30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“At last, the Iran-Contra affair has a comprehensive history worthy of the scandal which, if the system had worked, should have landed many senior White House officials in the slammer. Malcolm Byrne has told this complex story in brilliant fashion.” 

- Seymour M. Hersh, on Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal (2014)

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

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

“Even historic documents like the KGB surveillance reports that you have found on me and the other dissidents have a political impact in today’s Russia, since there is a new crackdown against civil society, and since our president [Putin] once served the KGB, so we need more such documents both from the history and from the present.”

- Ludmila Alexeyeva, co-founder of the Moscow Helsinki Group, to Archive Russia programs director Svetlana Savranskaya in Washington D.C. (2006)

“Subtly devastating .... The most revealing of the newest books [on Nixon] is Nixon’s Nuclear Specter by William Burr and Jeffrey P. Kimball ... Burr and Kimball neatly recreate the Vietnam dilemma that Nixon and Kissinger confronted: they couldn’t win, but they couldn’t face losing. Nixon’s Nuclear Specter is a detailed and careful account of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s fruitless efforts during 1969 to find an ‘honorable’ way out of Vietnam. As events that year unfolded, these authors demonstrate, honor had little to do with it .... Quite amazingly, Nixon and Kissinger, according to documents cited by Burr and Kimball, also ordered an unannounced, worldwide nuclear alert: an elaborate military exercise that put US strategic forces – missiles, missile-carrying submarines, and bombers – in a position of high readiness, as though the US was preparing to launch a nuclear attack.  These details were particularly fascinating for me because, as a young correspondent in Vietnam for most of 1969 and 1970, I knew nothing about any of this secret maneuvering.”

- Robert G. Kaiser, The New York Review of Books (2016)

“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)

“I congratulate you for your great contribution, documented, meticulously prepared, passionate and very useful to sort the most relevant documentary evidence proving the crime of conspiracy called Operation Condor.”

- Jamie Nuguer, lawyer and father of a disappeared child

"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

“I also thank the many FOIA and open government groups, including OpenTheGovernment.org, the Sunshine in Government Initiative and the National Security Archive, who have advocated tirelessly for a fully-operational OGIS.”

- Senator Patrick Leahy (2009)

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

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

“[Critical oral history architect James] Blight has made a ‘massive and uniquely valuable contribution’ to the historical literature.”

- Philip D. Zelikow, former State Department Counselor and National Security Council staff member (2002)

“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)

“Two of Russia’s most accomplished Cold War historians have brought us a treasure trove of arresting new information, insights, and judgments that do much to change our understanding of the Soviet Union’s motives and behavior during its long and tragic confrontation with the West.” 

- Michael R. Beschloss, author, on Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War (1996)

“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)

“A rich and timely review of the background to the normalization recently achieved.”

- Studies in Intelligence, review of Back Channel to Cuba (2015)

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