Update on my legal research in this area:

I just wanted to briefly note an interesting ditty pertaining to the

methodology that the Reagan Administration instituted in dealing with

National Security-related information, including the declassification

system for documents related to that.

In November, 1978, Congress had updated and amended some laws pertaining

to the declassification procedures pertaining to National Security

documents, including Presidential records.

What is interesting, is that, in that 1978 law, Congress was to be called

in if a person was seeking to appeal a refusal by the Government to

declassify a document. That person was first to contact the Director of the

Information Security Oversight Office, which was a part of the General

Services Administration. That Director was then to refer the matter to the


However, in April, 1982, President Ronald Reagan "amended" that law via an

Excutive Order, Number 12356, which re-did how such de-classification

appeals were to be handled.

Where previously, the Oversight Office Director was to take the appealed

case to the Congress, now, the case went right back to the National

Security Agency--persons all hand-picked by the President. Thus, in effect,

the legislative branch was taken out of much of the activity involved in an

appeal of a decision of the Government to have a classified document remain

classified, and not be declassified so that a member of the general public

could access it.

I located these two items--the Executive Order of 1982 and its

predecessor, the 1978 EO--via text guides in my legal research workbook and with

the assistance of Ms. Carol Hampton, a librarian at the Arkansas State Supreme Court

Library downtown. They can be found, if you're interested and have a similar source, as


E.O. 12356: 47 Federal Register 14874-84 (April 6, 1982); however, you

might find this too difficult to access, as in most libraries it is in

microfiche; instead, you might try:

United States Code Congressional and Administrative News: 97th

Congress--Second Session, 1982, Volume 4: Legislative History: Public Laws

97:365 - 97:473, Proclamations, Executive Orders, Tables and Index.

Executive Orders: pages B51-B64. This latter also gets the job done, in

terms of the full text of the EO and helps clarify what Reagan did to the

checks and balances system in the area of National Security-related

Classified documents and the possibility of an appeal by a private citizen

of a government decision to keep such classified. That is, such possibility

was, in effect, ended.

Presidential Records Act of 1978: 44 USC (United States Code) Sections

2201-2207 (1982); this law had been intended to make all Presidential

records after 1981 subject to the new procedures that allowed an appeal to

the Director and then the Congress after January 20, 1981.

However, by April, 1982, "someone" didn't like this idea. As a result, the law was changed and Congress was left out. An appellant of a government decision to keep a

document classified could no longer access Congress even via the Director

of the Oversight Office. Now, such appeals went from the Director, right

back to the NSA--that is, right back to Reagan Administration appointees!

As of 1991, this law hadn't been changed; and it was still understood by

the United States Department of Agriculture Correspondence Program in

Washington, DC, to still be the current law as of 1997, when I took the

course in Publishing Management for which the workbook was provided. That

was well into Clinton's second term. Thus, we can fairly assume it is still

the current law: that is, the ultimate decision as to whether a document

remains classified can no longer be decided in consultation with the

Congress. Now, the entire process is controlled through the NSA! That is,

only the Executive Branch of the federal government decides this now--no

Congressional input is allowed! Only by passing a new law, could Congress

get its--and the public's, in effect--foot back in the door in this appeals


Apparently, someone was concerned that, if the 1978 procedures continued

(as they kicked in in January, 1981--shortly after Reagan was inaugurated),

some things might get declassified or too much would get leaked out about

them in the course of their being looked at by Congressional Subcommittees

on the appeals through the Director of Oversight. Therefore, Congress was

taken out of the picture.

Once given that kind of secrecy, the Executive--Reagan, Bush, Clinton--

has a tendency to retain it. No branch of Government, once given powers,

willingly surrenders those powers or offers to share them again with the

other branches--especially the Executive branch (as former Senator

Fulbright told us in The Limits of Power, and Arthur Schlesinger told us in The Imperial Presidency, a few years ago).

I guess we could have surmised that Reagan "cracked down" in this

area. Given what we've seen about Bush and his WW2 activities, one must

wonder: did this have something to do with the San Jacinto's deck log

remaining classified such a long time? Why was Bush and his crew taken to

the Lexington--the intelligence hub of the Seventh Fleet branch under

Admiral Mitscher--when most other downed pilots were merely returned to

their home carriers? People weren't usually sent to the Lexington, that is,

unless there was some Intelligence--ONI or OSS--interest in them.

Data about Bush's company, Zapata Oil, from around 1960--still under

Eisenhower, and when the CIA was still headed by former OSS Station Chief

Allen Dulles (George Bush's father's attorney)---suggests his company was a

"front" for the "Operation Zapata" the CIA was then running to kill and

depose Castro. Some of those records at the Securities and Exchange

Commission were later destroyed or lost. But this suggests Bush was CIA as

early as 1960. That later, November 1963 memo from J. Edgar Hoover to

"George Bush of the CIA" tends to further confirm such early Bush

membership in CIA. Other things of interest include those findings by Anthony Kimery and others that the ships used at Bay of Pigs included the Barbara and the Houston, names near and dear to Bush (who named his WW2 plane after her). (See "Kimmery, Anthony" listing in the Annotated Bibliography file on this website.)

When CIA was first set up, part of its job was to replace OSS. It was

widely understood that OSS assets would "roll over" into CIA. Bush was

apparently CIA under Dulles. That could put him in the CIA as early as

Dulles's taking the helm there. And, this about the Lexington suggests he

may have been OSS as early as June, 1944. Could that be how Dulles got

George Bush into the Navy as a pilot at 18, against Naval regulations? At

that time, June 1942, Naval regulations required a pilot be 21 and have two

years of college previous to being given pilot status in the Navy.

Intriguingly, too, George was not just an ordinary pilot: he was trained in

aerial photography and was assigned as an official aerial photographer for

his squadron and sector of Admiral Mitscher's part of the Seventh Fleet.

(Keep in mind that Allen Dulles, a bigwig at OSS already in June, 1942, was

Prescott Bush's attorney--not to mention all that about Artemis Gates,

Robert Lovett and James Forrestal being business and/or fraternity

associates of Prescott--which I discuss in depth in "Encountering Prescott Bush" and elsewhere in Tim, George Bush and Me.)

Of course, George Bush has always denied being part of the CIA until

around 1974 and '75, when he, all at once, became Director. But it's quite

common for CIA people to deny membership in the Agency--or, more

colloquially, the Company.

Odds and ends thus suggest a virtual lifelong membership in OSS/CIA by

George Bush--as well as how "John Q. Public" was rendered virtually without

the right of appeal of a classified document.

Technically, a citizen can still take the government to court to appeal a classified document's retention of "Classified" status. A few years back some UFOlogists sued the government under the Freedom of Information Act. (The Guide I was using was Guide to the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, a textbook in the Publishing Management Course I took in 1997 as part of my first bachelor's degree program). They didn't have much success in the Federal courts. Of course, they gave their own "spin" to it, which may or may not be a valid one, but anyway, they didn't have much luck. (That's just one example, too: I think LaRouche and also Christopher Simpson have variously sued to get doc's declassified with similar non-results.)

The World War II warship classification term was "Confidential" and "Top

Secret." "Classified" is a post-War term, though it means the same thing, or has the same power and effect.

One other thing that's interesting about EO 12356 is that it suggests that someone had to "intervene" to keep the San Jac's log classified, since an old agency or old dated document, has to be re-classified by later agencies. In this case, the automatic

de-classification process set up under the 1978 law was changed to give more "flexibility" to the NSA in re-classifying previously declassified or about-to-be-declassified doc's.

Messrs. Tarpley and Chaitkin have noted that Bush was heavily involved by

early 1982 in running the "secret" government in Reagan's Administration. Bush had

revamped a lot of things while Reagan was hospitalized after the shooting on March 30, 1981--from about March to about August, Reagan was "in and out". Bush filled the vacuum, setting up a lot of "stuff" that had never been there before, and taking on, as Tarpley and Chaitkin put it in the Unauthorized Biography of George Bush, "powers never previously held by the Vice-President."

Apparently his "hand" may be evident on some level with the wording and input for wording of the EO 12356. The "intervention", then, may have been Bush's. It would fit: after all, it was his carrier's log!

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