30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“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)

“Agradecimientos: Al National Security Archive (NSA) que por medio de un Convenio firmado con la Corte Suprema de Justicia, posibilitó la instalación del equipo informático y la conexión de Internet en la oficina.”

- Centro de Documentacion y Archivo Para La Defensa de los Derechos Humanos in Paraguay (2007)

“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)

“The battle for the first outpost of cyberspace- electronic mail- is over. We won; the White House lost.” 

- Wired, on White House Email (1995)

“The best testimony, well organized, undeniable evidence.”

- Sabrina Gullino, daughter of disappeared parents (Argentina), on court testimony by Carlos Osorio

“Forty years have now passed and we have become forty years older.  Had we not told our children the truth about what happened in 1956, they could not tell their children either.  Our grandchildren, however, will unearth the truth for themselves.  From archival sources and written memorials.  From facts.  Mercilessly.  Out of the desire for knowledge.  Without having lived in that age and breathed the air of those days.  It may well be that the story they reconstruct will be more accurate than our own version.  Hosts of young researchers abroad and in Hungary are working on that narrative already – as typified by the editors of this extraordinary volume – and I am sure that they will sincerely answer the prevailing questions of “why” and “how”.  With this outstanding volume, the scholars at the 1956 Institute in Budapest and the National Security Archive in the United States are helping to lead the way in this important historical exercise.”  

- Árpád Göncz, former President of Hungary, on the book The 1956 Hungarian Revolution

“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)

“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)

“Journalists occasionally receive well- or not-so-well-intentioned leaks about past or present official misdeeds.  Once in a while – less so these days – a congressional investigation or a commission unearths long-buried truths about government-gone-bad.  But when it comes to consistently forcing important secrets out of the US government no journalist or investigator rivals the National Security Archive, a nonprofit outfit based at George Washington University.”

- David Corn, The Nation (2005)

“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

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

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

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

“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)

“Russia has reverted to authoritarian type, yet there are opportunities for human rights cases and accountability in the European context.  We need from you any US documents you can retrieve on Chechnya and the enormous human cost of those wars.  Such information is called ‘state secrets’ in Russia.”

- Sergei Kovalev, chairman of “Memorial” and former human rights ombudsman of the Russian Federation, to Archive director Tom Blanton in Moscow (2006)

“The work of the National Security Archive has helped prevent this issue from being swept under the rug. The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History is a history we must not forget.”

- James Ridgeway, Village Voice (1993)

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