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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Nov > Nov 10

Secrecy News -- 11/09/01

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@fas.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 12:18:39 -0500
Fwd Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 08:23:13 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 11/09/01


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
November 9, 2001


**	INTELLIGENCE MEETS THE PUBLIC
**	JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REORGANIZES
**	MONITORING ATTORNEY-CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS
**	SENATE APPROVES INTEL SPENDING
**	BUSH ORDER DRAWS MORE CRITICISM


INTELLIGENCE MEETS THE PUBLIC

US intelligence agencies traditionally operate behind a wall of
secrecy which quite deliberately excludes the public. The clear
implication is that the public has nothing of value to
contribute to the intelligence process, and that intelligence is
none of the public's business anyway.

Remarkably, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) has been
charting a different course. The NIC, the intelligence
community component which is responsible for producing national
intelligence estimates, has embarked on a series of joint
studies with non-governmental research institutes and has
produced an impressive set of unclassified publications on
topics of broad general interest.

Last year, for example, the NIC published a report called Global
Trends 2015, which was intended to present "an integrated
picture of the world of 2015" in its various environmental,
demographic and political dimensions. See:

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/globaltrends2015/

Lately, in a further departure from the above-the-fray posture
characteristic of intelligence agencies, the NIC submitted this
work to outside review by a number of scientists,
non-governmental activists, and others, who found much to
criticize in the Global Trends report.

The review was initiated by the Environmental Change and
Security Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars, and published in the Project's latest report, together
with a response from NIC acting chairman Ellen Laipson.

NIC emerged from the experience buffeted but hardly bruised. If
anything, the exercise proved beneficial all around and tended
to validate the NIC's extraordinary openness to outside
critique.

"We have been agreeably startled and pleased by the conversation
that Global Trends 2015 has stimulated," Ms. Laipson wrote, "and
the comments from this distinguished group introduce some new
ideas and issues into the debate."

The full exchange concerning the Global Trends 2015 report is
posted (in a 1.9 MB PDF file) here:

http://ecsp.si.edu/PDF/ECSP7-commentaries.pdf

Information about requesting a hard copy edition of the complete
text of the Environmental Change and Security Project Report,
Issue Number 7, may be found here:

http://ecsp.si.edu/ecsp7.htm


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REORGANIZES

Declaring that "The fight against terrorism is now the first and
overriding priority of the Department of Justice," Attorney
General Ashcroft yesterday announced a reorganization of the
Justice Department that will redirect funding and personnel to
the counterterrorism mission.

In a November 8 memo, he identified ten goals that will guide
the reorganization. See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2001/11/ag-reorg-110801.html

In a related November 8 memo on "Prevention of Acts Threatening
Public Safety and National Security," the Attorney General
identified new initiatives in information sharing, analysis, and
interagency coordination. See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2001/11/ag-memo-110801.html


MONITORING ATTORNEY-CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS

The announcement that the Justice Department reserves the right
to monitor certain attorney-client communications in order to
prevent terrorist acts set off alarms among civil libertarians
and others since it would appear to undermine a fundamental
constitutional protection.

See "U.S. Will Monitor Calls to Lawyers" in the Washington Post
here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64663-2001Nov8.ht
ml

The new policy was published in the Federal Register on October
31 and may be found here:

http://cryptome.org/bop103101.txt


SENATE APPROVES INTEL SPENDING

The Senate yesterday unanimously approved the intelligence
authorization act for FY 2002, including a "substantial
increase" in funding reported at around 7% over the current
year. The floor debate from the Congressional Record may be
viewed here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2001_cr/s110801.html


BUSH ORDER DRAWS MORE CRITICISM

The Bush Administration continues to draw criticism for its
November 1 executive order that impedes release of historical
presidential records.

The new order "strikes the wrong balance," according to the
Washington Post. "By forcing the current administration to
defer to past presidents' wishes on secrecy, it could serve to
encumber public access to important historical material...."
See:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64939-2001Nov8.ht
ml

"While secrecy is necessary to fight a war, it is not necessary
to run the country," wrote former Nixon aide John Dean in a
column published today.

"I can assure you from firsthand experience that a President
acting secretly usually does not have the best interest of
Americans in mind." See:

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20011109.html


******************************
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

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_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood@fas.org
voice: (202) 454-4691


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