30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“This volume opens the door to one of the most important yet largely neglected chapters of the Cold War in Europe – the Warsaw Pact. Mastny's provocative overview of its history should fire the interest of general readers as well as specialists; only a scholar with his breadth of knowledge of Eastern European history and languages could execute such a project. He and Byrne are to be congratulated for producing this monumental volume, with a trove of translated documents that is a major boon to both scholars and teachers.”

- William E. Odom (Lt. Gen.-retired), former Director, National Security Agency

“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)

“I am especially grateful for the work of the National Security Archive ... [It] is a national treasure.”

- Eric Schlosser, author

“This is a splendid contribution to recent history.” 

- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., on Politics of Illusion (1998)

“I strongly endorse the National Security Archive's research and publications as both unique and invaluable to the public's understanding of and ability to debate the history and role of nuclear weapons. In particular, The Nuclear Vault has been especially useful as a one-stop-shopping for facts and analysis that I frequently rely on in my writings and to guide me in gaining further insight and access. It is a dynamic and focused project that clearly deserves sustained financial support.”

- Hans Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists

“Extraordinary primary documents on this and other SALT matters can be found in the Digital National Security Archive, “U.S. Nuclear History, 1969-1976: Weapons, Arms Control, and War Plans in an Age of Strategic Parity.”

- Michael Krepon, Arms Control Wonk (2016)

“The work that you have done is immaculate. We thank you very much for all you have done and are doing for the cause of human rights.”  

- Walter De Leon, lawyer in the case against former Uruguayan President Bordaberry, to Carlos Osorio

For “outstanding collections of primary source materials in the fields of international or diplomatic history, especially those distinguished by the inclusion of commentary designed to interpret the documents and set them within their historical context.”  

- Text of Arthur S. Link-Warren F. Kuehl Prize for Documentary Editing for the book Masterpieces of History (2011)

“It is gratifying that my February 2006 memo has now been released.  Thank you for your contribution to that.”

- Philip D. Zelikow, former State Department Counselor and National Security Council, e-mail to Malcolm Byrne (2012)

“This latest offering from the indefatigable National Security Archive is part of its ongoing Guatemala Documentation Project, which has worked for the release of numerous secret US files on Guatemala .… Once again, the [Archive] is to be congratulated for its hard work, diligent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and for making its important discoveries freely available to all online.”

- University of Wisconsin, Internet Scout Report (2000)

“During the 1960s, the United States was intimately involved in equipping and training Guatemalan security forces that murdered thousands of civilians in the nation’s civil war, according to newly declassified U.S. intelligence documents.  The documents show, moreover, that the CIA retained close ties to the Guatemalan army in the 1980s, when the army and its paramilitary allies were massacring Indian villagers, and that U.S. officials were aware of the killings at the time.  The documents were obtained by the National Security Archive, a private nonprofit group in Washington.”

- Douglas Farah, The Washington Post (1999)

“Despite denials by the Brazilian government that Araquaia guerrillas existed and that human rights violations had occurred during the twenty-year military dictatorship, a declassified US government document detailed the plans for a “bloody” revolution.  Additional evidence was also uncovered, including a taped conversation of President Geisel discussing his plans for eliminating the guerrillas. (Document from the National Security Archive).”

- Equipo Argentino de Antropologica Forense (2005)

“Thank you for the assistance your organization has provided to the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The support of Miss Tamara Feinstein, from the beginning of our work and during these days, has been extraordinarily helpful in the difficult task of analyzing and understanding the nature, scope and utility of the declassified documents …. Taking into account the short period of time the Commission has to perform its mandate, and the complexity of the information contained in those documents, the active and generous involvement of Miss Feinstein is crucial to our goals.”

- Javier Ciurlizza, Executive Secretary, Comision de la Verdad y Reconciliacion (Peru), (2003)

“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

At bottom, Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War is a valuable addition to the literature on the post-détente “Era of Renewed Confrontation.” Despite its sensationalistic subtitle and occasional overreaches, this is a serious work that makes significant contributions to our collective understanding of a tense and perhaps alarming episode in Cold War history. Substantiating and widening the discussion with an accessible collection of declassified documents is a public service, and one for which students of history and concerned citizens owe a debt of gratitude to the National Security Archive, and to Jones in particular. Whether this book produces new converts or merely preaches to the choir, it is a vital resource that deserves to be read and evaluated.

- DiCicco on Jones, 'Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War', H-Diplo

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