30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Jun 24, 2014 | News
Washington, DC, June 24, 2014 – Congress may actually take action this year to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, according to the National Security Archive's posting today of the new bipartisan bill by leading U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

Jun 9, 2014 | Briefing Book
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Safety Issues, 1957-1986 Washington, D.C., June 9, 2014 – A recently declassified report by Sandia National Laboratory, published today by the National Security Archive, provides new details on the 1961 Goldsboro, North Carolina, nuclear weapons accident. Both multi-megaton Mk 39 bombs involved in the mishap were in the "safe" position. Yet the force of the crash initiated mechanical actions that normally required human intervention. In both cases, the "fuzing sequence" had begun: an important step toward arming a nuclear bomb.

Apr 21, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 21, 2014– Henry Kissinger played a slightly reluctant but nonetheless highly influential role in establishing the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in the mid-1970s, motivated equally by concern about nuclear proliferation and a desire to keep U.S. officials from "charging around the world, like Don Quixote," according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.

Mar 27, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 27, 2014 – In February 2014, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) posted 300,000 State Department telegrams from 1977 — the first year of the Jimmy Carter administration — on its Access to Archival Databases system. This posting is another step in carrying out the commitment that NARA and the State Department have made to putting on-line major State Department document databases and indexes as they are declassified.

Mar 24, 2014 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington, DC, March 24, 2014 – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance in 2013, according to the citation published today by the National Security Archive at www.nsarchive.org. Despite heavy competition, Clapper's "No, sir" lie to Senator Ron Wyden's question: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" sealed his receipt of the dubious achievement award, which cites the vastly excessive secrecy of the entire U.S.

Mar 14, 2014 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
IN THE NEWS Obama Administration Official Whitewashes Truth About FOIA By Jason Leopold, Freedom of the Press Foundation, March 17, 2014 Sunshine Week: Transparency issues persist with Obama administration By Josh Hicks, Washington Post, March 17, 2014 US Cites Security More to Censor, Deny Records By Ted Bridis and Jack Gillum, AP, March 16, 2014 Open Government and Freedom of Information: Reinvigorating the Freedom of Information Act for the Digital Age Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, March 11, 2014

Feb 20, 2014 | Briefing Book
A major controversy during the administration of President George W. Bush concerned the use or misuse of intelligence with regard to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs and possible links between Iraq and al-Qaida. The best known elements of that controversy were Iraqi motivations behind the procurement of aluminum tubes, whether Iraq had sought to acquire uranium from Niger, if Iraq was seeking to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program, and whether it was producing and stockpiling chemical or biological weapons.

Jan 24, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, January 24, 2014 – A recently declassified transcript of a telephone conversation (telcon) between Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Gerald Ford in December 1975 indicates tensions between Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department over the SALT II arms control agreement. Telling Ford that "we have [a] SALT agreement within our grasp," Kissinger said "We can smash our opponents" [See document 6].

Oct 29, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 29, 2013 – The CIA's history of the U-2 spy plane, declassified this past summer, sparked enormous public attention to the U-2's secret test site at Area 51 in Nevada, but documents posted today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org) show that Area 51 played an even more central role in the development of the U.S. Air Force's top secret stealth programs in the 1970s and 1980s, and hosted secretly obtained Soviet MiG fighters during the Cold War. Compiled and edited by Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T.

Sep 25, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 25, 2013 – During the height of the Vietnam War protest movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the National Security Agency tapped the overseas communications of selected prominent Americans, most of whom were critics of the war, according to a recently declassified NSA history. For years those names on the NSA's watch list were secret, but thanks to the decision of an interagency panel, in response to an appeal by the National Security Archive, the NSA has released them for the first time. The names of the NSA's targets are eye-popping.

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