30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“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)

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

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

“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.”

- John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University, on Uprising in East Germany 1953

“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)

“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)

“Without the support of the National Security Archive, the historic mission of the Panama Truth Commission could have been diminished and even frustrated ….”

- Alberto Almanza, President, Comision de la Verdad de Panama (2001)

“Utilizing a host of new material, Zubok and Pleshakov offer many insights into the causes and early years of the Cold War. Their well-written account will interest not just historians, but any reader who seeks a better understanding of why the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in costly and dangerous rivalry for more than four decades.” 

- Jack F. Matlock, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, on Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War (1996)

“This volume [The 1956 Hungarian Revolution] is important precisely because the documents speak for themselves. Thanks to judicious selection from an impressive array of sources, the volume reflects the very real complexities of 1956 .... The 120 top-level, formerly secret records ... provide us today with the unusual opportunity to watch the revolution unfold from a variety of perspectives ... It is an important achievement.”

- Charles Gati, Johns Hopkins University

“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)

“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)

“[Peter Kornbluh's] column has highlighted for the profession of journalism in Chile the investigative value of archives and documents, and the need for vigilance and control over their declassification, as well as the need for a normal process of public release with fewer documents being classified as ‘secret.’”

- Monica Gonzalez, Executive Editor, Diario Siete (Chile) (2005)

“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.” 

- James Mann, author (2009)

“I have never read a book quite like this. Becoming Enemies is the latest product of the indispensable National Security Archive, the Washington non-profit that has given new meaning to the Freedom of Information Act.  They not only use their skills to get major U.S. policy documents declassified, but they take those documents and find innovative ways to illuminate important historical episodes.  This book is a living example.

“No one can emerge from this book without a sense of revelation.  No matter how much you may know about these tumultuous years, even if you were personally involved or have delved into the existing academic literature, you will discover new facts, new interpretations, and new dimensions on virtually every page.” 

- Gary Sick, Columbia University, review of Becoming Enemies (2012)

“The proceedings of the conference [at Musgrove] and the documents – Soviet, American, and East European – together create a rare volume and significant pool of evidence ... The hosts succeeded in creating an atmosphere of tolerance for every opinion, an honest approach to any detail of a problem in any of its twists and turns, which provoked the kinds of spontaneous thoughts, reminiscences, and discourses that the participants themselves probably could never have ‘planned’ beforehand.”

- Anatoly S. Chernyaev, former senior Gorbachev adviser (1998)

“We don’t have words to thank you, our sister organization, and you personally [Carlos Osorio] for the effort, the dedication and over all the patience on this project which we thought would take so long to complete but is already in the final stages of finishing.”

- Rosa Palau, Deputy Director, “Archivo del Terror,” Supreme Court of Paraguay (2001)

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