In the 1980’s, rumors began swirling that there had been a clandestine Ku Klux Klan meeting within the walls of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Langley, Virginia offices.
Documents about the meeting were soon classified, and the only information that got out about it was that agents had been involved in a “tasteless joke.”
Now, newly-declassified documents that have since been published by records request assistance site MuckRock revealed information about those “jokes.”
In one instance, a black employee who’d previously joked that he and his fellow agents should attend a Klan meeting after intercepting an announcement about one, soon found hats made to look like KKK hoods out of computer paper and was told a “meeting” had taken place.
Another document revealed reprimands given after “informal one-on-one discussions that took place between a white and a black employee regarding the Ku Klux Klan.”
Years after the incidents, a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee requested information on the “jokes,” but did not speak to the press about them because they could “cause damage to the national security.”
As MuckRock notes, these documents were only revealed after a mandatory 25-year declassification review rule within the agency.