30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“The National Security Archive in Washington DC has long served as a fantastic resource for scholars of the Cold War. Its leaders and staff members, past and present ... have worked hard to collect documents at home and abroad and to make them available to scholars, often in English translation. The Archive has had to do so in the face of great reluctance, to put it mildly, by gatekeepers both American and foreign.”  

“The National Security Archive in Washington proved, as always, to be the principal and most accessible source of declassified materials, providing information that extends well beyond the collections of the presidential libraries; Thomas Blanton and William Burr provided special help and insight.” 

“After eight months of research in the Mexican national archives [on the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968], the National Security Archive has found records documenting the deaths of 44 people: 34 are named, and 10 more remain unidentified.  Based exclusively on declassified Mexican intelligence files, the Archive wants to continue gathering evidence about the 44 (accounted for up to now) victims  and to this end launched a new website Monday, where families, friends and colleagues of the victims can register additional names, documents and photographs: http: muertosdetlatelolco.blogspot.com.”  

“President Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to China was one of the greatest diplomatic coups in history.  This heavily-researched documentary reveals an unknown story behind the one most journalists and historians think they know.  To tell it, the producers had to find, sift, evaluate and codify thousands of declassified documents, both from the U.S. government and the secretive Chinese government too.  Working in cooperation with the National Security Archive, the program’s researchers brought dry government files to life, revealing details that would have rattled the world at the time ...

“Governments at every level these days are providing less information about their inner workings, sometimes using fear of terrorism as an excuse.  But it’s precisely times like these that mandate citizens’ rights to check the efficiency of their government and hold those who fail accountable, open government advocates say.  The government itself won’t make it easy, so an increasing number of websites and data crunchers are stepping in to provide information about the inner workings of government …  Another trove of information is George Washington University’s National Security Archive, whi

“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.” 

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.” 

“This excellent collection of documents pulls together what’s been learned about this event since the Cold War did in fact end … in a manner foreshadowed by what had happened in 1953.  It is an indispensable new source for the study of Cold War history.”

“It’s time we used the ‘information age’ to our advantage in reclaiming our democracy from the secret-keepers.” 

“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.”

“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.”

“Using freedom of information law and extracting meaningful details from the yield can be an imposing, frustrating task.  But since 1985, the non-profit National Security Archive has been a FOILer’s best friend, facilitating thousands of searches for journalists and scholars.  The archive, funded by foundations and income from its own publications, has become a one-stop shopping center for declassifying and retrieving important documents, suing to preserve such government data as e-mail messages, pressing for appropriate reclassification of files, and sponsoring research that has unearthed

“The National Security Archive will help journalists, scholars, public-interest groups, even policymakers themselves, find national-security and foreign-policy information that has never been compiled in usable form before. A ‘Nexis’ of national security. A state-of-the-heart index to history.”

“Thank you for the assistance your organization has provided to the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The support of Miss Tamara Feinstein, from the beginning of our work and during these days, has been extraordinarily helpful in the difficult task of analyzing and understanding the nature, scope and utility of the declassified documents …. Taking into account the short period of time the Commission has to perform its mandate, and the complexity of the information contained in those documents, the active and generous involvement of Miss Feinstein is crucial to our goals.”

“There are lessons for handling Iran's nuclear program in the declassified CIA self-analysis of its misreading of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's reaction to U.N. inspections of his weapons-of-mass-destruction program. Equally interesting in the report is how Hussein misjudged the capability of international inspectors and the responses — sanctions and then military action — that would come from the United States and its allies. Are these errors that Iran may be making?

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