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A full-text collection of declassified U. S. government documents.
Documents declassified via the Freedom of Information Act and regular declassification requests, make broad-based and highly targeted investigation of government documents possible. Nearly every major foreign and domestic event of these years is covered. Includes correspondence and memoranda, minutes of cabinet meetings, technical studies, national security policy statements and intelligence reports.
Indexes declassified documents spanning fifty years of US national security policy. [1945 - present]
Also includes a chronology, glossary of names, events, special terms, and a bibliography for each collection developed around a specific event, controversy, or policy decision.
Department of State FOIA Reading Room
Collection consists of releasable documents on subjects which have been frequently requested by the public through Freedom of Information Act requests. Topics range from Amelia Earhart to State Chile and El Salvador
National Security Archive
From George Washington University. Provides online access to critical declassified records on issues including U.S. national security, foreign policy, diplomatic and military history, and intelligence policy. While it does not include all the resources in the Digital National Security Archive listed above, the Electronic Briefing Books are comprehensive. Also produces Unredacted, a blog highlighting news about declassified documents.
Making a Freedom of Information Act Request
Despite all the information produced by the federal government, there are times when you cannot find what you need. Sometimes you need to ask the government to make information, however classified, available to you as a member of the public. Luckily there is a formalized process to possibly obtain such information using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). While making a FOIA request is not difficult, understanding what is exempt from FOIA will provide for a successful experience. FOIA only applies to executive agencies (agencies and departments that report to the President--Congress and the Federal Courts are exempt from FOIA). The following will help guide you through the process of conducting a FOIA request.
Keep in mind that each agency's website has specific instructions on how and where to submit a FOIA request. Searching FOIA on the agency's site will retrieve this information. Some agencies also publish their most requested documents online, such as the CIA's FOIA Reading Room.