Obama adminstration seeks to halt Bush-era declassification order

Government officials are working at breakneck speed to halt the pending declassification of millions of historical records scheduled for release next month, according to a report by Secrecy News.

The Office of Management and Budget has asked federal agencies to return comments on a new executive order on the classification of national security information by Nov. 23, according to the report. The revised order preempts the current Bush administration executive order that set a Dec. 31 deadline for automatic declassification of historical records passed between agencies that are more than 25 years old.

The Obama administration’s proposed new executive order comes in response to government complaints that the end-of-year deadline does not give agencies enough time to review the records slated for release.

According to Secrecy News, the potential executive order proposes that instead of automatically releasing the records — some of which date back to World War II — archival documents would first be processed by a national declassification center that does not yet exist.

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