30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“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)

“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)

“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)

“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)

“‘No one will be able to write the same way’ about Cuban-Soviet relations.”

- Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education after taking part in a National Security Archive conference in Havana (2002)

“[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)

“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

“This volume opens the door to one of the most important yet largely neglected chapters of the Cold War in Europe – the Warsaw Pact. Mastny's provocative overview of its history should fire the interest of general readers as well as specialists; only a scholar with his breadth of knowledge of Eastern European history and languages could execute such a project. He and Byrne are to be congratulated for producing this monumental volume, with a trove of translated documents that is a major boon to both scholars and teachers.”

- William E. Odom (Lt. Gen.-retired), former Director, National Security Agency

“As profound as major foreign policy initiatives and fiascos… as trivial as pizza orders and office flirtations.” 

- The New York Times, review of White House Email (1995)

The Kissinger Transcripts is among the most important Cold War records to emerge thus far. In these pages we see the bare knuckles of Triangular diplomacy, the mercurial Mao, the blustery Brezhnev, and the multiple personalities of Henry Kissinger, all of them analyzed in expert commentary by William Burr of the National Security Archive.” 

- Patrick E. Tyler, author and former correspondent for The New York Times and The Washington Post, on The Kissinger Transcripts (1999)

“[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)

“Según lo acordado recientemente con Carlos Osorio, tras su importante visita del mes de diciembre pasado a Montevideo, solicitamos al apoyo del National Security Archive (NSA) al trabajo de recopilación documental regional que desarrolla el Equipo de investigación histórica sobre la desaparición forzada y el terrorismo de Estado en el Uruguay (1973-1985).”

- Dr. Gonzalo D. Fernández, Secretario de la Presidencia de la República Oriental del Uruguay (2006)

“The National Security Archive at George Washington University maintains a trove of declassified government papers, including voluminous files involving national security decision making during the Cold War.  Tom Blanton, the director, and his colleagues guided [research assistant] Gabriela and me through the archive’s collections, many of which are assembled and analyzed in thoughtful electronic briefing books.  William Burr, a senior analyst, has edited several invaluable collections about nuclear weapons policy during the Cold War.”

- Philip Taubman, author and former New York Times correspondent (2012)

“Drawing upon a trove of new documents, the authors provide a full length fascinating account of Nixon and Kissinger's madman nuclear threat making in 1969 against North Vietnam ... I didn't know any of this as I was copying the top secret Pentagon Papers that fall but if I had I would have given the Papers to the newspapers right away rather than two years later ... A gripping and essential read.”

- Daniel Ellsberg on Nixon’s Nuclear Specter (2015)

“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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