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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jan > Jan 18

Secrecy News - 01/18/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 12:52:27 -0500
Fwd Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 17:14:34 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News - 01/18/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 7
January 18, 2007

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

Support Secrecy News:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**	AN EFFORT TO RESTRICT CLASSIFIED EARMARKS
**	WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE CASES GO TO FISA COURT
**	SELECTED CRS REPORTS
**	WP: HOW TO BURY A SECRET


AN EFFORT TO RESTRICT CLASSIFIED EARMARKS

The use of the national security classification system to
conceal "earmarks" - targeted allocations of funds - that are
self-serving or corrupt would be eliminated if a proposal by
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
becomes law.

The proposal was offered as an amendment to Senate bill S. 1,
the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007,
which is pending in the Senate.

"The amendment prohibits any bill authorization or appropriation
from containing an earmark in the classified portion of that
bill or accompanying a report, unless there is unclassified
language that describes in general terms the nature of the
earmark. The amount of the earmark is disclosed and the sponsor
of the earmark is identified," Sen. Feinstein explained.

"This amendment would provide the public with the assurance that
the classified parts of the defense and intelligence budgets-
which are indeed large-are subjected to the same scrutiny and
openness as everything else."

"The need for the amendment was made clear by the actions of
former Congressman Duke Cunningham. According to a report by the
House Intelligence Committee, Cunningham was able to enact a
staggering $70 million to $80 million in classified earmarks
over a 5-year period. These earmarks benefited his business
partners and were not known to most Members of the Congress or
the public," Sen. Feinstein said.

See her January 16 remarks on the measure here:

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

The fate of the Legislative Transparency bill was uncertain
after Republican Senators objected to a Democratic refusal to
consider an amendment concerning a line-item veto.


WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE CASES GO TO FISA COURT

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales notified the Senate Judiciary
Committee yesterday that President Bush will not reauthorize the
controversial Terrorist Surveillance Program and that the
surveillance activities conducted in that program will
henceforth be subject to authorization by the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The Attorney General's January 17 letter to Senators Patrick
Leahy and Arlen Specter is here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/ag011707.pdf

The initial responses of Senators Leahy and Specter are here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_cr/fisa011707.html

The numerous questions raised by the Attorney General's letter
were asked though mostly not answered in a background briefing
for reporters which is transcribed here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2007/01/doj011707.html

Background on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act may be
found here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/index.html


SELECTED CRS REPORTS

Some noteworthy new reports of the Congressional Research
Service that have not been made readily available to the public
include the following.

"Iran: Profile and Statements of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,"
January 16, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22569.pdf

"Iraq: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy," January 12, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33793.pdf

"A Joint Committee on Intelligence: Proposals and Options from
the 9/11 Commission and Others," updated December 20, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL32525.pdf

"Sea-Based Ballistic Missile Defense - Background and Issues
for Congress," updated December 19, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33745.pdf

"Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane
Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions," December 15, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33729.pdf


WP: HOW TO BURY A SECRET

The imposition of a deadline for automatic declassification of
most 25 year old, historically valuable classified records on
December 31, 2006 rewrote the bureaucratic software that governs
the national security classification system. In principle,
official secrecy can no longer be indefinite and open-ended.

Nevertheless, declassification will not be translated into
disclosure and public access until the severe logistical and
financial challenges that are facing the National Archives can
be overcome.

The Washington Post took a look at the lay of the land in "How
to Bury A Secret: Turn it into Paperwork" by Lynne Duke,
January 16, 2007:

http://tinyurl.com/35lwa9



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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
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Secrecy News is archived at:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

Secrecy News is available in blog format at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

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




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