UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Aug > Aug 6

Secrecy News -- 08/06/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 11:00:02 -0400
Archived: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 16:41:26 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 08/06/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 80
August 6, 2007


**	HOUSE MOVES TO BLOCK INTEL BUDGET DISCLOSURE
**	PUBLIC INFO IN PLAME CASE CLASSIFIED, JUDGE RULES
**	FOIA REFORM ADVANCES IN SENATE
**	DOD REPORTS ON CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE
**	CRS REPORTS ON 2008 BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS


HOUSE MOVES TO BLOCK INTEL BUDGET DISCLOSURE

One day after President Bush signed into law a bill that
requires public disclosure of the national intelligence budget,
the House of Representatives adopted an amendment to prevent
that requirement from taking effect.

The budget disclosure provision appeared in legislation enacting
the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which was passed by
Congress last month and signed by President Bush on August 3.

If implemented, it would mark the first time that Congress
successfully asserted its authority to compel disclosure of
currently classified information over the objections of the
executive branch. Since 1998, the intelligence bureaucracy has
consistently refused to divulge the intelligence budget total.
The White House stated on February 28 that budget disclosure
"could cause damage to the national security interests of the
United States."

The opposing view, adopted by the 9/11 Commission and endorsed
by Congress last month, is that budget disclosure is an
indispensable precondition to broader accountability and that it
is essential to restoring the credibility of a defective
classification system.

But despite the fact that the requirement to disclose the
intelligence budget has finally passed into law, it may not
happen after all.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) offered an amendment to the Defense
Appropriations Act on August 4 that would prohibit budget
disclosure. Without any debate, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
announced that the amendment was accepted.

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_cr/issa.html

The Issa amendment will have to be addressed in a House-Senate
conference before it effectively repeals the new disclosure
requirement.


PUBLIC INFO IN PLAME CASE CLASSIFIED, JUDGE RULES

A federal court last week accepted a Central Intelligence Agency
argument that the date on which former covert officer Valerie
Plame Wilson's employment at the CIA began should remain
classified even though it is irrevocably in the public domain.

The date in question appeared in a seemingly unclassified letter
sent by CIA to Ms. Wilson and published in the Congressional
Record. But when she sought to include the information in the
manuscript of her forthcoming memoir, the CIA objected that it
is still classified. Now the Court has agreed.

"To be sure, the public may draw whatever conclusions it might
from the fact that the information at issue was sent on CIA
letterhead by the Chief of Retirement and Insurance Services,"
wrote Judge Barbara S. Jones in an August 1 ruling. "However,
nothing in the law or its policy requires the CIA to officially
acknowledge what those in the public may think they know."

http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/wilson/order080107.pdf

The text of the CIA letter containing the classified information
citing the start of Ms. Wilson's employment on November 9, 1985
was published in the Congressional Record on January 16, 2007
and is available here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/wilson/cr011607.pdf

In their June 28 motion to overturn CIA censorship, Ms. Wilson's
attorneys cited a lawsuit of mine in which the CIA was compelled
to disclose its 1963 budget after I showed that the figure had
previously been declassified. "As in 'Aftergood'," they argued
by analogy, "the Court should reject the CIA's belated and
unsupported effort" to deny access to information in the public
domain.

But that case was different, the government replied on July 13.
The 1963 budget figure was declassified, albeit inadvertently.
The information on Ms. Wilson's employment was never formally
declassified, inadvertently or otherwise, but was merely
disclosed by accident.

An unclassified declaration by Stephen R. Kappes, deputy
director of CIA, provided a lucid explanation of CIA's
perspective on classification of information about covert
employees, intelligence liaison relationships, and related
topics.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/wilson/kappes071807.pdf

Other selected case files may be found here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/wilson/index.html


FOIA REFORM ADVANCES IN SENATE

The Open Government Act, a bipartisan bill to strengthen the
Freedom of Information Act, passed the Senate on August 3 after
objections from a lone Senator were finally overcome.

Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) successfully
shepherded the legislation, which is intended to expedite agency
responsiveness to FOIA requests and improve the freedom of
information regime in various other ways.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who had earlier placed a hold on the bill
blocking its advance, explained his concerns in an August 3
floor statement and how they had been resolved. The measure
passed on a voice vote.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2007/opengovt.html


DOD REPORTS ON CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense released two annual
reports on the status of its chemical and biological defense
efforts:

"Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program,"
Annual Report to Congress, April 2007 (5.9 MB PDF):

http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/cbdp2007.pdf

"Report on Activities and Programs for Countering Proliferation
and NBC Terrorism," Counterproliferation Program Review
Committee, Volume I, Executive Summary, May 2007:

http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/nbcterror2007.pdf


CRS REPORTS ON 2008 BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS

Recent reports of the Congressional Research Service on the 2008
budget appropriation cycle obtained by Secrecy News include the
following.

"Homeland Security Department: FY2008 Appropriations," updated
July 17, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL34004.pdf

"Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2008," updated July
26, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34048.pdf

"Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2008
Appropriations," July 20, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34092.pdf

"Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): FY2008
Appropriations," updated July 20, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33998.pdf

"Energy and Water Development: FY2008 Appropriations," updated
July 13, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34009.pdf



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

The Secrecy News Blog is at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/subscribe.html

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

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

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood.nul
voice: (202) 454-4691




Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast

See:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/


[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp


Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com