Clapper: Declassify the Bin Laden Files
12:45 PM, Apr 11, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
During the House Intelligence Committee hearing today on “Worldwide Threats,” Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said that he has recently had conversations about releasing more of the documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound. More of the documents should be released, Clapper said.
For nearly one year we’ve been arguing that more of the files, which would fill a “small college library,” should be released to the public. To date, the Obama administration has released just 17 of the documents (and a handful of videos) from an archive that totaled “hundreds of thousands” of files. This is an insignificant fraction of the total haul.
There are no guarantees, of course, that additional documents given to the public will be a representative cross-section of the whole.
But at least DNI Clapper, prompted by questioning from Congressman Devin Nunes, has now publicly recognized that more of the files should be released to the public.
Clapper said the files that are still operationally relevant need to remain behind the classified wall. Agreed. But here is what we wrote on May 3, 2012 – the day the administration released just 17 documents through West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC):
This remains true today.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
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