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Secrecy News -- 11/18/02

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 12:07:45 -0500
Archived: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 06:16:17 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 11/18/02


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 115
November 18, 2002


**	SECRECY IN 2001 REACHED AN ALL TIME HIGH
**	2003 INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT
**	NEW NUKES CONSIDERED
**	CIA ON CAMPUS
**	SECRECY IN THE NEWS


SECRECY IN 2001 REACHED AN ALL TIME HIGH

National security classification activity during the first year
of the Bush Administration set an all time record, according to
the latest statistics of the Information Security Oversight
Office (ISOO).

The report tends to substantiate the perception that the Bush
Administration has a predisposition in favor of official
secrecy.

"The total of all classification actions reported for fiscal
year 2001 increased by 44 percent to 33,020,887," according to
the 2001 ISOO Annual Report to the President, published on the
web today.

The largest classification total ever reported by ISOO until now
was 22,322,895 for fiscal year 1985.   (No total was reported
for 2000, but it would have approached 23 million.)  The
smallest Classification total ever reported was 3,579,505
classification Actions for fiscal year 1995.

The huge new total classification figure is in part an artifact
of the reporting process, because it includes both new "original
classification" activity and secondary, "derivative
classification" which involves the incorporation or paraphrase
of previously classified information in new documents.  Such
derivative declassification has increased dramatically in recent
years due to the use of email and other electronic systems to
duplicate and disseminate classified materials.

Even so, the growth in classification is real, with a reported
increase of 18% in original classification activity, or new
secrets.  Most of this increase is attributable to the
Department of Defense, according to the ISOO report.

Remarkably, and less predictably, overall declassification
activity also increased, ISOO found.  During fiscal year 2001,
the executive branch declassified just over 100 million pages,
or 34 percent more than during the preceding year.

This means that the declassification infrastructure established
by the 1995 executive order 12958 remained functional, at least
through September 30 of last year, when fiscal year 2001 ended.

"It is reasonably clear that the [executive order's] automatic
declassification program will be affected by the events of
September 11, if only in the number of resources dedicated to
it," ISOO warned.

The Information Security Oversight Office, which reports to the
President annually on classification and declassification
policy, is a component of the National Archives and takes policy
direction from the National Security Council.  Its director is
J. William Leonard.

The new 2001 ISOO Report to the President is posted here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/isoo/2001rpt.html


2003 INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT

The long-deferred Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2003
emerged from a House-Senate conference last week after agreement
was finally reached with the White House on the establishment of
a new independent Commission to investigate September 11.

The intelligence bill generally approves the President's request
for what it termed "the most substantial increase for programs
funded in the National Foreign Intelligence Program in history."

Among other points of interest and importance, the conference
report sounds a warning about the massive (and massively
expensive) modernization of U.S. spy satellites:

"With respect to the nation's imagery architecture, the
conferees are very concerned about the viability and
effectiveness of a future overhead architecture, given the
apparent lack of a comprehensive architectural plan for the
overhead system of systems, specifically in the area of imagery.
For example, the conferees believe the administration is facing
a major challenge in addressing technical and funding problems
with the Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) program that could
force untenable trades between critical future capabilities and
legacy systems."

The new bill also amends the Freedom of Information Act to
prohibit intelligence agencies from complying with FOIA requests
submitted by foreign governments (Section 312).
Characteristically, this new provision was never the subject of
public hearings or any other form of deliberation that might
have permitted critical public input.

The new conference committee report on the Intelligence
Authorization Act for FY 2003 is posted here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_rpt/hrpt107-789.html


NEW NUKES CONSIDERED

The Bush Administration is quietly revisiting the question of
whether to renew nuclear explosive testing in order to ensure
nuclear weapon stockpile reliability and to permit the design of
new nuclear weapons, according to a recent Pentagon memorandum.

See "U.S. ponders resumption of nuke-weapons test" by Dan Stober
and Jonathan S. Landay, San Jose Mercury News, November 15:

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/4530780.htm

The rationale for new nuclear weapons as an instrument of
counterproliferation was critiqued by Michael A. Levi of the
Federation of American Scientists in a paper prepared for the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  See his "Fire in
the Hole: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Options for
Counterproliferation" here:

http://www.ceip.org/files/Publications/wp31.asp


CIA ON CAMPUS

The enduring question of the proper relationship between
academia, with its presumption of openness, and the CIA, with
its habitual practices of secrecy and deception, was ventilated
once again last week on the Pacifica radio program Democracy
Now.

Political scientists David Gibbs and Robert Jervis tackled the
issue from opposing points of view in a conversation that was
civil but direct and penetrating.

The 20 minute audio program can be accessed through this page
(towards the bottom):

http://www.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20021113.html

Related resources, critical of a CIA presence in academia, are
offered by Daniel Brandt's Public Interest Research here:

http://www.cia-on-campus.org/


SECRECY IN THE NEWS

The pending Homeland Security Act includes "the most severe
weakening of the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] in its 36-
year history," Senator Patrick Leahy told the Washington Post.
 See "Disclosure Curbs in Homeland Bill Decried" by Dan Morgan,
Washington Post, November 16:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61385-2002Nov15.html

and "Homeland bill's secrecy rules criticized" by Tamara Lytle,
Orlando Sentinel, November 15:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-asecfoi15111502nov15.story

A November 14 New York Times column by William Safire galvanized
public concern about the privacy implications of DARPA's "Total
Information Awareness" initiative that would probe databases of
private transactions in search of terrorists.  A November 16
Washington Post editorial put the matter in some perspective:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61653-2002Nov15.html

By creating a new Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence,
the Pentagon has done approximately the opposite of what was
recommended by a classified review of U.S. intelligence headed
by Brent Scowcroft last year.  See "New Intelligence Post
Consolidates Rumsfeld's Clout" by Vernon Loeb in the Washington
Post online, November 18:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4439-2002Nov18.html


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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
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Secrecy News is archived at:
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