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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 30

Secrecy News -- 10/30/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 10:00:01 -0400
Archived: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 14:32:01 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 10/30/07

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 107
October 30, 2007

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

Support Secrecy News:



As required by law, the Director of National Intelligence today
disclosed that the budget for the National Intelligence Program
in Fiscal Year 2007 was $43.5 billion.


The disclosure was strongly resisted by the intelligence
bureaucracy, and for that very reason it may have significant
repercussions for national security classification policy.

Although the aggregate intelligence budget figures for 1997 and
1998 ($26.6 and $26.7 billion respectively) had previously been
disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit
brought by the Federation of American Scientists, intelligence
officials literally swore under oath that any further
disclosures would damage national security.

"Information about the intelligence budget is of great interest
to nations and non-state groups (e.g., terrorists and drug
traffickers) wishing to calculate the strengths and weaknesses
of the United States and their own points of vulnerability to
U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies," then-DCI George
J. Tenet told a federal court in April 2003, explaining his
position that disclosure of the intelligence budget total would
cause "serious damage" to the United States.

Even historical budget information from half a century ago "must
be withheld from public disclosure... because its release would
tend to reveal intelligence methods," declared then-acting DCI
John E. McLaughlin in a 2004 lawsuit, also filed by FAS.

Deferring to executive authority, federal judges including Judge
Thomas F. Hogan and Judge Ricardo M. Urbina accepted these
statements at face value and ruled in favor of continued

But now it appears that such information may safely be disclosed
after all.

Because the new disclosure is so sharply at odds with past
practice, it may introduce some positive instability into a
recalcitrant classification system. The question implicitly
arises, if intelligence officials were wrong to classify this
information, what other data are they wrongly withholding?

Some historical background on U.S. intelligence spending may be
found here:


And see "2007 Spying Said to Cost $50 Billion" by Walter Pincus,
Washington Post, October 30:


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

The Secrecy News Blog is at:

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

Secrecy News is archived at:

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:

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
voice: (202)454-4691

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