30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Feb 7, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, February 7, 2019 – Attorney-General nominee William P. Barr figured prominently in arguments to limit CIA responsibility to provide notification to Congress about covert actions during the 1980s, according to a review of declassified materials published today by the National Security Archive at the George Washington University.

Feb 6, 2019 | News
The Cyber Vault has gathered witness testimony and transcripts for hearings held by the 115th Congress during 2018. These documents are reflective of the scope of the legislative challenges and Congress’s priorities in the field. The list is ordered by committee, with hearings listed chronologically for each committee. Joint hearings appear at the end of the list for the Senate and the House. Similar resources will be produced at the end of each future session of Congress.  

Jan 9, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 9, 2019 – More than 20 years ago, in May 1998, seven hackers from the Boston-based “hacker think tank” L0pht Heavy Industries, appeared alongside Dr. Peter Neumann, a private sector expert on computer security, before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs for one of the first-ever[1] Congressional hearings focusing specifically on cybersecurity.

Dec 17, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 17, 2018 – During the dark days of the Cold War, spying on the enemy often took place in broad daylight.  Some of the best opportunities for Western intelligence to get a picture – literally – of Soviet capabilities were presented by the USSR itself at public military parades, where the normally secretive Soviets proudly showed off to the world their arsenal of advanced hardware. 

Dec 7, 2018 | Briefing Book
The U.S. and NATO allies worried about losing control of the public narrative of the Cold War in December 1988 after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s offer of an arms race in reverse in his famous United Nations speech, according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.  Senior Italian officials, for example, complained to U.S. envoy Paul Nitze that the public’s sense of a diminishing Soviet threat would undercut their ability to maintain defense spending – even as the Soviet leader was announcing unilateral troop withdrawals from Eastern Europe.

Oct 18, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 18, 2018 – The National Security Archive’s Freedom of Information lawsuit against the CIA has won release of the previously censored dates and times on cables sent by future CIA director Gina Haspel when she commanded a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where interrogators tortured and waterboarded an al-Qaeda suspect, according to the new documents posted on the Archive’s Web site today.

Oct 4, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 4, 2018 – Twenty-five years ago last night in Moscow, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered tanks and airborne troops to shell and storm the “White House,” the Russian Parliament (Supreme Soviet) building, to suppress the opposition trying to remove him. 

Oct 2, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 2, 2018 – President Bill Clinton saw Russian leader Boris Yeltsin as indispensable for promoting American interests following the collapse of the Soviet Union, often prompting him to take controversial steps to ensure Yeltsin’s political survival, according to top-level memoranda of conversation just released from the Clinton presidential library. 

Sep 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 24, 2018 – President George H.W. Bush initially sought a leadership role for the United States on the environment, according to declassified documents obtained and posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

Aug 15, 2018 | Briefing Book
U.S. nuclear war plans during the Johnson administration included the option of a retaliatory strike against nuclear, conventional military, and urban-industrial targets with the purpose of removing the Soviet Union “from the category of a major industrial power” and destroying it as a “viable” society.  This is one disclosure from a Joint Staff review of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) obtained via a Mandatory Declassification Review request by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive and posted on our site today.

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