30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Oct 21, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 21, 2014 –The secretive missile-tracking center known as DEFSMAC began at the National Security Agency 50 years ago in order to consolidate the multiple alerts and reports on Soviet missile launches, and now includes the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency along with the Defense Intelligence Agency as partners in a global 24/7 missile and space surveillance effort, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org). Compiled and introduced by Archive senior fellow Dr. Jeffrey T.
Oct 19, 2014 | News
Washington, D.C., October 19, 2014 — Sunday's issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine features a spectacular orange page designed by the artist Jenny Holzer showcasing the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org). The Times asked Holzer and 14 other prominent artists to produce a page apiece in an "Advertisements for Myself" series. Holzer devoted her page to a Malevich-style block of orange color with only the words "The National Security Archive" and URLs for the Archive's main Web site and online donation site. The Times notes:
Sep 16, 2014 | Briefing Book
Selected as a "Best History Book of the Month" - Amazon Washington, DC, September 16, 2014 – The Predator drone, though best known as the CIA's primary weapon in the war against Al Qaeda, was merely an unarmed, remote-control intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft when the Defense Department first bought it in 1994. As detailed in Richard Whittle's Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution (Henry Holt and Company, September 16, 2014), the Predator's configuration was derived from drones developed in the 1980s by former Israeli aeronautical engineer Abraham Karem.
Jul 22, 2014 | Briefing Book
Reports of the Net Evaluation Subcommittee Washington, D.C., July 22, 2014 – On the morning of 20 July 1961, while the Berlin Crisis was simmering, President John F. Kennedy and the members of the National Security Council heard a briefing on the consequences of nuclear war by the NSC's highly secret Net Evaluation Subcommittee. The report, published in excerpts today for the first time by the National Security Archive, depicted a Soviet surprise attack on the United States in the fall of 1963 that began with submarine-launched missile strikes against Strategic Air Command bases.
Jul 20, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, July 20, 2014 – Forty-five years ago, astronaut Neil Armstrong took his "one small step" for mankind, becoming the first person to set foot on the moon. The program that resulted in that historic event — managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — had been a very public one ever since its announcement by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Even the Soviet government had publicized aspects of its own effort. But there were also highly secret elements to the U.S.
Jun 24, 2014 | News
Washington, DC, June 24, 2014 – Congress may actually take action this year to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, according to the National Security Archive's posting today of the new bipartisan bill by leading U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX).
Jun 9, 2014 | Briefing Book
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Safety Issues, 1957-1986 Washington, D.C., June 9, 2014 – A recently declassified report by Sandia National Laboratory, published today by the National Security Archive, provides new details on the 1961 Goldsboro, North Carolina, nuclear weapons accident. Both multi-megaton Mk 39 bombs involved in the mishap were in the "safe" position. Yet the force of the crash initiated mechanical actions that normally required human intervention. In both cases, the "fuzing sequence" had begun: an important step toward arming a nuclear bomb.
Apr 21, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 21, 2014– Henry Kissinger played a slightly reluctant but nonetheless highly influential role in establishing the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in the mid-1970s, motivated equally by concern about nuclear proliferation and a desire to keep U.S. officials from "charging around the world, like Don Quixote," according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.
Mar 27, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 27, 2014 – In February 2014, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) posted 300,000 State Department telegrams from 1977 — the first year of the Jimmy Carter administration — on its Access to Archival Databases system. This posting is another step in carrying out the commitment that NARA and the State Department have made to putting on-line major State Department document databases and indexes as they are declassified.
Mar 24, 2014 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington, DC, March 24, 2014 – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance in 2013, according to the citation published today by the National Security Archive at www.nsarchive.org. Despite heavy competition, Clapper's "No, sir" lie to Senator Ron Wyden's question: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" sealed his receipt of the dubious achievement award, which cites the vastly excessive secrecy of the entire U.S.

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