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Secrecy News -- 06/30/03

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@fas.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 11:41:16 -0400
Fwd Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 16:44:58 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 06/30/03


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 55
June 30, 2003


**	CIA "UNABLE TO LOCATE" 1947-48 INTELLIGENCE BUDGETS
**	LEVIN PRESSES CIA ON IRAQI WMD
**	CIA MODIFIES WEB PAGE ON IRAQI CENTRIFUGES
**	SENATORS OPPOSE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT IN CHINA
**	CITIZEN'S GUIDE ON USING THE FOIA


CIA "UNABLE TO LOCATE" 1947-48 INTELLIGENCE BUDGETS

In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking
declassification of the intelligence budget totals from 1947 and
1948, the Central Intelligence Agency now says that it cannot
find this information.

"We are unable to locate a document containing, or a series of
documents from which we may deduce, the aggregate U.S.
intelligence budget figure for Fiscal Year 1947," wrote Kathryn
I. Dyer, CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, in a June 27
letter to the Federation of American Scientists.

Likewise, "We are unable to locate a document containing, or a
series of documents from which we may deduce, the aggregate U.S.
intelligence budget figure for Fiscal Year 1948."

One is tempted to suggest that CIA look for the missing budget
documents next to the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. But
that would be silly.

Ms. Dyer did cite a previously undisclosed document entitled
"Schedule of Funds Appropriated for Intelligence Activities for
the Fiscal Year 1947" which indicated a "Grand Total for State,
War and Navy" of $30,855,300.

However, she said, "we cannot vouch with certainty that this
figure represents the aggregate U.S. intelligence budget figure
for Fiscal Year 1947." See her June 27 letter here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/foia/1947/cia062703.html

While disappointing, the latest CIA response actually marks some
incremental progress in overcoming mindless budget secrecy.
 This historical budget information was originally sought in a
1995 FOIA request. Its release was immediately denied as
classified information, a position that CIA affirmed in 2000 on
appeal. Under pressure of litigation, however, the Agency has
shifted its position, no longer invoking national security or
intelligence sources and methods and disclosing at least the
above-cited Grand Total figure.

And the case is not over yet. We are possibly as stubborn in
our determination to win disclosure of such intelligence budget
data as the CIA is to suppress it.

(A CIA response to a related lawsuit seeking declassification of
the 2002 intelligence budget total has been deferred until July
11.)


LEVIN PRESSES CIA ON IRAQI WMD

While most congressional leaders remain politely deferential,
not to say obsequious, towards the Bush Administration on the
subject of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Senator Carl Levin
(D-MI) is stepping forward to raise some of the awkward
questions others prefer to ask behind closed doors, if at all.

For example, in a June 26 letter, Senator Levin, the ranking
member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, probed the
reported dispute among intelligence analysts over the
significance of the mysterious Iraqi trailers. CIA and DIA had
described the trailers conclusively as "mobile biological
warfare agent production plants." State Department analysts
reportedly demurred.

"Why isn't this dissenting view noted on the CIA's website?"
Senator Levin wanted to know.

Moreover, "Is it standard practice for the CIA to put reports
like this [on the Iraqi trailers] on its web site? If so, what
is the purpose of doing so? If not, why was an exception made in
this case and what was the purpose of doing so?"

See Senator Levin's June 26 letter here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/levin062603.html

The question of the State Department's dissenting view of the
subject was batted about at a June 26 State Department press
briefing:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2003/06/dos062603.html

On June 27, Senator Levin "directed his staff on the [Senate
Armed Services] committee to begin an inquiry into the
objectivity and credibility of the intelligence concerning the
presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq immediately
before the war and the alleged Iraq-al Qaeda connection, and the
effect of such intelligence on Department of Defense policy
decisions, military planning and conduct of operations in Iraq."
 See:

http://levin.senate.gov/releases/062703pr1.htm


CIA MODIFIES WEB PAGE ON IRAQI CENTRIFUGES

The Central Intelligence Agency has abruptly removed from its
web site published photographs of centrifuge equipment and
engineering drawings hidden in Iraq in 1991 and recently handed
over to the Agency by Dr. Mahdi Shukur Ubaydi, a senior Iraqi
nuclear scientist.

The photographs had been featured in a June 26 news release from
the CIA, reposted here in its complete form:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2003/06/cia062603.html

A notice from Cryptome.org, which spotted the change in the CIA
web site, suggests that the photos were withdrawn because they
might have permitted identification of the product manufacturer.
 See:

http://cryptome.org/cia-waffle.htm


SENATORS OPPOSE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT IN CHINA

Two leading conservative senators have introduced a resolution
condemning the tide of secrecy that threatens to wash over Hong
Kong if a proposed national security law is enacted next month.

"The law, as now drafted, is vague and overly broad in its
definitions of subversion, sedition, and official secrets," said
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS).

"This horrendous bill would allow the Hong Kong Government to
prosecute members of the news media for publishing information
that would arbitrarily be deemed a 'state secret'," he said.

In protest, Senator Brownback and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
introduced Senate Joint Resolution 14 on June 27. See:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2003/sjres14.html


CITIZEN'S GUIDE ON USING THE FOIA

The House Government Reform Committee has just published an
updated edition of "A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of
Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request
Government Records."

The new publication is the eleventh edition of the Guide, a
popular handbook which has been "one of the most widely read
congressional committee reports in history."

A copy of the June 23, 2003 Citizen's Guide is posted here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/foia/citizen.html



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

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