30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Oct 18, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 18, 2018 – The National Security Archive’s Freedom of Information lawsuit against the CIA has won release of the previously censored dates and times on cables sent by future CIA director Gina Haspel when she commanded a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where interrogators tortured and waterboarded an al-Qaeda suspect, according to the new documents posted on the Archive’s Web site today.

Oct 4, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 4, 2018 – Twenty-five years ago last night in Moscow, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered tanks and airborne troops to shell and storm the “White House,” the Russian Parliament (Supreme Soviet) building, to suppress the opposition trying to remove him. 

Oct 2, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 2, 2018 – President Bill Clinton saw Russian leader Boris Yeltsin as indispensable for promoting American interests following the collapse of the Soviet Union, often prompting him to take controversial steps to ensure Yeltsin’s political survival, according to top-level memoranda of conversation just released from the Clinton presidential library. 

Sep 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 24, 2018 – President George H.W. Bush initially sought a leadership role for the United States on the environment, according to declassified documents obtained and posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

Aug 15, 2018 | Briefing Book
U.S. nuclear war plans during the Johnson administration included the option of a retaliatory strike against nuclear, conventional military, and urban-industrial targets with the purpose of removing the Soviet Union “from the category of a major industrial power” and destroying it as a “viable” society.  This is one disclosure from a Joint Staff review of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) obtained via a Mandatory Declassification Review request by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive and posted on our site today.

Aug 10, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 10, 2018 – Current CIA director Gina Haspel described graphic acts of deliberate physical torture including the waterboarding of a suspected Al-Qa’ida terrorist under her supervision when she was chief of base at a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002, according to declassified CIA cables – most of which she wrote or authorized – obtained by the National Security Archive through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and posted on the Web today.

Aug 1, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 1, 2018 – An early classified Defense Department cybersecurity exercise named “Eligible Receiver 97” (ER97) featured a previously unpublicized series of mock terror attacks, hostage seizures, and special operations raids that went well beyond pure cyber activities in order to demonstrate the potential scope of threats to U.S.

Jul 27, 2018 | News
Washington, D.C., July 27, 2018 - Federal Judge Katherine Failla agreed with government lawyers and is allowing the Secret Service to hide the White House visitor logs in a FOIA lawsuit brought by the National Security Archive, together with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Jul 9, 2018 | Briefing Book
Online blustering about nuclear “buttons” has brought new attention to the issue of presidential control over nuclear weapons, and to the special satchel or “Football” of emergency and nuclear planning information carried by White House military aides when the President is traveling.  Declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive describe the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson arrangements for the “Football”; and the posting includes newly discovered White House photographs of six recent Presidents with military aides and the Football nearby.

Jun 21, 2018 | Blog Post
ISCAP Directed to Help with FRUS Volume The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), which is housed at the U.S. National Archives and charged with – among other things –  deciding on Mandatory Declassification Review appeals, held a forum today to discuss the current MDR landscape. Major takeaways from the meeting include: ISCAP received a […]

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