Intelligence Reform in the Jimmy Carter Era

“Public trust and confidence in the Intelligence Community have been seriously undermined by disclosures of activities in the past that were illegal, injudicious or otherwise improper by today’s standards,” according to a 1977 interagency memorandum circulated by National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. “Moreover, many disillusioned persons who have come to believe the worst of their […]

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DoD’s Rotation to the Philippines, and More from CRS

“On March 18, 2016, the United States and the Republic of the Philippines announced the selection of five military sites that will host a rotation of U.S. military units. This marks the first time that U.S. units will be welcomed by the Republic on regularly scheduled visits since the last permanent garrisons were withdrawn in […]

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Four Cold War Covert Actions to be Disclosed

The Central Intelligence Agency said that it will disclose four previously unacknowledged Cold War covert actions. The four have not yet been publicly identified, but they will be addressed in forthcoming editions of the U.S. State Department’s official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series. “In 2015 [CIA] agreed to acknowledge four covert actions […]

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Congress Isn’t Helping to “Rebuild” CRS

Most public controversy concerning the Congressional Research Service revolves around the question of whether Congress should authorize CRS to make its reports publicly available, or whether unauthorized access to CRS reports is a satisfactory alternative. But a more urgent question is whether CRS itself will survive as a center of intellectual and analytical vitality. Already […]

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Cyber “Emergency” Order Nets No Culprits

In April 2015, President Obama issued Executive Order 13694 declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat of hostile cyber activity against the United States. But six months later, the emergency powers that he invoked to punish offenders had still not been used because no qualifying targets were identified, according to a newly released […]

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Pre-Publication Review Must Be Timely & Fair, Says HPSCI

Current and former intelligence community employees (as well as some other government employees) are obliged to submit their writings for official review prior to publication in order to screen them for classified information. This is often an onerous, time-consuming and frustrating process. It sometimes appears to authors to be conducted in bad faith. The House […]

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Federal Prison Population Buildup, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made publicly available online include the following. The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Options for Congress, May 20, 2016 Zika Response Funding: Request and Congressional Action, May 20, 2016 Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments, May 20, 2016 The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery […]

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Some State Secrets Cases May Stay Secret

A definitive accounting of the number of lawsuits in which the U.S. Government has invoked the state secrets privilege cannot be provided because some of those cases may be too sensitive to acknowledge or disclose, the Department of Justice told Congress in newly released correspondence from 2013. “Some matters involving classified or sensitive information may […]

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The RICO Statutes, and More from CRS

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee rejected two amendments to improve authorized public access to reports of the Congressional Research Service. However, unauthorized public access remains robust. The latest Congressional Research Service reports include the following. RICO: A Brief Sketch, May 18, 2016 Federal Reserve: Legislation in the 114th Congress, May 19, 2016 U.S.-EU Data […]

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