The New York Times has a two-page article
that is one of its 5 most read today, and it's much ado about nothing at all. They're complaining that after Clinton released millions of pages of formerly classified documents to the National Archives in 1995, national security agencies asked for some of them to be reclassified because they were still too sensitive. This withdrawal effort began under Clinton,
in 1999, when the economy was still in its heyday and one could reasonably expect Al Gore to be the next President. The NYT complains that the effort has "accelerated" under Bush, and that therefore, the Bush administration is being unreasonably paranoid and secretive. A look at the numbers dispels this notion.
The CIA is only one of the several agencies that release documents to the National Archive. It has released 26 million pages since 1998 alone.
55,000 pages in 9,500 documents have been reclassified since 1999. 1,500 under Clinton, and 8,000 under Bush. That's about 1,600 a year under Bush. Considering the relatively tiny numbers we're looking at here, it is ridiculous for the NYT to try to paint this as some dramatic "acceleration" in government secrecy. The best part is how they interview self-interested historians, who want documents to, you know, write histories
about, while not asking any of the officials involved why they're reclassifying sensitive documents released by Clinton. Yes, let's only ask those who have a vested interest in declassification!
Such transparent one-sidedness!
Throw in a few seemingly-ludicrous, chewy anecdotes of harmless documents that were reclassified, and you have the mental image of an out-of-control, sinister, paranoid presidency that the New York Times is so eager to paint for you. Never mind the numbers, it's the feelings that count.