Secrecy and FOIA
Mar 14, 2003 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit br>
WASHINGTON, D.C., 14 MARCH 2003 - The National Security Archive at George Washington University today released results from the first-ever government-wide audit of federal responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The audit shows dramatic variations in agency reactions to the restrictive FOIA guidance issued by Attorney General John Ashcroft in October 2001. Some agencies concluded the Ashcroft memo represented a "drastic" and "fundamental" change; others saw no change or said "Yeah. OK" when asked about impact.
Homeland Security Access Regs Need Improvement; Archive Urges Effective Records Magagement, Applauds Secretary Ridge's Commitment to OpennessFeb 26, 2003 | News br>
Washington, D.C., February 26, 2003 - The National Security Archive today submitted comments on the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations that detail how the DHS will implement open government laws. The DHS regulations, issued on January 27, fall short of Congress's intent in eight specific areas, detailed in the Archive's formal comments.
Feb 5, 2003 | News br>
Washington, D.C., February 6, 2003 - The National Security Archive yesterday filed an amicus brief in the pending U.S. Supreme Court case, Department of the Treasury v. City of Chicago. The case involves the gun trace database maintained by Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which seeks to prevent Chicago from obtaining information such as names and addresses of gun purchasers from the database.
Jun 10, 2002 | Briefing Book br>
Mexico City, 10 June 2002—Mexico’s first national freedom of information initiative became the law of the land today, when it was signed by President Vicente Fox Quesada in a ceremony held at the presidential residence in Mexico City. The signing follows unanimous votes in both chambers of the Mexican Congress during the last week of April, and ushers in a landmark piece of legislation aimed at guaranteeing the public’s right to request and receive information from the government. The law represents a compromise between two proposals presented to the Congress during 2001.
Feb 11, 2002 | News br>
Washington, D.C., February 11 – In answer to a three-year-old National Security Archive request, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) today confirmed that former national security adviser Henry Kissinger has returned to NARA’s custody the 20,000 pages of transcripts of his telephone conversations conducted while serving President Nixon from 1969 through September 1973.
Feb 5, 2002 | Briefing Book br>
The PBS documentary Bill Moyers Reports: Trading Democracy, which premieres tonight, February 5, at 10 p.m. Eastern time (local times may vary) exposes an obscure provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has given multinational corporations the power to demand compensation if a law of any one of the three NAFTA countries – the United States, Mexico or Canada – threatens their potential profits. Laws designed to protect the environment or public health, the decisions of states or local communities - even jury verdicts - can prompt a corporation to file a lawsuit.
Nov 28, 2001 | News br>
Washington D.C., 28 November 2001- Today the National Security Archive at George Washington University joined the American Historical Association (AHA) and other scholars and public interest groups in filing suit to stop implementation of President Bush’s November 1st executive order 13,233 which limits public access to presidential records. For a copy of the complaint and related documents, see www.nsarchive.org and www.citizen.org.
Aug 9, 2001 | News br>
Washington, D.C., August 9 – The State Department today announced that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had returned 10,000 pages of transcripts of his telephone conversations conducted while in office from 1973 through January 1977, and spokesman Richard Boucher credited the National Security Archive for prompting the Department to seek this return. “These telcons are a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour verbatim record of the highest-level foreign policy deliberations of the U.S. government during Mr.
The U.S. Freedom of Information Act at 35: Nearly 2 Million Requests Last Year at a Cost of One Dollar per CitizenJul 4, 2001 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., July 4, 2001 – George Washington University's National Security Archive, the leading non-profit user of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, today released its first annual "State of Freedom of Information" report, 35 years to the day after President Johnson grudgingly signed the U.S. FOIA into law on July 4, 1966. The Archive study reported that:
Jun 5, 2001 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., June 5, 2001 – Thirty years ago this month, President Nixon picked up his Sunday New York Times on June 13, 1971 to see the wedding picture of his daughter Tricia and himself in the Rose Garden, leading the left-hand side of the front page. Next to that picture, on the right, was the headline over Neil Sheehan's first story on the Pentagon Papers, "Vietnam Archive: Pentagon Study Traces 3 Decades of Growing U.S. Involvement." Nixon did not read the story (so he says on tape in his 12:18 p.m. phone call with Alexander Haig).