30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

"The National Security Archive plays a vital role in the field of nuclear weapons policy research. Through the vigorous use of the Freedom of Information Act and through monitoring new releases at the National Archives, its analysts seek the declassification and dissemination of some of the most important secrets in the nuclear weapons field.  These findings gain wide exposure on the Archive’s extraordinary 'Nuclear Vault', its site for the electronic briefing books and other document collections that are so valuable to scholars of nuclear policy, military history, and foreign policy."

- Robert S. Norris, Natural Resources Defense Council

“[T]he world’s largest nongovernmental library of declassified documents.” 

- Los Angeles Times (2001)

“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

“We don’t have words to thank you, our sister organization, and you personally [Carlos Osorio] for the effort, the dedication and over all the patience on this project which we thought would take so long to complete but is already in the final stages of finishing.”

- Rosa Palau, Deputy Director, “Archivo del Terror,” Supreme Court of Paraguay (2001)

“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)

“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)

“Declassified US files have revealed that an anti-communist Cuban, who has applied for asylum in the United States but is wanted by Venezuela for the bombing of a Cuban airliner 29 years ago, spent years on the CIA payroll.  CIA and FBI files, published by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, revealed US investigators believed Luis Posada Carriles was involved in the 1976 bombing plot in Venezuela of the Cubana Airlines jet in which 73 passengers died, including teenage members of a Cuban fencing team.”

- ABC News World News Tonight (2005)

“Utilizing a host of new material, Zubok and Pleshakov offer many insights into the causes and early years of the Cold War. Their well-written account will interest not just historians, but any reader who seeks a better understanding of why the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in costly and dangerous rivalry for more than four decades.” 

- Jack F. Matlock, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, on Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War (1996)

“LeoGrande and Kornbluh's exhaustive and masterful diplomatic history [Back Channel to Cuba] will stand as the most authoritative account of U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations during the five decades of Cuban President Fidel Castro's rule.”

- Foreign Affairs (2015)

“Carlos Osorio keeps records in his office that many people would kill to have.  They are intelligence documents that reveal kidnappings, assassinations, tortures, and massacres of the recent past.  … If Osorio has these it is because he works at the National Security Archive, an organization that investigates international issues drawing on confidential documents freed from the government of the United States.  ...In ten years of work he has found that one really can never get used to uncovering the face of infamy.”

- El Comercio (Peru), (2005)

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

- Eric Schlosser, author

“Evocative, illuminating, insightful:  This volume [Masterpieces of History] is a brilliant collection of documents, conversations, and essays.  It is absolutely indispensable for understanding the end of the Cold War.” 

- Melvyn Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor of History, University of Virginia (2010)

“Among the world’s document buffs – a small but tenacious tribe of journalists, researchers and historians – the archive is legendary for its prolific and skillful practice of the art of the FOIA request.  ‘They craft the best FOIA requests around,’ says [Daniel] Metcalfe, the archive’s former adversary [at the Justice Department], who is now a law professor at American University.  ‘If anybody does it better, I haven’t seen it.’”

- Peter Carlson, The Washington Post, (2008)

“It was one of the more enjoyable and important efforts that I have been involved in recently … Yours is truly a critical effort as we must find a way to engage with Iran … and quickly.  Building trust thru your historical work (here) certainly will be helpful.”

- General J. H. Binford Peay, III, former Commander-in-Chief of CENTCOM (2011)

“This is a splendid contribution to recent history.” 

- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., on Politics of Illusion (1998)

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