I’ve been saying these things on Twitter, but I probably should provide a more stationary, all-in-one-place form for those not on Twitter.
Classification is a system for dealing with sensitive information that could harm the United States if made public. It is a system of instructions for handling that information. Information is classified, and documents containing that information are classified. Other materials, including physical models and the usual elaborations on documents like videos, may be classified. I’ll subsume them all under the word “documents.”
Declassification involves declaring the information no longer of potential harm to the United States. Because it is a part of the system for handling documents, it must be made known to the people who will be handling those documents.
Trump seems to believe an essentialist version of classification, that it is an inherent quality of a document that can be added or removed by his mental actions. This is, of course, absurd.Read More