Secrecy News

New FRUS Volume Declassified After Four Year Review

The latest volume of the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series documents U.S. Mideast policy before, during and immediately after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.  It was published this month following a four year declassification review that lasted from 2006 to 2010.

Among numerous topics of historic and current interest, the 1200 page volume (pdf) touches glancingly on the issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

“Do Egypt and Israel have the capability to make nuclear weapons?” asked Sen. Mike Mansfield at a November 27, 1973 White House meeting (page 993).  “Israel has the capability to make small numbers,” answered Henry Kissinger.  “Not Egypt.”  (This exchange was also noted by Amir Oren in Ha’aretz on July 22).

The late Admiral Noel A. Gayler, the former NSA director and advocate of nuclear disarmament who died July 14, is included on the list of “Persons” in the new FRUS volume though his name does not appear elsewhere in the text.