30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Policy Making and Diplomacy

Oct 13, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. and Reykjavik, Iceland - President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev almost achieved a deal 20 years ago at the 1986 Reykjavik summit to abolish nuclear weapons, but the agreement would have required "an exceptional level of trust" that neither side had yet developed, according to previously secret U.S. and Soviet documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive of George Washington University and presented on October 12 in Reykjavik directly to Gorbachev and the president of Iceland.

Jul 4, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, 4 July 2006 - Forty years ago on July 4, 1966, Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark Freedom of Information Act while vacationing at his Texas ranch. But the event does not even appear on LBJ’s Daily Diary, which is the first indication (the dog that didn’t bark) that something was amiss on the Pedernales.

May 26, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, 26 May 2006 - Today the National Security Archive announces the publication of the most comprehensive collection ever assembled of the memoranda of conversations (memcons) involving Henry Kissinger, one of the most acclaimed and controversial U.S. diplomats of the second half of the 20th century.

May 25, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 25, 2006 - Today the National Security Archive is publishing the first installment of the diary of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era - Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This document is being published in English here for the first time. It is hard to overestimate the uniqueness and importance of this diary for our understanding of the end of the Cold War - and specifically for the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Apr 28, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, April 28, 2006 - Today the National Security Archive publishes for the first time 30 recently declassified U.S. government documents disclosing the existence of a highly secret policy debate, during the first year of the Nixon administration, over the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Broadly speaking, the debate was over whether it was feasible--either politically or technically--for the Nixon administration to try to prevent Israel from crossing the nuclear threshold, or whether the U.S. should find some "ground rules" which would allow it to live with a nuclear Israel.

Apr 21, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, April 21, 2006 - Last month the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) put almost 320,000 declassified cables on-line when it opened up State Department document databases from 1973 and 1974. This is significant news for researchers, because the text of declassified diplomatic cables is now retrievable on the NARA Web site. Beginning in 1973, the State Department began creating electronic systems for transmitting cables to and from U.S. embassies.

Jan 27, 2006 | News
Links Previously released PDBs Court documents Declassified CIA documents on presidential briefings Previous Postings 19 January 2006 CIA Secrecy Challenged on President's Daily Brief UC Davis Professor Appeals Lower Court Decision Withholding Two 40-Year-Old Memos to LBJ 15 July 2005 Judge Grants Immortality to Presidential Privilege Withholds Two 1960s CIA Daily Briefs to LBJ Despite Release of 35 Others With No Damage to U.S. 6 May 2005 Bush Administration Claims Presidential Privilege for LBJ Documents CIA Refuses Release of 35-year-old President's Daily Briefs 23 December 2004

Dec 14, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 14, 2005 - Secretary of State James Baker warned in 1991 that Japan's "bitter history" with the Koreas would "inhibit policy coordination," even though "Japan has important economic leverage on the North which the South will want to see used effectively" - according to a declassified cable posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive.

Nov 21, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 21, 2005 - Every work of history is not just a statement about the past, but a reflection of the era -- if not the precise year -- during which it was written. This is certainly the case with the now-declassified 1997 U.S. State Department study of the American effort to end the Bosnian war, the original version of which is now available. On November 21, 1995, the world witnessed an event that for years many believed impossible: on a secluded, wind-swept U.S. Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, the leaders of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia agreed to end a war.

Oct 26, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. October 26, 2005 - Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, who died in Moscow last week at the age of 81, was probably the best known "architect of perestroika." Soviet ambassador to Canada, then member of the Politburo and Mikhail Gorbachev's closest adviser, he could rightfully be called the "Father of Glasnost." Alexander Yakovlev rose through the Communist Party ranks to become one of the most vocal critics of the Stalinist past and a passionate advocate of democratization in the second half of the 1980s.

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