35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Science and Technology

May 12, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 12, 2021 — This week’s ransomware episode involving Colonial Pipeline has exposed deep cracks in America’s digital armor.  However, lost in the flurry of calls for swift action to avoid future damage is the fact that such attacks have been predicted for some time, as a sampling of government records posted today by the National Security Archive shows.

May 7, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 7, 2021 – U.S.-Soviet cooperation in space was a regular, if less noticed, feature of the final years of the USSR and continued well after the emergence of independent Russia, a compilation of declassified documents and interviews posted today by the National Security Archive underscores.  In the second of a two-part posting, records from Russian and American archives highlight the successes of joint operations ranging from the Shuttle-Mir program to the International Space Station. 

Apr 26, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 26, 2021 — The recent passage of the “Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2021” by the House of Representatives suggests U.S. lawmakers are eager to expand the U.S.’s toolbox for addressing cyber threats to explicitly include diplomacy, according to a compilation of policy records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  Introduced on the heels of the SolarWinds breach, the bill would establish a new “Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy.”

Apr 12, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2021 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic spaceflight 60 years ago, which made him the first human in space, prompted President John F. Kennedy to advance an unusual proposal – that the two superpowers combine forces to cooperate in space.  In a congratulatory letter to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive, Kennedy expressed the hope that “our nations [can] work together” in the “continuing quest for knowledge of outer space.”  

Feb 10, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 10, 2021 – The Trump administration’s response to the mysterious health episodes experienced by intelligence and diplomatic personnel in Havana, Cuba, in late 2016 and 2017 was plagued by mismanagement, poor leadership, lack of coordination, and a failure to follow established procedures, according to a formerly secret internal State Department review posted today by the National Security Archive.  “The Department of State’s response to these incidents was characterized by a lack of senior leadership, ineffective communications, and systemic disorg

Feb 2, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 2, 2021 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a two-year “epidemiologic investigation” of the mysterious medical incidents suffered by U.S.

May 15, 2020 | Briefing Book
Top Secret Chernobyl:The Nuclear Disaster through the Eyes of the Soviet Politburo, KGB, and U.S. Intelligence Volume 2 by Svetlana Savranskaya

Sep 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 24, 2018 – President George H.W. Bush initially sought a leadership role for the United States on the environment, according to declassified documents obtained and posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

Oct 7, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 7, 2016 -Thirty years ago, a Soviet nuclear submarine with about 30 nuclear warheads on board sank off U.S. shores north of Bermuda as Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan were preparing for their historic summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.  But instead of Chernobyl-style denials, the Soviet government reached out to the Americans, issued a public statement, and even received offers of help from Washington, according to the never-before-published transcript of that day’s Politburo session, posted today by the National Security Archive.

Jul 22, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 22, 2016 - U.S. atomic tests in Bikini Atoll in July 1946 staged by a joint Army-Navy task force were the first atomic explosions since the bombings of Japan a year earlier. Documents posted today by the National Security Archive about “Operation Crossroads” shed light on these events as do galleries of declassified videos and photographs. Of two tests staged to determine the effects of the new weapons on warships, the “Baker” test was the most dangerous by contaminating nearby test ships with radioactive mist.

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