30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“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 can't do anything but applaud this project ... Anything that can be done to educate people, all the better.”

- Former CIA Director Richard Helms on the National Security Archive, quoted in USA Today (1987)

“I and all of my serious colleagues in the field of nuclear studies depend heavily on the astonishing work of the National Security Archive.  Bill Burr and company perform an indispensable service to our community by unpacking the legacy of the Cold War with vital documentation and historical interpretation, much of which is invaluable for understanding the present and future as well as the past.  The Nuclear Vault is a treasure-trove, and the intrepid organization that created and maintains it is a national treasure without which the field of nuclear studies and policy analysis would be impoverished.  It is absolutely vital to support the collection and analysis work at the Archive.”

- Bruce G. Blair, President, World Security Institute

“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)

“I am especially grateful for the work of the National Security Archive ... [It] is a national treasure.”

- Eric Schlosser, author

“An elegantly written treasure trove of fascinating, forgotten, and previously unrevealed history. For those seeking to understand the roots of modern enmity between the U.S. and Iran, Becoming Enemies is a truly unique and wonderful resource.”

- Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

“Over the years the archive has found that declassifying documents may alter the course of history as well as illuminate it.  A database on the Guatemalan military, assembled from declassified U.S. documents, wound up helping the truth commission examining human rights abuses in Guatemala to pursue its investigations despite resistance from Guatemalan authorities.”

- David Anderson, “Open Secrets,” Ford Foundation Report (2000)

“[A] stream of insights into past American policy, spiced with depictions of White House officials in poses they would never adopt for a formal portrait.” 

- The New York Times, review of White House E-Mail: The Top Secret Computer Messages the Reagan-Bush White House Tried to Destroy (1995)

“A pioneering and illuminating assessment of the role and influence of secret intelligence in the twentieth century which contains much of importance that more conventional histories of international relations leave out.” 

- Christopher Andrew, on A Century of Spies (1995)

“I have compiled this list with the assistance of researchers at the indispensable National Security Archive, a non-profit group that has published more than half a million government documents.”

- Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post (2007)

“This latest offering from the indefatigable National Security Archive is part of its ongoing Guatemala Documentation Project, which has worked for the release of numerous secret US files on Guatemala .… Once again, the [Archive] is to be congratulated for its hard work, diligent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and for making its important discoveries freely available to all online.”

- University of Wisconsin, Internet Scout Report (2000)

“President Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to China was one of the greatest diplomatic coups in history.  This heavily-researched documentary reveals an unknown story behind the one most journalists and historians think they know.  To tell it, the producers had to find, sift, evaluate and codify thousands of declassified documents, both from the U.S. government and the secretive Chinese government too.  Working in cooperation with the National Security Archive, the program’s researchers brought dry government files to life, revealing details that would have rattled the world at the time ... ”

- Emmy Award Citation (2005)

“An important contribution came from Thomas S. Blanton and the National Security Archive in Washington, which provided key historical documents and analysis.  I am also grateful to Anne Hessing Cahn for access to her collection of papers at the [National Security Archive]. Svetlana Savranskaya guided me with precision and patience through Cold War memoirs and documents.”

- David E. Hoffman, 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Dead Hand (2009)

“I am happy that the cooperation between the National Security Archive in Washington and the Czech foundation ‘Prague Spring 1968’ has resulted in this voluminous collection of documents, which, I hope, will lead readers to a closer understanding of the dramatic events that the then-Czechoslovakia lived through three decades ago.”

- Václav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, on the volume The Prague Spring ’68 (1994)

“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)

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