30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Apr 19, 2019 | Blog Post
FOIA Request Shows Al-Nashiri Trial Judge Secretly Sought DOJ Position   In a remarkable turn of events, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit “threw out every single pre-trial order issued over the past three-and-a-half years in the case of Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed Al-Nashiri,” the alleged USS Cole bomber currently being tried by […]

Apr 18, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 18, 2019 – The National Security Archive has published hundreds of examples over the years of “dubious secrets” where U.S. government censors blacked out documents that had already been released in full – or redacted entirely different parts of the same document at different times.  This surprisingly common occurrence throws into relief how subjective the classification process is and how often agency declassifiers opt for the most sweeping rulings that wind up denying the public reasonable access to their government’s information.

Apr 12, 2019 | Blog Post
Declassification Diplomacy: Trump Administration Turns Over Massive Collection of Intelligence Records on Human Rights and Argentina Today in a diplomatic ceremony hosted by U.S. Archivist David Ferriero at the National Archives, U.S. officials completed the turnover of some 7,500 CIA, FBI, DOD, NSC and State Department records—47,000 pages in total—to Argentina’s Minister of Justice and […]

Apr 4, 2019 | Blog Post
Bicameral, Bipartisan Letter Seeks GAO Review of FOIA Compliance   Representatives Elijah Cummings and Jim Jordan were joined by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, and John Cornyn in sending a letter to the Comptroller General at the Government Accountability Office requesting the GAO “conduct a comprehensive review of agency compliance with the Freedom […]

Mar 28, 2019 | Blog Post
Archivist Bill Burr Wins Dubious Honor of Oldest Pending FOIA Request  The Archive’s latest FOIA Audit showed that the oldest pending FOIA request government-wide is 25-years-old, that’s old enough to rent a car! Curious to see who it belonged to (and with a strong suspicion it was ours), we filed a FOIA request with the […]

Feb 21, 2019 | Blog Post
For Better or Worse, The Obama Library to Depart From Status Quo The National Archives and Records Administration has released its agreement with the Obama Foundation that outlines how the Foundation’s plan to depart from the traditional NARA-run presidential library model – in favor of digitizing all of Obama’s 30 million unclassified paper records – […]

Feb 7, 2019 | Blog Post
State Dept. Worsens FOIA Reading Room The Department of State has inexplicably made its FOIA reading room significantly less user-friendly. The previous version allowed researchers to sort the reading room’s tens of thousands of documents by date or title, among other filters, or search through curated collections. The current iteration has no such features and […]

Jan 31, 2019 | Blog Post
The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979: Declassified Documents Show Moscow’s Fear of an Afghan Flip President Trump’s claim that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to get rid of terrorists who were coming over the border is false, according to declassified U.S. and Soviet documents released through FOIA and posted by the National Security […]

Jan 24, 2019 | Blog Post
No More Deaths Trials Shed Needed Light on Department of Interior’s Immigration Role Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Wright argued the first of the Trump administration’s three cases against the humanitarian aid organization No More Deaths in Tucson last week. (The group leaves food and water for migrants crossing the desert and has led efforts to […]

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.

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