We Urge Declassification of Afghanistan Report
FCNL joined 21 other organizations in urging the President to declassify the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan.
Providing a declassified version of the NIE would contribute to informed public opinion about the war in Afghanistan and demonstrate that U.S. foreign policy is not just a matter for national leaders to decide. Sustainable foreign policy, and ultimately a world without war, relies on public understanding.
March 14, 2012
Dear Mr. President,
As organizations that favor open government, we are writing to urge you to declassify and release the current National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Afghanistan.
Declassification of the NIE would help to inform public discussion of the war in Afghanistan. It would demonstrate awareness that the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan is not solely a matter for national leaders to decide, but that it also depends substantially on public support. Disclosure of the NIE would be a sign of your continued commitment to increasing the transparency of your Administration, as well as an indicator of respect for informed public opinion.
We recognize that the NIE may contain properly classified information that warrants protection. To the extent that is the case, such information could be redacted while permitting full disclosure of the NIE's key judgments. Such disclosure of an NIE has been successfully performed in the past with no adverse effects on intelligence sources or methods.
Support for public release of the NIE enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, as demonstrated by the January 12, 2012 letter that was sent to you by Rep. Walter B. Jones and Rep. James P. McGovern. We share the thoughtful views expressed in that letter and ask that you give them favorable attention.
Thank you for considering our views. If you would like to set up a meeting to discuss this issue in detail, please contact Patrice McDermott, Executive Director of OpenTheGovernment.org, at 202-332-6736 or email@example.com.
3P Human Security
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Library Association
Center for Media and Democracy
Collaboration on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
Freedom of Information Center at the Missouri School of Journalism
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Just Foreign Policy
Military Families Speak Out
National Freedom of Information Coalition
National Security Archive
Pax Christi USA
Project On Government Oversight – POGO
Society of Professional Journalists
Special Libraries Association
Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University
U.S. Labor Against the War
Utah Foundation for Open Government