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Secrecy News -- 02/11/04

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 14:00:08 -0500
Fwd Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 07:39:41 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 02/11/04


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 17
February 11, 2004


**	INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT IN THE BIBLE
**	CRS ON HOMELAND SECURITY
**	FRD ON TERRORISM AND CRIME
**	JASON ON NEUTRINOS AND THE GLOBAL GRID
**	LEAK PROBE PERCOLATES ALONG


INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT IN THE BIBLE

It is often noted that espionage is an ancient enterprise with
roots at least as old as the Bible.

But what is rarely if ever recalled is that intelligence
oversight and accountability are *also* part of the Biblical
record, and that the Deity imposed a severe penalty upon those
who distorted intelligence and inflated threats.

A Washington Times op-ed writer today attempted to defend the
CIA by citing the first half of the Biblical precedent.

"Some Americans find in the CIA a convenient scapegoat, failing
to recognize that throughout history espionage has been used to
protect peoples from their enemies. Ancient Israel had spies:
'Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan [to see] whether
the cities they dwell in are camps or strongholds.' (Numbers
13:17-19)," wrote Ernest W. Lefever of the Ethics and Public
Policy Center in the Washington Times, Feb. 11, p. A18.

What Dr. Lefever failed to mention is that the spies sent by
Moses came back with a hyped National Intelligence Estimate,
with unhappy results.

"The land, through which we have gone, to spy it out, is a land
that devours its inhabitants... and we seemed to ourselves like
grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them." (Numbers 13: 32-33).
Only Joshua and Caleb dissented from this majority view.

Because they wittingly or unwittingly exaggerated the
capabilities of the Canaanites, God sentenced the spies to
death, displaying no judicial deference to the intelligence
agencies.

"The men who brought an unfavorable report about the land died
by a plague before the Lord," we are told.

"But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh alone remained
alive, of those men who went to spy out the land." (Numbers 14:
36-37).


CRS ON HOMELAND SECURITY

There are quite a few reports of the Congressional Research
Service that present authoritative surveys of an issue coupled
with insightful, expert analysis; others are perfunctory
compilations of material readily available in the public domain.

But all of them are subject to the arbitrary secrecy policy
championed by Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), chairman of the House
Committee on House Administration, and embraced by the CRS
leadership, which prohibits direct public access to CRS reports.

To defy that secrecy policy, and to make those reports directly
available to the public, is therefore a virtuous act even when
the reports themselves are of uneven quality.

A selection of recent CRS reports on Homeland Security and
related topics is here:

"Homeland Security: The Presidential Coordination Office,"
updated February 4, 2004:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RL31148.pdf

"Homeland Security: Department Organization and Management --
Implementation Phase," updated February 4, 2004:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RL31751.pdf

"Pipeline Security: An Overview of Federal Activities and
Current Policy Issues," updated February 5, 2004:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RL31990.pdf

"Ricin: Technical Background and Potential Role in Terrorism,"
updated February 4, 2004:

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21383.pdf

"Border Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles," January 2, 2004:

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21698.pdf

"Maritime Security: Overview of Issues," updated December 5,
2003:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RS21079.pdf

"Port and Maritime Security: Background and Issues for
Congress," updated December 5, 2003:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RL31733.pdf

"Air Cargo Security," updated September 11, 2003:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RL32022.pdf

"Comparisons of U.S. and Foreign Military Spending: Data from
Selected Public Sources," January 28, 2004:

http://www.fas.org/man/crs/RL32209.pdf


FRD ON TERRORISM AND CRIME

Unlike the Congressional Research Service, the Federal Research
Division of the Library of Congress does make some of its
reports directly available to the public.

The following two reports were prepared by FRD for the DCI Crime
and Narcotics Center (thanks to GP, www.resourceshelf.com for
pointing these out):

"Nations Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism," October
2003:

http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/frd1003.pdf

"Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area of
South America," July 2003 (a report which has been the subject
of recent news stories):

http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/frd0703.pdf


JASON ON NEUTRINOS AND THE GLOBAL GRID

The JASON defense advisory group is another worthy entity that
operates happily outside of public awareness. Two more
previously unpublished JASON reports, somewhat dated but of
possible interest to specialists, are now available here:

"Neutrino Detection Primer," JSR-84-105, March 1988 (2 MB). This
report is intended to provide for non-expert readers a survey of
natural and man-made neutrino sources and a critical review of
various methods which have been proposed for their detection:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/neutrino.pdf

"JASON Global Grid Study," JRS-92-100, July 1992 (5 MB). This is
an assessment of the emerging global communications grid, as of
the early 1990s:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/grid.pdf


LEAK PROBE PERCOLATES ALONG

The increasing pace of the investigation into the leak of
undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity is raising
expectations that the probe might actually lead to some
conclusive result.

But news reports indicated that some Administration officials
were refusing to sign forms waiving any confidentiality they
might have been granted by journalists.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) wrote to
the President yesterday, contending that such officials were not
complying with his explicit direction to comply fully with the
leak investigation. See their February 10 letter here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/h021004.pdf


_______________________________________________
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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