30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“Prados directly engages, and in many cases, demolishes, a host of shibboleths about the war. But this is no mere polemic. Rather, Prados’s powerfully presented and meticulously argued account, buttressed by a staggering amount of documentary evidence, meets the most exacting standards of scholarship. His sweeping history forms the capstone of more than three decades of careful research and measured reflection on the Vietnam War .... It may be the single most important book yet written on the Vietnam conflict.”

- American Historical Review, on Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War (2010 winner of the Henry Adams Prize) (2009)

The Kissinger Transcripts provides a unique and fascinating look into Henry Kissinger’s personal conduct of diplomatic negotiations and diplomatic maneuver in his contacts with the leaders of China and the Soviet Union. These near-verbatim transcripts provide an unvarnished and candid record [and] the personalities and proclivities of Kissinger’s Chinese and Soviet partners come through fully. The Kissinger Transcripts is not only an important book, but a really good read.” 

- Raymond L. Garthoff, on The Kissinger Transcripts (1999)

“At last, the Iran-Contra affair has a comprehensive history worthy of the scandal which, if the system had worked, should have landed many senior White House officials in the slammer. Malcolm Byrne has told this complex story in brilliant fashion.” 

- Seymour M. Hersh, on Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal (2014)

“Governments at every level these days are providing less information about their inner workings, sometimes using fear of terrorism as an excuse.  But it’s precisely times like these that mandate citizens’ rights to check the efficiency of their government and hold those who fail accountable, open government advocates say.  The government itself won’t make it easy, so an increasing number of websites and data crunchers are stepping in to provide information about the inner workings of government …  Another trove of information is George Washington University’s National Security Archive, which contains thousands of documents acquired through patient Freedom of Information Act requests.”

- Ryan Singel, Wired.com (2004)

“Blanton and the research organization he heads, the National Security Archive, have made it their mission to plant Freedom of Information Act requests all across the federal government to shed light on what agencies are doing in our name.”

- Linda P. Campbell, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (2008)

“[Peter Kornbluh's] column has highlighted for the profession of journalism in Chile the investigative value of archives and documents, and the need for vigilance and control over their declassification, as well as the need for a normal process of public release with fewer documents being classified as ‘secret.’”

- Monica Gonzalez, Executive Editor, Diario Siete (Chile) (2005)

“A rich and timely review of the background to the normalization recently achieved.”

- Studies in Intelligence, review of Back Channel to Cuba (2015)

“A remarkable book about a remarkable scandal that shook American politics more than a quarter century ago. Byrne's riveting account is not only good history and an exciting tale of espionage and White House intrigue; it is a warning about the excesses of secrecy and partisanship in American foreign policy. It offers a rewarding look backward with lessons for looking forward.”

- Bruce Riedel, former intelligence officer and author (2014)

“The National Security Archive is a wonderful resource in general—dogged, aggressive, fair, and with mad organizational skills.”

- Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

“As profound as major foreign policy initiatives and fiascos… as trivial as pizza orders and office flirtations.” 

- The New York Times, review of White House Email (1995)

“An important and very revealing contribution to a better understanding of a particularly critical phase in the Cold War.  The documents provide a sense of intimacy to the complex interactions between American and Soviet decision makers as well as an insight into the internal communist debates.”

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor

“I strongly endorse the National Security Archive's research and publications as both unique and invaluable to the public's understanding of and ability to debate the history and role of nuclear weapons. In particular, The Nuclear Vault has been especially useful as a one-stop-shopping for facts and analysis that I frequently rely on in my writings and to guide me in gaining further insight and access. It is a dynamic and focused project that clearly deserves sustained financial support.”

- Hans Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists

"Nate Jones of the George Washington University’s National Security Archive has done a superlative job [in Able Archer 83] of drawing together primary-source material that paints a compelling picture of this terrifying crisis, helped considerably by the outstanding scene-setting in his colleague Tom Blanton’s foreword .... The National Security Archive has done a great service to the people of the United States and anyone who wishes to learn from its history by obtaining the release of so many highly classified documents central to this story, in particular the PFIAB Report ... This is a book that should not be missed by historians, national-security experts, or any person interested in the fate of the earth."

- Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr.

- Thomas Graham on Jones, 'Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War', Nonproliferation Review

“Two of Russia’s most accomplished Cold War historians have brought us a treasure trove of arresting new information, insights, and judgments that do much to change our understanding of the Soviet Union’s motives and behavior during its long and tragic confrontation with the West.” 

- Michael R. Beschloss, author, on Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War (1996)

“There are lessons for handling Iran's nuclear program in the declassified CIA self-analysis of its misreading of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's reaction to U.N. inspections of his weapons-of-mass-destruction program. Equally interesting in the report is how Hussein misjudged the capability of international inspectors and the responses — sanctions and then military action — that would come from the United States and its allies. Are these errors that Iran may be making? The 16-page report, first disclosed 13 days ago by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, concludes with some findings relevant to the Iran situation.”

- Walter Pincus, The Washington Post (2012)

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