United States and Canada
Jul 17, 2009 | Briefing Book br>
Pentagon classification authorities are treating classified historical documents as if they contain today's secrets, rather than decades-old information that has not been secret for years. Today the National Security Archive posted multiple versions of the same documents—on issues ranging from the 1973 October War to anti-ballistic missiles, strategic arms control, and U.S. policy toward China—that are already declassified and in the public domain.
Jul 10, 2009 | News br>
Washington, DC, July 10, 2009 - Today’s release of a report by several agency inspectors general reinforces the National Security Archive’s argument in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the Justice Department should declassify and release the legal justifications for the surveillance program authorized by President Bush after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Jul 9, 2009 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., July 9, 2009 - Reflecting on the life of Robert McNamara, who passed away this week on July 6th, the National Security Archive is posting this recognition of the extraordinary role he played in driving scholarly and policy reassessments of some of the most important and contentious U.S. foreign policy events in the latter 20th century.
Jun 30, 2009 | News br>
Washington, DC, June 30, 2009 - The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) yesterday launched a historic Declassification Policy Forum to gather public input as part of an ongoing review of classification and declassification policy by the Obama Administration. The forum, hosted on the blog of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), will run from June 29th to July 13th and will seek recommendations in four different issue areas.
Jun 19, 2009 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2009 - Declassified documents confirm that prior to the launch of the first spy satellites into orbit by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in the early 1960s, the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) collected by the National Security Agency and its predecessor organizations was virtually the only viable means of gathering intelligence information about what was going on inside the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, North Vietnam, and other communist nations.
Jun 18, 2009 | News br>
Washington, DC, June 18, 2009 - A report issued by the Air Force Audit Agency that was released to the National Security Archive this week identifies significant mismanagement in the Air Force Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program. The findings demonstrate a pattern of noncompliance with statutory timeframes to respond to records requests from the public and misrepresentations about the state of the Air Force FOIA program.
Jun 10, 2009 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, DC, June 10, 2009 - Last week the world lost a luminary scholar of diplomatic and international history with the passing of Ernest R. May, who served for 20 years on the National Security Archive's advisory board. In thinking about the immense and wide-ranging contributions that Ernest made during the course of a career that lasted over fifty years, a line from Wallace Stevens comes to mind: “Description is revelation.” (from his poem Description without Place).
Jun 5, 2009 | Briefing Book br>
Recent Actions by Declassification Panel Show Pattern of CIA Overclassification and Tight Grip on Early Cold War History Documents Released Offer New Revelations on October War Intelligence and the Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program Washington, D.C., June 5, 2009 - Now that President Obama has announced a review of U.S. secrecy policy, critics of secrecy policy and declassification requesters alike can only hope that those who carry it out understand the serious failings of the secrecy system as it currently exists.
May 21, 2009 | News br>
Washington, DC, May 21, 2009 – At a hearing today focusing on the National Archives and Records Administration and the selection of a new Archivist, National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs said: “[The new Archivist] should have a vision for an Archives 2.0.” Discussing electronic records management, classification, presidential records and libraries, and access as critical challenges, before the Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Ms.
May 1, 2009 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, DC, May 1, 2009 - President Obama's recent call for a "world without nuclear weapons" immediately raised questions of how do you get there, what does deterrence actually require before you get there, and how many nuclear weapons would that involve at each step. Exactly these questions of "how much is enough" were raised fifty years ago in secret debate within the U.S. government, when Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh Burke argued that a small force of mainly nuclear missile-launching Polaris submarines was enough for deterrence.