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ARCHIVES Home

ARCHIVES Home

ARCHIVES  April 2006, Week 3

ARCHIVES April 2006, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Reclassification of letters at NARA

From:

Christina Hostetter <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Christina Hostetter <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 19 Apr 2006 11:57:40 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (70 lines)

I rarely jump in on these sorts of things because I don't always feel
qualified to speak on behalf of the profession because I am still a
newbie.  I would, however, like to comment on Richard Cox's statement
that "the deafening silence from the profession, or at least that
portion subscribing to the Archives list, suggests that this is not a
serious matter for it."

I certainly cannot and will not speak on behalf of all of those
subscribing to this list serve but I would like to add my personal point
of view on the topic.  I have been following this story through the
listserv and had little luck finding any other information about the
topic through other sources.  From reading the information on the
listserv and the comments from SAA, Mr. Cox, and Maarja I still don't
feel like I know enough about the relationship between NARA, the Air
Force, and the CIA to make any statements about the matter and its
impact on our profession.  

I certainly feel that this is an important matter which is why I have
been following it closely but not knowing the details and all of the
relationships, not to mention that I don't work for NARA and don't
understand all of their policies and operations I feel that I can't
comment. Personally, I am worried that NARA may become a puppet of the
current administration (which means it could continue to be manipulated
by future administrations) and that if we don't act now the whole reason
for NARA's existence will be lost on future generations.  I also think
Maarja makes a good point in her email that "the leaking of security
classified records by government employees is wrong - period. But we
should consider the fact that if the government misuses its
classification authority, or overclassifies information, the likelihood
of leaks likely will increase."

I also agree that SAA's statement on this issue may have been hasty but
I certainly hope that isn't the last word from either SAA or the
archival community.

I don't think I'm alone in saying that yes, this does matter and it is
incredibly important to the profession but the "silence" on the listserv
is not because archivists are not interested or concerned with the topic
at hand but rather cannot form opinions or draw conclusions without
further information or an understanding of the entities involved.
Republican or Democrat doesn't matter in this case.  What is most
important is that our profession and our existence are not trampled by
political bullies trying to change history.

I certainly hope that members of this listserv are not silent or
ignoring the topic because they feel that it doesn't affect their work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Christina J. Hostetter
Archivist
National Press Club Archives
529 14th Street, NW
Suite 480
Washington, DC  20045
202-662-7598
www.press.org/library/archives 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
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