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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 2

Secrecy News -- 07/02/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 13:00:02 -0400
Archived: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 16:40:44 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 07/02/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 67
July 2, 2007

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

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


**	ANOTHER LOOK AT THE VP'S CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY
**	TALON DATABASE COMPLIED WITH LAW, IG SAYS
**	HABEAS CORPUS RESTORATION ACT ADVANCES
**	SELECTED CRS REPORTS
**	FUNDAMENTALS OF FLIGHT


ANOTHER LOOK AT THE VP'S CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY

The White House press office and some Bush Administration
critics are insisting that the 2003 executive order on
classification policy endowed the Vice President with a unique
status and classification powers identical to those of the
President himself.

But that's not what the executive order says.

"In this executive order the President is saying that the Vice
President is not different than him," said White House press
secretary Dana Perino on June 25.

"The executive order on classified national security information
-- Executive Order 12958 as amended in 2003 -- makes it clear
that the Vice President is treated like the President and
distinguishes the two of them from 'agencies'," wrote David
Addington, the Vice President's chief of staff in a June 26
letter to Senator Kerry.

Similarly, New York Times columnist and Bush critic Frank Rich
wrote yesterday that in 2003 "every provision [in the executive
order] that gave powers to the president over classified
documents was amended to give the identical powers to the vice
president."

Mr. Rich claimed that "this unprecedented increase in vice-
presidential clout" has "special importance" for understanding
the Iraq war, the Valerie Plame case and more.

"By giving Mr. Cheney the same classification powers he had, Mr.
Bush gave his vice president a free hand to wield a clandestine
weapon: he could use leaks to punish administration critics,"
wrote Mr. Rich.

From an opposing political perspective, Byron York of the
National Review wrote last year that the revised executive order
constituted an "enormously consequential expansion of vice-
presidential power."

More soberly, the Congressional Research Service reported in a
memo to Rep. Henry Waxman that "Among the modifications made by
the new [executive] order were the vesting of the vice president
with authority coequal to that of the President to security
classify information originally."

And I myself wrote in Secrecy News last year that the language
of the 2003 executive order "dramatically elevates the Vice
President's classification authority to that of the President."

On closer examination, none of this appears to be correct.

The text of the 2003 executive order does not grant any new
classification authority to the Vice President beyond that which
he already possessed as one of some two dozen officials
authorized by the President to classify information originally
at the Top Secret level. Like those other officials, the Vice
President was already authorized to classify information within
the scope of the executive order, and to delegate his authority
to others. No additional classification powers were provided in
the new order.

A line by line comparison of the Bush executive order with the
prior order, indicating what was added and what was deleted in
2003, shows that every classification authority granted to the
Vice President was also granted to other agency heads, such as
the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of State, and was also
possessed by the Vice President himself in the past.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/bush/eo13292inout.html

Mr. Addington and the White House press office argue that the
mere juxtaposition of references to the President and the Vice
President in the text of the 2003 Bush order -- such as in
section 1.3(a)(1) -- somehow translates into new status for the
Vice President. But again, no such status or new authority is
articulated in the order.

To the contrary, the Director of the Information Security
Oversight Office, who is charged by the President with
implementing and overseeing the executive order, concluded that
an interpretation of the order which treats the Office of the
Vice President as entirely distinct from other executive branch
entities is not consistent with a "plain text reading," as he
wrote to the Attorney General.

Fundamentally, the Vice President's classification authority is
not and cannot be identical to that of the President. The
President's authority is inherent, stemming from his status as
commander in chief of the armed forces; the Vice President's
authority is derivative. Likewise, and for the same reason, the
President can alter the provisions of the executive order at a
moment's notice; the Vice President cannot.


TALON DATABASE COMPLIED WITH LAW, IG SAYS

The Department of Defense TALON database of threat information
that compiled information on U.S. persons involved in domestic
protests was implemented in compliance with U.S. law, a review
by the DoD Inspector General concluded. However, some of the raw
information was improperly retained in violation of a DoD
directive, the IG said in an extensive new report.

See "The Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) Report
Program," DoD Inspector General, June 27, 2007 (flagged by
Sabrina Pacifici at BeSpacific.com):

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/talon.pdf


HABEAS CORPUS RESTORATION ACT ADVANCES

The Senate Judiciary Committee last week issued a report on the
Habeas Corpus Restoration Act, a bill to repeal provisions
adopted in the last Congress that eliminated access to U.S.
courts for suspected alien enemy combatants.

"The legislation would permit detainees held by the United
States Government as enemy combatants, or as potential enemy
combatants, to file writs of habeas corpus and other related
actions in the United States District Courts."

The June 26 Committee report includes a detailed justification
of the legislation, as well as a lengthy dissent by several
Republican Senators.

  http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_rpt/srpt110-90.html


SELECTED CRS REPORTS

Some noteworthy new reports of the Congressional Research
Service include the following.

"Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress,"
updated June 20, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30545.pdf

"Intelligence and Information-Sharing Elements of S. 4 and H.R.
1," June 26, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL34061.pdf

"Potential F-22 Raptor Export to Japan," June 28, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22684.pdf

"The Department of Defense: Reducing Its Reliance on Fossil-
Based Aviation Fuel -- Issues for Congress," June 15, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL34062.pdf

"India-U.S. Relations," updated June 26, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33529.pdf

"Pakistan-U.S. Relations," updated June 6, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33498.pdf

"Mongolia and U.S. Policy: Political and Economic Relations,"
June 22, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34056.pdf


FUNDAMENTALS OF FLIGHT

A new U.S. Army Field Manual introduces the science and
technology of aeronautics to non-specialist readers in a
rigorous but readable format.

From Bernoulli's principle to the challenges of night flight,
the 392 page manual starts with the rudiments and builds from
there.

"Because the U.S. Army prepares its Soldiers to operate anywhere
in the world, this publication describes the unique requirements
and flying techniques crewmembers will use to successfully
operate in extreme environments, not always encountered in home
station training."

See "Fundamentals of Flight," Field Manual FM 3-04.203, May 2007
(18 MB PDF file):

http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-04-203.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:
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Secrecy News is archived at:
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SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
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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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