UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2003 > Dec > Dec 9

Re: Secrecy News -- 12/09/03 - Aftergood

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@fas.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 12:24:19 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2003 16:00:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Secrecy News -- 12/09/03 - Aftergood


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 106
December 9, 2003


**MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT IRAQ'S ALUMINUM TUBES
**ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN A TIME OF CRISIS
**NAVY MEMO ON FISA
**CRS ON TERRORIST MOTIVATIONS
**SUPPORT SECRECY NEWS


MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT IRAQ'S ALUMINUM TUBES

The discovery three years ago that Iraq was seeking to procure
thousands of aluminum tubes was promptly interpreted by the
Central Intelligence Agency as a sign that Saddam Hussein was
pursuing uranium enrichment centrifuge technology for a
reconstituted Iraqi nuclear weapons program.

That assessment, leaked to the press and uncritically reported,
helped bolster the Bush Administration case for war against
Iraq.

But now all indications are that the CIA assessment was wrong,
according to David Albright, president of the Institute for
Science and International Security (ISIS), who has authored a
detailed review of the aluminum tube controversy.

"Since the fall of Baghdad last spring, no evidence has emerged
that Iraq planned to use the aluminum tubes in centrifuges.
Despite months of searching, the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) has
not found any link between the tubes and a gas centrifuge
program," Albright wrote.

Albright traces the development of the aluminum tube story from
its earliest beginnings to the latest equivocations on the
matter by David Kay of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group.

Among other lessons learned, Albright notes that the National
Intelligence Estimate process proved to be a poor instrument for
adjudicating the significance of the aluminum tubes. Crucially,
of the ten or so intelligence agencies that each had one vote on
the Estimate, those with technical expertise in centrifuge
technology were outnumbered by those without such expertise.

At a time when intelligence oversight has moved entirely behind
closed doors and is effectively dormant, Albright's review
significantly enriches the public record on this controversial
matter.

See "Iraq's Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction" by
David Albright, Institute for Science and International
Security, December 5:

http://tinyurl.com/yfr8

The most damning thing one could say about an intelligence
agency is not that it sometimes makes mistakes in analysis,
which is inevitable, but that it refuses to admit its mistakes.
 When an agency cannot admit error, it cannot learn from its own
missteps and is doomed to mediocrity.

In a recent publication, Stuart Cohen, Vice Chairman of the
National Intelligence Council, finds no reason to acknowledge a
single flaw in U.S. intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction.  It is the critics, he says, who have it wrong.

See "Iraq's WMD Programs:  Culling Hard Facts from Soft Myths"
by Stuart Cohen, November 28:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2003/11/cia112803.html

But whether CIA admits it or not, the Agency is already paying a
price in credibility for having acquiesced in overstating the
threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

So when the CIA issues an assessment on North Korea's nuclear
weapons program, for example, it is now roundly met with
skepticism by national security experts, as the Los Angeles
Times reported today.

See "N. Korea's Nuclear Success Is Doubted" by Douglas Frantz,
Los Angeles Times, December 9:

http://tinyurl.com/yfqm


ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN A TIME OF CRISIS

The challenges posed to academic freedom and free inquiry by the
post-September 11 security environment are discussed in a new
report from the American Association of University Professors.

"A major section of the report is devoted to restrictions on
information. It reviews the evolution of federal regulation of
classified research and the persistent uncertainty about the
extent and location of such research within the academic world.
The report recognizes the limited circumstances under which such
restrictions may be warranted but points out that secret
research is fundamentally at odds with the free circulation of
research results. The report expresses reservations about the
expansion of such constraints in response to national security
concerns."

See "Academic Freedom and National Security in a Time of
Crisis," report of an AAUP Special Committee:

http://www.aaup.org/statements/REPORTS/911report.htm


NAVY MEMO ON FISA

The impact of the USA Patriot Act on the search and surveillance
procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
is discussed in a September 2003 memo from the Navy's Deputy
Assistant Judge Advocate General.  See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/navy0903.pdf


CRS ON TERRORIST MOTIVATIONS

A report of the Congressional Research Service (CRS)
dispassionately considers whether terrorists might use chemical
and biological weapons, and why (or why not).

See "Terrorist Motivations for Chemical and Biological Weapons
Use: Placing the Threat in Context" by Audrey Kurth Cronin,
March 28, 2003:

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL31831.pdf

Congressional leaders refuse to provide comprehensive online
public access to CRS products like this one.  Rep. Bob Ney (R-
OH), chair of the House Committee on House Administration, told
the Associated Press on Monday that he would oppose a bill to
require routine publication of CRS reports.  Members of the
public will have to turn elsewhere.


SUPPORT SECRECY NEWS

If you have learned something useful, valuable or interesting
from Secrecy News over the past year, then please consider
supporting this publication and the work of the FAS Project on
Government Secrecy.

Tax-deductible donations may be made online here (click "donate
now" and make sure to designate your contribution for "project
on government secrecy"):

http://www.guidestar.org/helping/donate.adp?ein=23-7185827

Or mail a check payable to the Federation of American Scientists
to:

Attn:  Secrecy News
Federation of American Scientists
1717 K Street NW, Suite 209
Washington, DC   20036


_______________________________________________

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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
secrecy_news-request@lists.fas.org
with "subscribe" in the body of the message.


OR email your request to saftergood@fas.org

Secrecy News is archived at:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

_______________________
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