30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Intelligence and Espionage

Jul 1, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 1, 2009 - FBI special agents carried out 20 formal interviews and at least 5 "casual conversations" with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after his capture by U.S. troops in December 2003, according to secret FBI reports released as the result of Freedom of Information Act requests by the National Security Archive and posted today on the Web at www.nsarchive.org.
Jun 19, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2009 - Declassified documents confirm that prior to the launch of the first spy satellites into orbit by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in the early 1960s, the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) collected by the National Security Agency and its predecessor organizations was virtually the only viable means of gathering intelligence information about what was going on inside the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, North Vietnam, and other communist nations.
Nov 14, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington DC, November 14, 2008 - Forty-six years ago, a month before the Cuban Missile crisis, Soviet leaders put their strategic forces on their “highest readiness stage since the beginning of the Cold War,” according to a newly declassified internal history of the National Security Agency published today for the first time by the National Security Archive.
Nov 14, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 25, 2013 – During the height of the Vietnam War protest movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the National Security Agency tapped the overseas communications of selected prominent Americans, most of whom were critics of the war, according to a recently declassified NSA history. For years those names on the NSA's watch list were secret, but thanks to the decision of an interagency panel, in response to an appeal by the National Security Archive, the NSA has released them for the first time. The names of the NSA's targets are eye-popping.
Oct 31, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., October 31, 2008 - In an opinion issued today in a case brought by the National Security Archive, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the United States District Court for the District of the Columbia ordered the Department of Justice to submit several legal opinions issued by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel for in camera review.
Oct 24, 2008 | News
Washington, D.C., October 24, 2008 - Today, in response to a petition filed by the National Security Archive and several historical associations, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released the previously secret grand jury transcripts of eight witnesses related to Cold War espionage prosecutions. The nearly 300 pages of transcripts from the Brothman/Moskowitz grand jury reveal important new details about the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley, the so-called “Red Spy Queen,” and Harry Gold, who led authorities to David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs.
Sep 18, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 18, 2008 - Today, on the 16th anniversary of the declassification of the fact of the existence of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and National Reconnaissance Program (NRP), the National Security Archive publishes a collection of documents concerning the declassification decision and its implementation. The NRO and NRP were established in 1961 to coordinate the satellite reconnaissance activities of the CIA and Air Force. As the documents illustrate, the issue of NRO declassification was considered as early as 1973.
Sep 11, 2008 | News
Washington, D.C., September 11, 2008 – – The Julius and Ethel Rosenberg grand jury transcripts released today as the result of legal action by the National Security Archive and a coalition of historians directly contradict the central charge against Ethel Rosenberg in the atomic espionage prosecution that J. Edgar Hoover called “the case of the century,” according to experts who analyzed the documents today.
Aug 22, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 22, 2008 - The U.S. intelligence community buckled sooner in 2002 than previously reported to Bush administration pressure for data justifying an invasion of Iraq, according to a documents posting on the Web today by National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados. The documents suggest that the public relations push for war came before the intelligence analysis, which then conformed to public positions taken by Pentagon and White House officials.
Jul 22, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., July 22, 2008 - After hearing arguments today, a federal court in New York decided that the government must release most of the sealed grand jury records from the 1951 indictment of alleged Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In response to a petition filed by the National Security Archive and others, the government conceded in a June filing that the Rosenberg case is of “significant historical importance” and therefore said it would not contest the release of testimony of witnesses who have passed away or consented to the disclosure.

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