C.I.A. to Release Documents on Decades-Old Misdeeds

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The Central Intelligence Agency will make public next week a collection of long-secret documents compiled in 1974 that detail domestic spying, assassination plots and other C.I.A. misdeeds in the 1960s and early 1970s, the agency’s director, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, said yesterday.

In an address to a group of historians who have long pressed for greater disclosure of C.I.A. archives, General Hayden described the documents, known as the “family jewels,” as “a glimpse of a very different time and a very different agency.” He also directed the release of 11,000 pages of cold-war documents on the Soviet Union and China, which were handed out on compact discs at the meeting, in Chantilly, Va.

In a defense of openness unusual in an administration that has vigorously defended government secrecy, General Hayden said that when government withholds information, myth and misinformation often “fill the vacuum like a gas.” He noted a European Parliament report of 1,245 secret C.I.A. flights over Europe, a number interpreted in some news articles as the number of cases of “extraordinary rendition,” in which terrorism suspects were flown to prison in other countries.

In fact, General Hayden said, the agency has detained fewer than 100 people in its secret overseas detention program since the 2001 terrorist attacks. He said the questioning of those detainees, which in some cases has involved harsh physical treatment, had produced valuable information, contributing to more than 8,000 intelligence reports...

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