30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Wars and Conflicts

May 2, 2004 | Briefing Book
Two months after the leak of the Pentagon Papers generated front page headlines and a landmark Supreme Court case, TIME magazine reported: "State's Secrets. The Pentagon, it seems, was not the only Government department to make a top-secret retrospective study of the nation's decisions in Vietnam. In 1968 Tom Hughes, then director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, ordered another report, far less voluminous and ambitious but with considerable potential impact.

Apr 7, 2004 | Briefing Book
U.S. diplomats and intelligence identified who was perpetrating the killing in Rwanda on the second day of the genocide, according to recently declassified documents posted to the Web today by the National Security Archive to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the genocide.

Mar 31, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., 31 March 2004 - "I think we ought to take every step that we can, be prepared to do everything that we need to do," President Johnson instructed his aides regarding preparations for a coup in Brazil on March 31, 1964. On the 40th anniversary of the military putsch, the National Security Archive today posted recently declassified documents on U.S. policy deliberations and operations leading up to the overthrow of the Goulart government on April 1, 1964. The documents reveal new details on U.S. readiness to back the coup forces.

Mar 24, 2004 | Briefing Book
Ten years ago this week, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Prudence Bushnell visited Rwanda and Burundi. Her visit-one of many visits by State Department and Defense Department officials in the preceding year-served dual purposes: to pressure Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, his government and opposition groups to form a transitional government and to gather information for policymakers back home. Such diplomatic activity was emblematic of the resources and attention committed to Rwanda despite its relative unimportance to U.S. interests.

Mar 19, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC - Pakistan provided millions of dollars, arms, and "buses full of adolescent mujahid," to the Taliban in the 1990's, according to declassified State Department documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, and posted today on the Web. This third installment of The Taliban File, edited by Archive research associate Sajit Gandhi, includes: An August 27, 1997 cable in which U.S.

Mar 14, 2004 | Briefing Book
The death of former President Josй Lуpez Portillo on February 17 unleashed a torrent of public rage and bitter obituaries in the Mexican press. The most prominent opinion makers called him a Machiavelli, a megalomaniac, a gambler, a disaster; mere hours after he passed away, politicians were lining up before the television cameras to offer scathing critiques of his government, his personality. He did not receive a State funeral. The anger stemmed not only from the actions - or inactions - of Lуpez Portillo during his sexenio.

Feb 4, 2004 | Briefing Book
Dear President Fox, Something remarkable has happened in Guatemala. You owe it to your country to take notice. On January 20, the Guatemalan Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a senior military officer, Col. Juan Valencia Osorio, for plotting and ordering the political assassination of Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack Chang in 1990. The colonel has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Jan 30, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC - The U.S. government pressed the Taliban to expel Usama bin Laden over 30 times between 1996, when the Taliban took Kabul, and the summer of 2001, but the talks were always fruitless and only three of the approaches took place in the first year of the Bush administration, according to a newly declassified State Department summary posted on the Web today.

Jan 20, 2004 | Briefing Book
When the United States government considered the rebellion in Chiapas, it did so through the twin lenses of its primary national interests: money and power. The Zapatista uprising - which exploded on January 1, 1994, the eve of the inauguration of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - challenged an image of Mexico that had been peddled for months in the halls of the U.S. Congress in an effort to gain approval for the historic trade pact.

Dec 18, 2003 | Briefing Book
Twenty years ago, on December 20, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld, currently the U.S. Secretary of Defense, met with Saddam Hussein during the first of Rumsfeld's two now-famous visits to Baghdad. At the time, the United States was courting Iraq as a buffer to the greater threat the Reagan administration perceived in the Islamic Republic of Iran. As has now been widely reported, the U.S. had already been providing the Iraqi regime with intelligence and other support in its war with Iran. Within a year of Rumsfeld's first visit, Baghdad and Washington had re-established diplomatic relations.

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