UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Feb > Feb 17

Secrecy News -- 02/17/04

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 12:33:57 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 16:55:46 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 02/17/04


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 19
February 17, 2004


**	"INDEFENSIBLE SECRECY" AT CIA
**	SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES AND THE LAW
**	SENATE TO HOLD SECRET SESSION ON INTELLIGENCE
**	SSCI EXPANDS INQUIRY INTO PRE-WAR IRAQ INTELLIGENCE


"INDEFENSIBLE SECRECY" AT CIA

Government officials are successfully blocking efforts to reform
national security secrecy policies, but the price of their
success is mounting public contempt for those policies.

The CIA last week defeated a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit
to compel the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to
declassify the total intelligence budget for Fiscal Year 2002.
 A federal court ruled that the aggregate intelligence spending
figure is exempt from disclosure. (Secrecy News, 02/10/04).

However, the DCI's victory is raising larger questions about the
integrity of the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy's secrecy
practices, and even about its ability to perform its core
mission:  to properly assess threats to the national security.

The government's handling of the budget disclosure matter "is so
erratic that it cannot reasonably command public respect,"
according to a ringing editorial in the Washington Post today.

The Post noted that the CIA had declassified budget totals from
1997 and 1998 but "ludicrously" resisted release of similar
information from half a century earlier.

The stubborn opposition to disclosure of the intelligence budget
total "only highlights a classification system out of control,"
the Post concluded.

See "Indefensible Secrecy," Washington Post, February 17 (free
registration required):

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46680-
2004Feb16.html

In a motion filed in D.C. District Court today, the Federation
of American Scientists asked Judge Ricardo M. Urbina to
reconsider his February 6 ruling and to release the requested
budget number for 2002.  See:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/foia/2002/sa021704.pdf


SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES AND THE LAW

Special operations forces (SOF) are small military units that
employ unconventional methods of warfare.  Thousands of U.S.
special operations personnel are deployed in dozens of countries
around the world including, of course, Afghanistan and Iraq.

But "the unconventional operational methods of SOF create a
chink in their armor not faced by the conventional armed
forces," according to a recent master's thesis by an Air Force
Major:  "The nontraditional attire worn by SOF while operating
in enemy territory, rather than traditional uniforms, arguably
results in forfeiture of prisoner of war (POW) status for SOF
under the law of war."

In addressing this legal issue, the author provides a highly
readable introduction to the organization and characteristics of
U.S. special forces, as well as the relevant laws of war.

See "Nontraditional Uniforms Do Accord Prisoner of War Status
For Special Operations Forces" by Maj. Robert James Drone,
George Washington University Law School, August 31, 2003 (79
pages, 2.7 MB PDF file) (thanks to RT):

http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/drone.pdf

"The special forces' success in Iraq has ... obscured a more
ominous consequence of their newfound popularity: that expanding
their role in the way [Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld intends could
be very dangerous for U.S. foreign policy," writes Jennifer
Kibbe of the Brookings Institution.

"Thanks to the vagueness of U.S. law governing covert action,
using the military for such operations is -- at least under one
interpretation of the law -- much easier than using the CIA."

See "The Rise of the Shadow Warriors" by Jennifer D. Kibbe in
Foreign Affairs, March/April 2004.


SENATE TO HOLD SECRET SESSION ON INTELLIGENCE

The Senate will meet in closed session in the near future to
address the status of U.S. intelligence, the Washington Post
reported.

The precise date and scope of the session have yet to be worked
out, the Post said ("Senate to Close Intelligence Session" by
Helen Dewar and Dana Priest, February 14).

Since 1929, the Senate has held 53 secret sessions, according to
a report of the Congressional Research Service.  Six sessions in
January and February 1999 concerned the impeachment of President
Clinton.  The next most recent secret session in the Senate in
April 1997 addressed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The origin and past practice of such closed sessions of Congress
is summarized in "Secret Sessions of Congress: A Brief
Historical Overview" by Mildred Amer, Congressional Research
Service, updated August 5, 2003:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RS20145.pdf


SSCI EXPANDS INQUIRY INTO PRE-WAR IRAQ INTELLIGENCE

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a statement
on February 12 regarding the newly expanded scope of its inquiry
into the pre-war use of intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction.

That inquiry will now include the politically delicate but
crucial question of "whether public statements and reports and
testimony regarding Iraq by U.S. Government officials made
between the Gulf War period and the commencement of Operation
Iraqi Freedom were substantiated by intelligence information."
 See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2004/02/ssci021204.html


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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
secrecy_news-request.nul
with "subscribe" in the body of the message.

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

Secrecy News is archived at:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

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




[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp


Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com