This New Years, at midnight on the dot, the government will be declassifying hundreds of millions of documents. Why? Executive Order 12958.

Not to be confused with the lame ‘Order 66’ invented by George Lucas as part of his wide-scale attempt to destroy the most popular Sci-Fi trilogy of all time, Executive Order 12958 was issued by Clinton in 1995, and, after two extensions, is now being enforced by George Bush Jr. The order states that every document over twenty-five years old that isn’t specifically requested to be exempt will be made public. It’s always possible that this could be a non-event, but let’s consider what we might learn about:

* How many times has the U.S. tried (and failed) to assassinate Fidel Castro?
* Did the CIA do secret LSD experiments in Vietnam?
* Who slept around more: George Washington or Ben Franklin? (to get Clinton in the pool, we’ll have to wait until 2025)
* What the hell fell out of the sky in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947?
* How many Cuban cigars did John Kennedy illegally purchase? (against his own order)
* Why does Henry Kissinger hate everybody?
* Who really killed Marilyn Monroe? Bobby Kennedy? Laura Palmer?

All the big stuff will certainly make the news (overshadowing, as usual, news from Iraq) but if you really want to dig through the details yourself, check out this place here: The Digital National Security Archive.