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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 12

Secrecy News -- 09/12/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 11:00:02 -0400
Archived: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 12:01:36 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 09/12/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 91
September 12, 2007

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

Support Secrecy News:

http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**	DoJ: NEW SURVEILLANCE LAW COULD BE "MISCONSTRUED"
**	LEGACY OF ASHES: A REJOINDER
**	SELECTED CRS REPORTS


DoJ: NEW SURVEILLANCE LAW COULD BE "MISCONSTRUED"

Critics of the new Protect America Act who wonder if it will be
used to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans have
misunderstood the legislation, according to a Department of
Justice official, but he also admitted the law may be
susceptible to such a misunderstanding.

"Contrary to some reports, the new legislation does nothing to
change FISA's prohibition against targeting a person in the
United States for surveillance without a court order," said
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth L. Wainstein at a hearing of
the House Intelligence Committee last week.

At the same time, he indicated that ambiguities in the language
of the law may lend themselves to just such an interpretation.

"To the extent that the statute could be construed to allow
acquisitions of domestic communications, we would be willing to
consider alternative language," Mr. Wainstein said in his
prepared statement (at page 10).

A copy of Mr. Wainstein's September 6 statement is here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_hr/090607wainstein.pdf

The text of his oral remarks is here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_hr/090607wainstein-oral.pdf

The ambiguities in the Protect America Act are far more
extensive than what has yet been officially acknowledged,
according to Morton H. Halperin of the Open Society Institute.
(The Open Society Institute helps fund Secrecy News.)

"Congress enacted legislation the meaning of which is simply not
deducible from the words in the text," he told the House
Judiciary Committee last week.

Will the new law "lead to the interception of phone calls and
emails that the intelligence community should not be reading"?

"I have no idea if that is the case or not but neither does
anyone else in the public and most of the Congress," said Mr.
Halperin. "That very uncertainty is simply unacceptable and a
threat to both our liberty and our security."

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_hr/090507halperin.pdf


LEGACY OF ASHES: A REJOINDER

"Legacy of Ashes," the best-selling new history of the Central
Intelligence Agency by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Tim
Weiner, has been almost universally praised by prestigious book
reviewers as a ground-breaking, comprehensive, reliable and
insightful account of the CIA from its inception to the present.
It was favorably cited in Secrecy News too.

In a detailed and sharply-worded critique, author Jeffrey T.
Richelson dissents.

The book "makes ill-supported claims, issues grandiose
judgments, and gives only cursory attention to important
episodes," says Richelson, who himself has produced several
volumes of intelligence history.

"The kudos lavished on Weiner's book... are just as disturbing
as the volume's shortcomings," writes Richelson, and "the
uniform praise ... leaves one with a sinking feeling."

"An intelligent debate about the strengths and shortcomings of
the CIA, as well as its future, requires an unbiased
understanding of its performance -- something missing both from
Legacy of Ashes and its reviews."

See "Sins of Omission and Commission" by Jeffrey T. Richelson,
published in the Washington DeCoded blog:

http://www.washingtondecoded.com/site/2007/09/sins-of-
omissio.html


SELECTED CRS REPORTS

Notable new reports from the Congressional Research Service that
have not been made readily available to the public include the
following.

"India-U.S. Economic and Trade Relations," August 31, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34161.pdf

"U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress," updated
August 20, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32496.pdf

"United States Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Iraqi
Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom," updated August 17,
2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22452.pdf

"Federal Prison Industries," updated July 13, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32380.pdf

"Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Effects and Countermeasures," updated August 28, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22330.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
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood.nul
voice: (202) 454-4691



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