The Archives Sleuth's Irrelevant 'Secret'

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Friday, August 25, 2006

I was disappointed to see The Post malign the background of Matthew M. Aid, a concerned citizen who was simply performing his civic duty ["The Archives Sleuth Had a Secret," news story, Aug 18].

I am the government official who oversaw the audit of the withdrawal of records from public access at the National Archives for classification purposes. This audit was based, in part, on a complaint from Mr. Aid.

Had the information about Mr. Aid's history contained in this article been known at the time of the initial complaint, it would have taken me all of two seconds to conclude that it was irrelevant to the matter at hand, as it should be to The Post and its readers. Publishing it served no useful public purpose and could, in fact, discourage citizens who take seriously their civic responsibility to lodge complaints regarding the activities of their government.

J. WILLIAM LEONARD

Director

Information Security Oversight Office

U.S. National Archives

and Records Administration

Washington


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