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The National Security Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-governmental, non-profit research and archival institution located within The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1985 by Scott Armstrong, it archives and publishes declassified U.S. government files concerning selected topics of American foreign policy. The Archive collects and analyzes the documents of many various government institutions obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive then selects documents to be published in the form of manuscripts and microfiche as well as made available through their website, which receives a half-million downloads daily. According to a Washington Post feature story, the Archive files roughly 2,000 FOIA requests annually, collecting about 75,000 documents. The Archive appealed 549 FOIA decisions in 2006, and has filed more than 40 lawsuits to obtain compliance with its requests.[1]

The Archive operates under an advisory board which is directed by Tom Blanton and is overseen by a board of directors. The Archive's research was awarded in late 2005 by winning an Emmy Award for its work on the documentary, Declassified: Nixon in China. More recently, the Archive uncovered a secret reclassification program operating since 1999.[1] This program was underway to reclassify documents related to American foreign policy during the 1940s and 1950s, at the National Archives and Records Administration. The materials in question had all been declassified during the Clinton administration.

From 1985 until 1998, the Fund for Peace, Inc. was the archive's fiscal sponsor. Among the Archive's more prominent institutional supporters today are the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Freedom Forum, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Congressional Quarterly, and Cox Enterprises. The Archive receives funding from these and other, organizations via their donations to the National Security Archive Fund, established in order to administer the Archive's finances.

On October 1, 2007, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly reversed George Bush on archive secrecy, (38-page) ruling that the U.S. Archivist's reliance on the executive order to delay release of the papers of former presidents is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law." National Security Archives, at George Washington University alleged that the Bush order severely slowed or prevented the release of historic presidential papers. [2]

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