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  • Lou Novacheck
    *20121022-INTELLIGENCE IMAGERY SET TO BE DISCLOSED IN 2013* SECRECY NEWS from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy Volume 2012, Issue No. 108 A massive
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 22, 2012
      *20121022-INTELLIGENCE IMAGERY SET TO BE DISCLOSED IN 2013*
      SECRECY NEWS
      from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
      Volume 2012, Issue No. 108


      A massive quantity of historical intelligence satellite imagery from the
      KH-9 HEXAGON program is being declassified and will be made public in a
      series of releases that are scheduled over the coming year, intelligence
      community officials say.

      Declassification of intelligence satellite imagery languished for years
      after President Clinton ordered the release of product from the Corona,
      Argon and Lanyard missions in the 1995 executive order
      12951<http://www.fas.org/sgp/clinton/eo12951.html>.
      Although the Clinton order also required the periodic review of imagery
      from other missions, that requirement was effectively ignored by
      intelligence agencies and neglected by congressional oversight.

      But in a May 2010 memorandum<http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/intel/imagery.pdf>
      Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair ordered the
      "re-establishment" of the declassification review of intelligence imagery
      -- though it had never been officially disestablished -- with a particular
      focus on imagery from satellite systems that were deemed obsolete.

      In January 2011, DNI James R. Clapper formally
      declared<http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/intel/dni012011.pdf>
      that the KH-9 HEXAGON program was obsolete, and that declassification
      review of all program imagery should therefore commence. KH-9 HEXAGON was
      operational from 1971 to 1984.

      "The process to declassify imagery pursuant to EO 12951 began shortly after
      DNI Blair's May 26, 2010
      memorandum<http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/intel/imagery.pdf>
      and has been ongoing, in earnest, with the goal of releasing as much
      imagery as possible to the public, consistent with national security," said
      Michael G. Birmingham of the Office of the Director of National
      Intelligence. "Accordingly, The KH-9/HEXAGON system was declared
      obsolete<http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/intel/dni012011.pdf>
      in January 2011 and a phased declassification of its imagery has ensued."

      More than two years after the Blair memorandum, however, next to nothing
      has yet been made public.

      "The notable challenges to this effort are the sheer volume of imagery and
      the logistics involved in cataloging the imagery and moving it to archive,"
      Mr. Birmingham told Secrecy News.

      "For context, and to grasp the scope of the project, the KH-9/HEXAGON
      system provided coverage over hundreds of millions of square miles of
      territory during its 19 successful missions spanning 1971-1984. It is a
      daunting issue to address declassification of the program specifics
      associated with an obsolete system such as the KH-9, which involves the
      declassification of huge volumes of intelligence information gathered on
      thousands of targets worldwide during a 13 year time period."

      Daunting or not, the large bulk of the KH-9 imagery is expected to be
      released, with only perhaps 5% or so remaining classified.

      "There is a schedule of multiple deliveries with final delivery of imagery
      scheduled for September 2013," Mr. Birmingham said.

      Within the intelligence community, the National Geospatial-Intelligence
      Agency is the executive agent for imagery declassification. NGA public
      affairs did not respond to questions about its declassification program.

      --
      Life is illusory and as fleeting as a bubble in a stream.
      ~ from the Diamond Sutra, the oldest printed book known, circa 868 AD

      "Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!": "Look behind
      you! Remember that you are but a man! Remember that you'll die!�
      ~ Tertullian in his Apologeticus.[3]

      ---
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