One such document is a memo written by Samuel Klaus in the State Department in 1946. It contains data about security risks. Yet this document is not to be found in the archives, despite that fact that at least two different copies of it were housed in two different parts of the archives.
This systematic purging of information vital to national security can only point to the activity of an espionage network.
One historian, M. Stanton Evans, also known as “Stan” Evans, who explored the archives seeking some of these documents, writes:
In discussion of these cases, there is no suggestion that officials of the National Archives have been remiss in the performance of their duties. In my experience, the archivists are meticulous in safeguarding papers entrusted to their keeping and go to elaborate lengths to prevent any tampering with or removal of such records. In the cases cited, it appears the missing papers were removed from the folders before the archivists ever saw them. (Though, as more recent events suggest, there are people who do try to take things from the Archives, and doubtless some such project could have succeeded in the past if sufficient skill and cunning were devoted to the effort.)
Although Sandy Berger is not a member of a foreign-based espionage network, his activity is instructive. In October 2003, he successfully removed classified and confidential information from the national archives. It may never be known whether or not all the documents he stole were recovered. His example shows that it was possible for others to have done similar things over the decades.
Many documents in the archives are unique: only one copy of them has existed - no photocopies, carbon copies, or other versions of them serve as backups. If these documents are removed from the archives, then the information in them may be permanently lost.
This is true especially of documents from an era prior to the electronic age. A single handwritten or typewritten memo is a priceless historic record. No computer backup files exist.
Concerning some of the mysteriously disappearing texts, Stan Evans writes:
(It should be added that some of the items mentioned did survive in other, less predictable places and were recovered.) However, a couple of connected points need making about primary source material on such issues, and its availability — or lack thereof — to would-be researchers.
The attempt to clearly capture the realities of history depends on primary source materials. Evans notes that “these problems concern” especially records about the activities of Soviet agents planted inside the United States government, and “the entire clandestine history of the Cold War.”
The fact that these documents have been the object of a sophisticated espionage network indicates that they contain information which would be deeply damaging to the international communist conspiracy. The effort to eliminate this evidence underscores the importance of this evidence.