Secrecy News

Some 2006 Leftovers

The Department of Energy’s search for inadvertent disclosures of classified nuclear weapons information in declassified government files seems to have reached the point of diminishing returns. In its latest quarterly report to Congress (pdf), DOE noted that it had examined 719,040 pages of declassified public records at the National Archives and found 38 pages containing nuclear information that it said should not have been disclosed. See the Twenty-Third Report on Inadvertent Disclosures of Restricted Data and Formerly Restricted Data, November 2006.

An investigation by the Inspector General of the National Archives (large pdf) “substantiated that [former National Security Adviser Samuel R.] Berger unlawfully removed and retained classified documents” from the Archives in 2003. The 121 page report on the Berger investigation, redacted to remove classified and other exempt information, is now posted here.

Most government records are ineffably boring to anyone who doesn’t already have a vested interest in the topics they address. It is to the credit of the Congressional Research Service that it makes important policy issues slightly less boring and more digestible. Some previously unnoted CRS reports are these (all pdf):

“Veterans’ Health Care Issues in the 109th Congress,” updated October 26, 2006.

“Natural Gas Markets in 2006,” updated December 12, 2006.

“The WTO, Intellectual Property Rights, and the Access to Medicines Controversy,” updated December 12, 2006.

“The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): Congressional Issues,” updated December 14, 2006.

Finally, an unusual aircraft exhaust contrail photographed in Ohio last month suggests that experimental research into “pulsed detonation engines” or other forms of exotic propulsion continues. The distinctive “donuts on a rope” contrail was photographed east of Dayton, Ohio on November 10, 2006 by William D. Telzerow.

Thanks to all of those who helped sustain and encourage Secrecy News this year by providing essential financial support, access to documents, useful criticism and kind words.