30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“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 [National Security Archive’s] expertise has proved crucial in understanding the declassification process, in retrieving U.S. governmental documents, in interpreting them, and in locating possible witnesses. It is not an overstatement to say that the cooperation provided by the National Security Archive has made a dramatic difference to the investigation that I am conducting, and has boosted the pursuit of justice.”

- Assistant Prosecutor Giancarlo Capaldo, heading an Italian investigation into human rights violations in the Southern Cone (2002)

“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)

“I have compiled this list with the assistance of researchers at the indispensable National Security Archive, a non-profit group that has published more than half a million government documents.”

- Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post (2007)

“A nice trove of documents was declassified and made public yesterday by the invaluable National Security Archive of George Washington University.”

- Michael Tomasky, in The Daily Beast (2012)

“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)

“The [truth] commission [on East Timor] relied on more than 4,500 pages of recently declassified documents collected by the Washington-based National Security Archive, a nonprofit research group, which posted a 119-page portion of the commission’s 2,500-page report on its Web site Tuesday.”

- Colum Lynch, The Washington Post (2006)

“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 best testimony, well organized, undeniable evidence.”

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

“A remarkable book about a remarkable scandal that shook American politics more than a quarter century ago. Byrne's riveting account is not only good history and an exciting tale of espionage and White House intrigue; it is a warning about the excesses of secrecy and partisanship in American foreign policy. It offers a rewarding look backward with lessons for looking forward.”

- Bruce Riedel, former intelligence officer and author (2014)

“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? The 16-page report, first disclosed 13 days ago by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, concludes with some findings relevant to the Iran situation.”

- Walter Pincus, The Washington Post (2012)

"‘This thing about eyeball-to-eyeball, it never was. That confrontation never took place,’ said Kornbluh, who is a Cuba analyst at the nongovernment National Security Archive, which has spent decades working to get missile crisis documents declassified.”

- Peter Orsi, Associated Press (2012)

“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)

"FBI documents declassified in July reveal that the bureau has been worried about right-wing extremists for a long time—so many years, in fact, that many seem to have forgotten that white supremacists, who pioneered homegrown terrorism with the Ku Klux Klan, have not gone away.  The documents, which were collected by the invaluable National Security Archive and obtained partly through Freedom of Information Act requests, shed light on the problems coming from the extreme right.”

- Jordan Michael Smith, in Salon (2012)

“An elegantly written treasure trove of fascinating, forgotten, and previously unrevealed history. For those seeking to understand the roots of modern enmity between the U.S. and Iran, Becoming Enemies is a truly unique and wonderful resource.”

- Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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