30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Intelligence and Espionage

Feb 11, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 11, 2019 – U.S. intelligence analysts and Tehran-based diplomats struggled to come to grips with the tumult of the Iranian revolution, yet still managed at times to provide considerable detail for policymakers, according to a survey of formerly classified records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

Jan 10, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 10, 2019 – From the late 1960s until the late 1980s, U.S. government officials worried that Taiwanese leaders might make a “fundamental decision” to develop nuclear weapons.  Documents published today for the first time by the National Security Archive illustrate Washington’s efforts to keep tabs on military and scientific research and to intervene when they believed that Taiwan’s nuclear R&D had gone too far.  

Dec 17, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 17, 2018 – During the dark days of the Cold War, spying on the enemy often took place in broad daylight.  Some of the best opportunities for Western intelligence to get a picture – literally – of Soviet capabilities were presented by the USSR itself at public military parades, where the normally secretive Soviets proudly showed off to the world their arsenal of advanced hardware. 

Dec 4, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 4, 2018 - Five years ago, the National Security Agency (NSA) released 136 issues of its internal Cryptolog periodical spanning 1974 through 1997. The collection offered a look into the some of the discussions being held within one of America’s most secretive intelligence agencies. Today the GWU-based National Security Archive is providing a complete index of all 1,504 items in the declassified collection, including but not limited to articles, interviews, and puzzles.

Feb 12, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 12, 2018 – A partially-declassified CIA history of the 1953 coup in Iran, released in late 2017, includes an-depth critique of how the agency approached the operation, highlighting the effects of bureaucracy and politics on the conduct of U.S. clandestine activities. The CIA report, posted today by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive, also reveals details about the hatching of the covert plot as well as its execution. 

Jan 31, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 31, 2018 – Like so many treasure hunters, beachcombers, and curio shoppers, U.S. military and intelligence operatives have for decades scoured the planet for access to everything from captured surface-to-air missiles to medicines to bits and pieces of spacecraft that have fallen to Earth – all with an eye to learning something useful about America’s adversaries.

Oct 25, 2017 | Briefing Book
US dropped prosecution of Chicago Tribune for espionage during World War II for leaking that US Navy knew about Japanese plans to attack Midway Island

Sep 25, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 25, 2017 – The National Security Agency’s (NSA) own official history conflated two different constitutionally "questionable practices" involving surveillance of U.S. citizens, according to recent NSA declassifications published today by the National Security Archive, an independent research organization based at The George Washington University. During the mid-1970s, the U.S.

Jun 27, 2017 | Blog Post
Survey results analyzed in a Secret December 20, 2012, FBI Counterterrorism Division report shed some light on the Bureau’s insights about homegrown violent extremists. The report, released to the National Security Archive’s Dr. Jeffrey Richelson in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, specifically focuses on radicalization. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to […]

Jun 2, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 2, 2017 – The Ford administration came close to igniting a constitutional showdown with Congress more than 40 years ago over demands by a House panel known as the Pike Committee for evidence of possible abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). At the height of congressional pushback against the “imperial presidency” in the mid-1970s, Representative Otis G.

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