30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Science and Technology

Oct 7, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 7, 2016 -Thirty years ago, a Soviet nuclear submarine with about 30 nuclear warheads on board sank off U.S. shores north of Bermuda as Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan were preparing for their historic summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.  But instead of Chernobyl-style denials, the Soviet government reached out to the Americans, issued a public statement, and even received offers of help from Washington, according to the never-before-published transcript of that day’s Politburo session, posted today by the National Security Archive.
Jul 22, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 22, 2016 - U.S. atomic tests in Bikini Atoll in July 1946 staged by a joint Army-Navy task force were the first atomic explosions since the bombings of Japan a year earlier. Documents posted today by the National Security Archive about “Operation Crossroads” shed light on these events as do galleries of declassified videos and photographs. Of two tests staged to determine the effects of the new weapons on warships, the “Baker” test was the most dangerous by contaminating nearby test ships with radioactive mist.
Aug 24, 2015 | Briefing Book
Related links NASA's Secret Relationships with U.S. Defense and Intelligence Agencies April 10, 2015 U.S. Reconnaissance Satellites: Domestic Targets April 11, 2008 U.S. Satellite Imagery, 1960-1999 April 14, 1999 FBI spy plane zeroes in on Dearborn area The Detroit News August 5, 2015   Bookmark and Share  
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.
Oct 29, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 29, 2013 – The CIA's history of the U-2 spy plane, declassified this past summer, sparked enormous public attention to the U-2's secret test site at Area 51 in Nevada, but documents posted today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org) show that Area 51 played an even more central role in the development of the U.S. Air Force's top secret stealth programs in the 1970s and 1980s, and hosted secretly obtained Soviet MiG fighters during the Cold War. Compiled and edited by Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T.
Aug 5, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 5, 2013 – Today, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology, the National Security Archive posts an update to its 2001 electronic briefing book on Science, Technology and the CIA. The posting adds 20 new items to the 45 documents in the previous version. The new records cover all eras of the CIA's exploitation of science and technology, from its initial involvement during the tenure of Allen Dulles (1953-61) to its post-Cold War activities.
Nov 27, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 27, 2012 – In the forty years since the first launch of a commercial imagery satellite – LANDSAT – in 1972, U.S. official policy has shifted dramatically from imposing significant limits on their capabilities to permitting U.S. firms to orbit high-resolution satellites with significant intelligence-gathering capacities. According to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive, internal debates within the government have focused both on the risks of adversaries exploiting such commercial platforms and on the potential benefits for the U.S.
Oct 4, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 4, 2012 – Today, the National Security Archive posts the fourth in a series of electronic briefing books concerning secrecy and satellite reconnaissance - one of the most sensitive areas of U.S. intelligence-gathering. Specific satellite programs whose declassification is covered in this briefing book include some of the earliest and, at the time, most secretive programs of their kind: CORONA, ARGON, LANYARD, GRAB, POPPY, GAMBIT, HEXAGON, and QUILL.
Jul 21, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 21, 2011 – In 2005, U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring Chinese research into high-power microwave (HPM) and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) radiation speculated that Beijing might be trying to develop a capability to incapacitate Taiwan electronically without triggering a U.S. nuclear retaliation, according to documents published in a major new National Security Archive collection. In recent years, China’s development of an assortment of conventional and nuclear weapons has regularly attracted the interest and concern of U.S.
Apr 29, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 29, 2010 - Previously unpublished documents from inside the Kremlin shed new light on how Soviet and American scientists breached the walls of Soviet military secrecy in the final years of the Cold War. The documents were first disclosed in a new book by by David E. Hoffman, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy. The book was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. The documents are being posted today in English translation by the National Security Archive.

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