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Secrecy News -- 03/10/04

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 10:12:08 -0500
Fwd Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 10:39:40 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 03/10/04


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 27
March 10, 2004


**	CRS: NEW U.S. NUKE MAY BE MORE THAN A STUDY
**	UNDERGROUND FACILITIES PROLIFERATE
**	DOE CLASSIFICATION NEWS
**	SEN. LEVIN ON IRAQ INTELLIGENCE


CRS: NEW U.S. NUKE MAY BE MORE THAN A STUDY

A sharp increase in projected spending for a new nuclear weapons
concept known as the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP)
suggests that the program is more than merely a conceptual
study, according to an analysis this week from the Congressional
Research Service (CRS).

In response to public controversy over the new nuclear
initiative, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in May 2003
that RNEP "is a study. It is nothing more and nothing less."

But with a five year projected budget of $485 million dollars,
it now looks like something more, the CRS said.

"The FY2005 [budget] request document seems to cast serious
doubt on assertions that RNEP is only a study," wrote CRS
analyst Jonathan Medalia.

A government spokesman told CRS that the large projected
increase in spending for the new nuclear weapon was merely "an
artifact of the budget process [and] was inserted... as a
'placeholder' to protect the option of proceeding with RNEP."

See "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Budget Request and Plan,
FY2005-FY2009," CRS report RS21762, March 8:

http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/crs/RS21762.pdf

A related CRS study on "Nuclear Weapon Initiatives: Low-Yield
R&D, Advanced Concepts, Earth Penetrators, Test Readiness,"
newly updated March 8, may be found here:

http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/crs/RL32130.pdf

Direct public access to CRS products like these is opposed by
Congressional leaders such as Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), chair of the
House Committee on House Administration, and by CRS officials.


UNDERGROUND FACILITIES PROLIFERATE

One of the asserted justifications for a new type of earth
penetrator nuclear weapon is the proliferation of hardened
underground facilities around the world.

The JASON defense advisory group reported in a 1999 study that
"Underground facilities are being used to conceal and protect
critical activities that pose a threat to the United States."

"These include the development and storage of weapons of mass
destruction, principally nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons. Underground facilities can also protect critical C3
installations and national leadership."

"Hundreds of underground installations have been constructed
worldwide and many more are under construction."

See "Characterization of Underground Facilities," April 1999,
here (68 pages, 3 MB):

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

"Use of underground facilities (UGFs) to protect and conceal
WMD, ballistic missiles, leadership, and other activities is
expanding," DIA Director Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby told the
Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_hr/030904jacoby.pdf

"In 2003, we have observed more than a dozen new military or
regime-related UGFs under construction," he said (p. 21).


DOE CLASSIFICATION NEWS

The Department of Energy has resumed publication of its
newsletter on agency classification policy after a two-year
hiatus.

The new issue of CommuniQue provides some now-stale news on the
March 2003 executive order on classification policy, along with
more informative commentary on "Identifying and Protecting
Official Use Only Information," and status reports on various
classification guides that are under development.

See the new issue of CommuniQue here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/comm0204.pdf


SEN. LEVIN ON IRAQ INTELLIGENCE

"Initiating a war on the basis of faulty or exaggerated
intelligence is a very serious matter," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-
MI) yesterday. "That's just as true if one supported the war or
not."

"The fact that the intelligence assessments before the war were
so wildly off the mark should trouble all Americans."

Sen. Levin provided an itemized list of discrepancies between
classified intelligence assessments and unclassified
presentations of intelligence, all of which tended to present
the public with an inflated assessment of the Iraqi threat, he
said.

His statement was presented at the March 9 hearing of the Senate
Armed Services Committee where DCI Tenet and DIA Director Jacoby
testified. See:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_hr/levin030904.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:
 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




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