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Declassified CIA documents detail past illegal operations

[JURIST] The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website; JURIST news archive] Monday declassified a 693-page file detailing the CIA's illegal activities compiled from a comprehensive internal investigation initiated in May, 1973 by then-CIA director James R. Schlesinger [corporate profile] following the Watergate scandal [BBC backgrounder]. The probe revealed multiple instances of possible illegal detention, burglary, domestic surveillance of American journalists, lawyers and political activists, and assassination attempts on foreign leaders, including Cuban President Fidel Castro [official profile, in Spanish].

The documents, some of which are available online [materials] by George Washington University's National Security Archive [official website], are among the first CIA documents to be voluntarily declassified since the late 1990s. An additional 11,000 pages of material containing CIA analyses of Sino-Soviet relations and Russian and Chinese domestic policies between the 1950s and 1970s as well as Warsaw Pact military intelligence have also released. AP has more.

UPDATE 6/26/07 - The declassified documents [press release] have now been released in two collections - the so-called "Family Jewels" and the CAESAR-POLO-ESAU papers on Sino-Soviet relations.

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