30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Dec 9, 2005 | News
This is the prepared text of the address delivered on December 9, 2005, by Bill Moyers for the 20th anniversary of the National Security Archive, a non-governmental research institute and library at The George Washington University, in Washington D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Collaborating with him on this speech was Michael Winship. They have been colleagues in public broadcasting for over thirty years, including, most recently, on the PBS weekly broadcast NOW with Bill Moyers. Moyers, who retired from the NOW broadcast last December, is the President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy

Nov 23, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 23, 2005 - The nuclear war plans that constitute the Single Integrated Operational Plan have been among the most closely guarded secrets in the U.S. government. The handful of substantive documents on the first SIOP -- SIOP-62 (for fiscal year 1962) -- that have been the source of knowledge about it have been declassified, reclassified, re-released, and then closed again, fortunately not before key items had been copied at the archives.

Oct 10, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., October 10, 2005 - The National Security Archive, along with other openness advocates, today filed a "friend of the court" brief with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to review the summary dismissal, on secrecy grounds, of a lawsuit filed by an FBI whistleblower. The Archive's General Counsel Meredith Fuchs explained: "Potential whistleblowers who work in military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies will almost always come into contact with classified information.

Sep 9, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 9, 2005 - Ten minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) controllers in New York saw United Airlines Flight 175 heading "right towards the city," [p.13] but thought it was aiming for an emergency landing at a New York airport, according to FAA documents released this week under the Freedom of Information Act and posted on the web by the National Security Archive. Minutes later, Flight 175 hit the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Aug 3, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. August 3, 2005 - The National Security Archive, along with other secrecy experts, today filed a “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit challenging the FBI’s authority to issue national security letters (NSLs) without any judicial oversight and under a blanket gag order that prohibits the recipient from speaking with anyone about the NSL. The amicus curiae brief was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is reviewing a lower court decision that held that the NSL authority violated the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S.

Jul 1, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. July 1, 2005 - A decision to use nuclear weapons is one of the most politically, militarily, and morally perilous decisions that a U.S. president, or any leader of a nuclear state, can make. Recognizing that nuclear weapons differ from any other weapons because of their immense power and danger, President Lyndon B. Johnson once argued that a decision to use them "would lead us down an uncertain path of blows and counterblows whose outcome none may know." (Note 1) Johnson, like most U.S.

Jun 22, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. June 22, 2005 - The senior FBI official now revealed as "Deep Throat" - the Watergate source for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward - ordered his subordinates to "forcibly remind all agents of the need to be most circumspect in talking about this case with anyone outside the Bureau" according to declassified FBI documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Many of these documents - which were declassified in 1980 - have been cited in recent articles in The Nation magazine and the Washington Post.

Jun 3, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. June 3, 2005 - There are few references in the surreptitiously recorded Nixon Tapes to W. Mark Felt, the former high-level FBI official recently unmasked as "Deep Throat," but the tapes are full of examples of the White House's relationship with the FBI and Nixon's thinking about a successor for J. Edgar Hoover.

May 10, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., May 10, 2005 - The D.C. Circuit today issued a unanimous, en banc decision effectively ending the effort by the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch to obtain information about who participated in Vice President Cheney's National Energy Policy Development Group (the "energy task force"). The plaintiffs' goal was to determine whether special interests acted as de facto members of the task force, which would then permit the plaintiffs to obtain further information about the task force's activities and recommendations.

Mar 18, 2005 | News
Washington, D.C., March 18, 2005 - The National Security Archive today filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Department of the Air Force for a pattern and practice of mishandling scores of FOIA requests. The suit alleges that the Air Force fails to acknowledge FOIA requests, loses FOIA requests, fails to process requests, tries to discourage the public from pursuing FOIA requests, fails to respond to inquiries about the status of the requests and lets requests languish while records are destroyed or transferred to other agencies.

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