30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“An important and very revealing contribution to a better understanding of a particularly critical phase in the Cold War.  The documents provide a sense of intimacy to the complex interactions between American and Soviet decision makers as well as an insight into the internal communist debates.”

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor

“This has been an extraordinarily impressive event. I felt for the first time in this morning’s session that I understood Soviet decision-making in the Cuban missile crisis better than in any other event since 1941.” 

- Ernest R. May, Harvard University, after participation in a National Security Archive conference (1987)

“The best testimony, well organized, undeniable evidence.”

- Sabrina Gullino, daughter of disappeared parents (Argentina), on court testimony by Carlos Osorio

The Kissinger Transcripts provides a unique and fascinating look into Henry Kissinger’s personal conduct of diplomatic negotiations and diplomatic maneuver in his contacts with the leaders of China and the Soviet Union. These near-verbatim transcripts provide an unvarnished and candid record [and] the personalities and proclivities of Kissinger’s Chinese and Soviet partners come through fully. The Kissinger Transcripts is not only an important book, but a really good read.” 

- Raymond L. Garthoff, on The Kissinger Transcripts (1999)

“The National Security Archive in Washington proved, as always, to be the principal and most accessible source of declassified materials, providing information that extends well beyond the collections of the presidential libraries; Thomas Blanton and William Burr provided special help and insight.” 

- James Mann, author (2009)

"A prodigious achievement – a truly exceptional examination of perhaps the most vexing relationship in the history of U.S. foreign policy. Based on vast numbers of documents, many rarely seen before, plus firsthand interviews with nearly every one of the important participants, including Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro, Back Channel to Cuba is the equivalent of a 9' high jump when the world record is 8'04" (held since 1993, incidentally, by a Cuban). Nothing else even comes close." 

- Lars Schoultz, author, on Back Channel To Cuba (2014)

Back Channel to Cuba, William LeoGrande’s and Peter Kornbluh’s timely, comprehensive, and meticulously researched study of the ebb and flow in U.S.-Cuban relations from the beginning of the Castro era to the eve of the reopening of diplomatic ties is an enormous contribution to our understanding of this convoluted subject as Washington and Havana move to develop a new equation.”

- Inscription for The Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy, presented to Peter Kornbluh by the American Academy of Diplomacy (2015)

“Agradecimientos: Al National Security Archive (NSA) que por medio de un Convenio firmado con la Corte Suprema de Justicia, posibilitó la instalación del equipo informático y la conexión de Internet en la oficina.”

- Centro de Documentacion y Archivo Para La Defensa de los Derechos Humanos in Paraguay (2007)

“Declassified US files have revealed that an anti-communist Cuban, who has applied for asylum in the United States but is wanted by Venezuela for the bombing of a Cuban airliner 29 years ago, spent years on the CIA payroll.  CIA and FBI files, published by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, revealed US investigators believed Luis Posada Carriles was involved in the 1976 bombing plot in Venezuela of the Cubana Airlines jet in which 73 passengers died, including teenage members of a Cuban fencing team.”

- ABC News World News Tonight (2005)

“More detailed and more international examinations of these cases and new studies of others are needed.  An organization that will galvanize future research is the National Security Archive, the invaluable Washington non-profit organization that uses the Freedom of Information Act to secure the declassification of U.S. government documents.  When I interned at the Archive as a college sophomore, I had no idea how much I would later benefit from their work.”

- Samantha Power, 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning author of “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide

“Using self-promotional claims from a product web site as a way to sum up the sense of its value should be avoided, but in this instance they are pretty accurate and worth noting: “In its totality, the DNSA offers the most effective research and teaching tool available in the area of U.S. foreign policy, intelligence, and security issues during this pivotal period of 20th century history, and into the 21st century.”

- Gail Golderman & Bruce Connolly, reviewing the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) in netConnect (2008)

“All the reviewers in this roundtable laud Byrne’s book. James Hershberg considers it ‘the standard work’ on the scandal. Kyle Longley praises it as ‘the best work on the topic and likely will be for many years.’ Andrew Bacevich commends it as an ‘extraordinarily detailed account’ that will come as close as any study can to being ‘the last word’ on Iran-Contra for a long time to come. This is a roundtable, in short, in which all the reviewers agree that Byrne has written an exceptional book.”

- Chester J. Pach, Ohio University, H-Diplo review of Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal (2016)

"Nate Jones of the George Washington University’s National Security Archive has done a superlative job [in Able Archer 83] of drawing together primary-source material that paints a compelling picture of this terrifying crisis, helped considerably by the outstanding scene-setting in his colleague Tom Blanton’s foreword .... The National Security Archive has done a great service to the people of the United States and anyone who wishes to learn from its history by obtaining the release of so many highly classified documents central to this story, in particular the PFIAB Report ... This is a book that should not be missed by historians, national-security experts, or any person interested in the fate of the earth."

- Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr.

- Thomas Graham on Jones, 'Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War', Nonproliferation Review

“Journalists occasionally receive well- or not-so-well-intentioned leaks about past or present official misdeeds.  Once in a while – less so these days – a congressional investigation or a commission unearths long-buried truths about government-gone-bad.  But when it comes to consistently forcing important secrets out of the US government no journalist or investigator rivals the National Security Archive, a nonprofit outfit based at George Washington University.”

- David Corn, The Nation (2005)

“I am especially grateful for the work of the National Security Archive ... [It] is a national treasure.”

- Eric Schlosser, author

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