specifies how classifications are done and who has authority to de-classify secrets. I'm lazy so I only gave it a cursory examination, but its appears clear de-classification authority rests with the person or position to first classify the item. Nowhere do I see any super power which gives Bush authority to de-classify a paper which was classified by the CIA.
Executive Order 12958

I'm open to expert opinion.


Blogger &y said...

Not an expert, sorry. But if you look back at Novak's original column outing Plame, you'll see he concludes it with this (bold emphasis added):

The story, actually, is whether the administration deliberately ignored Wilson's advice, and that requires scrutinizing the CIA summary of what their envoy reported. The Agency never before has declassified that kind of information, but the White House would like it to do just that now -- in its and in the public's interest.

If that executive order really gave Bush the power to declassify CIA documents, you'd think Bush would just have declassified the Wilson report unilaterally.

4/09/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger spiiderweb™ said...


Good point.

4/09/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger opit said...

Obsidian Wings
I don't know about the expert part, but Gary Farber comes up with an interesting take on legality in Hilzoy's comment thread.

4/10/2006 10:56:00 AM  

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