30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“This volume [The 1956 Hungarian Revolution] is important precisely because the documents speak for themselves. Thanks to judicious selection from an impressive array of sources, the volume reflects the very real complexities of 1956 .... The 120 top-level, formerly secret records ... provide us today with the unusual opportunity to watch the revolution unfold from a variety of perspectives ... It is an important achievement.”

- Charles Gati, Johns Hopkins University

“This book reopens the vitally important argument over Ronald Reagan's presidency — particularly, as Malcolm Byrne asserts with his use of many newly available documents, that Reagan was not passive, but "the driving force" behind the unconstitutional and embarrassing scheme to ignore congressional legislation by secretly sending arms to an enemy (Iran) in order to give the proceeds to help preserve embattled Central American dictatorships. Valuable also is Byrne’s analysis of the effects of the Reagan administration's questionable use of presidential powers in shaping pivotal foreign policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.”

- Walter LaFeber, Cornell University, author (2014)

“The Archive’s help and support allowed me to make The Nature of the Game more than just another thriller.  The Archive’s work in revealing truth behind government and political spin is vital for our global culture.”

- James Grady, author (2011)

The Pinochet File should be considered the long awaited book of record on U.S. intervention in Chile. . . . A crisp compelling narrative, almost a political thriller.” 

- Los Angeles Times

“The proceedings of the conference [at Musgrove] and the documents – Soviet, American, and East European – together create a rare volume and significant pool of evidence ... The hosts succeeded in creating an atmosphere of tolerance for every opinion, an honest approach to any detail of a problem in any of its twists and turns, which provoked the kinds of spontaneous thoughts, reminiscences, and discourses that the participants themselves probably could never have ‘planned’ beforehand.”

- Anatoly S. Chernyaev, former senior Gorbachev adviser (1998)

“... the fascinating new book Spying on the Bomb by Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the privately funded National Security Archive ...” 

- Jeremy Bernstein, New York Review of Books, (2006)

“This remarkable book [A Cardboard Castle?] documents in fascinating detail the rise and fall of the Warsaw Treaty organisation – an alliance of unfree nations press-ganged into military collaboration over forty years.  How it came about, did its business, and eventually imploded is the story of my lifetime – and that of many others who were affected by it.  This is therefore not just a story for experts or historians – it is a chronology of significance and an era we must never forget".

- The Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, NATO Secretary General, 1999-2003

“Outside of government, the National Security Archive at George Washington University maintains the world’s largest library of declassified material and has used it to build a detailed set of online volumes called The September 11th Sourcebooks.  Drawing from documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and from individual scholarly research, the sourcebooks provide fascinating primary data and analysis on Afghanistan, U.S. foreign policy, bioterrorism, and U.S. policy against terrorism.”

- National Journal (2001)

“In this well-written, carefully documented, and important study [Spying on the Bomb] Jeffrey Richelson describes how and why a succession of nations, beginning with Nazi Germany in World War II, have secretly sought to build nuclear weapons.” 

- J. Kenneth McDonald, Journal of Military History (2006)

“[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)

“George Washington University’s excellent National Security Archive has just published a fascinating but hair-raising new account, based on newly declassified documents, of the incident in 1979 when Zbigniew Brzezinski, then Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, was awoken by one of those fabled 3am telephone calls and told that the Soviet Union had launched 250 nuclear missiles at the United States.  America had a matter of minutes to decide whether to launch a counter-strike.  Not a nice start to anyone’s day.  It was, of course, a false alarm ... [But] if you want to give yourself a fright, read the archive’s new documents.”

- The Economist (2012)

“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

“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)

At bottom, Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War is a valuable addition to the literature on the post-détente “Era of Renewed Confrontation.” Despite its sensationalistic subtitle and occasional overreaches, this is a serious work that makes significant contributions to our collective understanding of a tense and perhaps alarming episode in Cold War history. Substantiating and widening the discussion with an accessible collection of declassified documents is a public service, and one for which students of history and concerned citizens owe a debt of gratitude to the National Security Archive, and to Jones in particular. Whether this book produces new converts or merely preaches to the choir, it is a vital resource that deserves to be read and evaluated.

- DiCicco on Jones, 'Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War', H-Diplo

“Thank you very much, especially for your important and intelligent contribution.”  

- Mercedes Soiza-Reilly, Prosecutor in the Orletti case (Argentina), to Carlos Osorio

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