The Obama administration delivered 18 documents to Congress on July 19, in accordance with legislation requiring a congressional review of the nuclear deal. Only one of these documents is classified, while the remaining 17 are unclassified.On the upside, it's good to hear that they're suddenly taking seriously questions of proper handling procedures.
Yet many of these unclassified documents cannot be shared with the public or discussed openly with the press. The protocol for handling these documents, set by the State Department and carried out by Congress, is that these unreleased documents can only be reviewed ‘in camera’—a Latin term that means only those with special clearance can read them—and must be held in various congressional SCIFs.
Most staffers were hesitant to discuss—let alone share—a number of these documents, even though they’re not classified, because they require security clearances to view. By mixing a classified document with unclassified documents, critics of this arrangement contend, important facts are being kept from the public just as Congress is deciding whether to support or oppose the Iran deal.
Irony and the State Department
Classified military intelligence on Libya? Send it in an email. Details about the Iran 'secret deals'? Sorry, man, it can't leave the SCIF.
By Grim on Thursday, August 20, 2015