30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“The innovative approach of critical oral history yields penetrating insights into how policy-makers and officials understood events at the time and in hindsight.” 

- Nigel J. Ashton, London School of Economics

“The National Security Archive is a wonderful resource in general—dogged, aggressive, fair, and with mad organizational skills.”

- Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

“A groundbreaking book on a vital and timely topic, one that gives a valuable historical perspective to the recurrent crisis on the Korean peninsula.” 

- Charles K. Armstrong, Columbia University, on Trilateralism and Beyond (2012)

“Blanton and the research organization he heads, the National Security Archive, have made it their mission to plant Freedom of Information Act requests all across the federal government to shed light on what agencies are doing in our name.”

- Linda P. Campbell, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (2008)

“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)

“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 major revelations .... We are pleased to present this special 1999 George Polk Award to the National Security Archive ... for piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy, guiding journalists in search for the truth and informing us all.”

- George Polk Award citation (2000)

“Challenging the prevailing narrative of U.S.-Cuba relations, this book investigates the history of the secret, and often surprising, dialogue between Washington and Havana ... Suggest[s] that the past holds lessons for future negotiators.”

- The New Yorker, review of Back Channel to Cuba (2015)

“Both Doyle and Peccerelli are indefatigable defenders of human rights who have played a seminal role in the fight against impunity in Latin America,” said Sebastian Faber, Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA). A determined and creative researcher-activist, Doyle has spent twenty years working tirelessly with Latin American human rights organizations and truth commissions — in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Peru— to obtain the declassification of U.S. government archives in support of their investigations.”

- Announcement of ALBA-Puffin International Award for Human Rights Activism awarded to Kate Doyle (2012)

“There is no publication, in any language, that would even approach the thoroughness, reliability, and novelty of this monumental work .... For the first time in modern Hungarian history, and almost uniquely in the history of modern Europe, we are able to learn from original sources how exactly the decisions were taken that led first to the decline of the Stalinist system in Hungary, then to demonstrations for freedom and against the Soviet occupation .... [The 1956 Hungarian Revolution] will change forever our views of what happened in Hungary between 1953 and 1963.”

- István Deák, Columbia University, review of The 1956 Hungarian Revolution

“For that matter, you will learn more about who wins and who loses in the real business of politics, which is governance, from the public interest truth-tellers of Washington than you will from an established press tethered to official sources. The Government Accountability Project, POGO, the Sunlight Foundation, Citizens Against Government Waste, Taxpayers for Common Sense, the Center for Responsive Politics, the National Security Archive, CREW, the Center for Public Integrity, just to name a few – and from whistleblowers of all sorts who never went to journalism school, never flashed a press pass, and never attended a gridiron dinner.”

- Bill Moyers, InTheseTimes.com (2008)

“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)

“A pioneering and illuminating assessment of the role and influence of secret intelligence in the twentieth century which contains much of importance that more conventional histories of international relations leave out.” 

- Christopher Andrew, on A Century of Spies (1995)

“We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the work undertaken by the Guatemala Project of the National Security Archive on our behalf.  Since the inauguration of the Historical Clarification Commission (CEH) of Guatemala in August of 1997, the Archive’s Kate Doyle and Carlos Osorio have labored to provide us with an extraordinary collection of United States declassified documents organized specifically around issues of concern to the CEH.  They have also provided their invaluable analytical and technical assistance.”

- Christian Tomuschat, CEH Commissioner (1998)

“Outside of government, the National Security Archive at George Washington University maintains the world’s largest library of declassified material and has used it to build a detailed set of online volumes called The September 11th Sourcebooks.  Drawing from documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and from individual scholarly research, the sourcebooks provide fascinating primary data and analysis on Afghanistan, U.S. foreign policy, bioterrorism, and U.S. policy against terrorism.”

- National Journal (2001)

“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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