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Secrecy News -- 04/30/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 15:46:13 -0400
Fwd Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 07:35:14 -0400
Subject:  Secrecy News -- 04/30/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 45
April 30, 2007

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

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


**	INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT IN RETROSPECT
**	SPECIAL OPERATIONS: 2007 POSTURE STATEMENT
**	SOME RECENT NSA DECLASSIFICATIONS


INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT IN RETROSPECT

With one remarkable exception noted below, no one believes that
congressional oversight of intelligence has served the nation
well in recent years or that it has been adequate to the
momentous demands of the time.

While the country has been roiled by debates over detention and
interrogation policies, warrantless domestic intelligence
surveillance, extraordinary rendition, the legality and efficacy
of torture, and many other urgent and fundamental issues, the
congressional intelligence committees have had surprisingly
little to contribute.

Under the leadership of Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Pete Hoekstra,
the committees could not even accomplish their baseline task of
legislating an intelligence authorization bill during the past
two years.

"The 109th Congress ... became the first since the 94th Congress
that did not pass an Intelligence Authorization Act," observed a
new report of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Fiscal year
2006 became the first since 1978 to not only begin but also to
end without an intelligence authorization [act]."

Though the committees have been largely ineffective, they were
not idle. The 36-page Senate committee report details the
proposals that were debated, the legislative initiatives that
were introduced, and the various hearings that were held, during
the 109th Congress.

See Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
covering the period January 4, 2005 to December 8, 2006, Senate
Report 110-57, April 26, 2007:

  http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_rpt/srpt110-57.html

But from the perspective of the Central Intelligence Agency, the
sharply diminished productivity of congressional oversight was
just about optimal.

In particular, Senator Roberts' leadership of the Senate
Intelligence Committee was "exemplary," the CIA proclaimed in a
March 19 news release.

Neither his colleagues nor his constituents found much reason to
celebrate intelligence oversight during his tenure. But at a
March 16 luncheon ceremony at CIA headquarters, Senator Roberts
was awarded the Agency Seal Medal, which is given to people
outside the Agency who have made significant contributions to
the work of CIA.

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2007/03/cia031907.html

Today, Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Dianne
Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill to close the detention
facility at Guantanamo Bay.

"Guantanamo Bay has become a lightning rod for international
condemnation," Senator Feinstein said. "This has greatly damaged
the nation's credibility around the world. Rather than make the
United States safer, the image projected by this facility puts
us at greater risk. The time has come to close it down."

  http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2007/04/feinstein043007.html


SPECIAL OPERATIONS: 2007 POSTURE STATEMENT

Across the globe from Iraq and Afghanistan to Africa to Mindanao
and the Sulu Archipelago, U.S. Special Operations Forces are
deployed to conduct unconventional warfare, psychological
operations, and other activities in support of U.S. military and
foreign policy objectives.

In Fiscal Year 2007, U.S. Special Operations Command has total
authorized manpower of 47,911 persons, according to a new SOCOM
posture statement, which provides an overview of special
operations capabilities and missions.

See "U.S. SOCOM: Posture Statement 2007," April 2007:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/socom/posture2007.pdf


SOME RECENT NSA DECLASSIFICATIONS

Earlier this month, the National Security Agency released
several brief historical essays that had been prepared for the
Agency's Cryptologic Almanac on the occasion of its 50th
anniversary in 2002.

The essays were declassified on April 10 in response to a
Mandatory Declassification Review request from Michael
Ravnitzky. They include:

"Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?" on the origins of NSA:

http://www.fas.org/irp/nsa/almanac-quis.pdf

"SIGINT and the Fall of Saigon, April 1975":

http://www.fas.org/irp/nsa/almanac-saigon.pdf

"The First Round: NSA's Effort Against International Terrorism
in the 1970s":

http://www.fas.org/irp/nsa/almanac-terror.pdf

"A Brief Look at ELINT at NSA":

http://www.fas.org/irp/nsa/almanac-elint.pdf



_______________________________________________
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:
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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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