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.

Jul 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Declassified documents detail US policy in period leading up to, following Suharto’s May, 1998 ouster, knowledge of military involvement in student abductions and killings.
Jul 9, 2018 | Briefing Book
Online blustering about nuclear “buttons” has brought new attention to the issue of presidential control over nuclear weapons, and to the special satchel or “Football” of emergency and nuclear...
May 25, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 25, 2018 - The National Security Archive marks what would have been Anatoly Sergeyevich Chernyaev’s 97th birthday today with the publication for the first time in English of his...
May 25, 2018 | Briefing Book
 A Colombian senator told the U.S. Embassy in 1993 that the founders of the Medellín drug cartel “financed” the election campaign of then-senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez, according to documents posted...
May 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 24, 2018 - The controversial Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, requiring "good faith" disarmament measures, arose from the "fear" by non-nuclear weapons states "of...
May 16, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 16, 2018 – Incoming National Rifle Association President Oliver North’s conduct during the infamous Iran-Contra affair featured a pattern of deliberate deception, a willingness...
May 10, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 10, 2018—Five years ago today, one of the most celebrated human rights trials in Latin America came to a stunning conclusion when Guatemalan dictator, retired Army general, and...
May 9, 2018 | Briefing Book
Today’s nomination hearing for Gina Haspel to be CIA director provides an opportunity for the agency and Haspel to fill in the blanks on the CIA “black sites” and interrogation program.  The National...
Apr 26, 2018 | Briefing Book
The Trump administration’s nominee to be CIA director, Gina Haspel, personally supervised the torture of a CIA detainee in 2002 leading to at least three waterboard sessions, subsequently drafted the...
Apr 20, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 20, 2018 –  Back-channel diplomacy, conducted by an ABC News reporter named Lisa Howard resolved a potential crisis with Cuba in mid-1964, according to documents posted today...
Apr 6, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018 – Secret CIA interviews with East bloc scientists and technicians in the mid-1950s yielded invaluable insights into Soviet nuclear capabilities, according to recently...
Mar 21, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 21, 2018 – The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), widely accepted today as a global standard for international nuclear policy, was in fact a source of significant tension...
Mar 16, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Declassified documents from U.S. and Russian archives show that U.S.
Mar 15, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., March 15, 2018 - A US Foreign Service officer warned that “blatantly illegal” Congressional requests, including the use of a diplomatic pouch to smuggle gemstones and utilizing...
Mar 7, 2018 | Briefing Book
Recently declassified British and CIA documents provide new evidence on the Iran 1953 coup including on the role of Iranian clerics
Feb 12, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 12, 2018 – A partially-declassified CIA history of the 1953 coup in Iran, released in late 2017, includes an-depth critique of how the agency approached the operation,...
Feb 2, 2018 | Briefing Book
US Government preoccupation with West German nuclear potential contributed to US nonproliferation policy in 1950s and 1960s
Jan 31, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 31, 2018 – Like so many treasure hunters, beachcombers, and curio shoppers, U.S.
Jan 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 24, 2018 - On the day before September 11, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld believed the gravest threat to American national security was Pentagon bureaucracy,...
Dec 15, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 15, 2017 - With the approach of the 3rd anniversary of “17-D”—the iconic date of December 17, 2014, when President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro made public a...

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