30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Cold War – General

Aug 8, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 8, 2017 – The British Foreign Office approached the Truman administration on more than one occasion in late 1952 to propose a coup to overthrow Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, according to freshly declassified State Department documents. Posted today for the first time, two previously Top-Secret memoranda from senior officials at State refer to a series of communications and meetings beginning in October 1952 in which British officials tried to win U.S. approval of Mosaddeq’s ouster.
Jul 20, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., July 20, 2017 – During a frank conversation with Washington Post reporter Murrey Marder in early 1967, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey said that “he is no longer sure he was right” when he initially supported decisions to bomb North Vietnam in 1965. The bombing of North Vietnam had “poisoned the atmosphere” by alienating people who would otherwise be supportive of the Vietnam War and by substantiating North Vietnamese propaganda.
May 10, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 10, 2017 – The United States’ cautious response to the unexpectedly powerful popular uprising in Hungary in 1956 grew out of the Eisenhower administration’s policy of “keeping the pot boiling” in Eastern Europe without having it “boil over” into a possible nuclear conflict, according to an unpublished Defense Department historical study posted for the first time by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. 
May 4, 2017 | Blog Post
Newly declassified documents demonstrate the continuing haphazard application of United States secrecy regulations. The progress of declassification remains a one step forward-two steps back dance, with authorities responsible for the release of records misapplying applicable regulations, laws, and secrecy guidelines. Today’s illustration of this resides in a recently-declassified history of United States policy toward unrest […]
Feb 28, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. February 28, 2017 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower ruled out military intervention in Eastern Europe early in his administration, despite campaign rhetoric about rolling back world Communism, according to a U.S. Defense Department draft history published today by the National Security Archive. Fear of provoking war with the Soviet Union drove the decision, the study finds, based on research in a variety of government and public sources.
Feb 10, 2017 | Blog Post
Air Force lieutenant general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Leonard H. Perroots has died.  I first learned of Perroots while reading the declassified President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board’s report on Able Archer 83 and the 1983 War Scare.  According to this report, Able Archer 83 so closely represented a nuclear launch that the […]
Feb 7, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. February 7, 2017 – CIA covert aid to Italy continued well after the agency’s involvement in the 1948 elections – into the early 1960s – averaging around $5 million a year, according to a draft Defense Department historical study published today for the first time by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.
Feb 7, 2017 | Blog Post
Missile Defenses Then and Now A declassified Strategic Air Command History from 1968, recently cited in former SAC commander-in-chief Lee Butler’s memoirs, sheds light on the role of anti-ballistic missile defenses in national policies and international relations. According to the SAC history, in the late 1960s, SAC targeted over 100 Minuteman missiles, over 10 percent […]
Jan 23, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 23, 2017 – The historic summit meetings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and two U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, built an intensive learning process on both sides that ended the Cold War, but missed numerous other opportunities to make the world safer, according to the new book, The Last Superpower Summits, featured today in the Washington History Seminar at the Wilson Center.
Dec 20, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 20, 2016 – Soviet missile and space programs were among the most frequent topics briefed to the president of the United States by  U.S. intelligence during the administrations of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, according to a review of recently declassified excerpts of the President’s Daily Brief posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

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