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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 25

Secrecy News -- 05/24/05

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 12:43:14 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 09:15:08 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 05/24/05


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 49
May 24, 2005


**	THE RISE OF THE QUASI GOVERNMENT (CRS)
**	RELIABLE REPLACEMENT WARHEAD PROGRAM (CRS)
**	CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY OVER FEDERAL COURTS (CRS)
**	A CIA INVENTORY OF PRIVACY ACT RECORDS
**	NUCLEAR WEAPONS EFFECTS CALCULATOR


THE RISE OF THE QUASI GOVERNMENT (CRS)

Abetted by official secrecy and one-party dominance, the
character of American government is undergoing a series of
fundamental transformations. While the concentration of power in
the executive branch continues apace, traditional mechanisms of
government accountability are being diminished or dismantled,
and agency actions are increasingly insulated from citizen
oversight or awareness.

As the role of citizens in the democratic process has declined,
the importance of new constellations of power and influence has
risen.

One such newly prominent construct is the "quasi government,"
described by the Congressional Research Service as "federally
related entities that possess legal characteristics of both the
governmental and private sectors."

"These hybrid organizations (e.g., Fannie Mae, National Park
Foundation, In-Q-Tel)... have grown in number, size, and
importance in recent decades," the CRS stated in a new report.

"The quasi government, not surprisingly, is a controversial
subject. To supporters of this trend toward greater reliance
upon hybrid organizations, the proper objective of governmental
management is to maximize performance and results, however
defined... They tend to welcome this trend toward greater use of
quasi governmental entities."

"Critics of the quasi government, on the other hand, tend to
view hybrid organizations as contributing to a weakened capacity
of government to perform its fundamental constitutional duties,
and to an erosion in political accountability, a crucial element
in democratic governance...."

"Time will tell whether the emergence of the quasi government is
to be viewed as a symptom of decline in our democratic
government, or a harbinger of a new, creative management era
where the purported artificial barriers between the governmental
and private sectors are breached as a matter of principle."

A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both
Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics," updated
May 18, 2005:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30533.pdf


RELIABLE REPLACEMENT WARHEAD PROGRAM (CRS)

The Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program, a
congressionally-mandated initiative intended to support a
permanent nuclear weapons arsenal based on newly designed
replaceable parts, is the subject of a major new report from the
Congressional Research Service issued today.

The CRS report, the most extensive treatment of the topic
published to date, describes the origins of the controversial
new nuclear weapons program, its likely impacts, and the views
of supporters and opponents.

The report has not been publicly released, but a copy was
obtained by Secrecy News.

See "Nuclear Weapons: The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program,"
May 24, 2005:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL32929.pdf


CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY OVER FEDERAL COURTS (CRS)

A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines
congressional authority over the judicial branch.

"Usually congressional oversight of the judicial branch is
noncontroversial, but when Congress proposes to use its
oversight and regulatory powers in a manner designed to affect
the outcome of pending or previously decided cases,
constitutional issues can be raised."

"While Congress has broad power to regulate the structure,
administration and jurisdiction of the courts, its powers are
limited by precepts of due process, equal protection and
separation of powers."

See "Congressional Authority Over the Federal Courts," May 16,
2005:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32926.pdf


A CIA INVENTORY OF PRIVACY ACT RECORDS

The Central Intelligence Agency provided a descriptive inventory
of dozens of records systems maintained by the Agency that are
subject to the Privacy Act in a 35 page notice published in the
Federal Register today.

"The Central Intelligence Agency has undertaken and completed a
zero-based, Agency-wide review of its Privacy Act systems of
records.... Rather than making numerous, piecemeal revisions,
the Agency decided to draft and republish updated notices for
all of its Privacy Act systems of records. By doing so, the
Agency hopes to make these notices as clear and accessible to
the public as possible."

See the CIA Federal Register notice here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2005/05/fr052405.html


NUCLEAR WEAPONS EFFECTS CALCULATOR

The heat and blast effects of a nuclear explosive detonated in a
major American city can be readily estimated using a new online
tool from the Federation of American Scientists.

The Nuclear Weapons Effects Calculator, devised by FAS staff
member Blake Purnell, is based on data from Glasstone's
canonical Effects of Nuclear Weapons. The Java-based calculator
allows the user to vary the size of the modeled blast (in
kilotons) as well as the height of detonation over one of 25
American cities.

"This is just a very graphic way to let anyone see what the
effect of a bomb on his city would be," said Ivan Oelrich, FAS
strategic security project director, as quoted in Science
magazine (May 13, 2005, p. 933).

See the FAS Nuclear Weapons Effects Calculator here:

http://tinyurl.com/5r5z6



_______________________________________________
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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