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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Jun > Jun 22

Secrecy News -- 06/21/02

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@fas.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 12:05:59 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 03:33:57 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 06/21/02

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 56
June 21, 2002



"Well-intentioned but poorly engineered security procedures...
are undermining an atmosphere of creativity and innovation" at
the Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories, according
to a new report prepared for the Secretary of Energy.

The report, entitled "Science and Security in the 21st Century,"
was authored by a Commission of distinguished former government
officials and others led by John J. Hamre of the Center for
Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The Commission brought a mostly common-sense perspective to bear
on a range of DOE security policies as it considered how to
enhance security while promoting scientific vitality.

"A serious rift has developed between the scientists and the
security professionals, and security will be seriously
undermined if these two communities drift farther apart," the
Commission report said (p. 5).

The 121 page report has much of interest to say on a variety of
topics. A few notable points are these:

**	"Sensitive unclassified information is causing acute
problems at DOE," the Commission found, because it has "no
usable definition," there is "no common understanding of how to
control it," and "no agreement on what significance it has for
U.S. national security" (p. 55).

**	"Security procedures should vary in intensity according to
the level of sensitivity of information, activities, and
materials" (p. 42). This intuitively obvious prescription is
often violated in DOE and elsewhere in government. "In many
laboratories, islands of ultra-sensitivity coexist on site
within larger seas of little-to-no sensitivity."

**	In 1999, DOE declared "zero tolerance" for violations of
security policy-- but this was overkill. "The Commission
believes that a robust security system must include a candid
acknowledgment that human beings do make mistakes" (p. 53).

**	DOE polygraph policy should be revised to make it
comparable to that of the Defense Department, in which polygraph
tests are chiefly used as an investigative tool, and only
sparingly as a screening tool when exceptional program security
is required (p. 62).

The executive summary of "Science and Security in the 21st
Century" is available on the CSIS web site here:


The Department of Energy's response to the Commission report is
described here:



The Bush Administration complained to Congress yesterday
following the publication of information about National Security
Agency (NSA) intercepts concerning the September 11 attacks that
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer termed "alarmingly

"The President was deeply concerned about these leaks,"
Fleischer said. See related excerpts from the June 20 White
House press briefing here:


 >From a distance, it is difficult to assess exactly how
sensitive the disclosure of the two phrases, intercepted and
translated by the NSA, and widely reported in the press on June
20, might be. But there is agreement that the published
information was formally classified. Embarrassed leaders of the
joint intelligence committee investigating September 11 said
they had asked Attorney General Ashcroft to investigate the

The significance of the intercepts was discussed in "Coded
warnings became clear only in light of Sept. 11 attacks" by Tom
Shane and Ariel Sabar in the June 21 Baltimore Sun:


Speaking to a gathering of reporters yesterday, Sen. Richard
Shelby, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee,
reminded them that two years ago President Clinton had vetoed
his proposal to criminalize all leaks of classified information.
  Sen. Shelby seemed unaware that the unauthorized disclosure of
NSA intercepts is already prohibited under current law.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, ranking minority member of the House
Intelligence Committee, defended the veto of Shelby's widely
criticized proposal.

But she went on to suggest the possibility of a new anti-leak

"I hope that we can work together on legislation this year that
accomplishes the [anti-leak] purpose without some of the
objections that some of us had that will be signed by the
president," Rep. Pelosi said.

Rep. Porter Goss, chair of the House Intelligence Committee,
ruminated on the theme that too much information is classified.

"There is no question in my mind... that we overclassify, we
needlessly classify some things. We err on the side of
classification. In peacetime it seems foolish. In wartime, when
there's a serious threat, it doesn't seem quite so foolish. So
I would say it depends a little bit on your perspective. I would
say generally we have overclassified. There is probably a great
deal of information that should not be classified, that needs to
be declassified," Rep. Goss said.


Senator Michael DeWine introduced a bill yesterday that would
lower the threshold for counterintelligence surveillance and
search of "non-U.S. persons" under the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act. Instead of requiring "probable cause" that
the person is an agent of a foreign power, surveillance would be
authorized upon a mere showing of "reasonable suspicion." See:


Senator Arlen Specter said on June 20 that the President's
proposal for a Department of Homeland Security does not
satisfactorily address the intelligence challenges that the
Department would face. He called for creation of a new National
Terrorism Assessment Center. See:


Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill on June 19 that would
establish a new Director of National Intelligence to lead the
intelligence community. See:


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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to majordomo@lists.fas.org with
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Secrecy News is archived at:

Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood@fas.org
voice: (202) 454-4691

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