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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2000 > Nov > Nov 13

Secrecy News -- 11/13/00

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@igc.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 13:41:16 -0500
Fwd Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 23:52:55 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 11/13/00

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
November 13, 2000



While some unauthorized disclosures of classified information
may cause damage to national security, even senior intelligence
officials admit that other leaks can positively serve the public

CIA Inspector General Britt Snider recently described a case
from 1975, when he was a staff member on the congressional
Church Committee investigating the U.S. intelligence community,
in which a leak to the press served a beneficial purpose.

The Church Committee had been seeking to arrange a briefing from
the National Security Agency -- without success.  But then:

"In early August, a press leak appeared in an article in The New
York Times alleging that NSA had eavesdropped on the
international communications of US citizens.  The article
discussed in general terms the matters we were investigating,
and it was a source of considerable consternation for the
Committee as well as NSA.  The leak had the salutary effect,
however, of breaking the bureaucratic logjam that had stymied
us.  With the allegations now a matter of public record, NSA
wanted to explain its side of the story.  So, in late August,
NSA told me that a briefing was being arranged."

The possibility of such a real-world benefit from an
unauthorized disclosure of classified information was not
acknowledged in the now-vetoed congressional initiative to
criminalize all such disclosures.

Britt Snider's anecdote appeared in an article published in the
unclassified edition of Studies in Intelligence, Winter
1999-2000, which is posted here:


The congressional sponsors of the ill-fated legislation to
outlaw all leaks responded to the President's veto with "howls
of betrayal," writes Vernon Loeb of the Washington Post.  He
reviews the veto and its aftermath in his online column



The State Department has published a new volume of the Foreign
Relations of the United States (FRUS) series concerning U.S.
policy towards Korea during 1964-1968.  The FRUS series,
established during the Abraham Lincoln Administration, is
nowadays composed largely of declassified government records
that document the official history of U.S. policy.

The latest FRUS volume notably includes an extensive compilation
of records concerning the North Korean seizure of the U.S.S.
Pueblo, an American intelligence gathering vessel, in January
1968.  The crew of the Pueblo was held hostage by North Korea
for nearly a year.  The ship itself was never recovered, in what
was described as an unprecedented compromise of U.S. cryptologic
operations and techniques.

The text of the new FRUS volume is posted here (see documents
212-331 on the Pueblo Crisis):


Publication of a companion FRUS volume on U.S. relations with
Japan from 1964-1968 has been blocked, because the Office of the
Historian at the State Department was unable to secure
declassification of numerous key documents.  As a result, "the
Japan ... volume did not constitute a 'thorough and accurate,
and reliable documentary record of major United States foreign
policy decisions'," as required by law.  "This volume on Japan
will not be printed until it meets these standards.  The
Historian and the Advisory Committee will continue to seek
declassification of the documents withheld," wrote outgoing
State Historian William Z. Slany in his Preface to the new

A major obstacle to publication of the FRUS volume on Japan is
presumed to be the CIA's "covert" funding of Japan's Liberal
Democratic Party, since the CIA has not acknowledged its role in
financing the LDP.  Nevertheless, one can read about it in a
front-page story by Tim Weiner that appeared in the New York
Times on October 9, 1994 ("C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support
Japanese Right in 50's and 60's").


Walter Goad, a nuclear weapons physicist who spoke out against
the government's handling of the Wen Ho Lee case, died November

Speaking with the authority of a senior weapons designer who had
participated in the development of the first thermonuclear
weapons, Goad declared that government assertions about the
severity of Wen Ho Lee's actions were "exaggerations, grossly
misleading in their import."

Goad's disinterested and straightforward arguments, along with
those of a few colleagues, helped to deflate the government's
more extreme claims and to lay the groundwork for the court's
eventual apology to Wen Ho Lee.

The full text of Dr. Goad's May 2000 declaration in the Wen Ho
Lee case is now posted here:


According to an obituary notice circulated by the Stanford
Alpine Club, "memorial donations may be made to the Wilderness
Society, 900 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006-2506,
or to the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, P. O.
Box 80915, Albuquerque, NM 87198."

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Secrecy News is archived at:

Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
Email:  saftergood@igc.org

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