A Clandestine Declassifier

A Central Intelligence Agency employee who supported Agency declassification activities was killed in a traffic accident late last year. Perhaps befitting a CIA classification official, his name has not been publicly acknowledged by the Agency.

“The CIA expressed its sadness concerning a CIA member’s death,” according to a brief notice in the December 2007 minutes of a closed session of the State Department Historical Advisory Committee, which were published last week. “The member had served as a moving force on declassification issues.”

Secrecy News asked CIA Public Affairs to provide the name of the CIA member. No response was received.

But a former Agency colleague identified him as Bob Knight.

His death in a motorcycle accident on the way to work was “a major blow to the rather small CIA declassification cadre.”

“I think his career was mostly in the DI [Directorate of Intelligence], but he had worked in declassification since at least 2002.”

Mr. Knight previously served as an Assistant Information Review Officer and worked on at least three major NIC publications, including National Intelligence Estimates on China, Vietnam, and the former Yugoslavia. Just prior to his death, he was serving as CIA coordinator for the Foreign Relations of the United States series.

“Bob’s death was keenly felt by all who had worked with him,” the former colleague said.

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