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Secrecy News -- 01/30/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 14:52:34 -0500 (EST)
Fwd Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 14:02:19 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 01/30/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 11
January 30, 2007

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

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


**	A TELEPHONE DIRECTORY FOR THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
**	MORE ON STATE SECRETS AND THE HATFILL CASE
**	SELECTED CRS REPORTS


A TELEPHONE DIRECTORY FOR THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

The Office of the Vice President under Dick Cheney seems to
cultivate secrecy as an end in itself, and not simply to protect
national security or personal privacy. The OVP will not even
confirm how many staff people work there, who they are, or much
of anything else.

"Cheney's office refuses to give any details to reporters,"
observed Justin Rood in TPMmuckraker, noting further that the
OVP "is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, so any such
request would be futile."

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002427.php

Similarly, a Cheney spokesman recently told reporter Laura Rozen,
"If we have a personnel announcement we'd like you to know
about, we'll tell you."

 http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0701.rozen.html

Some Americans still find this willful obscurity offensive to
democratic principles, and TPMmuckraker summoned the blogosphere
to help pierce the veil.

Secrecy News was able to contribute a 2004 telephone directory
for the OVP, which is marked "for official use only," naturally.
Though it is no longer current -- it still lists the departed
Scooter Libby as assistant to the Vice President, for example --
it provides a good sense of the size and structure of the OVP.

The 2004 OVP telephone directory is posted here (with phone and
fax numbers redacted by Secrecy News):

http://www.fas.org/sgp/bush/vp2004.pdf

Readers discussed the matter on TPMmuckraker here:

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002432.php


MORE ON STATE SECRETS AND THE HATFILL CASE

Attorneys for former government scientist Steven J. Hatfill, who
is suing the New York Times for linking him to the 2001 anthrax
attacks, filed a vigorous rebuttal earlier this month against a
Times argument that the "state secrets" doctrine should dictate
dismissal of the lawsuit.

The Hatfill rebuttal was filed in federal court in Virginia in
sealed form on January 12. On the same day, however, the Court
dismissed the case for unrelated reasons that have not yet been
published.

In a December 12 motion, the New York Times had argued that
classification restrictions imposed on government witnesses were
equivalent to an assertion of the state secrets privilege and
that the case should be dismissed on that basis, since the
restrictions limited the Times' ability to obtain the
information needed for its defense (Secrecy News, January 22).

That's nonsense, said Dr. Hatfill's attorneys.

"For one thing, a court may not even consider dismissal of a case
on "state secret" grounds until after a department head of a
government agency invokes that doctrine, something that has
never occurred here," they wrote.

"And the notion that the inability of The Times to obtain any of
this imagined evidence should relieve The Times of the burden of
defending itself based on what it actually knew when it ruined
Dr. Hatfill's life is nothing short of offensive."

Since the case has now been dismissed, it is unlikely that the
Court will resolve the dispute over the applicability of the
"state secrets" doctrine. But the sealed opposition from Dr.
Hatfill's attorneys has just been released in redacted form and
is posted here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/statesec/hatfill011207.pdf


SELECTED CRS REPORTS

Some noteworthy new reports of the Congressional Research Service
that are not readily available to the public include the
following, obtained by Secrecy News.

"Congressional Restrictions on U.S. Military Operations in
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Somalia, and Kosovo: Funding and
Non-Funding Approaches," January 16, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33803.pdf

"Defense Contracting in Iraq: Issues and Options for Congress,"
January 26, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33834.pdf

"The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the U.S.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review: An
Overview," January 24, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33833.pdf

"Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act, as Passed by the
House of Representatives," updated January 18, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33637.pdf

"North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Development and Diplomacy,"
updated January 3, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL33590.pdf

"International Terrorism: Threat, Policy, and Response," updated
January 3, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL33600.pdf

"Protection of National Security Information," updated December
26, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/RL33502.pdf




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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
secrecy_news-request.nul
with "subscribe" in the body of the message.

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

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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