Gov’t deletes records

AP: 1M archived pages removed post-9/11 –

More than 1 million pages of historical government documents — a stack taller than the U.S. Capitol — have been removed from public view since the September 2001 terror attacks, according to records obtained by the Associated Press. Some of the papers are more than a century old.

In some cases, entire file boxes were removed
without significant review because the government’s central
record-keeping agency, the National Archives and Records
Administration, did not have time for a more thorough audit.

“We just felt we couldn’t take the time and
didn’t always have the expertise,” said Steve Tilley, who oversaw the
program. Archives officials are still screening records, but the number
of files pulled recently has declined dramatically, he said.

The records administration began removing
materials under its “records of concern” program, launched in November
2001 after the Justice Department instructed agencies to be more
guarded in releasing government papers. The agency has removed about
1.1 million pages, according to partially redacted monthly progress
reports reviewed by the AP. The reports were obtained under the Freedom
of Information Act.

The pulled records include the presumably
dangerous, such as nearly half an enormous database from the Federal
Emergency Management Agency with information about all federal
facilities. But they also include the presumably useless, such as part
of a collection about the Lower Colorado River Authority that includes
114-year-old papers.

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