30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Wars and Conflicts

Feb 4, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 4, 2005 - Today the National Security Archive posted the CIA's secret documentary history of the U.S government's relationship with General Reinhard Gehlen, the German army's intelligence chief for the Eastern Front during World War II. At the end of the war, Gehlen established a close relationship with the U.S. and successfully maintained his intelligence network (it ultimately became the West German BND) even though he employed numerous former Nazis and known war criminals.

Oct 4, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 4 October 2004 - Journalism professor Ralph Begleiter of the University of Delaware today filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act in federal district court for copies of the military's photographs and video of the honor guard arrival and transfer ceremonies at Dover Air Force Base for servicemen and women killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The lawsuit challenges the censorship policy initiated in 1991 by then-Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, and continued by the Pentagon under the Clinton and Bush Administrations.

Sep 11, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, August 18, 2005 - UPDATE - The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan told a top Taliban official in September 2000 that the U.S. "was not out to destroy the Taliban," but the "UBL [Osama bin Laden] issue is supremely important," according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show how years of U.S. diplomacy with the Taliban, combined with pressure on Pakistan, and attempts to employ Saudi cooperation still failed to compel the Taliban to expel bin Laden.

Aug 4, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 4 August 2004 - Forty years ago today, President Johnson and top U.S. officials chose to believe that North Vietnam had just attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, even though the highly classified signals intercepts they cited to each other actually described a naval clash two days earlier (a battle prompted by covert U.S. attacks on North Vietnam), according to the declassified intercepts, Johnson White House tapes, and related documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Jul 9, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. - July 8, 2004 - "You should tell [Suharto] that we understand the problems they face in West Irian," national security adviser Henry Kissinger wrote President Nixon on the eve of Nixon's July 1969 visit to Indonesia. On the 35th anniversary of West Papua's so-called "Act of Free Choice" and Indonesia's first direct presidential elections, the National Security Archive posted recently declassified documents on U.S. policy deliberations leading to Indonesia's controversial 1969 annexation of the territory.

May 31, 2004 | Briefing Book
The Cuban revolution was a shock to the Mexican system. On the international stage, Mexico was forced to negotiate a position toward Cuba that allowed it to preserve some independence from the United States, which by 1960 had already declared itself the bitter enemy of Fidel Castro, while avoiding serious conflict with its powerful neighbor. [See Proceso No. 1374 and National Security Archive electronic briefing book No.

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.

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