30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Intelligence and Espionage

Aug 3, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. August 3, 2005 - The National Security Archive, along with other secrecy experts, today filed a “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit challenging the FBI’s authority to issue national security letters (NSLs) without any judicial oversight and under a blanket gag order that prohibits the recipient from speaking with anyone about the NSL. The amicus curiae brief was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is reviewing a lower court decision that held that the NSL authority violated the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S.
Jun 1, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. June 1, 2005 - The failure of the recently concluded review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, at a time when the future of the non-proliferation system is in question (Note 1), makes it an opportune time to look at how the U.S. intelligence establishment analyzed the proliferation issue during the years before the Treaty was negotiated. National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) from the 1960s and earlier shed light on how U.S.
May 10, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. May 18, 2005 - The National Security Archive today posted additional documents that show that the CIA had concrete advance intelligence, as early as June 1976, on plans by Cuban exile terrorist groups to bomb a Cubana airliner. The Archive also posted another document that shows that the FBI's attache in Caracas had multiple contacts with one of the Venezuelans who placed the bomb on the plane, and provided him with a visa to the U.S. five days before the bombing, despite suspicions that he was engaged in terrorist activities at the direction of Luis Posada Carriles.
Apr 12, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 12, 2005 - As the Senate Intelligence Committee convenes to consider the nomination of John Negroponte to be Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Archive today posted hundreds of his cables written from the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa between late 1981 and 1984. The majority of his "chron file"- cables and memos written during his tenure as Ambassador- was obtained by the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
Mar 11, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 11, 2005 - The largest U.S. spy agency warned the incoming Bush administration in its "Transition 2001" report that the Information Age required rethinking the policies and authorities that kept the National Security Agency in compliance with the Constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" without warrant and "probable cause," according to an updated briefing book of declassified NSA documents posted today on the World Wide Web.
Feb 4, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 4, 2005 - Today the National Security Archive posted the CIA's secret documentary history of the U.S government's relationship with General Reinhard Gehlen, the German army's intelligence chief for the Eastern Front during World War II. At the end of the war, Gehlen established a close relationship with the U.S. and successfully maintained his intelligence network (it ultimately became the West German BND) even though he employed numerous former Nazis and known war criminals.
Jan 21, 2005 | News
Washington D.C., January 21, 2005 - The National Security Archive this week submitted comments on the Central Intelligence Agency's decennial review of the record categories that the CIA has designated as exempt from search and review under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In 1984 the CIA was granted limited protection from FOIA for operational records that are considered so sensitive that it is not productive to search them in response to FOIA requests.
Dec 17, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C.: Today, the National Security Archive posts an updated collection of reports, studies, commentaries, and other material concerning the issue of exactly how much authority should be vested with the nation's chief intelligence officer. The Archive's previous posting in December 2004 provided historical context for the congressional and public debate over intelligence reform proposals that included establishing an intelligence czar. In February 2005 President Bush nominated John D. Negroponte, the U.S.
Dec 14, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 14: Front page stories in The Washington Post ("New Spy Satellite Debated on Hill," Dec. 11, 2004) and The New York Times ("New Spy Plan Said to Involve Satellite System," Dec. 12, 2004) describe a secret satellite program that the Senate intelligence committee has voted to cancel but survives in the current intelligence budget due to strong support from the House and Senate appropriations committees and the House intelligence committee. Senator John D.
Oct 20, 2004 | News
Washington, D.C., 20 October 2004 - The National Security Archive today filed suit against the Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA") seeking the expedited processing and release under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") of the 2004 Iraq National Intelligence Estimate ("NIE). As the New York Times reported on September 16, 2004, the NIE spells out a dark assessment of prospects for Iraq. The estimate outlines three possibilities for Iraq through the end of 2005, with the worst case being developments that could lead to civil war.

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