The Central Intelligence Agency is declassifying hundreds of pages of records detailing 25 years of overseas assassination attempts, domestic spying, and kidnapping. CIA Director Michael Hayden declassified the papers in hopes of "lifting the veil of secrecy" surrounding the agency. The documents contained "reminders of some things the CIA should not have done," Hayden said (Reuters). He also commented that when government witholds information, myth and misinformation often "fill the vacuum like a gas" (New York Times).
The records describe the agency's attempts to enlist the services of certain mafia figures to assassinate Fidel Castro as well as documentation of their involvment with the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s. Among the agency's other past deeds covered in the records are attempts to infiltrate the anti-war movement surrounding the Vietnam War and student unrest, as well as hostile interrogations of ex-KGB operatives.
General Hayden has defended his decision to make these records public in hopes of building public trust in the CIA, which was founded largely on secrecy and deception. He championed similar policies when he was the director of the National Security Agency, where he invited reporters to briefings and authorized officials to speak to James Bamford for his book "Body of Secrets."
Hayden has received some criticism for his actions, most of which suggests that the move to declassification is little more than a plot to make some of the agency's more recent activities seem less "nefarious" by contrasting them with the unpopular deeds of previous years, although Bamford credits Hayden for his seeming openness.
More information on the declassifications can be found at the following locations:
The New York Times hosted particularly detailed coverage of the subject and analyses of the implications and potential motivations involved with the issue. Reuters, likewise, also covered the story in fairly great depth, but perhaps not quite to the extent of the Times. Additionally, at the time of this research, the Star Tribune had no visible coverage.