In brief: Reclassified papers cite Area 51
Las Vegas – The CIA is acknowledging the existence of Area 51 in newly declassified documents.
George Washington University’s National Security Archive obtained a CIA history of the U-2 spy plane program through a public records request and released it Thursday.
National Security Archive senior fellow Jeffrey Richelson reviewed the history in 2002, but all mentions of Area 51 had been redacted. Richelson said he requested the history again in 2005 and received a version a few weeks ago with mentions of Area 51 restored.
Officials have already acknowledged in passing the existence of the facility in central Nevada where the government is believed to test intelligence tools and weapons. Richelson said he believes the new document shows the CIA is becoming less secretive about Area 51’s existence, if not about what goes on there.
Carter budget aide Lance, 82, dies
Calhoun, Ga. – Bert Lance, a Georgia banker and close ally of former President Jimmy Carter who served as his first budget director before departing amid a high-profile investigation of his bank’s lending practices, died on Thursday evening. He was 82.
Gordon County deputy coroner Heath Derryberry said Lance had struggled recently with unspecified health problems, though authorities were unsure of his cause of death.
In a statement, Carter said Lance was one of his closest personal friends and that he was a dependable source of advice on intricate state and national issues.
“Bert Lance was one of the most competent and dedicated public servants I have ever known,” Carter said.
Lance was widely credited with coining the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
New charges made against Filner
San Diego – A volunteer city worker who assists senior citizens said Thursday that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner repeatedly asked her to rub his hands, requested dates and made sexually suggestive comments.
Peggy Shannon, 67, said she cried after Filner forcibly kissed her on the lips in January. She said she was offended by his constant requests for dates because she knew he was engaged to another woman at the time.
The 70-year-old mayor once took her hands and told her he could last eight hours at night, according to Shannon and her high-profile attorney, Gloria Allred.
“I was shocked that he would say that to me,” Shannon said at a news conference. “I was working and had to get myself together to continue my job at the senior citizens service desk. I was very bothered by this statement and went home and cried again.”
Since mid-July, more than a dozen women have publicly identified themselves as targets of Filner’s advances, including kisses, touching and lewd comments.