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.

Mar 21, 2001 | Briefing Book
Havana, Cuba: On the eve of an historic meeting in Havana, former combatants, covert operatives, policy makers and Cuban government officials gathered to discuss one of the most infamous episodes in...
Mar 2, 2001 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 2, 2001 – The Bush administration has floated the name of Otto Juan Reich for possible nomination as Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs (see Al Kamen, "In...
Jan 17, 2001 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 17, 2001 – On the morning of August 2, 1990 the mechanized infantry, armor, and tank units of the Iraqi Republican Guard invaded Kuwait and seized control of that country. ...
Jan 12, 2001 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 12, 2001 – International Security has just published, in its Winter 2000/2001 issue, an article, "Whether To 'Strangle the Baby in the Cradle'": The United States and the...
Dec 18, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 18, 2000 – President Clinton's decision in September to postpone deployment of a National Missile Defense (NMD) system puts the issue in the lap of the next president,...
Nov 29, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 29, 2000 – The CIA history of operation TPAJAX excerpted below was first disclosed by James Risen of The New York Times in its editions of April 16 and June 18, 2000, and...
Nov 22, 2000 | Briefing Book
Update May 10, 2001: The National Security Archive recently received responses to FOIA requests we sent out earlier this year on Vladimiro Montesinos. These new documents focus on Montesinos' early...
Sep 27, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 27, 2000 – In September 1992 the Department of Defense acknowledged the existence of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), an agency established in 1961 to manage the...
Jul 17, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 17, 2000 – On July 13, 2000 the Senate passed a measure in the FY 2001 Defense Authorization Act that – if approved by the full Congress – would severely undercut the public's...
Jun 30, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 30, 2000 – On Friday, June 30, 2000, the U.S.
Jun 1, 2000 | Briefing Book
Introduction In July 1994, the Guatemalan government and the URNG signed the Human Rights Accord establishing the Historical Clarification Commission. That same month, the National Security Archive...
May 24, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 24, 2000 – The release of Cold War-era Soviet and East European documents on war plans and nuclear planning raises questions about U.S. war planning during the same period. A...
May 9, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 9, 2000 – Late last month, the U.S. Department of State released under the Freedom of Information Act an interagency study of recent U.S. humanitarian interventions titled, "...
May 3, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 3, 2000 – Shortly after the CIA's botched paramilitary invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, President John F. Kennedy established a commission to investigate the failure and to...
Mar 31, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 31, 2000 – During late 1998 and 1999, the Wen Ho Lee espionage controversy and debate over U.S. corporate technology transfers to China made the Chinese nuclear weapons...
Mar 14, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 14, 2000 – Today's Washington Post features an op-ed on page A17 titled "Hardly a Distinguished Career," written by National Security Archive director Tom Blanton and...
Feb 14, 2000 | Briefing Book
On January 21, Guatemalan police detained retired Col. Byron Lima Estrada and his son, Capt. Byron Lima Oliva, in connection with the 1998 assassination of Bishop Juan José Gerardi.  Although the two...
Jan 13, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 13, 2000 – The National Security Agency (NSA) is one of the most secret (and secretive) members of the U.S. intelligence community.
Dec 13, 1999 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 13, 1999 – For more than 40 years, the United States has kept secret the fact that it once deployed nuclear weapons on two Japanese islands, Chichi Jima and Iwo Jima,...
Nov 5, 1999 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 5, 1999 – The shocking seizure of the American embassy and its staff in Tehran on November 4, 1979, placed U.S.-Iran relations firmly in the deep freeze.

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