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Letter From Tyler to Colby




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June 2, 1975


W. E. Colby, Director

Central Intelligence Agency

Washington, D.C. 20505


Dear Mr. Colby:

This letter refers to the article by Seymour Hersh in the New York Times of May 25,1975. In order that we may move ahead with the first steps necessary for a prosecution and also for a determination whether a prosecution should be undertaken, it is necessary for the Department of Justice to have answers to the following questions:

1. Date and identity of the article or release disclosing the classified information. (already known)

2. Specific statements which are classified and whether the data was properly classified.

3. Whether the classified data disclosed is accurate.

4. Whether the data came from a specific document and, if so, the origin of the document and the name of the individual responsible for the security of the classified data disclosed.

5. The extent of official dissemination of the data.

6. Whether the data has been the subject of prior official releases.

7. Whether prior clearance for publication or release of the information was sought from proper authorities.

8. Whether the material or portions thereof or enough background data has been published officially or in the press to make an educated speculation on the matter possible.

9. Whether the data can be declassified for the purpose of prosecution and, if so, the name of the person competent to testify concerning the classification.


Page two . . . Mr. Colby . . . June 2, 1975


10. Whether declassification had been decided upon prior to the publication or release of the data.

11. What effect the disclosure of the classified data could have on the national defense.


Sincerely yours,

Harold R. Tyler, Jr.

Deputy Attorney General

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posted feb. 13, 2007; updated feb. 20, 2007

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