30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Dec 1, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2020 – The National Security Archive, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the American Historical Association, and the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today filed suit against President Donald Trump in his official capacity, seeking to enforce the Presidential Records Act and prevent any destruction of records during the presidential transition.

Nov 17, 2020 | News
Washington D.C., November 17, 2020 - The dust is settling on the 2020 presidential election and the Biden Transition Team - if the General Services Administration will comply - must quickly get to work with the business of assuming control of government. The Biden administration faces two simultaneous challenges on the records preservation front: fixing a broken Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) system, and closing the loopholes to the Presidential Records Act (PRA) so they can’t be abused again.

Nov 10, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 10, 2020 — After Harvard professor Henry Kissinger met with top Israeli officials in January 1965, he told U.S. diplomats at the Embassy in Tel Aviv of his near certainty that Israel had begun a nuclear weapons project, according to a record of the meeting, which has recently been declassified and is published here for the first time by the National Security Archive. Kissinger added that Israeli scientists were “very certain that such weapons were necessary and that they knew how to make them.”

Nov 2, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 2, 2020 – Declassified highest-level transcripts and diplomatic cables provide new granular detail on the rise to power of Russian President Vladimir Putin 20 years ago, much of it in his own words (as captured by American notetakers) and those of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, according to the documentary publication today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Oct 26, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 26, 2020 - In the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, the Cyber Vault has reviewed the respective 2020 platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties and how they propose to address issues of cyber and technology policy. To avoid confusion, it is worth noting that the Republican National Committee (RNC) declined to compile a new convention platform for the 2020 presidential election.

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 Council classification specialist confronted them, suggesting they were only intervening "because the most powerful man in the world said that it needed to happen," 

Sep 8, 2020 | News
Washington D.C., September 8, 2020 – Now that the Republican and Democratic parties have officially confirmed President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr as their respective presidential nominees, the Cyber Vault will take a closer look at what cybersecurity and digital policy might look like under either a Trump or Biden administration.

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 its height, NATO allies like Italy and West Germany were remarkably compliant to U.S. wishes regarding the storage of nuclear weapons on their soil – and ultimately their potential use in a European war – according to newly released State Department and Defense Department records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  The governments in Bonn and Rome made no objections when Washington came calling and did not even pose questions about when or how the weapons might be used. 

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 50 years after it was drafted.  The notorious “Huston Plan” prepared by representatives of the White House and the U.S. intelligence community envisioned a smorgasbord of covert operations that made even FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover queasy. The proposed activities ranged from monitoring domestic dissident groups — notably the Black Panthers — to office break-ins.

Jun 19, 2020 | News
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2020 – As President Trump escalates attempts to quash publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, The Room Where it Happened, on the grounds that it still “contains classified information,”  the National Security Archive today posted documentation on previous cases of “prepublication review” dating back to the 1970s that cast doubt on the admi

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