Declassification of classified documents

phantom_204

HR All-American
May 29, 2001
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Since the interview former President Trump had with Sean Hannity the other night, I've seen a lot of discussion on social media platforms about the abilities a President has or doesn't have to declassify documents. While some have zeroed in on the former President's assertion that he could just think about declassifying a document and it would be declassified, that's not the dumbest assertion made by President Trump. The award for dumbest comment was "there is no process".
While it's true that a sitting President has broad power on what information he wants to see declassified, it would be exceedingly rare that a document would just be declassified for release. Intelligence would review a document and redact names and typically the information that would require classification if it were put into a new document. For example, if dates had passed, those typically woudn't be redacted. But, if there was information that would reveal how we gather information, that would still be redacted. More than anything, the statement made by the President that "there is no process" told me that he is utterly clueless on how classified information is properly handled. It is not surprising that someone with no military or government experience before becoming President would not have that knowledge, but it shows that during his time in office, he never learned how it is done.
 

SSG T

HR Legend
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Jul 10, 2002
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As I've said before with regards to this, there is a lot POTUS has the authority to declassify. However, there is a process to be followed, and it's not an immediate "I declassify this" and it's declassified. There are still reviews that need to be done, including some redactions, along with other approvals and a lot of paperwork.

His comments tell me he's either lying about the declassifations he claims, or he's an idiot. He would have been explained to about the process multiple times while in office. It also tells me his followers are idiots because they believe him when everyone who has actually worked through these processes are telling them he's wrong.
 

phantom_204

HR All-American
May 29, 2001
2,987
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As I've said before with regards to this, there is a lot POTUS has the authority to declassify. However, there is a process to be followed, and it's not an immediate "I declassify this" and it's declassified. There are still reviews that need to be done, including some redactions, along with other approvals and a lot of paperwork.

His comments tell me he's either lying about the declassifations he claims, or he's an idiot. He would have been explained to about the process multiple times while in office. It also tells me his followers are idiots because they believe him when everyone who has actually worked through these processes are telling them he's wrong.
By your username, I presume you have dealt with classification of materials. It amazes me how many of his followers want to argue with me that he can just declassify things ... yeah, that's not how any of this works. It shows the ignorance on this topic and the willingness to believe anything their guy says.
Also, looking at the markings on the documents, it should be easy to determine which documents have been declassified or not. Even if the President was clueless to how the process works, I will presume the professionals he was dealing with were not.
 
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EagleHawk

HR All-American
Jan 16, 2002
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His comments tell me he's either lying about the declassifations he claims, or he's an idiot.
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