In 2013, NBC
did a very popular story on the “Secret” CIA Museum inside the agency’s
compound. Here is an excerpt from their article, followed by the online video

“coolest museum you’ll never see” has a new piece de resistance – the gun found
next to the body of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan when Navy SEALs killed him in a
midnight raid.

AK-47 is a recent addition to a collection that’s among the toughest tickets in
the country for museumgoers. Tucked into various hallways at CIA headquarters
in Langley, Va., the museum displays the gadgets, artifacts and trophies of 70
years of spycraft, from World War II through the War on Terror. The museum
is closed to the public and is only visited by employees and invited guests. It
is rare for cameras to be allowed in.

Russian-made assault rifle, identified on a simple brass plaque as “Osama bin
Laden’s AK-47,” shares a glass case with an al Qaeda training manual found in
Afghanistan soon after 9/11.

Intrigued by
the story, and what it would take to have NBC film their piece there, I filed a
FOIA request to the CIA in 2013. I requested, specifically, the following:

All documents, electronic or
otherwise, generated about this trip. This includes correspondence via email,
postal mail, etc., about the visit by NBC News.

All documents, electronic or
otherwise, that are given to visitors of the museum. This includes any tour
guides, pamphlets, rules, etc.

All documents, electronic or
otherwise, that instruct CIA employees on how to visit the museum, how to
invite friends, etc.

It took
until January of 2016 to get the documents released to me. They are available

Some key
points about these documents:

  • It
    showed there was concern that the original NBV story would increase/surge
    the number of incoming FOIA requests.
  • A
    donor (redacted) objected to his stuff being in the story, so they kept
    the NBC crew out of the Cold War room. Wonder why?
  • They
    compiled Tweets on Twitter and made a huge document with them that
    mentioned the CIA Museum. Looks like over 1300.  In other words —
    they are WATCHING!

Original NBC News Story

Declassified Documents

/ CIA Correspondence and Documents Relating to the CIA Museum Story
Pages, 18.8MB]