30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Political Crimes and Abuse of Power

Nov 16, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 16, 2014 – Twenty five years have passed since the horrifying murders in El Salvador of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, during a rampage by Salvadoran security forces in the early morning hours of November 16, 1989, on the campus of the University of Central America (UCA) in the country's capital. It has been twenty five years of grieving by the victims' families and the Jesuit community; and twenty five years of waiting for justice to identify and prosecute the killers.

Sep 28, 2014 | Briefing Book
A 1980s-era document from the archives of El Salvador’s military intelligence identifies almost two thousand Salvadoran citizens who were considered “delinquent terrorists” by the Armed Forces, among them current President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, a former guerrilla leader. Other individuals listed include human rights advocates, labor leaders, and political figures, many known to have been victims of illegal detention, torture, extrajudicial execution, forced disappearance, and other human rights abuses.

Sep 5, 2014 | Briefing Book
"At last, the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra affair finally has a comprehensive history worthy of the scandal ... Malcolm Byrne has told the complex story in brilliant fashion." — Seymour Hersh Washington, DC, September 5, 2014 – A new book on the Iran-Contra affair shows that President Ronald Reagan stood at the epicenter of the scandal both in terms of his willingness to break the law in order to free American hostages in Lebanon and his failure to take account of the costs and consequences of his decisions, including the illicit conduct of numerous aides.

Mar 26, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 26, 2014 – The passing away of Iran-Contra Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh on March 19, at age 102, is an appropriate occasion to recall some of the extraordinary outcomes of his investigation into the most significant political scandal of the 1980s. The Iran-Contra affair stirred up profound political passions. Walsh found himself at the center of seemingly perpetual controversy from the time of his appointment in late 1986 until his last major case against a former cabinet official — Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger — jolted to a halt in December 1992.

Nov 6, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 6, 2013 – Four months before the feared Zetas drug cartel kidnapped and murdered 72 migrants in northeastern Mexico, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said that narcotrafficking organizations in that region operated with "near total impunity in the face of compromised local security forces." As the date of the massacre drew nearer, another U.S.

Nov 1, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 1, 2013 – Continued investigation of the presidency of John F. Kennedy further strengthens the view that the origins of U.S. support for the coup which overthrew South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem 50 years ago today traces directly to President Kennedy, not to a "cabal" of top officials in his administration. As the documents posted by the National Security Archive in 2009 and new material posted today indicates, the often-told story that a "cabal" of senior officials, in combination with U.S.

Sep 25, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 25, 2013 – During the height of the Vietnam War protest movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the National Security Agency tapped the overseas communications of selected prominent Americans, most of whom were critics of the war, according to a recently declassified NSA history. For years those names on the NSA's watch list were secret, but thanks to the decision of an interagency panel, in response to an appeal by the National Security Archive, the NSA has released them for the first time. The names of the NSA's targets are eye-popping.

Sep 24, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 24, 2013 – On September 20, a Guatemalan tribunal convicted the former director of the National Police of Guatemala, retired Col. Hйctor Bol de la Cruz, and his subordinate Jorge Alberto Gуmez Lуpez for the 1984 disappearance of student and labor leader Edgar Fernando Garcнa. The verdict broke new ground in the case of Fernando Garcнa's abduction and presumed murder, by condemning senior police officials for their role in ordering, overseeing, and then concealing the crime.

Jun 4, 2013 | Briefing Book
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