30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Nov 30, 2004 | News
Washington, D.C., 30 November 2004 - The National Security Archive along with concerned library, journalist, and public interest organizations today filed an amici curiae brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit supporting public access to information about the energy task force convened by Vice President Cheney in 2001. The case is vital to preserving public access to government information under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

Nov 23, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 23, 2004 - President Gerald R. Ford wanted to sign the Freedom of Information Act strengthening amendments passed by Congress 30 years ago, but concern about leaks (shared by his chief of staff Donald Rumsfeld and deputy Richard Cheney) and legal arguments that the bill was unconstitutional (marshaled by government lawyer Antonin Scalia, among others) persuaded Ford to veto the bill, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the 30th anniversary of the veto override.

Oct 29, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. October 29, 2004 - The Department of Defense has refused to release the names of military officers in the chain of command over the soldiers charged with prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to an analysis of the documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. DOD also refused to release the names of the officers who reviewed the so-called "Taguba Report," which recommended disciplinary and administrative actions for the abuses perpetrated at Abu Ghraib.

Oct 27, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 27 October 2004 - The recent passing of Paul Nitze at the age of 97 has brought forth the expected array of obituaries, retrospectives and assessments of his lengthy and often controversial career, in the process turning people's minds back to an era when superpower rivalry and the threat of nuclear annihilation hung over the world as the United States and Russia engaged in what John F. Kennedy termed the long, twilight struggle.

Oct 15, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 15 October 2004 - On October 15, 1984, President Reagan signed into law the Central Intelligence Agency Information Act of 1984, Pub. L. 98-477, codified at 50 U.S.C. Sec. 431, which created an unprecedented exception for the CIA from the search and review requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It applies to records of current intelligence and counterintelligence collection, so-called "operational files." It leaves the designation of such files to the CIA.

Oct 14, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 14 October 2004 - The Transportation Security Administration this week refused to release the texts or even the titles of five aviation warnings given to airlines just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, even though the titles and substance of the warnings have been published in the best-selling 9/11 Commission report, according to an analysis of the documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

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.

Oct 1, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 1 October 2004 - Secretary of State Henry Kissinger berated top aides for State Department efforts in 1976 to restrain human rights abuses by military dictators in Chile and Argentina, according to newly declassified transcripts of Mr. Kissinger's telephone calls ("telcons") posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. "This is not an institution that is going to humiliate the Chileans," Kissinger told his Assistant Secretary on Latin America, William D. Rogers, on the phone, after a U.S.

Jul 13, 2004 | News
The U.S. included so many nuclear weapons in its first missile-age plan for nuclear war that top military commanders called it a "hazard to ourselves as well as our enemy," according to newly declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Under the first Single Integrated Operational Plan, prepared during 1960, a Russian city the size of Nagasaki--devastated in 1945 with a twenty kiloton bomb--would receive three 80 kiloton weapons. President Dwight D.

Jul 13, 2004 | Briefing Book
Since it was first created in 1960, the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP)--the U.S. plan for nuclear war--has been one of the most secret and sensitive issues in U.S. national security policy. The essence of the first SIOP was a massive nuclear strike on military and urban-industrial targets in the Soviet Union, China, and their allies. To make such an attack possible, U.S.

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