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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 27

Secrecy News -- 11/27/02

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 11:21:39 -0500
Archived: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 09:58:19 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 11/27/02


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 118
November 27, 2002


**	KISSINGER NAMED HEAD OF 9/11 COMMISSION
**	"TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS" CONTROVERSY UNFOLDS
**	"SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED" BECOMES LAW
**	RUMSFELD: "STRATEGIC INFLUENCE" LIVES ON
**	INADVERTENT DISCLOSURES OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
**	PUBLIC INFO ON INTELLIGENCE POSES A THREAT, STAFFER SAYS
**	NATIONAL SECURITY LAW CASEBOOK
**	THE ENDURING SIGNIFICANCE OF JOHN RAWLS
**	WRITE THE CLASSIFIED HISTORY OF THE WAR ON TERRORISM


KISSINGER NAMED HEAD OF 9/11 COMMISSION

In an astonishing move that heralds stark limits on the scope of
the investigation of the September 11 terrorist attacks,
President Bush today named former Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger to be head of the congressionally mandated Commission
that will conduct the next phase of the investigation.

"Dr. Kissinger will bring broad experience, clear thinking and
careful judgment to this important task," the President said in
signing the 2003 Intelligence Authorization Act.

But Kissinger is not distinguished as an impartial judge of
government misconduct, to put it mildly.  To the contrary, he is
an investigatee, not an investigator, and one who has stubbornly
resisted the disclosure of official information to members of
Congress, courts of law, private researchers, and others.

With his appointment, it becomes hard to imagine, for example,
that the new Commission would ever subpoena the White House for
access to the President's Daily Brief that reportedly warned of
the potential for terrorism in August 2001.


"TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS" CONTROVERSY UNFOLDS

New information about the scope and budget of the Pentagon's
Total Information Awareness (TIA) initiative has emerged, as the
controversial program to develop a vast transactional database
of personal information for hunting terrorists continued to draw
bipartisan criticism.

Though the Pentagon said last week that the TIA budget was a
mere $10 million, a close analysis by the Electronic Privacy
Information Center found that total spending for all TIA
component programs was closer to $245 million during FY 2001-03.
 See materials from a November 25 EPIC press briefing on TIA
here:

http://www.epic.org/events/tia_briefing/

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the incoming Chairman of the
Senate Finance Committee, questioned "why DoD resources are
being spent on research for domestic law enforcement," and asked
the Pentagon Inspector General to "conduct a complete and
thorough review of the TIA program."  See Sen. Grassley's
November 22 letter here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/gr112202.html

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told ABC News This Week on
November 24 that he had asked Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to fire
Adm. John Poindexter, the head of the DARPA Information
Awareness Office, because of Poindexter's record of having lied
to Congress.

Questioned about the whole matter on November 18, Secretary
Rumsfeld told Americans not to worry.

"I haven't been briefed on it [TIA]; I'm not knowledgeable about
it. Anyone who is concerned ought not be. Anyone with any
concern ought to be able to sleep well tonight. Nothing terrible
is going to happen."   See:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/dod111802.html

See also "A One-Way Information Highway:  The homeland security
bill shows a government that wants to learn more and divulge
less" by James Kuhnhenn and Drew Brown, Philadelphia Inquirer,
November 24:

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/nation/4589307.htm

"Lawmakers, privacy advocates and civil libertarians are
criticizing a controversial Defense Department research project
as an invasion of personal privacy, and are questioning whether
it should be scrapped," writes Shane Harris in Government
Executive, November 25:

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1102/112502h1.htm

"Big Brother Will Be Watching America," according to the
headline of a story by Suzanne Goldenberg in the Guardian,
November 23:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,845777,00.html

Author and security analyst George Smith notes that the Total
Information Awareness program bears a spooky resemblance to a
system conceived by the Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw
Lem in one of his dystopic tales.  See Smith's article "When
Washington Mimics Sci- Fi" in Security Focus, November 24:

http://online.securityfocus.com/columnists/126


"SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED" BECOMES LAW

In an open-ended congressional invitation to increase official
secrecy, the new Homeland Security Act instructs the President
to "identify and safeguard homeland security information that is
sensitive but unclassified" (Section 892).

   http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2002/hr5710-111302.html#hsi

Because the new law provides no formal definition of the word
"sensitive," this provision could be used to justify expansive
new restrictions on the disclosure of unclassified information.

While "sensitive" information has been referenced in a number of
laws such as the Computer Security Act of 1987, this is
apparently the first time that the problematic category of
"sensitive but unclassified" information has appeared in a
federal statute.


RUMSFELD: "STRATEGIC INFLUENCE" LIVES ON

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld last week likened the brewing
controversy over the Total Information Awareness program to an
earlier dispute over the Pentagon's Office of Strategic
Influence, which critics asserted -- erroneously, according to
the Pentagon -- was created to engage in disinformation.

As a result of all of the negative publicity, the Office of
Strategic Influence was shut down.  Or maybe it wasn't.
 Rumsfeld said last week that only the name has been abandoned.
 The Office's intended functions are being carried out.

"And then there was the Office of Strategic Influence," Rumsfeld
reminisced on November 18.  "You may recall that. And 'oh my
goodness gracious isn't that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is
going to fall.' I went down that next day and said fine, if you
want to savage this thing, fine, I'll give you the corpse.
There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep
doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have."

See excerpts from Rumsfeld's November 18 media availability:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/dod111802.html


INADVERTENT DISCLOSURES OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

In an ongoing review of previously declassified public records
at the National Archives, Energy Department reviewers found 47
pages of classified nuclear weapons information that was
inadvertently disclosed out of approximately two million pages
that they reviewed earlier this year.

An assessment of the damage, if any, that might have resulted
from the disclosures was said to be underway.

The inadvertent disclosures were described in a classified
report to Congress dated May 2002 that was published in
declassified form by the Department of Energy this week.

While some of the disclosures apparently involved sensitive
nuclear weapons design information, the most common accidental
disclosures concerned historical "nuclear weapons storage
locations" from decades ago that, while formally classified, are
no longer sensitive, some Energy Department officials privately
acknowledge.

At a meeting with Energy Department and National Archives
officials last week, a working group of non-governmental
historians resolved to press for a revision of classification
policy so that historical nuclear weapons locations would no
longer be considered classified.

A copy of the DOE latest Report to Congress on Inadvertent
Releases of Restricted Data and Formerly Restricted Data is
posted here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/inadvertent7.html


PUBLIC INFO ON INTELLIGENCE POSES A THREAT, STAFFER SAYS

The performance of U.S. intelligence is degraded by the public
availability of information about intelligence, according to a
congressional staffer, and non-governmental organizations that
publish such information, such as the Federation of American
Scientists, are part of the problem, he said.

"Too many people in the world today know how we go about our
business," said Timothy R. Sample, staff director of the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, speaking November 22
at an American Bar Association conference on "National Security
Law In A Changing World" in Arlington, Virginia.

"I would argue that what I will call intelligence oversight
'hobby shopping' by individuals who get a kick out of just
supplying information -- especially when it's for no real cause;
but in the name of 'openness' -- have absolutely no idea what
the impact of their information is, and how damaging it can be,"
Mr. Sample said.

"And I would take, for example -- though I may pay for it later
-- I would take, for example, if you go to some of the things
that have been released by the American Federation of Science
[sic].  There is a web site that has information on it.  And I
can't say whether it's good information, bad information -- it's
a lot of information.  And it is for no particular purpose.
 Other than, hey, look what I found out, and I'm going to put it
out."

"That, to me, is a specific area that nobody wants to talk about
too much.  And that, to me, is something we also have to put
into the equation," he said.

Limiting publication of intelligence information to that which
has an approved "purpose" would not be a sensible way to
navigate between competing and occasionally conflicting
interests in security and public disclosure.  It does, however,
help to explain why Mr. Sample's Committee's web site is
practically barren and devoid of interest:

http://intelligence.house.gov/


NATIONAL SECURITY LAW CASEBOOK

The study of national security law is not only intrinsically important,
it can also be very interesting.  The premier casebook for students of
the subject is "National Security Law" by professors Stephen Dycus,
Arthur L. Berney, William C. Banks, and Peter Raven-Hansen.

The third edition of the book has just been published with a timely new
section on "Fighting Terrorists and International Criminals."

The book offers an excellent selection of key statutes and
rulings, along with interpretive commentary, questions for
discussion, and further references.

For further information search "National Security Law" on the
publisher's web site:

http://www.aspenpublishers.com/


THE ENDURING SIGNFICANCE OF JOHN RAWLS

"The Enduring Significance of John Rawls" is an appreciation of
the work of political philosopher John Rawls, who died November
24.  It was written by Martha Nussbaum and appeared in the
Chronicle of Higher Education on July 20, 2001.  See:

http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i45/45b00701.htm


WRITE THE CLASSIFIED HISTORY OF THE WAR ON TERRORISM

The Defense Department is looking for a historian to research
and write a classified history of the role of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff (JCS) in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

"The contractor shall research and write a volume that will
provide a narrative account of the CJCS/Joint Staff and JCS
involvement in the development of national security/counter-
 terrorism policy and counter- terrorist operations for the GWOT
during the eighteen months following the attacks of 11 September
2001."  (Thanks to WMA.)  See:

http://www.eps.gov/spg/USA/DSS-W/DASW01/DASW01-03-R-0002/SynopsisP.html


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

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