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Secrecy News - 03/26/04

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 11:53:38 -0500
Fwd Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 06:54:12 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News - 03/26/04


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 30
March 26, 2004


**	DSB ON FUTURE STRATEGIC STRIKE FORCES
**	SECRECY OF MISSILE DEFENSE TEST DATA QUESTIONED
**	RWANDA TEN YEARS AFTER
**	THE DALAI LAMA CALLS FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
**	JOHN DEAN:  WORSE THAN WATERGATE


DSB ON FUTURE STRATEGIC STRIKE FORCES

In a major study of the future of U.S. strategic military forces
that was disclosed today, the Defense Science Board (DSB) urged
a reorientation of the U.S. nuclear weapons program towards
smaller, more versatile weapons.

"The nuclear weapons program as currently conceived - a program
focused primarily on refurbishing the legacy stockpile - will
not meet the country's future needs," the influential Pentagon
advisory group argued.

"Nuclear weapons are needed that produce much lower collateral
damage (great precision, deep penetration, greatly reduced
radioactivity); have robust performance margins; are devised for
ease of manufacture and maintenance; and produce special effects
(e.g., enhanced EMP, enhanced neutron flux, reduced fission
yield)."

At the same time, the DSB acknowledged that mission requirements
for nuclear weapons have changed.

"While we could previously execute some military operations only
with nuclear weapons, we can now execute many of these with
highly precise conventional weaponry.  The benefits of this
shift are significant.... U.S. interests are best served by
preserving into the future the half-century plus non-use of
nuclear weapons."

The DSB study also examined future intelligence requirements and
noted a variety of shortfalls, including "the inability to
identify and then track the location of adversary leadership
and/or components of WMD."

"These physically small entities are essentially impossible to
find without in situ, intrusive sensors and probably HUMINT as
well.  There has not been enough progress to date given the
post-September 11 need for such systems."

The comprehensive DSB study also assessed future command and
control issues as well as current and future delivery systems
(aircraft and missiles).

See the Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Future
Strategic Strike Forces, dated February 2004 and made public
today, here (166 pages, 4.4 MB PDF file):

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/dsb/fssf.pdf


SECRECY OF MISSILE DEFENSE TEST DATA QUESTIONED

A Pentagon move to classify a set of previously disclosed
recommendations regarding missile defense testing was challenged
yesterday by two Democratic congressmen in a letter to Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld.

"We are writing to request an explanation of the Defense
Department's decision to retroactively classify assessments by
independent Pentagon test evaluators that are highly critical of
the testing program for the national missile defense system,"
wrote Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. John F. Tierney (D-MA).

The congressmen noted that the recommendations in question had
already been "released to the public, and... distributed
widely."

"The decision to classify the 50 specific recommendations set
forth by the Pentagon's chief testing officer is highly
dubious," they wrote.

"It appears to be an attempt to stymie public debate through the
use of the classification system."

See the March 25 letter from Reps. Waxman and Tierney here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2004/h032504.pdf


RWANDA TEN YEARS AFTER

A new collection of declassified documents concerning the
genocide in Rwanda, which took place ten years ago, has been
published by the National Security Archive.

See "The U.S. and Genocide in Rwanda 1994:  Information,
Intelligence and the U.S. Response" edited with an introductory
essay by William Ferroggiaro, March 24:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB117/index.htm


THE DALAI LAMA CALLS FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

In a speech on the forty-fifth anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan
People's Uprising, the Dalai Lama urged greater freedom of
information as a driver of peaceful political change in China.

"China is undergoing a process of deep change. In order to
effect this change smoothly and without chaos and violence I
believe it is essential that there be more openness and greater
freedom of information and proper awareness among the general
public," he said.

"We should seek truth from facts--facts that are not falsified.
Without this China cannot hope to achieve genuine stability."

"How can there be stability if things must be hidden and people
are not able to speak out their true feelings?"

The full text of the Dalai Lama's March 10 speech was entered
into the Congressional Record here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2004/s031004.html


JOHN DEAN:  WORSE THAN WATERGATE

A new book by former Nixon White House counsel and Watergate
whistleblower John W. Dean brings his special experience and
perspective to bear on the Bush Administration, and finds it
"worse than Watergate," which is also the book's title.

"To compare the Bush-Cheney presidency with Nixon's tenure and
Watergate and assert that it is worse than Watergate is not a
charge to be made lightly.  Nor do I."

But Dean sees in Administration policies the potential for a
profound unraveling of the constitutional order, particularly
should there be another large terrorist attack.

"There is... only one antidote: an end to the obsessive,
unjustified, and disproportionate secrecy that defines the Bush-
 Cheney White House," he writes.

Dean synthesizes a vast number of stories of secrecy run amok
and weaves them into an appalling fabric.  This is not a
dispassionate book.  It is angry and judgmental, a self-
 proclaimed polemic.  It will resonate most strongly with those
who have already figured out for themselves that there is
something profoundly wrong with the workings of our government
today.

See more information on "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret
Presidency of George W. Bush" by John W. Dean (Little, Brown,
April 2004) here:

http://www.twbookmark.com/books/15/031600023X/index.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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