The CIA’s “Family Jewels”


Here’s the historic “Family Jewels” document: a catalog of CIA actions that were either inappropriate or flat-out illegal. Numbering almost 700 pages in length, this document was compiled by the agency in the aftermath of Watergate, and only released in 2007 after a FOIA request by the National Security Archive.

The “Family Jewels” are available at the CIA’s FOIA site.

From A. Nolen:

The ‘CIA Family Jewels’ are a series of reports that DCI James Schlesinger asked the other CIA directors to prepare for him in 1973. The Jewels stank of rear-guard from day one: Schlesinger held his post for about six months, and during that short time one of his priorities was to make sure nothing with “flap potential” could be pinned to him. If Schlesinger was concerned about the agency, he would have discretely asked each director for sensitive information during face-to-face meetings. Instead, he armed a paper bomb…

…which fell into the lap of his replacement, the KGB-connected William Egan Colby. What we know as the ‘Jewels’ are a selection of heavily redacted reports that Colby chose to leak from Schlesinger’s original collection, with some ‘updates’ that Colby requested. Colby’s ‘Family Jewels’ are a dishonest collection of documents designed to smear Colby’s CIA enemies, cover his own scandals and provide some useful information to Colby’s KGB partners. A redacted set of the ‘Jewels’ wasn’t declassified until 2007.