30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents

Oct 13, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 13, 2009 - The election of the new Democratic Party government in Japan led by Yukio Hatoyama raises a significant challenge for the Obama administration: the status of secret agreements on nuclear weapons that Tokyo and Washington negotiated in 1960 and 1969.  For years, the  ruling Liberal Democratic Party claimed that there were no such  agreements, denying, for example, allegations that they had allowed U.S. nuclear-armed ships to sail into Japanese ports.  Nevertheless, declassified U.S.

Sep 22, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, September 22, 2009 - Sixty years ago this week, on 23 September 1949, President Harry Truman made headlines when he announced that the Soviet Union had secretly tested a nuclear weapon several weeks earlier. Truman did not explain how the United States had detected the test, which had occurred on 29 August 1949 at Semipalatinsk, a site in northeastern Kazakhstan. Using declassified material, much of which has never been published, this briefing book documents how the U.S. Air Force, the Atomic Energy Commission, and U.S.

Jan 23, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 23, 2009 - When the 9/11 hijackers crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the U.S. nuclear bomb squad was out of the country on its first foreign deployment since 1998, at a British air base in the Cotswolds, according to the new book Defusing Armageddon and key primary sources posted today in the National Security Archive's Nuclear Vault by Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson.

Jan 13, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 13, 2009 - During the 1970s the Shah of Iran argued, like current Iranian leaders today, for a nuclear energy capability on the basis of national "rights," while the Ford and Carter administrations worried about nuclear weapons possibilities, according to newly declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive for the first time.

Jan 12, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 12, 2009 - The U.S. government’s secret nuclear bomb squad evaluated more than 100 nuclear extortion threats and incidents between 1974 and 1996 but only a dozen required actual deployments (the others were hoaxes), according to the new book, Defusing Armageddon, and key primary sources posted today in the National Security Archive's "Nuclear Vault" by Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson.

Aug 22, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 22, 2008 - The U.S. intelligence community buckled sooner in 2002 than previously reported to Bush administration pressure for data justifying an invasion of Iraq, according to a documents posting on the Web today by National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados. The documents suggest that the public relations push for war came before the intelligence analysis, which then conformed to public positions taken by Pentagon and White House officials.

Feb 28, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 26, 2008 - The United States should use its power to "prevent the reemergence of a new rival" either on former Soviet territory or elsewhere, declared a controversial draft of the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) prepared by then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney's Pentagon and leaked to The New York Times in March 1992. Published in declassified form for the first time on the National Security Archive Web site, this draft, along with related working papers, shows how defense officials during the administration of George H. W.

Jan 14, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, January 14, 2008: In the wake of the Indian "peaceful nuclear explosion" on May 17, 1974 and growing concern about the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities, the U.S. intelligence community prepared a Special National Intelligence Assessment, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," published today by the National Security Archive. The 1974 Indian test created shock waves in the U.S.

Sep 10, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington DC, September 10, 2007 - In the spring of 1991, leaks to the Washington Times on intelligence community discussions of the nuclear activities of the Algerian government and a Chinese reactor sale to that country stimulated a flap within the George H. W. Bush administration over the possibility that Algiers had started a nuclear weapons program. NSC and State Department documents published for the first time today by the National Security Archive shed light on the internal U.S. debate over Algeria's capabilities and intentions, on U.S.

Jun 15, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington DC, June 15, 2007 - The unfolding controversies over the Iranian and Korean nuclear programs show the extreme difficulty of persuading a government to reverse its nuclear weapons program. Newly declassified documents on U.S.-Taiwan relations during the late 1970s, published today for the first time by the National Security Archive, shed new light on the challenges of counter-proliferation diplomacy. Even a dependent ally, such as Taiwan, tried hard to resist U.S. pressures to abandon suspect nuclear activities and kept Washington guessing whether it had really given them up.

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