30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Policy Making and Diplomacy

Nov 4, 2010 | News
Washington D.C., November 4, 2010 – President Obama’s new Executive Order on “Controlled Unclassified Information” issued today builds on recommendations from open government groups and the findings of the National Security Archive’s 2006 audit of “Pseudo-Secrets” that uncovered 28 different and uncoordinated policies on marking and restricting official unclassified information.

Oct 1, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 1, 2010 – Contrary to statements by President George W. Bush or Prime Minister Tony Blair, declassified records from both governments posted on the Web today reflect an early and focused push to prepare war plans and enlist allies regardless of conflicting intelligence about Iraq’s threat and the evident difficulties in garnering global support.

Sep 22, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 22, 2010 – Following instructions from President George W. Bush to develop an updated war plan for Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered CENTCOM Commander Gen. Tommy Franks in November 2001 to initiate planning for the “decapitation” of the Iraqi government and the empowerment of a “Provisional Government” to take its place. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and President George W. Bush.  (Source: Department of Defense)

May 30, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 30, 2010 - A highly confidential U.S. overture to Iran in summer 1999 foundered because the intelligence community and FBI believed members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) had a role in the infamous Khobar Towers bombing of June 1996, and because U.S. officials overestimated the Iranian president’s ability to manage the sensitive matter of U.S. relations within Iran’s power structure, according to newly declassified documents.

May 25, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2010 - Today the National Security Archive publishes its fifth installment of the diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, the man who was behind some of the most momentous transformations in Soviet foreign policy at the end of the 1980s in his role as Mikhail Gorbachev's chief foreign policy aide. In addition to his contributions to perestroika and new thinking, Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev was and remains a strong proponent of openness and transparency, providing his diaries and notes to historians trying to understand the end of the Cold War.

Apr 14, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 14, 2010 - Anatoly Fedorovich Dobrynin--the former Soviet Ambassador to the United States who served under five Soviet leaders and six U.S. Presidents, and was a long-time academic partner of the National Security Archive, died on April 6, 2010, in Moscow. Mr. Dobrynin became Soviet envoy to Washington in the critical year 1962.

Apr 10, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, April 10, 2010 - Only five days before a car bomb planted by agents of the Pinochet regime rocked downtown Washington D.C. on September 21, 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger rescinded instructions sent to, but never implemented by, U.S. ambassadors in the Southern Cone to warn military leaders there against orchestrating "a series of international murders," declassified documents obtained and posted by the National Security Archive revealed today.

Feb 2, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 2, 2010 - Twenty-nine years ago today, less than two weeks after his inauguration, President Ronald Reagan rolled out the welcome mat at the White House for South Korean president and strongman Chun Doo Hwan, despite internal U.S. government concerns about Chun's poor human rights record. Over the previous year, Chun's regime had brutally suppressed the Kwangju student protests and thrown dissident leader Kim Dae Jung into prison.

Dec 10, 2009 | Briefing Book
"Each side took steps to ensure its own security which the other in turn perceived as threatening its security." -- Raymond L. Garthoff (Note 1) Washington, D.C., December 10, 2009 - Thirty years ago, on 12 December 1979, NATO defense and foreign ministers made a landmark decision designed to unify the alliance, but which also contributed to the collapse of dйtente and helped provide an agenda for the end of the Cold War. On the anniversary of the NATO "dual-track" decision that linked deployments of U.S.

Nov 18, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 18, 2009 - Secret messages from senior Soviet officials to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl after the fall of the Berlin Wall led directly to Kohl's famous "10 Points" speech on German unification, but the speech produced shock in both Moscow and Washington, according to documents from Soviet, German and American files posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive. Published for the first time in English in the Archive's forthcoming book, "Masterpieces of History," the documents include highest-level conversations between President George H.W.

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