30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Briefing Books

“Briefing Books” are one-stop resources covering a full range of topics in U.S. foreign policy. Containing from 5 to 100+ documents, each briefing book features an introductory essay, individual document descriptions, related photo or video content, plus links for further reading.
Schneider official portrait
Oct 22, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 22, 2020 - On October 23, 1970, one day after armed thugs intercepted and mortally wounded the Chilean army commander-in-chief, General Rene Schneider, as he drove to work in...
Oct 22, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 22, 2020 - The Department of Homeland Security describes critical infrastructure as “the physical and cyber systems and assets that are so vital to the United States that...
An SK-5 reconnaissance drone shown launching from the U.S.S.  Ranger, circa 1969-1970. (U.S. Navy photo published in David Axe,  “The U.S. Navy Flew Drones from Flattops ... In 1969,” Forbes, 13 May  2020.
Oct 16, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 16, 2020 - Over the years, aerial and naval encounters have threatened to destabilize U.S-China relations as the two powers contest each other's rights in international...
 Che Guevara after his execution on October 9, 1967
Oct 9, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, October 9, 2020 – Fifty-three years ago, at 1:15 p.m. on October 9, 1967, Argentine-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed in the hills of Bolivia after being captured...
Yuri Orlov, professor of physics
Sep 28, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 28, 2020 – The National Security Archive mourns the death of our friend and inspiration, the human rights legend and distinguished physicist Yuri Orlov.  Founder of the...
The Bolton Book Saga
Sep 24, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 24, 2020 - When White House lawyers tried to block publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, The Room Where it Happened, a National Security...
President John F. Kennedy and national security adviser McGeorge Bundy
Sep 16, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 16, 2020 – The NATO nuclear stockpile arrangements that have persisted since the Cold War were initially negotiated during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations,...
Handwritten instruction from Nixon
Sep 15, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020 – On September 15, 1970, during a twenty-minute meeting in the Oval Office between 3:25 pm and 3:45 pm, President Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to foment a...
titled Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador and Their Companions
Sep 11, 2020 | Briefing Book
Sep 11, 2020 Update  
bush gorbachev
Sep 9, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 9, 2020 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev quickly decided that joint action with the United States was the most important course for the USSR in dealing with Saddam...
Allende in the car
Sep 4, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 4, 2020 – “Chile voted calmly to have a Marxist-Leninist state, the first nation in the world to make this choice freely and knowingly,” U.S.
Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (left) listens as President Álvaro Uribe (right)
Aug 31, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 31, 2020 – Under house arrest in a case linking him to a feared paramilitary bloc, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, perhaps the most important political figure...
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Aug 17, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 17, 2020 – Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service – MI6 – took part in the 1953 kidnapping of the chief of police of Tehran, Iran, according to a recently recovered interview...
Aug 4, 2020 | Briefing Book
To mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the National Security Archive is updating and reposting one of its most popular e-books of the past 25...
Document 1
Jul 21, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., July 21, 2020 – Forty-four years after the Argentine military began disappearing thousands of citizens following the March 24, 1976, coup, human rights investigators have located one...
280 mm cannon
Jul 21, 2020 | Briefing Book
Recent debates over U.S. nuclear weapons stockpiles in Western Europe make it worth looking at how those forces got there in the first place. In the 1950s, when fear of Soviet military power was at...
titled Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador and Their Companions
Jul 10, 2020 | Briefing Book
Sep 11, 2020 Update
titled Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador and Their Companions
Jul 10, 2020 | Briefing Book
Version actualizada: 11 de septiembre de 2020  
Nixon - Hoover
Jun 25, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 25, 2020 — Portions of a long-secret government blueprint for expansive surveillance of domestic protest movements during the Nixon presidency have just been released, more than...
Kim Jong Il and Madeleine Albright
Jun 18, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 18, 2020 – American and South Korean assessments of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il shifted during the course of negotiations in the 1990s over the North’s controversial...

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