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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Open the FBI Vault and access formerly secret papers, documents and other files of the US government.

For the education of  my overseas readers (I have them in China, France and Iran and more than 30 other countries) we have a process of requesting and recieving formerly secret documents from the government here in the United States. It called a "Freedom of Information Act" request. This means that, unless the information  is deemed to be vital to national security, the information must be released to the person or group making the request, even if the information is embarassing to the national government, politicians or other groups.  

Source: FBI
To make this process easier, the US government's investigative department, the FBI- has recently opened a website called The Vault. Contained within the site are PDF images (scanned copies of the original documents) of the most requested investigations conducted by the FBI over its long, storied history- more than 2,000 pages in all. World War II, civil right leaders, Mafia investigations and UFO sighting are but a few of the topics covered and available for viewing or printing out. Not every piece of paper printed by the Bureau is included- just the most commonly requested ones. More documents are added at regular intervals and you are still free to make specific FOI requests to the FBI if you can't find the document you seek on this website.

The FBI's Roswell UFO Memo
(source: the FBI Vault)
 There's no cost, the FBI doesn't ask (or care) who you are or where you're from and no registration is required to access any of these pages. Some of the names and bits of other information (social securtity numbers, phone numbers, credit card information, etc.) are redacted, but all of the rest of the information is right there for your review.

So whether you're from Nevada, Norway or Nigeria, you have the capability to review some of this nation's most historical documents for free, warts and all.

Go to the FBI's Vault site here.

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