30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Testimonials

“Carlos Osorio keeps records in his office that many people would kill to have.  They are intelligence documents that reveal kidnappings, assassinations, tortures, and massacres of the recent past.  … If Osorio has these it is because he works at the National Security Archive, an organization that investigates international issues drawing on confidential documents freed from the government of the United States.  ...In ten years of work he has found that one really can never get used to uncovering the face of infamy.”

- El Comercio (Peru), (2005)

“It is the first time that senior officers have faced justice for crimes committed during a 36-year ‘dirty war’ against left-wing guerrillas that left 200,000 dead, most of them killed by the army …. For the first time, the army’s order of battle and methods are being revealed in public.  This evidence has been pieced together from declassified American documents by Kate Doyle, an analyst at the National Security Archive, an NGO in Washington DC, who has been called as a prosecution witness.”

- The Economist (2002)

“A nice trove of documents was declassified and made public yesterday by the invaluable National Security Archive of George Washington University.”

- Michael Tomasky, in The Daily Beast (2012)

For “outstanding collections of primary source materials in the fields of international or diplomatic history, especially those distinguished by the inclusion of commentary designed to interpret the documents and set them within their historical context.”  

- Text of Arthur S. Link-Warren F. Kuehl Prize for Documentary Editing for the book Masterpieces of History (2011)

“The conference held at the Musgrove plantation on Georgia’s southeast coast in 1998 illuminated one of the most important periods in 20th century history: the liberation of the countries in Eastern Europe from Soviet control .... The National Security Archive rendered a service to historians and the public as a whole when it gathered declassified source material from both Soviet and American archives and invited scholars and several former officials to examine the historical evidence, comment on it, and discuss its implications .... The National Security Archive has once again helped us reach a more reliable understanding of the past in order better to deal with the problems of the present, and of the future.”

- Jack F. Matlock, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow (1998)

“Among the world’s document buffs – a small but tenacious tribe of journalists, researchers and historians – the archive is legendary for its prolific and skillful practice of the art of the FOIA request.  ‘They craft the best FOIA requests around,’ says [Daniel] Metcalfe, the archive’s former adversary [at the Justice Department], who is now a law professor at American University.  ‘If anybody does it better, I haven’t seen it.’”

- Peter Carlson, The Washington Post, (2008)

“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)

“In this brilliant and disturbing book [Becoming Enemies], America’s foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran in the 1980s is told, for the first time, from deep inside the U.S. decision making apparatus of the Carter and Reagan administrations. It is a sobering tale of Washington’s misperceptions, ignorance and arrogance drawing on newly declassified documentation and oral testimony from key participants, who struggle to come to grips with how and why the U.S. rallied behind one of the twentieth century’s most brutal despots, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, in his war with Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, thereby sowing the seeds of bitter U.S.-Iranian enmity that exists to this day.”

- Patrick Tyler, author and former correspondent for The New York Times and The Washington Post (2012)

“[Peter Kornbluh's] column has highlighted for the profession of journalism in Chile the investigative value of archives and documents, and the need for vigilance and control over their declassification, as well as the need for a normal process of public release with fewer documents being classified as ‘secret.’”

- Monica Gonzalez, Executive Editor, Diario Siete (Chile) (2005)

“A pioneering and illuminating assessment of the role and influence of secret intelligence in the twentieth century which contains much of importance that more conventional histories of international relations leave out.” 

- Christopher Andrew, on A Century of Spies (1995)

“The work that you have done is immaculate. We thank you very much for all you have done and are doing for the cause of human rights.”  

- Walter De Leon, lawyer in the case against former Uruguayan President Bordaberry, to Carlos Osorio

“The National Security Archive's Nuclear Vault is an essential resource for scholars and policymakers interested in nuclear weapons and nonproliferation.  There is no collection of documents and other information that is more extensive, better curated and accessible than the Nuclear Vault.  Indeed, the Vault is a "single point of failure" -- our community could not replace a resource of such quality and depth.” 

- Jeffrey Lewis, New America Foundation

“‘No one will be able to write the same way’ about Cuban-Soviet relations.”

- Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education after taking part in a National Security Archive conference in Havana (2002)

"‘This thing about eyeball-to-eyeball, it never was. That confrontation never took place,’ said Kornbluh, who is a Cuba analyst at the nongovernment National Security Archive, which has spent decades working to get missile crisis documents declassified.”

- Peter Orsi, Associated Press (2012)

“I can't do anything but applaud this project ... Anything that can be done to educate people, all the better.”

- Former CIA Director Richard Helms on the National Security Archive, quoted in USA Today (1987)

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