A move by the U.S. government to disclose details of nuclear programs that have been discontinued has “positive consequences” for future efforts to declassify some of the nation’s old secrets, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
“The fact that a now-retired nuclear weapon was once located at a now-closed location in the United States shall no longer be considered classified information” under a new effort announced by the Department of Defense, commented Steven Aftergood on the website of the Federation of American Scientists.
“This may seem so trivial and insignificant as to be hardly worth deciding or announcing, but it could have positive practical consequences for current and future declassification efforts,” he said.
A blogger at the National Declassification Center, which presses for opening old records to the public, noted his group’s involvement in the effort.
“The NDC made the case to the … [Declassification Working Group] that this information should be declassified due to the repeated discoveries of this kind of [secret details] in numerous records that impeded the prompt declassification of many documents…. We look forward to work[ing] with these agencies again as we continue to work for the declassification of other types of [secrets.]”
On the defense.gov website, the government addressed the issue of “formerly restricted data.”
“The Second Open Government National Action Plan for the United States of America called for the DoD, Department of Energy, and Department of State to determine, consistent with applicable statutes, how to implement a systematic review process for the declassification of no-longer sensitive historical information on nuclear programs … focusing on specific events and topics of historical nuclear policy interest and ways for the public to help identity priorities for declassification review,” it said.
A newly adopted process has that goal.
For example, the government noted that there were U.S. nuclear weapons deployed on Okinawa prior to Okinawa’s reversion to Japan in 1972.
Also, the last W80-0 TLAM-N warhead was retired from Department of Defense service on Aug. 31, 2011.