30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Jul 4, 2012 | News
Washington, DC, July 4, 2012 – Marking the 46th anniversary of President Johnson's signing the Freedom of Information Act, the National Security Archive today posted a compilation of 46 news headlines from the past year made possible by active and creative use of the FOIA.

May 10, 2012 | News
Washington, DC, May 10, 2012 – More than year after the National Security Archive sued the CIA to declassify the full "Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation," a U.S. District Court judge today sided with the Agency's efforts to keep the last volume of the report secret in perpetuity.

Mar 12, 2012 | News
Washington, DC, March 12, 2012 – Attorney General Eric Holder kicked off Sunshine Week 2012 by rehashing widely discredited statistics released by the Department of Justice after it was awarded the Rosemary Award by the National Security Archive for the worst open government performance by a federal agency in 2011.

Feb 14, 2012 | Rosemary Award
The U.S. Department of Justice has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance over the past year, according to the citation posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org). The award is named after President Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, who erased 18 1/2 minutes of a crucial Watergate tape. The Rosemary Award citation includes a multi-count indictment of Justice's transparency performance in 2011, including:

Oct 28, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 28, 2011 - CIA director William Colby rebuffed criticisms from senior Agency operators about disclosure of CIA misdeeds by describing the difference between "bad secrets," "non-secrets," "good secrets" and "lesser" secrets, according to a previously SECRET internal CIA history of the Colby tenure, published today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Sep 16, 2011 | Briefing Book, Special Exhibit
What Were the 11 Missing Words? Enter the National Security Archive’s Reader Contest! Washington, DC, September 16, 2011 - For the first time ever, all three major editions of the Pentagon Papers are being made available simultaneously online. The posting today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org), allows for a unique side-by-side comparison, showing readers exactly what the U.S. government tried to hide for 40 years by means of deletions from the original text.

Aug 15, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 15, 2011 - In the heat of the battle at the Bay of Pigs, the lead CIA field operative aboard one of the transport boats fired 75mm recoilless rifles and .50-caliber machine guns on aircraft his own agency had supplied to the exile invasion force, striking some of them. With the CIA-provided B-26 aircraft configured to match those in the Cuban air force, “we couldn’t tell them from the Castro planes,” according to the operative, Grayston Lynch. “We ended up shooting at two or three of them.

Aug 1, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 1, 2011 - Pursuant to a FOIA lawsuit filed by the National Security Archive on the 50th anniversary of the infamous CIA-led invasion of Cuba, the CIA has released four volumes of its Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation. The Archive today posted volume 2, "Participation in the Conduct of Foreign Policy" (Part 1 | Part 2), classified top secret, which contains detailed information on the CIA's negotiations with Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama on support for the invasion. "These are among the last remaining secret records of this act of U.S.

Jul 12, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 12, 2011 - What were the 11 words the government didn’t want you to see? The aspect of the June 13 release of the full Pentagon Papers that has received the most attention is perhaps the U.S. Government’s attempt to keep under wraps 11 words on one page that had in fact been in the public domain since the government edition of the Papers was published by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) in 1972.

Jul 4, 2011 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
Washington, D.C., July 4, 2011 - Forty-five years after President Johnson signed the U.S. Freedom of Information Act into law in 1966, federal agency backlogs of FOIA requests are growing, with the oldest requests at eight agencies dating back over a decade and the single oldest request now 20 years old, according to the Knight Open Government Survey by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Pages