30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“In timely fashion, the National Security Archive has released another one of its well-devised electronic briefing books for consideration by the general public.”  

- Internet Scout Report, University of Wisconsin (2005)

“This book reopens the vitally important argument over Ronald Reagan's presidency — particularly, as Malcolm Byrne asserts with his use of many newly available documents, that Reagan was not passive, but "the driving force" behind the unconstitutional and embarrassing scheme to ignore congressional legislation by secretly sending arms to an enemy (Iran) in order to give the proceeds to help preserve embattled Central American dictatorships. Valuable also is Byrne’s analysis of the effects of the Reagan administration's questionable use of presidential powers in shaping pivotal foreign policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.”

- Walter LaFeber, Cornell University, author (2014)

“[A] stream of insights into past American policy, spiced with depictions of White House officials in poses they would never adopt for a formal portrait.” 

- The New York Times, review of White House E-Mail: The Top Secret Computer Messages the Reagan-Bush White House Tried to Destroy (1995)

“Forty years have now passed and we have become forty years older.  Had we not told our children the truth about what happened in 1956, they could not tell their children either.  Our grandchildren, however, will unearth the truth for themselves.  From archival sources and written memorials.  From facts.  Mercilessly.  Out of the desire for knowledge.  Without having lived in that age and breathed the air of those days.  It may well be that the story they reconstruct will be more accurate than our own version.  Hosts of young researchers abroad and in Hungary are working on that narrative already – as typified by the editors of this extraordinary volume – and I am sure that they will sincerely answer the prevailing questions of “why” and “how”.  With this outstanding volume, the scholars at the 1956 Institute in Budapest and the National Security Archive in the United States are helping to lead the way in this important historical exercise.”  

- Árpád Göncz, former President of Hungary, on the book The 1956 Hungarian Revolution

“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)

“This has been an extraordinarily impressive event. I felt for the first time in this morning’s session that I understood Soviet decision-making in the Cuban missile crisis better than in any other event since 1941.” 

- Ernest R. May, Harvard University, after participation in a National Security Archive conference (1987)

“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)

"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)

“The battle for the first outpost of cyberspace- electronic mail- is over. We won; the White House lost.” 

- Wired, on White House Email (1995)

"‘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)

“Over the years the archive has found that declassifying documents may alter the course of history as well as illuminate it.  A database on the Guatemalan military, assembled from declassified U.S. documents, wound up helping the truth commission examining human rights abuses in Guatemala to pursue its investigations despite resistance from Guatemalan authorities.”

- David Anderson, “Open Secrets,” Ford Foundation Report (2000)

“George Washington University’s excellent National Security Archive has just published a fascinating but hair-raising new account, based on newly declassified documents, of the incident in 1979 when Zbigniew Brzezinski, then Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, was awoken by one of those fabled 3am telephone calls and told that the Soviet Union had launched 250 nuclear missiles at the United States.  America had a matter of minutes to decide whether to launch a counter-strike.  Not a nice start to anyone’s day.  It was, of course, a false alarm ... [But] if you want to give yourself a fright, read the archive’s new documents.”

- The Economist (2012)

"A prodigious achievement – a truly exceptional examination of perhaps the most vexing relationship in the history of U.S. foreign policy. Based on vast numbers of documents, many rarely seen before, plus firsthand interviews with nearly every one of the important participants, including Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro, Back Channel to Cuba is the equivalent of a 9' high jump when the world record is 8'04" (held since 1993, incidentally, by a Cuban). Nothing else even comes close." 

- Lars Schoultz, author, on Back Channel To Cuba (2014)

“National Security Archive (NSA), Estados Unidos. Apoyo del Equipo de investigación solicitado a Carlos Osorio para la consulta de documentos de los Archivos desclasificados del Departmento de Estado de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica referidos a Uruguay y a casos de uruguayos desaparecidos en Argentina y Paraguay.”

- “Investigación Histórica sobre Detenidos Desaparecidos” report in Uruguay (2007)

“The National Security Archive's Nuclear Vault is an essential resource for scholars and policymakers interested in nuclear weapons and nonproliferation.  There is no collection of documents and other information that is more extensive, better curated and accessible than the Nuclear Vault.  Indeed, the Vault is a "single point of failure" -- our community could not replace a resource of such quality and depth.” 

- Jeffrey Lewis, New America Foundation

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