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Secrecy News -- 03/07/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 13:23:47 -0500
Fwd Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 12:20:40 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 03/07/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 26
March 7, 2007

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

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


**	CONGRESSIONAL INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT IN JEOPARDY
**	CIA UNLAWFULLY IMPOSED PRIOR RESTRAINT, LAWSUIT ALLEGES
**	A MEMORABLE LEAK CASE
**	CONSERVATIVE LEADER URGES PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRS REPORTS
**	SUNSHINE WEEK


CONGRESSIONAL INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT IN JEOPARDY

In a "shocking and inexcusable" action that may threaten the
institution of congressional intelligence oversight, an
anonymous Senator yesterday blocked Senate consideration of the
pending Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2007.  No
intelligence authorization bill has been passed by Congress for
the past two years.

If Congress remains unable to legislate an intelligence
authorization act, which is the principal product of the
intelligence oversight committees each year, then the committees
themselves could be rendered irrelevant, officials say.

"The Senate's failure to pass this critical national security
legislation for the past 2 years is remarkably shocking and
inexcusable," said an angry Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who
chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"The result of this continued obstruction will be diminished
authority for intelligence agencies to do their job in
protecting America. I hope the [anonymous] Senator involved
takes satisfaction in that," Senator Rockefeller said. See his
March 6 floor statement:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_cr/s030607.html

The Senator who is holding up the bill is Sen. Jim DeMint (R-
SC), according to Tim Starks of Congressional Quarterly.

Sen. DeMint "is said to be concerned about provisions of the
bill that require the Bush administration to report to Congress
on its detention policies, such as those pertaining to its
secret CIA prisons, as well as a provision to declassify the
total intelligence budget," CQ reported on March 6.


CIA UNLAWFULLY IMPOSED PRIOR RESTRAINT, LAWSUIT ALLEGES

The Central Intelligence Agency improperly blocked a former CIA
employee from disseminating unclassified information about what
he considered illicit CIA contacts with a foreign national
suspected of criminal acts, according to a lawsuit filed this
week in DC District Court.

Franz Boening, who was employed by CIA from 1980 to 2005,
contended that "the CIA maintained a special relationship with a
foreign individual who committed unlawful human rights
violations and criminal acts with the knowledge of the CIA." He
further alleged that he has suffered retaliation for expressing
his concerns.

According to Mr. Boening, "CIA may have violated US laws during
its 10+ year relationship with [name redacted]."

As required by his non-disclosure agreement, Mr. Boening
submitted his proposed disclosures to the CIA Publication Review
Board, which refused to authorize their release.

"Although the entire analysis and factual recitation of the
CIA's involvement with this individual was based purely on
publicly available nongovernmental (including newspaper
articles) and unclassified government websites, the CIA
'classified' more than a dozen pages of publicly available
newspaper, radio, and television information, a practice that
was commonly assumed to have been discontinued by the CIA years
ago," according to the complaint, filed by attorney Mark S. Zaid
on March 5.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/boening.pdf

Two former CIA officials contacted by Secrecy News declined to
comment on the case. Another official said that the handling of
the Boening matter over the last couple of years coincided with
a loss of autonomy at the CIA Publication Review Board in favor
of increased control by agency Information Review Officers
(IROs). That trend may now be reversing, the official said,
under the current DCIA Michael Hayden.

Mr. Boening appears to have been the first and perhaps the only
government official ever to take advantage of a provision of the
executive order on classification that encourages authorized
holders of classified information to challenge its
classification if they believe it is improper (executive order
13292, section 1.8).

In order to deflect his challenge, the new complaint says, the
CIA argued that he was not technically an "authorized holder" of
the information in question and therefore did not have standing
to challenge its classification status.


A MEMORABLE LEAK CASE

In the course of an urgent search for the sources who were
providing classified information to journalist Jack Anderson in
1971, the Nixon Administration discovered a surprising culprit.

A Navy yeoman in the National Security Council named Charles
Radford was not only the "almost certain source" of the Jack
Anderson leaks, but he was also in the habit of routinely
copying classified documents in the briefcases of Henry
Kissinger, Alexander Haig, and other senior Administration
officials, and forwarding the documents to the Joint Chiefs of
Staff.

In effect, the Joint Chiefs were spying on the Nixon White
House.

"The P[resident] was quite shocked, naturally, by the whole
situation," according to the diary of Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman.

The whole episode, which has been previously described in
various memoirs and historical studies, was recalled in a recent
edition of Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), which
also published some newly transcribed Presidential discussions
of the case.

Admiral Welander, yeoman Radford's boss, said that the yeoman
should be put in jail for his actions, Haldeman wrote.

Admiral Moorer, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said that
Admiral Welander should be put in jail.

Kissinger said, "I think Moorer should be in jail."

In the end, nobody went to jail.

"Our best interests are served by not, you know, raising holy
hell," concluded President Nixon.

See the relevant excerpts on the Radford-Joint Chiefs spying
case (documents 164-166) here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2007/03/radford.pdf

The full text of the source volume of FRUS is here:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/nixon/ii/index.htm

A controversial proposal by Sen. Jon Kyl to criminalize leaks of
classified information contained in certain reports to Congress
may be considered by the Senate today or tomorrow.


CONSERVATIVE LEADER URGES PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRS REPORTS

Paul M. Weyrich, the influential culture warrior who leads the
arch-conservative Free Congress Foundation, has called upon
Congress to grant public access to products of the Congressional
Research Service.

"It seems to me that it is time to end the foolishness and just
make the CRS website available to the general public," Mr.
Weyrich wrote in a new commentary.

http://www.freecongress.org/commentaries/2007/070305.aspx

Does Mr. Weyrich's endorsement of public access to CRS reports
imply that continued restrictions on such access might actually
be desirable? Of course not.

Here are some recent CRS acquisitions.

"The Executive Office of the President: An Historical Overview,"
updated November 28, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/98-606.pdf

"Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear
Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress," updated January 3,
2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RS21988.pdf

"United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and International
Perspectives," January 22, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33848.pdf


SUNSHINE WEEK

Sunshine Week, which falls this year on March 11-17, is an
annual effort by news organizations, libraries and public
interest groups to focus public attention on the importance of
open government.

Next week, dozens of programs across the country will explore
the costs of secrecy, the virtues of openness, and the path
forward.

See the calendar of events and other information here:

http://www.sunshineweek.org/sunshineweek/calendar07

Next week may also see House action on three open government
bills that have been advanced by the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee under the leadership of Rep. Henry
Waxman.

The pending bills include one on Freedom of Information Act
amendments, one on amendments to the Presidential Records Act,
and one on disclosure of donations to Presidential libraries.
Markup of the bills will take place on March 8, and House floor
action is expected next week.



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

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Secrecy News is archived at:
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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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