30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

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

“The ‘nuclear vault’ is the informal name given to a division of the privately funded National Security [Archive], now housed in the library of George Washington University on H Street.  The [Archive],  founded two decades ago, has devoted itself to getting millions of pages of top secret, classified national security documents declassified, primarily through the Freedom of Information Act.  The nuclear vault, the repository for an astonishing compilation of confidential declassified discussions about the bomb, has been presided over for two decades by Dr. William Burr, another Yoda of FOIA, using that legislative tool like a light-saber to cut through the fog of secrecy that surrounds nuclear weapons and nuclear war strategy.”

- Ron Rosenbaum, author (2011)

“Thank you again for your recent trip to Spain.  It was a pleasure to have you work with us in submitting evidence for the judicial case against General Augusto Pinochet.  We will be relying on you to search for other declassified U.S. records that may be relevant to this judicial case, as well as to the cases of other human rights abusers in Chile which we are advancing.  Your work is invaluable to the pursuit of truth and justice.”

- Juan Garces, lead lawyer in the Spanish prosecution of Augusto Pinochet, to Archive analyst Peter Kornbluh (1999)

“It is absolutely excellent work that you have done, and I do hope you will keep me informed of any similar publications in the future; they are an invaluable addition to any collection of documents on the genocide in Rwanda.”

- James Smith, The Holocaust Centre (U.K.), (2006)

“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)

“[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)

“Thank you for sending me a summary of the Musgrove Conference on U.S.-Soviet Relations.  I found the analysis and comments very useful.  As the project proceeds, I would welcome continuing assessments.  Congratulations on such a successful conference.”

- Former President Jimmy Carter, letter to James Blight (1994)

“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)

“All the reviewers in this roundtable laud Byrne’s book. James Hershberg considers it ‘the standard work’ on the scandal. Kyle Longley praises it as ‘the best work on the topic and likely will be for many years.’ Andrew Bacevich commends it as an ‘extraordinarily detailed account’ that will come as close as any study can to being ‘the last word’ on Iran-Contra for a long time to come. This is a roundtable, in short, in which all the reviewers agree that Byrne has written an exceptional book.”

- Chester J. Pach, Ohio University, H-Diplo review of Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal (2016)

"‘This thing about eyeball-to-eyeball, it never was. That confrontation never took place,’ said Kornbluh, who is a Cuba analyst at the nongovernment National Security Archive, which has spent decades working to get missile crisis documents declassified.”

- Peter Orsi, Associated Press (2012)

“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)

“[The Chronology is] the most comprehensive, authoritative, objective and useful summary of the Iran-Contra affair available.  It makes the pieces fall into place and brings the individual players into focus.”

- Bob Woodward, The Washington Post (1987)

“... 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)

“By seeking greater government openness and accountability in one of the most sensitive areas of U.S. national security policy, the National Security Archive epitomizes the very activities that make up the life blood of democracy.”  

- Robert S. Norris, Natural Resources Defense Council

“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

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