30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Intelligence and Espionage

Sep 16, 2014 | Briefing Book
Selected as a "Best History Book of the Month" - Amazon Washington, DC, September 16, 2014 – The Predator drone, though best known as the CIA's primary weapon in the war against Al Qaeda, was merely an unarmed, remote-control intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft when the Defense Department first bought it in 1994. As detailed in Richard Whittle's Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution (Henry Holt and Company, September 16, 2014), the Predator's configuration was derived from drones developed in the 1980s by former Israeli aeronautical engineer Abraham Karem.

Jul 20, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, July 20, 2014 – Forty-five years ago, astronaut Neil Armstrong took his "one small step" for mankind, becoming the first person to set foot on the moon. The program that resulted in that historic event — managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — had been a very public one ever since its announcement by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Even the Soviet government had publicized aspects of its own effort. But there were also highly secret elements to the U.S.

Feb 20, 2014 | Briefing Book
A major controversy during the administration of President George W. Bush concerned the use or misuse of intelligence with regard to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs and possible links between Iraq and al-Qaida. The best known elements of that controversy were Iraqi motivations behind the procurement of aluminum tubes, whether Iraq had sought to acquire uranium from Niger, if Iraq was seeking to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program, and whether it was producing and stockpiling chemical or biological weapons.

Jan 23, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, January 23, 2014 – Forty-six years ago today - well before Edward Snowden was born - the National Security Agency suffered what may still rank as the most significant compromise ever of its code secrets when the American spy ship USS Pueblo was captured by communist forces off the coast of North Korea on January 23, 1968. The U.S.

Dec 16, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 16, 2013 – The Soviet Union assisted the United States in its effort to curb South Africa's nuclear program in August 1977 when Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sent President Jimmy Carter a message that Moscow's spy satellites had noticed signs of nuclear weapons test preparations at a site in the Kalahari Desert. Very quickly the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) directed spy satellites to photograph the site which intelligence analysts later agreed was geared to nuclear testing. The U.S.

Sep 25, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 25, 2013 – During the height of the Vietnam War protest movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the National Security Agency tapped the overseas communications of selected prominent Americans, most of whom were critics of the war, according to a recently declassified NSA history. For years those names on the NSA's watch list were secret, but thanks to the decision of an interagency panel, in response to an appeal by the National Security Archive, the NSA has released them for the first time. The names of the NSA's targets are eye-popping.

Sep 23, 2013 | Briefing Book
RELATED LINKS: Iran's underground nuclear sites not immune to U.S. bunker-busters, experts say By Joby Warrick, The Washington Post  February 29, 2012   Tunnel vision: U.S. intel community seeks new ways to peer into underground sites By Keith Button, Defense News  August 1, 2009   Unearthing secrets: How the U.S. digs up intelligence on underground sites By Jeffrey T. Richelson, Defense News  August 1, 2008   Moscow builds bunkers against nuclear attack By Bill Gertz, The Washington Times  April 1, 1997 [Bookmark and Share]    

Sep 4, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 4, 2013 – Recent press disclosures about National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance activities — relying on documents provided by Edward Snowden — have sparked one of the most significant controversies in the history of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Today, the nongovernmental National Security Archive at The George Washington University posts a compilation of over 125 documents — a Web resource — to provide context and specifics about the episode.

Aug 15, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 15, 2013 – On 21 February 1955, Richard M. Bissell, a senior CIA official, wrote a check on an Agency account for $1.25 million dollars and mailed it to the home of Kelly Johnson, chief engineer at the Lockheed Company's Burbank, California, plant. According to a newly declassified CIA history of the U-2 program obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by National Security Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T.

Aug 5, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 5, 2013 – Today, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology, the National Security Archive posts an update to its 2001 electronic briefing book on Science, Technology and the CIA. The posting adds 20 new items to the 45 documents in the previous version. The new records cover all eras of the CIA's exploitation of science and technology, from its initial involvement during the tenure of Allen Dulles (1953-61) to its post-Cold War activities.

Pages