30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Mar 13, 2006 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
In an effort to identify the oldest unanswered Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in the federal government, the National Security Archive used the FOIA itself to ask more than 60 federal agencies for copies of their ten oldest pending FOIA requests. The results are astonishing-requests as old as 17 years remain unanswered, some agencies are unable even to identify their oldest requests, and agency backlogs are significantly more chronic and extensive than the agencies' annual reports to Congress indicate.

Mar 13, 2006 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington D.C., 13 March 2006 - The Central Intelligence Agency has won the second annual Rosemary Award, recognizing the worst performance by a federal agency in complying with the Freedom of Information Act. The Award is named after President Nixon's secretary Rosemary Woods and the backwards-leaning stretch which she testified resulted in her erasing eighteen-and-a-half minutes from a key Watergate conversation on the White House tapes.

Mar 9, 2006 | News
Washington, D.C., March 9, 2006 - The Justice Department official who oversaw national security matters from 2000 to 2003 e-mailed his former colleagues after revelation of the controversial warrantless wiretapping program in December 2005 that the Department's justifications for the program were "weak" and had a "slightly after-the-fact quality" to them, and surmised that this reflected "the VP's philosophy that the best defense is a good offense," according to documents released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and joined by

Feb 21, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 21, 2006 - The CIA and other federal agencies have secretly reclassified over 55,000 pages of records taken from the open shelves at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), according to a report published today on the World Wide Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Feb 13, 2006 | News
Washington, D.C., February 13, 2006 - Under pressure from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Justice Department on February 10 conceded in federal court that it could begin releasing as early as March 3 the internal legal memos relied on by the Bush administration in setting up the controversial National Security Agency warrantless wiretapping program.

Feb 4, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 4, 2006 - Despite objections from then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then-CIA director George H. W. Bush, President Gerald Ford came down on the side of a proposed federal law to govern wiretapping in 1976 instead of relying on the "inherent" authority of the President because the "pros" outweighed the "cons," according to internal White House documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Jan 27, 2006 | News
Links Previously released PDBs Court documents Declassified CIA documents on presidential briefings Previous Postings 19 January 2006 CIA Secrecy Challenged on President's Daily Brief UC Davis Professor Appeals Lower Court Decision Withholding Two 40-Year-Old Memos to LBJ 15 July 2005 Judge Grants Immortality to Presidential Privilege Withholds Two 1960s CIA Daily Briefs to LBJ Despite Release of 35 Others With No Damage to U.S. 6 May 2005 Bush Administration Claims Presidential Privilege for LBJ Documents CIA Refuses Release of 35-year-old President's Daily Briefs 23 December 2004

Jan 26, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 26, 2006 - A secret Pentagon "roadmap" on war propaganda, personally approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for "boundaries" between information operations abroad and the news media at home, but provides for no such limits and claims that as long as the American public is not "targeted," any leakage of PSYOP to the American public does not matter.

Dec 9, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., December 9, 2005 - The National Security Archive celebrates its 20th anniversary today with a special event at George Washington University, headlined by Bill Moyers, with Seymour M. Hersh, Tina Rosenberg, Scott Armstrong, Geneva Overholser, Walter B. Slocombe, Morton H. Halperin and Sherry Jones.

Dec 9, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., December 9, 2005 - More than three years before the 9/11 attack on the United States, U.S. officials warned Saudi Arabia that Osama bin Laden "might take the course of least resistance and turn to a civilian [aircraft] target," according to a declassified cable released by the National Security Archive today. The warning was made by the U.S.

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