30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Middle East

Sep 11, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, August 18, 2005 - UPDATE - The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan told a top Taliban official in September 2000 that the U.S. "was not out to destroy the Taliban," but the "UBL [Osama bin Laden] issue is supremely important," according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show how years of U.S. diplomacy with the Taliban, combined with pressure on Pakistan, and attempts to employ Saudi cooperation still failed to compel the Taliban to expel bin Laden.

Jun 22, 2004 | Briefing Book
On the morning of August 19, 1953, a crowd of demonstrators operating at the direction of pro-Shah organizers with ties to the CIA made its way from the bazaars of southern Tehran to the center of the city. Joined by military and police forces equipped with tanks, they sacked offices and newspapers aligned with Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and his advisers, as well as the communist Tudeh Party and others opposed to the monarch. By early afternoon, clashes with Mosaddeq supporters were taking place, the fiercest occurring in front of the prime minister's home.

Mar 19, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC - Pakistan provided millions of dollars, arms, and "buses full of adolescent mujahid," to the Taliban in the 1990's, according to declassified State Department documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, and posted today on the Web. This third installment of The Taliban File, edited by Archive research associate Sajit Gandhi, includes: An August 27, 1997 cable in which U.S.

Feb 26, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., 26 February 2004 - Diaries, e-mail, and memos of Iran-contra figure Oliver North, posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive, directly contradict his criticisms yesterday of Sen. John Kerry's 1988 Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee report on the ways that covert support for the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s undermined the U.S. war on drugs. Mr. North claimed to talk show hosts Hannity & Colmes that the Kerry report was "wrong," that Sen.

Feb 11, 2004 | News
Washington, D.C. - Almost a year after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Bush administration faces growing skepticism over its claim that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs posed a gathering threat to the United States. The continued failure of Coalition forces to locate a single biological, chemical or nuclear weapon has called into question the original premise for the war.

Dec 18, 2003 | Sourcebook
Links CIA Whites Out Controversial Estimate on Iraq Weapons Saddam Hussein: More Secret History Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein The U.S. tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984 Eyes on Saddam U.S. overhead imagery of Iraq U.S. Army Identified 500 Alleged Iraqi War Criminals in 1992 Report released under FOIA is precursor to 2003 war crimes proceedings Operation Desert Storm: Ten Years After Documents shed light on role of intelligence, stealth technology and space systems in the Gulf War

Dec 18, 2003 | Briefing Book
Twenty years ago, on December 20, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld, currently the U.S. Secretary of Defense, met with Saddam Hussein during the first of Rumsfeld's two now-famous visits to Baghdad. At the time, the United States was courting Iraq as a buffer to the greater threat the Reagan administration perceived in the Islamic Republic of Iran. As has now been widely reported, the U.S. had already been providing the Iraqi regime with intelligence and other support in its war with Iran. Within a year of Rumsfeld's first visit, Baghdad and Washington had re-established diplomatic relations.

Oct 7, 2003 | Briefing Book
Thirty years ago, on 6 October 1973 at 2:00 p.m. (Cairo time), Egyptian and Syrian forces launched coordinated attacks on Israeli forces in the Sinai and the Golan Heights. Known variously as the October War or the Yom Kippur War, this conflict lasted until late October when Washington and Moscow, working through the United Nations, forced a cease-fire on the warring parties.

Apr 30, 2003 | Briefing Book
The ability of the United States to gather overhead imagery of targets in foreign nations has evolved dramatically over the last sixty years. Modified bombers and fighters used in World War II and the early years of the Cold War gave way to specialized reconnaissance aircraft, such as the U-2 and SR-71, and to a variety of satellite systems. The capabilities of satellite systems have also evolved dramatically over the last four decades - from satellites that returned film days or weeks after the images were obtained to satellites that return their imagery virtually instantaneously.

Mar 20, 2003 | News
Washington, D.C., March 20, 2003 - U.S. Army lawyers identified more than 500 Iraqis allegedly guilty of war crimes during the Gulf War period, according to a November 1992 Defense Department report posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General summary [with a November 19, 1992 Defense Department cover memo titled, "Report on Iraqi War Crimes (Desert Shield/ Desert Storm)" signed by John H.

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