National Security Archive

National Security Archive http://www.nsarchive.org http://nsarchive.wordpress.com Challenging government secrecy, informing the public debate through access to declassified documents, ensuring government accountability, and defending the right to know in the US and abroad.
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The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at the George Washington University that collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive is a leading advocate for government openness and the right to know in the United States and around the world.

The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at the George Washington University that collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive is a leading advocate for government openness and the right to know in the United States and around the world.

Mission: Challenging government secrecy, informing the public debate through access to declassified documents, ensuring government accountability, and defending the right to know in the US and abroad.

Operating as usual

The CIA and Chile: Anatomy of an Assassination-Chile Marks 50th Anniversary of Assassination of Chilean Commander-in-Chi...
10/22/2020
The CIA and Chile: Anatomy of an Assassination

The CIA and Chile: Anatomy of an Assassination

-Chile Marks 50th Anniversary of Assassination of Chilean Commander-in-Chief, General René Schneider
- '60 Minutes' Posts Dramatic Exposé on Henry Kissinger’s Role and Schneider Family Lawsuit
- Schneider’s Murder: “a stain on the pages of contemporary history”

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/chile/2020-10-22/cia-chile-anatomy-assassination

Washington D.C., October 22, 2020 - On October 23, 1970, one day after armed thugs intercepted and mortally wounded the Chilean army commander-in-chief, General Rene Schneider, as he drove to work in Santiago, CIA Director Richard Helms convened his top aides to review the covert coup operations tha...

Reconnaissance Flights and U.S.-China RelationsU.S. Aircraft Landings on Hainan Island, 1970 and 2001 “Regrets,” But No ...
10/19/2020
Reconnaissance Flights and U.S.-China Relations

Reconnaissance Flights and U.S.-China Relations
U.S. Aircraft Landings on Hainan Island, 1970 and 2001
“Regrets,” But No Apologies

Over the years, aerial and naval encounters have threatened to destabilize U.S-China relations as the two powers contest each other's rights in international airspace and waters. A major incident occurred on 31 March 2001 (Washington time) when a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft made an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island after a Chinese People’s Liberation Air Force aircraft collided with it in international airspace, some 62 miles from Hainan. Today, the National Security Archive is publishing for the first time “talking points” and position papers justifying the U.S. position in the EP-3 crisis prepared for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The documents are part of a release of Rumsfeld “snowflakes” acquired through an Archive lawsuit against the Pentagon.

Get the rest here: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/china/2020-10-16/reconnaissance-flights-us-china-relations

Washington, D.C., October 16, 2020 - Over the years, aerial and naval encounters have threatened to destabilize U.S-China relations as the two powers contest each other's rights in international airspace and waters. A major incident occurred on 31 March 2001 (Washington time) when a U.S. EP-3 reconn...

Six Years On, Ayotzinapa Investigations AdvanceNational Security Archive Partners with Reveal from The Center for Invest...
09/29/2020
Six Years On, Ayotzinapa Investigations Advance

Six Years On, Ayotzinapa Investigations Advance

National Security Archive Partners with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting on FOIA Litigation

https://unredacted.com/2020/09/29/six-years-on-ayotzinapa-investigations-advance/

National Security Archive Partners with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting on FOIA Litigation by Megan DeTura As Mexico marks the sixth anniversary of the tragic disappearance of 43…

In Memoriam: Yuri Federovich Orlov, 1924-2020-Mourning a Giant of Physics and Human Rights- Founder of Moscow Helsinki G...
09/28/2020
In Memoriam: Yuri Federovich Orlov, 1924-2020

In Memoriam: Yuri Federovich Orlov, 1924-2020
-Mourning a Giant of Physics and Human Rights
- Founder of Moscow Helsinki Group, Orlov Proposed “Glasnost” almost 15 Years Before Gorbachev

The National Security Archive mourns the death of our friend and inspiration, the human rights legend and distinguished physicist Yuri Orlov. Founder of the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976, Yuri Federovich passed away on September 27 at the age of 96.

The Archive’s tribute to Yuri Orlov, published on the Web today, features an extensive collection of formerly secret Soviet and U.S. documents on Orlov’s courageous career as a Soviet dissident, including his historic 1956 speech at his physics institute in Moscow, the text of his legendary “Thirteen Questions to Brezhnev” where he proposed “glasnost” 15 years before Gorbachev, and KGB reports on his leadership of the Moscow Helsinki Group.

The posting also includes Orlov's complete publications list as an active research physicist, his 2009 Vernon Hughes Memorial Lecture at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and video of Orlov's White House meeting with President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

The documents include detailed KGB, Communist Party Central Committee and Politburo documents, together with parallel CIA and White House assessments, that suggest how courageous human rights activism by leading Soviet scientists like Orlov as early as 1956 fundamentally threatened the repressive Soviet system while setting the stage for the late 1980s perestroika/glasnost period that ended the Cold War.

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2020-09-28/mourning-yuri-orlov-giant-human-rights-physics

Washington, D.C., September 28, 2020 – The National Security Archive mourns the death of our friend and inspiration, the human rights legend and distinguished physicist Yuri Orlov. Founder of the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976, Yuri Federovich passed away on September 27 at the age of 96. The Archi...

The Bolton Book Saga: Anatomy of a White House Cover-Up- Former NSC Classification Specialist Reveals How Trump Official...
09/24/2020
The Bolton Book Saga: Anatomy of a White House Cover-Up

The Bolton Book Saga: Anatomy of a White House Cover-Up
- Former NSC Classification Specialist Reveals How Trump Officials Hijacked Pre-Publication Review
- Ellen Knight Court Filing Contrasts Professional Review with Political Pressure to Falsify Claims of Classification

When White House lawyers tried to block publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, The Room Where it Happened, a National Security Council classification specialist confronted them, suggesting they were only intervening "because the most powerful man in the world said that it needed to happen," according to a revealing court filing this week in the continuing saga of the Bolton book. The court document asserts that in response, "several [attorneys] registered their agreement with that diagnosis of the situation.”

Today, the National Security Archive is posting the filing along with key court records relating to the underlying case of United States of America v. John R. Bolton.

The filing, which was submitted on behalf of former NSC official Ellen Knight, who spent four months earlier this year rigorously reviewing the manuscript for publication, describes in detail how her professional determination that the book no longer contained classified information was overruled by a subsequent, secret review conducted by a Trump political appointee with no experience with the prepublication review process.

Read the rest here: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/foia/2020-09-24/bolton-book-saga-anatomy-of-a-white-house-cover-up

Washington, D.C., September 24, 2020 - When White House lawyers tried to block publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, The Room Where it Happened, a National Security Council classification specialist confronted them, suggesting they were only intervening "because the m...

The U.S. Nuclear Presence in Western Europe, 1954-1962, Part IISoon after John F. Kennedy became president, he read a se...
09/16/2020
The U.S. Nuclear Presence in Western Europe, 1954-1962, Part II

The U.S. Nuclear Presence in Western Europe, 1954-1962, Part II

Soon after John F. Kennedy became president, he read a secret report by a congressional committee that raised questions about the safety and security of recent U.S. nuclear weapons dispersals to NATO that were so troubling he wondered “whether our weapons control actually conformed to law.” The report had suggested that U.S. custody arrangements for such weapons were too weak and cited the dangers of accidental detonation and vulnerability to seizure by coup plotters. The National Security Archive is publishing the report on Kennedy’s statement today for the first time.

Today’s Electronic Briefing Book follows up a recent posting on the development of U.S. stockpile plans for NATO – an issue that has become controversial – by documenting early concern about the degree of U.S. control of nuclear weapons and the Kennedy administration’s decision-making on the application of electronic locks – Permissive Action Links [PALs] – to nuclear armaments dispersed to NATO allies for wartime use. In this way, the White House sought to tighten control over the weapons to reduce the threat of unauthorized use.

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/nuclear-vault/2020-09-16/us-nuclear-presence-western-europe-1954-1962-part-ii

Washington, D.C., September 16, 2020 – The NATO nuclear stockpile arrangements that have persisted since the Cold War were initially negotiated during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, facilitating the controversial nuclear sharing arrangements with the allies. The deployments, begun in ...

NEW: ‘Extreme Option: Overthrow Allende’On September 15, 1970, during a twenty-minute meeting in the Oval Office between...
09/15/2020
‘Extreme Option: Overthrow Allende’

NEW: ‘Extreme Option: Overthrow Allende’

On September 15, 1970, during a twenty-minute meeting in the Oval Office between 3:25 pm and 3:45 pm, President Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to foment a military coup in Chile. According to handwritten notes taken by CIA Director Richard Helms, Nixon issued explicit instructions to prevent the newly elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, from being inaugurated in November—or to create conditions to overthrow him if he did assume the presidency. “1 in 10 chance, perhaps, but save Chile.” “Not concerned [about] risks involved,” Helms jotted in his notes as the President demanded regime change in the South American nation that had become the first in the world to freely elect a Socialist candidate. “Full time job—best men we have.” “Make the economy scream.”

Read the rest here: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/chile/2020-09-15/extreme-option-overthrow-allende

Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020 – On September 15, 1970, during a twenty-minute meeting in the Oval Office between 3:25 pm and 3:45 pm, President Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to foment a military coup in Chile. According to handwritten notes taken by CIA Director Richard Helms, Nixon issued ...

UPDATE: "GUILTY": Justice for the Jesuits in El Salvador- Spanish Court holds Col. Montano Accountable for Jesuit Massac...
09/11/2020
"GUILTY": Justice for the Jesuits in El Salvador

UPDATE: "GUILTY": Justice for the Jesuits in El Salvador
- Spanish Court holds Col. Montano Accountable for Jesuit Massacre
- National Security Archive Hails Verdict in Jesuit Case
- Universal Jurisdiction Used to Convict Salvadoran Officer of State Terror
https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/human-rights/2020-07-10/justice-jesuits?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=5d01b36c-0d85-4342-9797-33b622bfc30e

Sep 11, 2020 Update Washington D.C., September 11, 2020 – In a highly-anticipated, and long-awaited ruling, the National Court of Spain today convicted a retired Salvadoran military colonel for acts of state terrorism and murder in the assassination of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her...

NEW: Inside the Gorbachev-Bush “Partnership” on the First Gulf War 1990- New Documents Show Soviet Leader Scrambling to ...
09/10/2020
Inside the Gorbachev-Bush “Partnership” on the First Gulf War 1990

NEW: Inside the Gorbachev-Bush “Partnership” on the First Gulf War 1990
- New Documents Show Soviet Leader Scrambling to Stay in Sync with Americans, But Ultimately Aiming for Non-Use of Force
- Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait 30 Years Ago Posed First Test for Post-Cold War Superpower Cooperation
- Soviet transcripts of Gorbachev conversations with Mitterrand, Cheney, Baker, and Saudis published for the first time in English
https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2020-09-09/inside-gorbachev-bush-partnership-first-gulf-war-1990

Washington, D.C., September 9, 2020 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev quickly decided that joint action with the United States was the most important course for the USSR in dealing with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait 30 years ago, rather than the long-standing Soviet-Iraq alliance, and buil...

“Allende Wins”- Chile Marks 50th Anniversary of Salvador Allende’s Election- Declassified Records Capture U.S. Reaction ...
09/04/2020
“Allende Wins”

“Allende Wins”
- Chile Marks 50th Anniversary of Salvador Allende’s Election
- Declassified Records Capture U.S. Reaction to First Free Election of a Socialist Leader
- September 4, 1970, Historic Vote Prompted Nixon/Kissinger Regime Change Effort
https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/chile/2020-09-04/allende-wins

Washington D.C., September 4, 2020 – “Chile voted calmly to have a Marxist-Leninist state, the first nation in the world to make this choice freely and knowingly,” U.S. Ambassador Edward Korry dramatically reported to Washington in a cable titled “Allende Wins” on September 4, 1970.

NEW: The Friends of “El Viejo”: Declassified Records Detail Suspected Paramilitary, Narco Ties of Former Colombian Presi...
08/31/2020
The Friends of “El Viejo”: Declassified Records Detail Suspected Paramilitary, Narco Ties of Former Colombian President Uribe

NEW: The Friends of “El Viejo”: Declassified Records Detail Suspected Paramilitary, Narco Ties of Former Colombian President Uribe

-Rumsfeld Told “Uribe almost certainly had dealings with the paramilitaries”

-Colombian Congressman Described Nature of Uribe-Paramilitary Links in Antioquia

Under house arrest in a case linking him to a feared paramilitary bloc, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, perhaps the most important political figure in Colombian history, finds his legacy hanging in the balance. Declassified documents published today reveal new details about his suspected links to narcotraffickers and the paramilitary groups who called him “El Viejo.”

One memo from 2004 shows that a top Pentagon deputy told Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that "Uribe almost certainly had dealings with the paramilitaries" during the period at issue in the current case. The document is the first declassified evidence available that concerns about Uribe's presumed paramilitary ties reached the highest levels of the Defense Department.

Read the rest here: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/colombia/2020-08-31/friends-el-viejo-declassified-records-detail-suspected-paramilitary-narco-ties-former-colombian

Washington, D.C., August 31, 2020 – Under house arrest in a case linking him to a feared paramilitary bloc, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, perhaps the most important political figure in Colombian history, finds his legacy hanging in the balance.

NEW-Declassification at the Pentagon: The Good, the Bad, and the UglyIn *another* example of a dysfunctional classificat...
08/13/2020

NEW-Declassification at the Pentagon: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
In *another* example of a dysfunctional classification regime, Joint Staff redacts much of a document that has been available in the FRUS since 1996.
What needs to be done since the DOD is unlikely to improve despite Congressional mandates to reduce backlog and improve declassification? One option is to give the National Archives and Records Administration authority to declassify historic documents.
Here's more: https://unredacted.com/2020/08/13/declassification-at-the-pentagon-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

- The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II- Extensive Compilation of Primary Source Documents Explores Manhattan Proj...
08/04/2020
The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II

- The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II

- Extensive Compilation of Primary Source Documents Explores Manhattan Project, Eisenhower’s Early Misgivings about First Nuclear Use, Curtis LeMay and the Firebombing of Tokyo, Debates over Japanese Surrender Terms, Atomic Targeting Decisions, and Lagging Awareness of Radiation Effects

To mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the National Security Archive is updating and reposting one of its most popular e-books of the past 25 years.

While U.S. leaders hailed the bombings at the time and for many years afterwards for bringing the Pacific war to an end and saving untold thousands of American lives, that interpretation has since been seriously challenged. Moreover, ethical questions have shrouded the bombings which caused terrible human losses and in succeeding decades fed a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union and now Russia and others.

Three-quarters of a century on, Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain emblematic of the dangers and human costs of warfare, specifically the use of nuclear weapons. Since these issues will be subjects of hot debate for many more years, the Archive has once again refreshed its compilation of declassified U.S. government documents and translated Japanese records that first appeared on these pages in 2005.

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/nuclear-vault/2020-08-04/atomic-bomb-end-world-war-ii?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=b022354b-1d64-4879-8878-c9fc1317b2b1

This week in FOIA and open government news: -GSA Hides Trump Transition Meeting Notes with FOIA’s Ex. 5;- Former CIA Dir...
07/30/2020
GSA Hides Trump Transition Meeting Notes with FOIA’s Ex. 5, New DHS Guidance Expands Surveillance of Social Justice Protesters, and More: FRINFORMSUM 7/30/2020

This week in FOIA and open government news:
-GSA Hides Trump Transition Meeting Notes with FOIA’s Ex. 5;
- Former CIA Director Brennan Denied Official Records;
-New DHS Guidance Expands Surveillance of Social Justice Protesters.
Get these stories and more on the National Security Archive's blog, Unredacted:
https://unredacted.com/2020/07/30/gsa-hides-trump-transition-meeting-notes-with-foias-ex-5-new-dhs-guidance-expands-surveillance-of-social-justice-protesters-and-more-frinformsum-7-30-2020/

Trump Administration Redacts Transition Meeting Notes Thanks to the 2015 Presidential Transitions Improvement Act amendments to the 1963 Presidential Transition Act, each presidential administratio…

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