“Ingenuity” Could Not Prevent Atom Bomb Espionage

When the internal history of the Manhattan Project was written in 1944, officials still believed — mistakenly — that the atom bomb program had evaded the threat of foreign espionage. “Espionage attempts were detected but it is felt that prompt action and intensified investigative activity in each case prevented the passing of any substantial amount of Project information,” according to a previously overlooked page from the Manhattan District History that was declassified yesterday. Although declassification […]

Read More

Court Urged to Review State Secrets Documents

It is entirely proper for a court to conduct in camera review of documents and testimony that the government asserts are subject to the state secrets privilege, said the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the “no fly” list. The Justice Department had argued that judicial review of privileged documents was “inappropriate” and asked Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia to reconsider his order requiring such review. (Gov’t Resists […]

Read More

The Constitution’s Take Care Clause, and More from CRS

The so-called Take Care Clause in the U.S. Constitution (requiring that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed….”) “would appear to stand for two, at times diametrically opposed propositions–one imposing a ‘duty’ upon the President and the other viewing the Clause as a source of Presidential ‘power’,” according to a new study from the Congressional Research Service. See The Take Care Clause and Executive Discretion in the Enforcement of Law, September […]

Read More

Wanted: Astronomer with Top Secret Clearance

NASA’s orbiting James Webb Space Telescope will be “the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide, and studying every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.” So why does its Director need to have a Top Secret/SCI security clearance, […]

Read More

Political Unrest in Pakistan, and More from CRS

As Congress plumbs new depths of futility and irrelevance, analysts at the Congressional Research Service continue to churn out policy-relevant studies that are informative and free of partisan embellishment. How long can it be until they are punished? The latest CRS products that Congress has withheld from online public access include the following. Pakistan Political Unrest: In Brief, September 3, 2014 The “1033 Program,” Department of Defense Support to Law Enforcement, August 28, 2014 Special […]

Read More

The 2014 Ebola Outbreak, and More from CRS

The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa has infected and killed more people than all previous outbreaks combined. A new report from the Congressional Research Service provides detailed background on the spread of the disease, the weaknesses of the health care infrastructure in the affected countries, and related policy issues for congressional consideration. See The 2014 Ebola Outbreak: International and U.S. Responses, August 26, 2014. Next week, NATO leaders will hold their […]

Read More

Gov’t Resists Court Review of State Secrets

It is “not appropriate” for a court to conduct its own independent review of evidence that the government asserts is protected by the state secrets privilege, attorneys for the government argued last week. They were objecting to an order that was issued in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the “no fly” list in the case of Gulet Mohamed v. Eric Holder. On August 6, Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia […]

Read More

Climate Change and Existing Law, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future, updated August 20, 2014 The “Militarization” of Law Enforcement and the Department of Defense’s “1033 Program”, CRS Insights, August 20, 2014 China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States, updated August 21, 2014 Clean Coal Loan Guarantees […]

Read More

WWII Atomic Bomb Project Had More Than 1,500 “Leaks”

The Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb during World War II was among the most highly classified and tightly secured programs ever undertaken by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, it generated more than 1,500 leak investigations involving unauthorized disclosures of classified Project information. That remarkable fact is noted in the latest declassified volume of the official Manhattan District History (Volume 14, Intelligence & Security) that was approved for release and posted online by the […]

Read More

Domestic Terrorism Again a Priority at DOJ, and More from CRS

The threat of domestic terrorism is receiving greater attention at the Department of Justice with the reestablishment in June of the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, the Congressional Research Service noted last week. “The reestablishment suggests that officials are raising the profile of domestic terrorism as an issue within DOJ after more than a decade of heightened focus on both foreign terrorist organizations and homegrown individuals inspired by violent jihadist groups based abroad,” CRS wrote. See […]

Read More