Washington, D.C., July 12, 2011 - What were the 11 words the government didn’t want you to see?
United States and Canada
Washington D.C., January 30, 2023 – The George H.W. Bush administration was reluctant to embrace the “relations of deep mutual trust and alliance” proposed by the newly independent Russian Federation and its leader, Boris Yeltsin, in early 1992, according to declassified U.S. documents published today by the National Security Archive.
Washington, D.C., November 18, 2022 - A top safety official at a U.S. nuclear weapons lab wrote that “the public must be encouraged to realize that risks [of an unintentional nuclear detonation] cannot be zero and cannot ever be really known,” according to a newly released 2001 history of U.S. efforts to mitigate the dangers of accidental or unsanctioned weapons detonations. Declassified in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the National Security Archive, the history, written by former Sandia National Laboratories official William L.
Washington, D.C., July 26, 2022 – 75 years ago, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act into law, marking a major restructuring of the U.S. government’s military and intelligence apparatus in the years following World War II. U.S. strategists saw the act as essential for enabling America’s future global mission of protecting and advancing Western interests. The law’s architects could not have foreseen how this fundamental restructuring would revolutionize U.S. policy making in later years, especially after earth-shaking events like 9/11.
Long-Classified U.S. Estimates of Nuclear War Casualties During the Cold War Regularly Underestimated Deaths and Destruction
Washington, D.C., July 14, 2022 – For decades starting in the late 1940s, influential internal U.S. government analyses provided civilian and military leaders with staggering estimates of likely casualties in a nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union, but the sheer scale of those projected fatalities kept the reports classified until after the end of the Cold War.
Washington, D.C., June 23, 2022 – Gina Haspel, 15 years before President Trump nominated her and the US Senate confirmed her as CIA director, personally oversaw the waterboarding of alleged USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri at a black site prison in Thailand in 2002, according to recent testimony at a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Waterboarding has been recognized as a war crime since World War II, when the US prosecuted Japanese soldiers for, among other charges, torturing American POWs with waterboarding.
Washington, D.C., June 9, 2022 – As the House Select Committee tonight launches its televised hearings into the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, the National Security Archive marks the event by posting former President Donald Trump’s “Shadow Call Log,” a new visual aid that helps fill in the blanks from the famous seven-and-a-half hour gap in Trump’s official call records, a gap that may be critical in the panel’s attempt to prove criminal intent.
Washington, DC, March 20, 2015 – For decades the Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a major signals intelligence (SIGINT) effort that often placed it in competition with other members of the Intelligence Community, according to a significant collection of declassified documentation posted today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org).
Washington, D.C., May 29, 2012 - A secret exercise in 1986 by a U.S. government counter-terrorist unit uncovered a host of potential problems associated with disrupting a nuclear terrorist plot in the United States. Declassified documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and posted today by the National Security Archive offer the first detailed public look at the inner workings of the agencies, military units and other U.S. entities responsible for protecting the country from a terrorist nuclear attack.
Washington, D.C., March 16, 2022 - Former President Donald J. Trump has the dubious honor of winning the National Security Archive’s infamous Rosemary Award for worst performance in open government in 2021; a remarkable achievement considering Trump was out of office for much of the year. During his time in office, Trump was widely reported to have both destroyed records and prevented their creation in the first place.