30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Policy Making and Diplomacy

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.

Nov 12, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., November 12, 2008 - The Obama administration can act quickly after taking office in January to reverse the secrecy trend of the last eight years and restore openness in the executive branch, according to a set of new proposals posted online today by the National Security Archive.

Nov 10, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., November 10, 2008 - A court ruled today that the National Security Archive may proceed with its effort to force the White House to recover millions of Bush Administration Executive Office of the President (EOP) e-mail records before the presidential transition.

Nov 5, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., November 5, 2008 - In a striking rebuke to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Judge Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday rejected the CIA’s view that it—and not journalists—has the right to determine which Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are newsworthy.

Oct 31, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., October 31, 2008 - In an opinion issued today in a case brought by the National Security Archive, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the United States District Court for the District of the Columbia ordered the Department of Justice to submit several legal opinions issued by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel for in camera review.

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