Secrecy News

Selected CRS Reports

Some recent reports of the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News that are not otherwise readily available in the public domain include the following.

“Federal Habeas Corpus: A Brief Legal Overview” (pdf), April 26, 2006.

“Federal Habeas Corpus: An Abridged Sketch” (pdf), April 28, 2006.

“High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) and High Power Microwave (HPM) Devices: Threat Assessments” (pdf), updated April 14, 2006.

“Direct Assaults Against Presidents, Presidents-Elect, and Candidates” (pdf), updated April 5, 2006.

0 thoughts on “Selected CRS Reports

  1. Clay Wilson at CRS continues to analyze the menace of electromagnetic pulse even as sources of information on it age and become more insubstantial. The CRS’s favorite example of the non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse bomb is described in a notional paper (“The Electromagnetic Bomb — A Weapon of Electrical Mass Destruction,” Kopp, Carlo; 1993.) phoned in from the fringes of the Australian military. It is now 13 years old. In the intervening decade plus three, no instances of bombs described in this piece have ever been sighted rendering the article into fiction disguised as non-fiction, reprinted many times over and shaken as a witch-doctor’s totem whenever there is a need to warn of electromagnetic bombs. Scrutiny of Wilson’s footnotes will show the amused reader that even when the CRS’s electromagnetic pulse bomb paper is not directly citing this 1993 piece of military sci-fi, other citations are actually non-scientific articles which simply crib from it. Indeed, the report’s footnotes — and its logic — are constricted by its paucity of sources and an even narrower use of them.

    Until the Congressional Research Service can do a better job, its electromagnetic threat analysis is a dog that won’t hunt. However, if the paper’s purpose is to provide self-reinforcing reading to the small and kooky but always present electromagnetic pulse weapon threat protection lobby, then it is great.

    George Smith, Ph.D.
    Senior Fellow, GlobalSecurity.Org

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