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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2003 > Dec > Dec 2

Secrecy News -- 12/02/03

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@fas.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 13:23:18 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 18:13:38 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 12/02/03


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 104
December 2, 2003


**	FUTURE OF NAVAL RESEARCH LAB IN QUESTION
**	EVERYTHING SECRET DEGENERATES
**	RESTRUCTURING DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE
**	SECURITY CLEARANCES AND EX CONS
**	CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON INTELLIGENCE
**	ACCESS TO CRS REPORTS AT ISSUE
**	SECRECY NEWS IN THE WASHINGTON POST


FUTURE OF NAVAL RESEARCH LAB IN QUESTION

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has achieved a long list of
milestones in defense technology over the past eighty years,
having developed the first U.S. radar, the world's first
intelligence satellite, prototypes of the Global Positioning
System, and a lot more.

But now the viability of NRL is threatened, scientists say, by a
quiet Navy move to transfer authority over the Lab from civilian
to military control, which they say is likely to stifle
innovation and scientific freedom.

"NRL belongs to the Navy Secretariat, and as such, it is the
only installation not controlled by the service's uniformed
officers," according to a review of the situation by an
anonymous analyst who opposes the military takeover.

Such civilian control "was [inventor] Thomas Edison's intention
from the day he urged the Navy [in 1920] to create NRL."

But now the Lab faces imminent consolidation under the newly
established Commander, Navy Installations (CNI), prompting fears
that its days as a world class research facility are numbered.

"More than facility management is being centralized at CNI.
Power is being amassed there, at the expense of Navy civilian
control," the analyst warned in a recent paper that is
circulating among concerned scientists.

"Thomas Edison would be spinning in his grave if he knew the
present course of Navy RDT&E," the analyst wrote.

The fate of NRL is of interest to scientists and technologists
far outside the U.S. Navy.

"NRL is important to all of us -- to defense industry and to
science," said Charles Townes, Nobel laureate and inventor of
the laser (and an FAS sponsor) in 1998.

The issue is explored by the anonymous critic, in detail and at
length, in "Labs Miserables: The Impending Assimilation of the
Naval Research Laboratory and the Threat to Navy
Transformation," November 17, 2003 (1.2 MB PDF file):

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/nrl.pdf

Coincidentally, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently
observed that research and development is one of the things "you
don't want to centralize excessively."

"The worst thing you could do is if you're in the research and
development business is to get everyone in the same town in the
same building going to lunch together and they all begin to
think alike.  That's the last thing you want," Rumsfeld said,
speaking at Osan Air Base in Korea on November 18.


EVERYTHING SECRET DEGENERATES

The FBI's use of murderers as informants in Boston beginning in
the 1960s was explored in a blistering report from the House
Committee on Government Reform last month, which also criticized
the Bush Administration for impeding its investigation.

Because of the FBI's indiscriminate reliance on known killers,
"men died in prison -- and spent their lives in prison -- for
crimes they did not commit," the House Committee report found.

"A number of men were murdered because they came to the
government with information incriminating informants. Government
officials also became corrupted."

Yet "throughout the Committee's investigation, it encountered an
institutional reluctance to accept oversight."

"The Committee's investigation was delayed for months by
President Bush's assertion of executive privilege over a number
of key documents.  While the Committee was ultimately able to
obtain access to the documents it needed, the President's
privilege claim was regrettable and unnecessary," the report
said.

See "Everything Secret Degenerates: The FBI's Use of Murderers
as Informants," published by the House Committee on Government
Reform, November 21:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_rpt/index.html#fbi


RESTRUCTURING DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE

The responsibilities and functions of the Under Secretary of
Defense for Intelligence, a new position established this year
and currently filled by Stephen Cambone, are outlined in a May
8, 2003 memorandum from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz, which is now available here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/usdi.pdf


SECURITY CLEARANCES AND EX CONS

It might seem reasonable to presume that a person who has been
convicted of a crime and sentenced to more than a year in jail
would be ineligible to be granted a security clearance.

Yet when such a presumption is turned into a statutory
prohibition, unintended consequences follow.

The so-called Smith Amendment, which was enacted in the FY2001
defense authorization act, bars certain convicted criminals from
ever holding a security clearance, even decades after
incarceration.

And it is now wreaking havoc in the national security workforce,
according to attorney Sheldon I. Cohen, a specialist in security
clearance practice and procedures.

"The Smith Amendment has caused individuals who have served
their country faithfully and meritoriously to lose their
clearances and their jobs twenty to thirty years after having
paid their debt to society for committing minor crimes," he
wrote.

"The effect on the national defense has been far more serious,"
he added.  "People in critical positions whose skills and
knowledge are virtually irreplaceable are being forced out even
though they have had a clearance for many years. It is
jeopardizing our submarine and aircraft industries where every
craftsman, welder and electrician must have a clearance."

"Instead of strengthening our national defense, the Smith
Amendment has put it at risk."

In a recent publication, Mr. Cohen urged concerned parties to
press for repeal of the Smith Amendment.  See his "Smith
Amendment Alert!":

http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/smithamend.pdf


CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON INTELLIGENCE

The Senate approved the conference report on the FY 2004
intelligence authorization act on November 21.  Senator Richard
Shelby inserted into the record an exchange of letters outlining
the functions of the new Office of Intelligence and Analysis
within the Department of the Treasury.  See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/s112103.html

Several members of the House of Representatives expressed their
disapproval of the 2004 intelligence authorization (which passed
the House on November 20) in statements for the record on
November 22-23.

"What most concerns me about this conference report [is] the
stealth addition of language drastically expanding FBI powers to
secretly and without court order snoop into the business and
financial transactions of American citizens," said Rep. Ron Paul
(R-TX).  See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/h112203.html

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) likewise addressed "this
Administration's secret efforts to further expand secret powers
of the FBI" in a November 20 floor speech:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/s112003.html

A bill to establish an independent, bipartisan commission on
intelligence and the Iraq war was reintroduced by Sen. Jon
Corzine (D-NJ).

He said such a commission "is necessary because Administration
officials misused intelligence--that is, they made public
statements and submitted reports to Congress that the
Administration knew at the time to be unsupported by the
available intelligence. And it is necessary because inaccurate
and misused intelligence played a role in leading us to war."

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/s1946.html


ACCESS TO CRS REPORTS AT ISSUE

Several members of Congress, led by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-
 CT), introduced a bill to enhance public access to reports of
the Congressional Research Service.  See the "Congressional
Research Accessibility Act" (HR 3630), introduced November 21,
here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2003/hr3630.html

See also "Lawmakers revive fight to get research reports online"
by Ted Leventhal, National Journal's Technology Daily, November
24:

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1103/112403t1.htm

A new selection of CRS reports on "continuity of government" --
 which refers to the assured functioning of constitutional
government following catastrophe or natural disaster -- is now
available here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html#cog

Additional CRS resources are being gathered and posted by
TheMemoryHole.org here:

http://www.thememoryhole.org/crs/more-reports/


SECRECY NEWS IN THE WASHINGTON POST

Rapidly approaching my sixteenth minute, I was profiled last
week in the Washington Post.  See "One Man Against Secrecy" by
Dana Priest, November 26:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14488-2003Nov25.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