30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Policy Making and Diplomacy

May 21, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, May 21, 2009 – At a hearing today focusing on the National Archives and Records Administration and the selection of a new Archivist, National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs said: “[The new Archivist] should have a vision for an Archives 2.0.” Discussing electronic records management, classification, presidential records and libraries, and access as critical challenges, before the Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Ms.

Apr 23, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. April 23, 2009 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy sought to lift the ban on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba in December 1963, according to declassified records re-posted today by the National Security Archive.

Mar 19, 2009 | News
Washington, D.C., March 19, 2009 - Attorney General Eric Holder today released new guidelines for federal agencies on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that reinforce the presumption of disclosure articulated by President Obama in his day one Memorandum on FOIA, issued January 21, 2009. Attorney General Holder’s memorandum provides practical guidance for implementing the presumption of disclosure, including by encouraging discretionary releases of records and releasing portions of records even when other portions are being withheld.

Feb 26, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, February 26, 2009 – Today Secretary of Defense Robert Gates lifted a blanket ban on news media coverage of the honor guard ceremonies that mark the return of military casualties from abroad. The new policy will permit media coverage of the ceremonies, during which caskets draped with American flags are brought home from war, after consultation with the families of the fallen. The Obama administration’s move restores press access to the honor ceremonies, which had been the practice from World War II through the Panama invasion of 1989.

Jan 22, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 22, 2009 - In March 1975, a top aide to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger drafted a secret/nodis report titled "Normalizing Relations with Cuba" that recommended moving quickly to restore diplomatic ties with Havana. "Our interest is in getting the Cuba issue behind us, not in prolonging it indefinitely," states the memorandum, which was written as the Ford administration engaged in secret diplomacy with Castro officials to lessen hostilities.

Jan 21, 2009 | News
Washington, D.C., January 21, 2009 - On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order and two presidential memoranda heralding what he called a "new era of openness." Announcing a Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act to reestablish a presumption of disclosure for information requested under FOIA, President Obama said that "every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known." The FOIA Memorandum articulates a presumption of

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 5, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 5, 2009 - American Presidents from Eisenhower to George W. Bush have sought to distinguish themselves from their predecessors with sudden shifts in Middle East policy and questionable strategies that have contributed to undermining American credibility in the region, according to a new book, A World of Trouble, by veteran correspondent Patrick Tyler, a fellow of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Tyler's account begins with a raucous night of recriminations over George W.

Dec 23, 2008 | Briefing Book
Nixontapes.org and the National Security Archive are pleased to bring you the complete phone conversations of Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger as captured by the Nixon taping system. This unified, easy-to-use collection includes digital audio from the telephone switchboards of the Oval Office, Nixon’s hideaway office in the Executive Office Building, the Lincoln Sitting Room, the White House residence, and Camp David.

Dec 23, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 23, 2008 - Amidst a massive bombing campaign over North Vietnam, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon candidly shared their evident satisfaction at the “shock treatment” of American B 52s, according to a declassified transcript of their telephone conversation published for the first time today by the National Security Archive. “They dropped a million pounds of bombs,” Kissinger briefed Nixon. “A million pounds of bombs,” Nixon exclaimed.

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