In Order to Comply With Obama's Transparency Pledge, NSA Declassifies a 200-Year-Old Document

Secrecy News reports

The National Security Agency announced yesterday that it has declassified a report that is over two hundred years old.

The newly declassified report, entitled “Cryptology: Instruction Book on the Art of Secret Writing,” dates from 1809.  It is part of a collection of 50,000 pages of historic records that have just been declassified by NSA and transferred to the National Archives.

The NSA said the new release demonstrated its “commitment to meeting the requirements” of President Obama’s January 2009 Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

Also at that link: an update on the federal government's collapsing case against Thomas Drake, the NSA employee who told Americans their government was spying on them. 

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  • ||

    I am eagerly awaiting the release of dispatches from the War of 1812 in 3 years.

  • ||

    Canada. Smallpox. Blankets. Secret. Plan.

  • yonemoto||

  • ||

    I wasn't talking about the Indian stuff. I was talking about a secret plan to destroy Canada during the War of 1812.

  • ||

    SEE? He's the most transparent prezudent evah!

  • ||

    Are you here again? Don't be.

  • ||

    Apparently I'm replying to myself now. And insulting myself. Next I'll tell myself jokes. And laugh at them.

  • Brett L||

    So you're not on the Democrat side, I take it?

  • L4F||

    No, I'm on the freedom side which is usually the Republican side except when they get bitchy about silly social issues.

  • ||

    GREGGGOOOOOOOOOO

  • ||

    Or if you have a brown complexion.

  • herp derp||

    You mean the side of lowering taxes while continuing to increase spending and refusing to ever cut spending to the DoD and Social Security and Medicare. And hoping that it all works like MAGIC!

  • L4Freedom||

    There's lots of RINO's in the GOP. Still, anything's better than Marxism-Leninism aka Progressivism.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The DHS and TSA were created under a Republican administration.

  • Arcaster||

    Maybe it's been done before, but I think we should help Grego out and suggest some slogans for his blog.

    "libertarians4freedom: either accept our bastardized versions of libertarianism and freedom, or we'll initiate force against you."

  • L4F||

    Too long.

  • ||

    GREGGGOOOOOOOOOO

  • Jim||

    lol @ Arcaster

  • Rahm Emanuel||

    Libertarians for freedom: we're fucking retarded.

  • ||

    GREGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • They see me Herpin'||

    Awsome, Godwin's Law achieved already.

    Maybe his next post will involve Rule 34?

  • ||

    Wow. Comparing your political opponents to Nazis... what a new and refreshing approach to politics.

  • ||

    You know who else failed at threaded comments?

  • Brett L||

    P Brooks?

  • ||

    Who hasn't?

  • L4F||

    Well, if the shoe fits the Stormtroopers go to Payless.

  • Mango Punch||

    Well if you were in Germany between 1919 and 1945 then calling your political opponents Nazis actually made sense.

  • cynical||

    Ah, giving Soros a free pass to call people Nazis. Very clever, MP, but I'm onto you.

  • ||

    Ok Mike, I thought you were just being a snarky prick for harping at Obama until I read the NSA's own release:

    This release of documents is the first in a series of releases planned over the next two years as part of NSA/CSS's commitment to meeting the requirements outlined in the President's 21 January 2009 Memorandum on Openness and Transparency in Government (Executive Order 13526).

    Yep. They really do say that. Sorry Mike, I take it back.

    Although to be fair, some of the documents date to the 1960's - not quite 200 years old. But how's that for transparent, huh? "We pledge to be totally open about stuff that happened before we were born!"

    For some reason this openness pledge sounds like Steve Martin's old nonconformist pledge. Come on, everybody, repeat after me:

    I promise to be different!

    I promise to be unique!

    I promise not to repeat things other people say!

  • Res Publica Americana||

    This has GOT to be one of the best trollolololols a government agency has ever pulled. And why does the NSA still exist?

  • Brett L||

    To provide a layer of cover for whatever supersecret un-nameable agency is replacing the NRO.

  • ||

    National Review Online?

  • Brett L||

    See! Its working.

    Nat.l Recon Office

  • Wind Rider||

    Because the memo announcing its shutdown was classified so highly that it may not see the light of day til 2075?

    Really, are you that dense that you'll randomly ask utterly ignorant rhetorical questions?

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Did Bubba pull out too early last night, or something? Cut the fuck back on the estrogen, kiddo.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Unless you were kidding, then I take the insult back. I lost the ability to tell after a week on Reason.

  • Wind Rider||

    Nah, not kidding. Your offhand remarks rose to the height of know-nothing willfully ignorantly infantile simplicity. In which case you may have been kidding, but there's no reason to take the reaction 'back'. You want a do-over, pray to the Reason Web Monkeys, tossing in a pitch for flashing text, and they'll get right on that. Really. If you weren't kidding, it's not quite time for the training wheels to come off, so for now, just express it as "Fucking magnets, how do they work?", and save us all a bit of time in our very, very hectic day. Thanks in advance.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    It was actually a jab at the intelligence community; I really don't give a shit about the NSA.

    Wait -- is that the effect of some really, really cool new narcotic I haven't heard about yet? Because, to be frank, it's pretty damned hard to find a guy(even on the Internet) with such a preposterously huge pole stuck up his ass.

    It's a fucking stub blog entry about a political maneuver performed by a federal intelligence agency. Great. What the fuck do you want me to do, write an essay about the National Security Agency? Get the fuck over yourself already.

  • rogue biologist||

    to provide mathematicians like my ex-girlfriend a job.

  • bobsdi||

    Uff-iff.

  • ||

    Hey, it isn't quite so useless. They declassified stuff about the Gulf of Tonkin. Cool! Even a sigint report from San Miguel. Oh wait... everthing's redacted. Rats...

  • Matrix||

    So we gotta wait another 150 years to find out who really killed MLK Jr and JFK?

  • ||

    "I came to confess. I was the second gunman on the grassy knoll. ALLLLRIGHTYYY THEN."

  • quibblurt||

    why did you marry rather?

  • ||

    Try and make sense when you post. It helps.

  • ||

    How ridiculous! These people just don't know you at all. Marry--ha! Grudge fuck once? Well, maybe.

  • Wind Rider||

    No, only about 35.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The NSA said the new release demonstrated its “commitment to meeting the requirements” of President Obama’s January 2009 Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government."

    Not only is truth stranger than fiction, it has it beat hands down for absolute absurdity as well.

  • Wind Rider||

    Not so much. The accurate translation of this gem from bureaucrat-ese is more along the lines of "yassah, massah, we steppin and fetchin, all right!"

  • ||

    So, this way, the president can run on his transparency. "Look, I'm transparent! You can see right through me!"

  • rather||

    I love that stuff

  • quibblurt||

    you are actually epi's ex-wife? your info leaked last night.

  • Wind Rider||

    a 'leak' is also why he's draggin epi into court for child support. . .

  • ||

    What the fuck are you blathering about, moron? Like we need one more fucking idiot here. Unless, of course, you're just rectal posting under another handle, in which case we have the same number of retarded stalkers as before.

  • quibblurt||

    I understand that with a court date pending you're going to be sensitive. didn't mean to pry, we all make mistakes.

  • ||

    rectal: taking stalking to a whole new level. The level of multiple personalities and obsessive fantasies.

  • quibblurt||

    is it still stalking if you liek it?

  • X-wife||

    epi, come on, don't pull a paranoid sugarfree and claim EVERYONE is me. I never deny when asked, and quibblurt isn't me.

    Poor baby :-(
    Now go get my fucking coffee

  • ||

    I'm not sure that's rectal. I see periods on the ends of some of those sentences.

  • Solanum||

    See? Obama is living up to his promise of having the most transparent administration ever. Everyone here owes joe an apology.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, there is truth to what you point out.

  • GILMORE||

    Anyone who's read the Master & Commander, aka 'Aubrey & Maturin' series by Patrick O'Brian will certainly find this news blurb kinda funny... as a central topic of those books is espionage in the Napoleonic era, and Maturin's particular mastry of cryptology.

    I am still awaiting disclosure of the records of the Secret American-Eskimo War of 1803. "No Blood for Blubber" was the protest-slogan of the time...

  • Hugh Akston||

    Look, you peacenik, as soon as we build a functioning, stable democracy in Alaska, we'll pull out, okay?

  • ||

    There is a sizeable percentage of Alaskans who would be delighted.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I'm sure Alaska's authoritarian, fundamentalist, nuclear-capable neighbors would like to see that too, wouldn't they?

  • ||

    You're being a little hard on the Canadians, aren't you?

  • Hugh Akston||

    You can never be too hard on them. You let your guard down for even a second, and the next thing you know, we'll all be speaking Canadian.

  • ||

    Eh?

  • ||

    The Canadians have nukes? I thought they just borrowed ours?

  • ||

    Those damn Tim Hortons they are building all over the country are nothing but sources of radicalism and fronts for the Canuck Intelligence Services.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    ...we'll pull out, okay?

    Son, coitus interruptus is no way to live your life and certainly no way to conduct your foreign policy.

  • George Carlin's Ghost||

    Pull out? Doesn't sound manly to me - leave it in and get the job done!

  • ||

    neither is being fat, drunk, and stupid...

  • ||

    nor is being a state actor, parasite and enemy of freedom.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes is a fascinating look at the military intelligence communities of the time, and at the way the European class structure interfered with their military organizations.

  • OO||

    not even the NSA has solved kryptos

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptos

  • Ezra Klein||

    You morons, the Constitution is already declassified!

  • Ezra Klein||

    And they even translated it from its native Sanskrit.

  • ||

    http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....fact_mayer

    To my knowledge Hit and Run never blogged this, even though I sent it to them. Everyone in America should have to read it. It is chilling.

  • ||

    Johh, i just took 50 minutes to read it. You are right.

  • cynical||

    They've certainly discussed the case, even if they haven't blogged that specific article.

  • ||

    What a joke. If this is the best they put out we got a LONG ways before seeing into ANYTHING remotely important that's being harbored by our government. Unless of course it makes it onto WikiLeaks... :D

  • cthulhu ||

    But here's the real question: "does it blend?"

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