30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Political Crimes and Abuse of Power

Sep 5, 2014 | Briefing Book
"At last, the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra affair finally has a comprehensive history worthy of the scandal ... Malcolm Byrne has told the complex story in brilliant fashion." — Seymour Hersh Washington, DC, September 5, 2014 – A new book on the Iran-Contra affair shows that President Ronald Reagan stood at the epicenter of the scandal both in terms of his willingness to break the law in order to free American hostages in Lebanon and his failure to take account of the costs and consequences of his decisions, including the illicit conduct of numerous aides.
Mar 26, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 26, 2014 – The passing away of Iran-Contra Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh on March 19, at age 102, is an appropriate occasion to recall some of the extraordinary outcomes of his investigation into the most significant political scandal of the 1980s. The Iran-Contra affair stirred up profound political passions. Walsh found himself at the center of seemingly perpetual controversy from the time of his appointment in late 1986 until his last major case against a former cabinet official — Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger — jolted to a halt in December 1992.
Nov 6, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 6, 2013 – Four months before the feared Zetas drug cartel kidnapped and murdered 72 migrants in northeastern Mexico, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said that narcotrafficking organizations in that region operated with "near total impunity in the face of compromised local security forces." As the date of the massacre drew nearer, another U.S.
Nov 1, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 1, 2013 – Continued investigation of the presidency of John F. Kennedy further strengthens the view that the origins of U.S. support for the coup which overthrew South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem 50 years ago today traces directly to President Kennedy, not to a "cabal" of top officials in his administration. As the documents posted by the National Security Archive in 2009 and new material posted today indicates, the often-told story that a "cabal" of senior officials, in combination with 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 24, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 24, 2013 – On September 20, a Guatemalan tribunal convicted the former director of the National Police of Guatemala, retired Col. Hйctor Bol de la Cruz, and his subordinate Jorge Alberto Gуmez Lуpez for the 1984 disappearance of student and labor leader Edgar Fernando Garcнa. The verdict broke new ground in the case of Fernando Garcнa's abduction and presumed murder, by condemning senior police officials for their role in ordering, overseeing, and then concealing the crime.
Jun 4, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links Reading the North Korea Tea Leaves April 11, 2013 The Central Intelligence Agency's 9/11 File June 19, 2012 The National Security Agency Declassified March 11, 2005   [Bookmark and Share]    
May 23, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links The Final Battle: Ríos Montt's Counterinsurgency Campaign May 9, 2013 Indicted for Genocide: Guatemala's Efraín Ríos Montt March 19, 2013 OPERATION CONDOR ON TRIAL: LEGAL PROCEEDINGS ON LATIN AMERICAN RENDITION AND ASSASSINATION PROGRAM OPEN IN BUENOS AIRES March 8, 2013 Lifting the Veil on Colombia's "Emerald Czar" December 21, 2012 STOLEN BABIES: Argentina Convicts Two Military Dictators July 5, 2012 Update: The Guatemalan Death Squad Diary and the Right to Truth May 3, 2012 Who Killed Jaime Garzón? September 29, 2011
May 9, 2013 | Briefing Book
After weeks of powerful testimony and excruciating procedural wrangling, the trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efraнn Rнos Montt and his intelligence chief Josй Rodrнguez Sбnchez on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity is coming to an end. With Judge Yazmin Barrios's request for closing arguments yesterday, the government's lead prosecutor, Orlando Lуpez, gave more than two hours of summation based heavily on the Guatemalan military plans, manuals, and operational records entered as evidence.
Mar 28, 2013 | News
Washington, DC, March 28, 2013 – A radio program on the Dos Erres massacre in Guatemala in 1982, which featured National Security Archive senior analyst Kate Doyle, won a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award yesterday. The program originally aired on May 25, 2012, as part of "This American Life" from WBEZ, and was a collaboration with Pro Publica and Fundacion MEPI.

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