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Remembering an Archive Hero

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The National Security Archive is an independent U.S. NGO that founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars to check rising government secrecy. The Archive has been instrumental in uncovering “classified” govt info on U.S. covert activities, policies abroad and at home. They have also done a great deal of work on Guatemala, including analysis and dissemination of the secret National Police Archive.

Following is a post to the National Security Archive’s UNREDACTED blog – a wonderful blog that I highly recommend to anyone interested in U.S. foreign policy – about William Worthy, a founder of their institution.


William Worthy and Premier Zhou Enlai in Beijing in 1957. Credit Boston Globe Staff William Worthy and Premier Zhou Enlai in Beijing in 1957. Credit Boston Globe Staff

William Worthy, a foreign correspondent who travelled to –and reported from– locations the US government did not want him to go, died this month at the age of 92.

Worthy traveled to places like the Soviet Union, Cuba, and China because he believed Americans “have a right to know what’s going on in the world in their name,” and it would be difficult to exaggerate his contributions both to investigative journalism and the founding of the National Security Archive.

Worthy’s intrepid reporting made him the subject of a landmark federal case concerning travel rights. He is perhaps most famous for his 1961 arrest after returning to the US from Cuba where he interviewed Fidel Castro. Upon return he was arrested, not for illegally traveling to Cuba, but for re-entering the US without a passport, which the…

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