CIA Has Removed 7 Files From CREST


Short version: CIA recently posted and quickly pulled down seven documents in its online archive CREST. They don’t appear to be anywhere else online. Further down you’ll find info on each of these missing documents, including screenshots of three landing pages.

Long version: The CIA’s CREST archive contains more than 12 million pages of formerly classified documents that are 25 years or older. Because of Executive Order 13526 (and its predecessors), at the 25-year mark, nonexempt documents of “permanent historical value” are automatically declassified whether they’ve been reviewed or not. Then they’re put into CREST, which has been available online since January 2017.

But sometimes documents get pulled down.

In April 2018, CIA posted documents from 1992 and January 1993. By late May, seven of those documents had been pulled offline. Three of them, possibly four, are about President George H.W. Bush’s final visit to CIA. Another concerns the Central Employee Activities Fund. The other two documents are videos having to do with “Hubble” and “Lagoon.”

The disappearance was noticed by French investigative journalist Jean-Marc Manach, who uses a script to monitor documents being added to CIA’s “Electronic Reading Room,” which includes FOIA releases and CREST. In late May, the script indicated that some CREST files had been pulled down. He searched online, but the documents weren’t anywhere, including Google’s cache and the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. But Manach did find the landing pages for three of those documents in Bing’s cache.

Manach notified Michael Morisy of Muckrock, who kindly passed the email to me. I likewise couldn’t find the missing documents anywhere, and could find only those three landing pages. With Manach’s permission, I’m going to pass along what is known about the missing docs.

If anyone happened to download any of these documents, please send them along. I’m filing a series of FOIA requests for them, but don’t count on that working.

 

Info About the Files

Here’s everything that Manach’s script told him about the missing files, plus links and screenshots for the three pages in Bing’s cache.

1) TEST VIDEO LAGOON ZOOM MP4

Info from the script: “April 20,2018 Attachment Size lagoon_zoom_pan-tc-1280×720.mp4 28.61 MB TEST VIDEO MP4 Lagoon Zoom …”

Original link (now defunct): www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/node/2062372

Link to the landing page captured in Bing’s cache [see note at bottom of this page]

 

2) REQUEST FOR CEAF FUNDING

Info from the script: “06739169 RIFPUB U 1 April 10, 2018 January 6, 1992 Attachment Size REQUEST FOR CEAF … FUNDING[15421552].pdf 624.45 KB APPROVED FOR RELEASE- Historical p..Ap roved for Release: 2018/03/22 C06739169 EO 13526 … 1.4(c)<25Yrs F- DATE: 03-20-2018 ADMINISTRATIVE- INTERNAL USE ONLY 6 January 1992 MEMORANDUM FOR: …”

Original link (now defunct): www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/06739169

Link to the landing page captured in Bing’s cache [see note at bottom of this page]

Mirror of the cached landing page [see note at bottom of this page]

 

3) PRESIDENT’S VISIT – – SUBSTANTIVE BRIEFING SCENARIO

Info from the script: “06739170 RIPPUB U 1 April 10, 2018 Attachment Size PRESIDENTS VISIT– SUBS[15421489].pdf 546.55 KB … pn 1F9 1 4irl<9Vrc APPROVED FOR RELEASE- Historical PrAlMr.T.,/ed19.r Release: 2018 … /03/22 C06739170 DATE: 03-20-2018 Di Con4 Do PRESIDENT’S VISIT– SUBSTANTIVE BRIEFING SCENARIO NOTE: …”

Original link (now defunct): www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/06739170

Link to the landing page captured in Bing’s cache [see note at bottom of this page]

 

4) PRESIDENT BUSH’S FAREWELL VISIT TO CIA EMPLOYEES

Info from the script: “06739166 RIFPUB U 1 April 10, 2018 January 8, 1993 Attachment Size PRESIDENT BUSHS FAREWELL … [15421551].pdf 429.2 KB Approved for Release: 2018/03/22 C06739166 APPROVED FOR RELEASE- Historical Programs … tatt DATE: 03-20-2018 President Bush’s Farewell Visit To CIA Employees January 8, 1993 …”

Original link, now defunct: www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/06739166

 

5) PRESIDENT BUSH’S FAREWELL VISIT FRIDAY, 8 JANUARY 1993

Info from the script: “06739167 RIFPUB U 2 April 10, 2018 January 8, 1993 Attachment Size PRESIDENT BUSHS FAREWELL … [15421553].pdf 357.28 KB Approved for Release: 2018/03/22 C06739167 APPROVED FOR RELEASE- Historical Programs … Staff DATE: 03-20-2018 President Bush’s Farewell Visit Friday, 8 January 1993 1130-1230 …”

Original link (now defunct): www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/06739167

 

6) PRESIDENT BUSH’S FAREWELL VISIT TO CIA EMPLOYEES FRIDAY, 8 JANUARY 1993 MAIN CAFETERIA

Info from the script: “06739168 RIPPUB U 1 April 10, 2018 December 30, 1992 Attachment Size PRESIDENT BUSHS FAREWELL … [15421550].pdf 1012.77 KB Approved for Release: 2018/03/22 C06739168 APPROVED FOR RELEASE- Historical Programs … Staff DATE: 03-20-2018 EO 13526 1.4(c)<25Yrs 7,� EMPLOYEE 13 tilletEnt 30 December 1992 …”

Original link (now defunct): www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/06739168

 

7) TEST VIDEO FIRST DECADE HUBBLE

Info from the script: “April 20, 2018 Attachment Size first_decade_320x240.mpg 35.3 MB TEST VIDEO FIRST DECADE HUBBLE MPG …”

Original link (now defunct): www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/node/2062371

 


Note: Unfortunately, the Bing and Google caches let their copies of webpages expire after those pages disappear. The idea behind the caches is not to keep permanent mirrors of every webpage (a la the Wayback Machine) but just to let you access a webpage if it happens to be temporarily unreachable at the moment you want to view it. Once a webpage has been gone for a while, the cached copy goes bye-bye too.

Bing’s cache expires even more quickly than Google’s, and as I write this, two of the cached landing pages are already gone. The cached landing page for the second file still exists at this moment, so — using my thinking cap — I mirrored it in the Wayback Machine.

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