CORONA and the Intelligence Community
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE
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On 24 May 1995, CIAs Center for the Study of Intelligence CSI concluded a day-and-a-half conference on satellite intelligence at George Washington University. Cosponsored with GWUs Space Policy Institute, the conference--entitled Piercing the Curtain CORONA and the Revolution in Intelligence-- marked a significant event in CIAs efforts to provide more information to the American public. Three years earlier, Director of Central Intelligence DCI Robert Gates launched CIAs openness program and expanded CSIs duties. Shortly after becoming DCI, Gates formed the Classification Review Task Force CRTF to examine the feasibility of releasing satellite imagery. R. James Woolsey, who succeeded Gates as DCI in 1993, continued his predecessors initiatives. In September of that year, Woolsey informed the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that when protection of certain information is no longer required, then we owe it to our citizens to work hard to disclose as much of that information as we can, consistent with our mission--warts and all. Even before Woolseys testimony on Capitol Hill, CSI Director David D. Gries had made plans to hold a conference on satellite intelligence. The end of the Cold War had spurred interest in satellites and their possible use for environmental and other studies. When CSIs working group for the satellite intelligence conference met in July 1993, Gries expected to hold it in February 1994. Composed of representatives from CSI, the Office of Research and Development ORD, the National Photographic Interpretation Center NPIC, and other elements of the Intelligence Community IC, including the then classified National Reconnaissance Office NRO and the Central Imagery Office CIO, the working group anticipated few problems with the conference.
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