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Secrecy News -- 03/26/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 17:00:23 -0400
Fwd Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 07:58:56 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 03/26/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 33
March 26, 2007

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**	FORUM: CONGRESSIONAL ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFO
**	AWARDS OF ATTORNEYS FEES, AND MORE FROM CRS
**	VARIOUS RESOURCES


FORUM: CONGRESSIONAL ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFO

The ability of Congress to gain access to classified executive
branch information, which is the enabling condition for
legislative oversight of national security activities, will be
discussed at a public forum on March 30 sponsored by the Center
for American Progress and OpenTheGovernment.org.

"What options does Congress have when the executive branch
refuses to provide the information it requests? When is it
appropriate for Congress to make national security information
available to the public and the press?"

These and related questions will be discussed in a keynote
address by Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), who is now chair of the
House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence.

Her talk will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by
Mark Agrast of the Center for American Progress and featuring
Eleanor Hill, former staff director of the congressional Joint
Inquiry into 9/11; Suzanne Spaulding, former staff director of
the House Intelligence Committee; Eric Lichtblau of the New York
Times; and myself.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held at the
Center for American Progress. For more information, see:

http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2007/03/classified.html

A convenient analysis of the underlying issues was provided in
"Congressional Access to Executive Branch Information:
Legislative Tools," Congressional Research Service, May 17,
2001:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/RL30966.pdf


AWARDS OF ATTORNEYS FEES, AND MORE FROM CRS

Last year a federal court ruled in favor of the Federation of
American Scientists in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit,
finding that the National Reconnaissance Office had unlawfully
withheld certain unclassified budget records from disclosure.

Although we won the lawsuit and finally got the records this
year, we were not entitled to recovery of attorneys' fees, since
we litigated the case without an attorney. Which makes sense.
Instead, the government was obliged to reimburse our costs,
particularly the $250 filing fee to bring the lawsuit. A check
is supposed to be in the mail.

Anyway, the legal practices and procedures governing the award
of attorneys' fees in legal proceedings of all kinds are fairly
complicated, with numerous exceptions and qualifications.

A newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service
presents what seems to be a comprehensive treatment of the
subject (in 123 pages).

See "Awards of Attorneys' Fees by Federal Courts and Federal
Agencies," updated March 1, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/94-970.pdf

Some other noteworthy CRS products that are not readily
available in other public collections include these.

"Intelligence Issues for Congress," updated February 27, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33539.pdf

"China-U.S. Aircraft Collision Incident of April 2001:
Assessments and Policy Implications," updated October 10, 2001:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL30946.pdf


VARIOUS RESOURCES

In the last quarter, the Department of Energy (DOE) reviewed
over 690,000 pages of publicly available records at the National
Archives and found 590 pages containing classified nuclear
weapons information that it said should not have been disclosed,
according to a newly released report to Congress.

At Congressional direction, DOE has proceeded on the assumption
that absolutely no disclosure of classified nuclear information
is tolerable, no matter how old or obsolete it may be. This is a
poor premise for security policy and it ensures that scarce
resources will be diverted from their optimal use.

See the Twenty-Fourth Report to Congress on Inadvertent
Disclosures of Restricted Data and Formerly Restricted Data,
February 2007 (redacted version released March 2007):

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/inadvertent24.pdf

The U.S. Navy is seeking to expedite its technology development
and acquisition practices to meet "urgent capability needs"
arising from the "global war on terrorism."

"The GWOT" -- the expansive Bush Administration term for
everything from the pursuit of al Qaeda to the attempted
suppression of violent sectarian disputes in Iraq -- "has
generated rapidly evolving military needs that require
responsive materiel solutions," according to a new Navy Notice.

The March 8, 2007 Notice from the Secretary of the Navy
specifies that the Naval Innovation Laboratory (NaIL), a virtual
organization, "will bring together, on demand, multidisciplinary
teams to develop and deliver rapid, innovative solutions to [an
urgent capability need] and will ...develop, integrate, test and
deliver fieldable prototypes for use by the warfighter."

See SECNAV Note 5000, "Rapid Development and Deployment Response
to Urgent Global War on Terrorism Needs."

http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/navy/secnavnote5000.pdf

Recently published hearing records from the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence include the following.

"Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United
States," February 2, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2006_hr/020206threat.html

"Confirmation Hearing of Kenneth L. Wainstein to be Assistant
Attorney General for National Security," May 16, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2006_hr/wainstein.html

"Confirmation Hearing of General Michael V. Hayden to be the
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency," May 18, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2006_hr/hayden.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.

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

Secrecy News is available in blog format at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp

_______________________
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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