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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2003 > Jul > Jul 28

Secrecy News -- 07/28/03

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@fas.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 13:15:04 -0400
Fwd Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 17:34:10 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 07/28/03 


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 64
July 28, 2003


**	SCHUMER SEEKS LEAK INVESTIGATION
**	SENATE SHIELDS HOMELAND SECURITY FROM FACA
**	BASIC RESEARCH WILL REMAIN UNRESTRICTED, DOE SAYS
**	FOIA LITIGATION NEWS


SCHUMER SEEKS LEAK INVESTIGATION

Following up on news reports that Bush Administration officials
"leaked" the name of a CIA officer who is the wife of
administration critic Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Senator Charles
E. Schumer (D-NY) has asked the FBI to initiate a criminal
investigation into the matter.

"This disclosure was part of an apparent attempt to discredit
Ambassador Wilson's findings about potential uranium exports
from Niger to Iraq and intimidate other officials from speaking
their minds," Sen. Schumer wrote in a July 24 letter to FBI
Director Robert Mueller.

"As you are aware, the unauthorized disclosure of information
relating to the identity of an American intelligence official is
a crime punishable by fines and up to 10 years in prison under
the Intelligence Identities and Protection Act," he noted.

(That Act, at 50 U.S.C. 421-26, prohibits disclosure of
identities of intelligence personnel as part of a "pattern of
activities intended to identify and expose covert agents."  It
is not clear that a single disclosure would legally constitute
such a "pattern.")

Sen. Schumer recalled that after a reported leak of classified
congressional testimony in June 2002, "The FBI questioned nearly
100 people, including all 37 members of the House and Senate
intelligence committees and some 60 staff members."

"This current scandal is just as serious as the one from June
2002.... The FBI needs to find out who made the name of this
agent public and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the
law. There can be zero tolerance for this kind of action,"
Schumer said.  See his July 24 letter here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2003/07/cs072403.html


SENATE SHIELDS HOMELAND SECURITY FROM FACA

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), still in its
bureaucratic infancy, is already dogged by allegations of
corruption.  But the U.S. Senate is blocking attempts to address
those allegations.

Noting that the Homeland Security Advisory Council includes
representatives of corporations seeking to do business with the
new Department, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) proposed that this and
other DHS advisory groups should be subject to the open meeting
requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

"Corporate leaders and campaign contributors have been awarded
coveted seats on the advisory committees that make policy
recommendations to Secretary Ridge and to others in the
Department," Sen. Byrd said, echoing criticism offered lately by
the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and others.

"By requiring that the Department of Homeland Security comply
with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, my amendment will
ensure that Congress and the American people know how these
advisory committees are being used," Sen. Byrd said.

But by a party line vote of 50-46 on July 24, the Senate
determined to keep the homeland security advisory process beyond
the scrutiny of the general public and rejected the Byrd
proposal.  See:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2003/s072403.html


BASIC RESEARCH WILL REMAIN UNRESTRICTED, DOE SAYS

The Department of Energy (DOE) has reaffirmed the longstanding
policy that basic scientific research will remain unrestricted
"to the maximum extent possible," and that no new controls other
than national security classification will be employed to limit
scientific publication and collaboration.

The DOE statement emerged in response to concerns from
scientists and others that new information controls, under the
loose rubric "sensitive but unclassified," were threatening the
vitality of the U.S. national laboratories.

See this Department-wide memo from Energy Secretary Spencer
Abraham, dated May 12, 2003:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/sec051203.pdf

Secretary Abraham cited a related letter from National Security
Adviser Condoleeza Rice, dated November 1, 2001, which is posted
here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/bush/cr110101.html


FOIA LITIGATION NEWS

The latest round of an FAS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency seeking
disclosure of the 2002 intelligence budget total probes the
limits of judicial deference to agency heads such as the
Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).

Is the Court effectively obliged to accept whatever the DCI says
under oath?  (Yes, says the government.)  Or, as we suggest, can
the DCI's presumed authority be squandered by repeated factual
errors, omissions and misrepresentations?  See our July 25 reply
in support of our motion for summary judgment here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/foia/2002/sa072503.html

Coincidentally, the judge in the case, the Honorable Ricardo M.
Urbina, is the subject of an interesting and revealing profile
by Ken Adelman in the August 2003 issue of Washingtonian
Magazine.

The latest, mostly adverse judicial ruling in a national
security FOIA lawsuit came in the case of FBI whistleblower
Sibel Edmonds (who was recently profiled on CBS Sixty Minutes).
 See this July 23 decision:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/edmonds072303.pdf

On a more favorable note, the FOIA lawsuit brought by A. Jay
Cristol for records concerning the 1967 Israeli attack on the
U.S.S. Liberty (Secrecy News, 07/09/03) is drawing to a formal
conclusion because "the National Security Agency has fully
satisfied Plaintiff's FOIA request," according to a draft
settlement agreement. "There no longer remains any controversy
to be adjudicated in this case."

I can claim perhaps an iota of credit for this happy outcome
because I suggested to Cristol early on that he acquire a copy
of the handbook "Litigation Under the Federal Open Government
Laws 2002," edited by Harry A. Hammitt, David L. Sobel and Mark
S. Zaid.

"It contains a treasure chest of useful material," wrote back
Judge Cristol, a Miami bankruptcy court judge, in thanks.

Copies of "Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws"
may be purchased through the websites of the Electronic Privacy
Information Center (www.epic.org), the James Madison Project
(www.jamesmadisonproject.org), or through Harry Hammitt's Access
Reports at:

http://www.accessreports.com/sub.html#lit



_______________________________________________
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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