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FBI releases file on VENONA

From: Gary Kern
Email: gkern@alumnus.Princeton.EDU
Date: 4/1/99

Comments

At the beginning of February, the FBI, feeling pressured by Daniel Moynihan's book SECRECY, has released files relating to its attempts to identify VENONA code names. The release is on the FBI website under the category of Freedom of Information Act. Here is the link:

http://www.fbi.gov/foipa/main.htm

Once you go there, you have to click the category "historical interest" and then scroll down to VENONA. You will need Acrobat Reader to access the one document of 75 pages. There is a certain oddity: my computer does not register the document, but my wife's computer, which has Acrobat, does.

The redactions (black-outs) are minimal, far fewer than in the materials on Victor Kravchenko just released to me after a five-year suit. There is stuff on Theo. Hall, Saville Sax, Klaus Fuchs, the Rosenbergs, Henry Wallace, Kravchenko and other notables, with a scrawl or two by Hoover himself.

I see nothing stunning here, but it is interesting to see how the FBI was trying to make its identifications of VENONA code names. We are permitted to get a glimpse behind the scenes--about 50 years after the fact.


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