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

Re: Secrecy News -- 10/01/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2007 13:00:01 -0400
Archived: Tue, 02 Oct 2007 21:42:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Secrecy News -- 10/01/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 96
October 1, 2007

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

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


**	DECLASSIFICATION LESSONS FROM NAZI WAR CRIME RECORDS
**	JASON ON THE RELIABLE REPLACEMENT WARHEAD
**	MILITARY GUIDE TO TERRORISM 2007
**	SELECTED CRS REPORTS


DECLASSIFICATION LESSONS FROM NAZI WAR CRIME RECORDS

Last week the National Archives announced the release of the
final report to Congress on implementation of the Nazi War
Crimes Disclosure Act, which is said to be the largest single-
subject declassification program ever performed by the U.S.
government.  Millions of pages of records from World War II and
the early Cold War years relating to Nazi war crimes have been
released as a result.

But the lessons learned from declassifying the "extraordinary
collection" of documents may prove even more important than the
documents themselves, wrote Steven Garfinkel, the chairman of
the interagency working group (IWG) that led the program.

In particular, he said, the effort "has demonstrated that
disaster does not befall America when intelligence agencies
declassify old intelligence operations records."

"Before the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, intelligence
agencies, supported by the President, the Congress, and the
Federal courts, routinely and consistently exempted files
containing intelligence sources and methods from
declassification, regardless of the age or actual sensitivity of
the information."

The Act deliberately rejected that policy of absolute denial and
authorized the publication of intelligence sources and methods,
albeit historical ones.

And so the newly disclosed records do "indeed reveal the vast
interrelationship between British intelligence and the OSS
[Office of Strategic Security, a U.S. predecessor to the CIA]."

Yet "it is preposterous to suggest that releasing OSS records
under the [Act] is a threat to our current working relationship
with the United Kingdom," Mr. Garfinkel wrote in the preface to
the new report.

"The declassification lessons learned during the implementation
of the Disclosure Acts can and should be applied to other
intelligence records of similar age, and may even be applied to
records of somewhat more recent vintage, no matter how sensitive
the information within these records once was," said Mr.
Garfinkel, who served as director of the Information Security
Oversight Office from 1980 to 2002.

It is essential that such lessons be learned, he said, because
in practice the declassification process is arbitrary,
unpredictable and subject to the whims of individual
declassifiers.

"Whether a request for declassification is answered with a yes
or a no is essentially determined by whoever happens to make the
disclosure or non-disclosure decisions," Mr. Garfinkel candidly
stated.

"All of the laws and orders and regulations, all of the
classification and declassification guides and guidance can be
cited to support either answer this person cares to give."

"The individual in charge makes the call based on his or her
experiences, biases, proclivities, knowledge, or ignorance, and
for many years thereafter, all of us may be stuck with it," he
wrote.

In light of this unsatisfactory situation, Mr. Garfinkel
expressed the hope that classification officials throughout the
government might learn that "government secrets, even
intelligence secrets, are finite," and should be subject to
ultimate declassification.

A copy of the full report to Congress of the Interagency Working
Group on Nazi War Crimes Disclosure, including Mr. Garfinkel's
preface, is available here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/library/iwg2007.pdf


JASON ON THE RELIABLE REPLACEMENT WARHEAD

There are significant uncertainties associated with the design
of the Reliable Replacement Warhead, the proposed new nuclear
weapon, according to the JASON defense science advisory panel.

A copy of the unclassified executive summary of the new JASON
report, first reported by Walter Pincus in the Washington Post
on September 30, is here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/rrw.pdf

Related background is available in "Nuclear Weapons: The
Reliable Replacement Warhead Program," Congressional Research
Service, updated September 18, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL32929.pdf


MILITARY GUIDE TO TERRORISM 2007

U.S. Army intelligence has issued an updated version of its
handbook on terrorism in the 21st century.

"The handbook is a high level terrorism primer that includes an
overview of the history of terrorism, descriptions of terrorist
behaviors and motivations, a review of terrorist group
organizations, and the threat posed to our forces, both in the
United States and overseas."

Two of the four supplements to the handbook, one on case studies
in terrorism and one on terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction, have also been recently updated.

See "A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century,"
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, TRADOC Intelligence
Support Activity -- Threats, Version 5.0, 15 August 2007:

http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/terrorism/index.html


SELECTED CRS REPORTS

Noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service
obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

"Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-
2007," updated September 12, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32170.pdf

"The Military Commissions Act of 2006: Analysis of Procedural
Rules and Comparison with Previous DOD Rules and the Uniform
Code of Military Justice," updated September 27, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33688.pdf

"Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1999-2006,"
September 26, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL34187.pdf

"Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy," updated September 14,
2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL32686.pdf

"Syria: U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues," updated September
19, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33487.pdf

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

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

"Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and
Institutional Implications," updated September 17, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33667.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:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/subscribe.html

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

Secrecy News is archived at:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

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
1725 DeSales St NW, 6th floor
Washington, DC  20036

web:    www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email:  saftergood.nul



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