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Secrecy News -- 02/03/04

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 14:09:48 -0500
Fwd Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2004 07:07:18 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 02/03/04


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 13
February 3, 2004


**	DOE INTELLIGENCE BUDGET GOES BLACK
**	GRAHAM: WHITE HOUSE USED SECRECY TO SHIELD SAUDIS
**	DEMOCRATS URGE INDEPENDENT INTEL COMMISSION
**	EXTENSION OF 9-11 COMMISSION PROPOSED
**	SECRET HOLD BLOCKS STUDY OF WWII DETAINEES


DOE INTELLIGENCE BUDGET GOES BLACK

The Department of Energy (DOE) is refusing to disclose the 2005
funding request for its small Office of Intelligence.

The budget for DOE intelligence has been unclassified for as
long as anyone can remember. But the 2005 DOE budget
justification documents, released on February 2, make no mention
of the it.

Why the secrecy? DOE wouldn't say.

"We are not going to discuss this issue at this time," said
Joseph Davis, the principal deputy director of public affairs at
DOE, in response to a query from Secrecy News.

Last year, DOE systematically went through the prior-year budget
documents that are posted on the DOE web site and excised all
reference to intelligence spending (SN, 10/22/03).

But detailed DOE intelligence budget information for 1999
through 2004 is still available here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doe/budget.html

When it comes to intelligence budget secrecy, the Federal Bureau
of Investigation apparently didn't get the memo: The FBI
disclosed this week that it is requesting $13.4 million in 2005
for its own Office of Intelligence. It also reported proposed
funding levels for the joint Terrorist Threat Integration Center
and the Terrorist Screening Center. Likewise, the State
Department disclosed amounts requested for its Bureau of
Intelligence and Research (INR).

But these are exceptions. Intelligence budget secrecy remains
the rule, though an increasingly disputed one.

"After a dubious conclusion that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass
destruction just before the war in Iraq, critics say there
should be more financial accountability for the government's
spying," according to a story about the "black budget" in USA
Today.

See "Data sought on secret spending" by Richard Benedetto, USA
Today, February 3:

http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20040203/5891789s.htm


GRAHAM: WHITE HOUSE USED SECRECY TO SHIELD SAUDIS

Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), former chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, accused the Bush Administration of
improperly employing national security classification in order
to conceal the extent of Saudi involvement in the September 11
terrorist attacks.

"The Administration misused the classification process to
protect the foreign governments that may have been involved in
9-11," Sen. Graham said in a floor statement February 3.

As evidence of this charge, he revealed new information about
the missing "27 pages" that were withheld from the published
version of the congressional Joint Inquiry Report last year.

He noted that "some of the information censored from these pages
actually appears in other parts of the report," and he went on
to describe three examples of information about Saudi nationals
that had been censored in the 27 missing pages but described
elsewhere in the same report.

"There is no reason for the Bush administration to continue to
shield make-believe allies who are supporting, either directly
or indirectly, terrorists who want to kill Americans," he said.

See Sen. Graham's full statement, with the discussion of the 27
pages highlighted in bold towards the end, here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/graham020204.html


DEMOCRATS URGE INDEPENDENT INTEL COMMISSION

Democratic congressional leaders said this week that a new
independent commission on intelligence and the Iraq war should
not be unilaterally appointed by President Bush.

"While we support the need for an independent commission, this
commission should not be one whose members are appointed by and
report to the White House," they wrote in a February 2 letter to
the President.

"One of the major questions that needs to be addressed is
whether senior Administration officials, including members of
the Cabinet and senior White House officials, misled the
Congress and the public about the nature of the threat from
Iraq. Even some of your own statements and those of Vice
President Cheney need independent scrutiny. A commission
appointed and controlled by the White House will not have the
independence or credibility necessary to investigate these
issues." See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/com020204.pdf


EXTENSION OF 9-11 COMMISSION PROPOSED

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the Senate to extend
the duration of the National Commission that is investigating
the September 11 attacks until January 2005. See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/s2040.html


SECRET HOLD BLOCKS STUDY OF WWII DETAINEES

A proposal to investigate the conduct of the United States
government towards foreign minorities detained or otherwise
placed in jeopardy during World War II is being blocked in the
United States Senate by an anonymous "hold," complained Sen.
Dianne Feinstein, a sponsor of the measure.

Last year, a bipartisan bill called the "Wartime Treatment Study
Act" was introduced in the Senate (S. 1691). Its declared
purpose is "to establish commissions to review the facts and
circumstances surrounding injustices suffered by European
Americans, European Latin Americans, and Jewish refugees during
World War II."

"S. 1691 would not grant reparations to victims. It would simply
create a commission to review the facts and circumstances of the
U.S. Government's treatment of German Americans, Italian
Americans and other European Americans during World War II,"
Sen. Feinstein said.

"Unfortunately, someone on the other [i.e. Republican] side of
the aisle has placed a hold on the bill. This anonymous person
or persons are unwilling to identify themselves or to explain
the reasons for the hold," Sen. Feinstein said. See her January
28 floor statement here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2004/s012804.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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_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood.nul
voice: (202) 454-4691



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