30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

The Chronology is an extremely valuable work and will be immensely useful during the televised Congressional hearings on the Iran-Contra affair.”

- Peter Jennings, ABC World News Tonight (1987)

“In this brilliant and disturbing book [Becoming Enemies], America’s foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran in the 1980s is told, for the first time, from deep inside the U.S. decision making apparatus of the Carter and Reagan administrations. It is a sobering tale of Washington’s misperceptions, ignorance and arrogance drawing on newly declassified documentation and oral testimony from key participants, who struggle to come to grips with how and why the U.S. rallied behind one of the twentieth century’s most brutal despots, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, in his war with Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, thereby sowing the seeds of bitter U.S.-Iranian enmity that exists to this day.”

- Patrick Tyler, author and former correspondent for The New York Times and The Washington Post (2012)

“[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)

“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)

“In the United States, on organization, the National Security Archive, has spent over 25 years working for more open government at home and abroad.  This independent nonprofit covers the waterfront: investigative journalism; research on international affairs; open government advocate; indexer and publisher of former secrets; and archive of declassified U.S. documents.”

- Carnegie Results (2014)

“More detailed and more international examinations of these cases and new studies of others are needed.  An organization that will galvanize future research is the National Security Archive, the invaluable Washington non-profit organization that uses the Freedom of Information Act to secure the declassification of U.S. government documents.  When I interned at the Archive as a college sophomore, I had no idea how much I would later benefit from their work.”

- Samantha Power, 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning author of “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide

“The fiercely independent National Security Archive ... has rendered yeoman service in the pursuit of historical truth.”

- A.G. Noorani, Frontline (India)

“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.”  

- Prensa Latina (2006)

“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

“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

"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

“Under the request of the Brazilian Minister of Justice Tarso Genro … we would like to follow our dealings about the presentation of a Brazilian Government official request of declassification of secret documents that may exist in the U.S. National Security Archive about the repression during the Brazilian Dictatorship (1964-1985).” 

- Paulo Abrão Pires Junior, President of the Amnesty Commission of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice (2009)

“The Archive’s help and support allowed me to make The Nature of the Game more than just another thriller.  The Archive’s work in revealing truth behind government and political spin is vital for our global culture.”

- James Grady, author (2011)

“Thank you for sending me a summary of the Musgrove Conference on U.S.-Soviet Relations.  I found the analysis and comments very useful.  As the project proceeds, I would welcome continuing assessments.  Congratulations on such a successful conference.”

- Former President Jimmy Carter, letter to James Blight (1994)

“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.”  

- Mary Elise Sarotte, University of Southern California (2011)

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