30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

South and Southwest Asia

Feb 20, 2019 | News
In February of 2016 thirty five fraudulent orders were sent over the SWIFT network, a telecommunications system linking financial institutions used to exchange information on transactions, to transfer a total of US $1 billion from the Bangladesh Bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Thirty of those orders were stopped for review and cancelled, but five orders totaling US $101 million were completed. US $20 million was transferred to a company in Sri Lanka while US $81 million was routed to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in the Philippines.

Feb 1, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 1, 2019 – Two U.S. ambassadors in the late 1980s warned the U.S.

Jan 29, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 28, 2019 – President Trump’s claim that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to get rid of terrorists who were coming over the border is false, according to declassified U.S. and Soviet documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Jul 17, 2017 | Blog Post
This article was originally published by the Atlantic Council.  Sixty-four years on, the effects of the 1953 coup in Iran continue to resonate inside Iran and outside. Last month, the State Department released a highly anticipated official collection of declassified documents covering US policy toward Iran from 1951-1954.  While it did not change the basic […]

Oct 14, 2015 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 14 October 2015 - In July 1984, U.S. customs agents arrested a Pakistani national, Nazir Ahmed Vaid, at Houston International Airport for trying to purchase krytrons--useful for triggering nuclear weapons—and smuggle them out of the United States Some months later, Vaid was found guilty of violating export control laws, but a plea bargain produced a light penalty: deportation. Months later, journalist Seymour Hersh wrote a major article about the Vaid case for the New York Times and quoted a U.S.

Sep 5, 2014 | Briefing Book
"At last, the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra affair finally has a comprehensive history worthy of the scandal ... Malcolm Byrne has told the complex story in brilliant fashion." — Seymour Hersh Washington, DC, September 5, 2014 – A new book on the Iran-Contra affair shows that President Ronald Reagan stood at the epicenter of the scandal both in terms of his willingness to break the law in order to free American hostages in Lebanon and his failure to take account of the costs and consequences of his decisions, including the illicit conduct of numerous aides.

Jul 2, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, July 2, 2014 – On August 16, 1953, the same day the Shah of Iran fled to Baghdad after a failed attempt to oust Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the agitated monarch spoke candidly about his unsettling experience to the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. In a highly classified cable to Washington, the ambassador reported: "I found Shah worn from three sleepless nights, puzzled by turn of events, but with no (repeat no) bitterness toward Americans who had urged and planned action.

Jun 27, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 27, 2014 – During early planning for the 1953 Iran coup, U.S. Ambassador Loy Henderson warned not only that the Shah would not support the United States' chosen replacement for Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq but that the Army would not play its hoped-for leading role without the Shah's active cooperation, according to a newly released version of an internal CIA history of the operation posted today by the National Security Archive.

May 12, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 12, 2014 – As the Iranian revolution crested in 1978-1979, the CIA approved a memoir by Kermit Roosevelt, one of the architects of the 1953 coup against Iran's nationalist prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. After first balking at the potential exposure of numerous "secrets," the CIA relented when Roosevelt agreed to delete all mention of MI6 and made over 150 other changes that rendered the book "essentially a work of fiction," according to recently declassified CIA files posted today by the National Security Archive.

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