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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 11

Secrecy News -- 05/11/05

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 14:06:59 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 16:30:33 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 05/11/05


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 45
May 11, 2005


**   THE DESTRUCTION OF THOMAS BUTLER
**   VICE PRESIDENT WINS ENERGY TASK FORCE CASE
**   AN ORDINARY FOIA STORY
**   INTELLIGENCE BUDGET DISCLOSED IN NETHERLANDS
**   HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS (CRS)
**   MEMORIES OF PHIL AND PHYLIS MORRISON


THE DESTRUCTION OF THOMAS BUTLER

Dr. Thomas C. Butler, the distinguished physician and specialist
in infectious disease who was sentenced to prison last year for
improperly transporting medical samples, is the subject of an
extraordinary profile in the latest issue of the medical journal
Clinical Infectious Disease.

"Thomas Campbell Butler, at 63 years of age, is completing the
first year of a 2-year sentence in federal prison, following an
investigation and trial that was initiated after he voluntarily
reported that he believed vials containing Yersinia pestis were
missing from his laboratory at Texas Tech University," the
article begins.

"We take this opportunity to remind the infectious diseases
community of the plight of our esteemed colleague, whose career
and family have, as a result of his efforts to protect us from
infection by this organism, paid a price from which they will
never recover."

Dr. Butler is credited with having saved literally millions of
lives in developing countries through his pioneering work on
oral hydration as a treatment for diarrheal diseases.

See "Destroying the Life and Career of a Valued Physician-
Scientist Who Tried to Protect Us from Plague: Was It Really
Necessary?" by Barbara E. Murray and 13 colleagues, Clinical
Infectious Disease, vol. 40, no. 11, 1 June 2005:

http://tinyurl.com/7khsx

Further background on the Butler case is available from the
Federation of American Scientists here:

http://www.fas.org/butler/index.html


VICE PRESIDENT WINS ENERGY TASK FORCE CASE

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed that the
Vice President's Energy Task Force was within its rights to meet
behind closed doors with industry participation since the
industry participants were not, strictly speaking, members of
the Task Force.

The ruling is a victory for the Bush White House and a new
constraint on open government.

See "D.C. Circuit Narrows Advisory Committee Openness," an
analysis from the National Security Archive here:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20050510/index.htm


AN ORDINARY FOIA STORY

Many FOIA requesters are likely to have unrealistic expectations
about how the Freedom of Information Act process should work,
and may be disappointed when voluminous responsive records do
not appear on their doorstep free of charge within a few days.

But increasingly, even experienced requesters with modest hopes
and low expectations are frustrated with the performance of
government agencies.

In a statement prepared for a House hearing on FOIA today, a
requester named Charlotte Dennett recounted her efforts to
obtain 60 year old records from the Central Intelligence Agency
concerning her late father, Daniel C. Dennett, a
counterintelligence officer with the OSS and the Central
Intelligence Group (CIG).

Although the Agency did release hundreds of routine personnel
records to her, "the CIA did not provide me with anything
remotely connected with my father's last months or with his
death (along with six other Americans) in a March, 1947 plane
crash. The CIA justified its actions by citing FOIA exemptions
based on protection of Agency sources and methods and reasons of
national security."

For reasons explained in her statement, Ms. Dennett did not find
this claim persuasive.  Her appeal of the matter extended
inconclusively for several years, and it is now in litigation.
See:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2005/051105dennett.pdf


INTELLIGENCE BUDGET DISCLOSED IN NETHERLANDS

In the United States, where intelligence budget secrecy is a
deeply rooted dogma that defies rational criticism, it takes a
court order to compel the disclosure even of a forty-two year
old budget figure (Secrecy News, 05/09/05).

But in other mature democracies such as the United Kingdom,
Canada and elsewhere, annual publication of intelligence
spending figures has now become the norm.

In the Netherlands, the General Intelligence and Security
Service (AIVD) included budget data in its latest annual report
as a matter of course.

Thus, in 2004, the AIVD spent 52.2 million Euros on personnel,
32.2 million on material costs, and 3.1 million on secret
expenditures.

See the 2004 AIVD annual report here (in Dutch, at pp. 109-110;
750 kb PDF file; thanks to Prof. Cees Wiebes):

http://www.fas.org/irp/world/netherlands/aivd2004.pdf

A recent AIVD report analyses the threat posed by radical Islam.
See "From dawa to jihad - the various threats from radical Islam
to the democratic legal order," English translation dated March
2005, here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/world/netherlands/dawa.pdf

(Dawa refers to the propagation of Islam by missionary activity,
and is perhaps something like the Islamic counterpart of
Christian evangelism.)


HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS (CRS)

Current and proposed funding for the Department of Homeland
Security is described in a recent Congressional Research Service
report with somewhat greater clarity than in DHS budget
documents themselves.

See "Homeland Security Department: FY2006 Appropriations," April
14, 2005:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL32863.pdf


MEMORIES OF PHIL AND PHYLIS MORRISON

A web site devoted to the memory of the late physicist Philip
Morrison and his wife Phylis with tributes from their friends,
students and admirers is under construction here:

http://www.memoriesofmorrison.org/



_______________________________________________
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.nul
voice:  (202) 454-4691




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