7

According to this Romania Insider article, the costs for the president's transportation represent classified information:

The presidential administration stated in a response to Digi24 that securing air transportation for President Iohannis during the official visits to Japan and Singapore was based on a service contract for special flights concluded according to a regulation approved by the government decision. At the same time, the institution noted that the type of aircraft and the costs of this trip cannot be made public because they are "classified information.”

A Romanian NGO (Recorder) dug more into the classified aspect of the costs as shown in this article (Romanian). I will include a quick overview of the article here:

  • Recorder asked the Presidential Administration back in 2015 about the costs associated with the first official flight of the current Romanian President (Iohannis) and received the information
  • Recorder asks about the same cost in 2023 and this time the response mentions that the information is classified
  • as a consequence information that was available in 2015 is considered "classified" right now

As a side note, Recorder decided to sue the Presidential Administration in an effort to lift the secrecy over how the public funds are being spent.

I am wondering if this happened before in a European country. Is there a recent precedent of a European government classifying previously public information as a secret?

9
  • 1
    Would you accept an answer from the US? nytimes.com/2006/02/21/politics/… Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 15:54
  • 1
    France used to "secret defense" quite a bit of expense-related crap, but mostly to avoid releasing information that had never been public in the first place. Here's (French) an example as recent as 2014, keeping D-Day 70th anniversary event costs out of sight Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 16:49
  • 4
    Are you saying that information pertaining to the 2015 trip, which was previously released, is classified, or only the new trip? I could certainly understand if a) Romania has tightened its security in the last 8 years and b) it's not eager to explain how.
    – Cadence
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 17:44
  • @Cadence According to Recorder (which also showed the documents in a video), they asked for and received the expenses back in 2015. Now, they have asked again for data about the very same trip and did not receive it. One of the points in the article (and the video) mentions that they do not know what to do with the information since it has become classified in the meantime.
    – Alexei
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 17:58
  • 1
    Not recent, but my father when he was in the Army in the 1950s recalls a barracks mate telling the tale of classifying the front page of the New York Times once.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 18:16

1 Answer 1

2

Washington, D.C., February 21, 2006 - The CIA and other federal agencies have secretly reclassified over 55,000 pages of records taken from the open shelves at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), according to a report published today on the World Wide Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Matthew Aid, author of the report and a visiting fellow at the Archive, discovered this secret program through his wide-ranging research in intelligence, military, and diplomatic records at NARA and found that the CIA and military agencies have reviewed millions of pages at an unknown cost to taxpayers in order to sequester documents from collections that had been open for years.

The briefing book that the Archive published today includes 50 year old documents that CIA had impounded at NARA but which have already been published in the State Department's historical series, Foreign Relations of the United States, or have been declassified elsewhere. These documents concern such innocuous matters as the State Department's map and foreign periodicals procurement programs on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community or the State Department's open source intelligence research efforts during 1948.

Other documents have apparently been sequestered because they were embarrassing, such as a complaint from the Director of Central Intelligence about the bad publicity the CIA was receiving from its failure to predict anti-American riots in Bogota, Colombia in 1948 or a report that the CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community badly botched their estimates as to whether or not Communist China would intervene in the Korean War in the fall of 1950. It is difficult to imagine how the documents cited by Aid could cause any harm to U.S. national security.

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB179/index.htm

Yes, the CIA and other federal agencies have reclassified documents that were released publicly. It can happen, because sometimes the process is not fault proof and organizations like the CIA may realize that in the interest of their organization some documents should be reclassified.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .