30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“The National Security Archive in Washington proved, as always, to be the principal and most accessible source of declassified materials, providing information that extends well beyond the collections of the presidential libraries; Thomas Blanton and William Burr provided special help and insight.” 

- James Mann, author (2009)

"FBI documents declassified in July reveal that the bureau has been worried about right-wing extremists for a long time—so many years, in fact, that many seem to have forgotten that white supremacists, who pioneered homegrown terrorism with the Ku Klux Klan, have not gone away.  The documents, which were collected by the invaluable National Security Archive and obtained partly through Freedom of Information Act requests, shed light on the problems coming from the extreme right.”

- Jordan Michael Smith, in Salon (2012)

“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)

Masterpieces of History ... provides a fascinating array of sources from the late 1980s and early 1990, largely from Russian-language originals.  Experts who have seen these documents already at conferences or the archive itself, as I did in the course of writing my book 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, already know how valuable they are.” 

- Mary Elise Sarotte, University of Southern California

“This is the missing book – the primer – on the craft of intelligence. It is a highly informed briefing, set in historical perspective, by the best of the spy watchers.” 

- William E. Burrows, on A Century of Spies (1995)

“Without the support of the National Security Archive, the historic mission of the Panama Truth Commission could have been diminished and even frustrated ….”

- Alberto Almanza, President, Comision de la Verdad de Panama (2001)

“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 National Security Archive's Nuclear Vault is an essential resource for scholars and policymakers interested in nuclear weapons and nonproliferation.  There is no collection of documents and other information that is more extensive, better curated and accessible than the Nuclear Vault.  Indeed, the Vault is a "single point of failure" -- our community could not replace a resource of such quality and depth.” 

- Jeffrey Lewis, New America Foundation

“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)

“It’s time we used the ‘information age’ to our advantage in reclaiming our democracy from the secret-keepers.” 

- Jesse Ventura, former Minnesota governor, recommending the National Security Archive in his book 63 Documents The Government Doesn’t Want You To Read (2011)

“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)

“Finally a well-researched and well-written account of our leaders’ dangerous nuclear brinksmanship across the high years of the Cold War. There’s much here that’s new and much that’s troubling – for today as well as yesterday.”

- Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb (2015)

“Using self-promotional claims from a product web site as a way to sum up the sense of its value should be avoided, but in this instance they are pretty accurate and worth noting: “In its totality, the DNSA offers the most effective research and teaching tool available in the area of U.S. foreign policy, intelligence, and security issues during this pivotal period of 20th century history, and into the 21st century.”

- Gail Golderman & Bruce Connolly, reviewing the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) in netConnect (2008)

“The National Security Archive will help journalists, scholars, public-interest groups, even policymakers themselves, find national-security and foreign-policy information that has never been compiled in usable form before. A ‘Nexis’ of national security. A state-of-the-heart index to history.”

- Washington Journalism Review (1987)

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