30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Sep 29, 2000 | News
Pending in the Senate is a proposal to enact an “Official Secrets Act” for the United States. Section 303 of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001, S. 2507, would make it a crime for government employees to disclose classified information to the public. The proposal is unconstitutional. In violation of the First Amendment, it would stifle informed public debate about the most serious matters of national defense and foreign policy.
Aug 17, 2000 | News
Context On February 1st, 1999, the Clinton White House ordered the U.S. national security agencies to “retrieve and review for declassification documents that shed light on human rights abuses, terrorism, and other acts of political violence in Chile” from 1968-1990--a policy initiative taken after the arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in London.
Aug 8, 2000 | News
WASHINGTON D.C., 8 August – U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has overruled the CIA’s claim that it can neither confirm or deny the existence of CIA-prepared biographies of nine former Communist leaders of Eastern European countries, seven of whom are now dead. The judge last week granted the National Security Archive’s motion for partial summary judgment against the CIA’s “Glomar” claim, named after a lawsuit over the ship Glomar Explorer in which the courts allowed the CIA neither to confirm or deny information sought under the Freedom of Information Act.
Jul 17, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 17, 2000 – On July 13, 2000 the Senate passed a measure in the FY 2001 Defense Authorization Act that – if approved by the full Congress – would severely undercut the public's ability to obtain critical human rights information gathered by U.S. defense attachйs (DATT) and other U.S. military representatives abroad. The provision would exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the "operational files" of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
Jun 29, 2000 | News
From:  Center for National Security Studies, Federation of American Scientists, National Security Archive Re:  Freedom of Information Act Exemption for Defense Intelligence Agency Files in S. 2549, Defense Authorization Act.
Jun 26, 2000 | News
On Friday, June 23, the National Security Archive published on the Internet a selection of recently declassified documents detailing restrictions intended to ensure that U.S. persons are not improperly identified in reports drawn from foreign communications intercepts.  The documents, including formerly secret training guides and memoranda from the National Security Agency (NSA), were released under the Freedom of Information Act.  NSA is the organization responsible for the interception and processing of foreign communications and other electronic signals (SIGINT) for the U.S.
Mar 23, 2000 | News
In May of 1978, the CIA’s National Foreign Assessment Center issued this comprehensive analysis of the Pinochet regime’s responses to being identified as responsible for the most significant act of international terrorism ever committed in the United States—the September 21, 1976 car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in Washington D.C.  This eight-page assessment, classified Secret/Sensitive, addressed the impact inside the regime if “proof of Pinochet’s complicity in the Letelier slaying” came to light.  At the time, the FBI had identified Pinochet’s secret police, D
Mar 17, 2000 | News
On March 17, 2000, Long Island University named The National Security Archive as winner of a Special George Polk Award for 1999 "for serving as an essential journalistic resource and for expanding access to previously classified documents" including, over the past year:   
May 13, 1999 | News
WASHINGTON, May 13, 1999 — Challenging seven years of the CIA's broken promises on declassification, the National Security Archive at George Washington University today filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the CIA to force the declassification of key documents on the agency's role in the European elections of 1948 and the coup in Iran in 1953.
Jan 20, 1998 | News
Washington D.C. January 21, 1998 -- The National Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras, Dr. Leo Valladares, today called on the Clinton administration to "meet its commitment" to assisting his inquiry by declassifying relevant U.S. records. In a new report made available to the press, In Search of Hidden Truths, Valladares detailed four years of "exceedingly frustrating" efforts to obtain CIA, State and Defense Department documentation on human rights atrocities by the Honduran military during the 1980s.

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