after 9/11, US archivists pulled 1 million pages

records of concernfrom ap/msnbc: More than 1 million pages of historical government documents – a stack taller than the U.S. Capitol – have been removed from public view since the September 2001 terror attacks, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Some of the papers are more than a century old.

In some cases, entire file boxes were removed without significant review because the government’s central record-keeping agency, the National Archives and Records Administration, did not have time for a more thorough audit.

“We just felt we couldn’t take the time and didn’t always have the expertise,” said Steve Tilley, who oversaw the program. Archives officials are still screening records, but the number of files pulled recently has declined dramatically, he said.

The records administration began removing materials under its “records of concern” program, launched in November 2001 after the Justice Department instructed agencies to be more guarded in releasing government papers. The agency has removed about 1.1 million pages, according to partially redacted monthly progress reports reviewed by the AP. The reports were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.