FAS Roundup: April 20, 2015

From the Blogs No Fly List: Govt Offers New Redress Procedures: The government will no longer refuse to confirm or deny that persons who are prevented from boarding commercial aircraft have been placed on the “No Fly List,” and such persons will have new opportunities to challenge the denial of boarding, the Department of Justice announced in a court filing. Until now, the Government refused to acknowledge whether or not an individual traveler had been placed on the […]

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Islamic State Financing, and More from CRS

Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have been withheld from public distribution include the following. Islamic State Financing and U.S. Policy Approaches, April 10, 2015 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force: Issues Concerning Its Continued Application, April 14, 2015 The War Powers Resolution: Concepts and Practice, April 3, 2015 Iran: Efforts to Achieve a Nuclear Accord, April 9, 2015 Science and Technology Issues in the 114th Congress, April 7, […]

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FAS Roundup: April 13, 2015

From the Blogs Intelligence Oversight in the 113th Congress: A new report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence describes oversight activities in the 113th Congress from January 2013 to January 2015. Highlights of the report include: over-control of classified information continues to hamper information sharing- even in the intelligence community, efforts to enlist the resources of the Government Accountability Office to strengthen intel oversight are continuing and details on the three-volume, still-classified CIA torture […]

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FAS Roundup: April 6, 2015

From the Blogs New START Treaty Count: Russia Dips Below U.S. Again: According to the latest data released by the State Department, Russian deployed strategic warheads counted by the New START Treaty once again slipped below the U.S. force level. Russia deployed 1,582 warheads on 515 strategic launchers and the United States deployed 1,597 warheads on 785 launchers. Russia and the United States are slowly – very slowly – reducing their deployed forces to meet the […]

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FAS Roundup: March 30, 2015

From the Blogs H-Bomb History Published Over Government Objections: Physicist Kenneth W. Ford, who participated in the design of the hydrogen bomb in the early 1950s, has published a memoir of his experiences despite the objections of Energy Department reviewers who requested substantial redactions in the text. “Building the H Bomb: A Personal History” was released this month, and provides an eyewitness account of several crucial episodes in the development of the hydrogen bomb. Growing Data Collection Inspires Openness […]

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U.S. Hits the Debt Limit, and More from CRS

The U.S. Government reached the statutory debt limit today, exhausting its normal ability to borrow money. In order to meet the government’s financial obligations, the Secretary of the Treasury must now take certain extraordinary measures. A newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service provides background on federal debt policy and explains the current state of affairs.  See The Debt Limit Since 2011, March 9, 2015. Other new or newly updated CRS reports that Congress […]

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Another State Secrets Case Ends in Dismissal

Last week, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency after the government asserted the state secrets privilege and argued that the case could not be litigated without jeopardizing national security. Former CIA officer Jacob E. Abilt (a pseudonym) had charged the Agency with employment discrimination, improper retaliation and wrongful termination. In December, CIA Director John Brennan invoked the state secrets privilege to block the lawsuit. “The facts of Mr. Abilt’s employment […]

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FAS Roundup: February 2, 2015

Big Data: Stealth Control Everyone who uses the Internet is implicated in a web of data collection; it relies on user data to produced tailored advertising revenue to support growth and free use. This digital profiling produces “the black box society,” in which basic societal functions are performed in deliberate obscurity via collection and algorithmic manipulation of personal data such as location, age and political affiliation. In a new study, law professor Frank Pasquale examines how […]

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The Nuclear Weapons “Procurement Holiday”

By Hans M. Kristensen It has become popular among military and congressional leaders to argue that the United States has had a “procurement holiday” in nuclear force planning for the past two decades. “Over the past 20-25 years, we took a procurement holiday” in modernizing U.S. nuclear forces, Major General Garrett Harencak, the Air Force’s assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, said in a speech yesterday. Harencak’s claim strongly resembles the […]

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Dept of State Delays Release of Iran History

The U.S. Department of State has blocked the publication of a long-awaited documentary history of U.S. covert action in Iran in the 1950s out of concern that its release could adversely affect ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The controversial Iran history volume, part of the official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, had been slated for release last summer. (“History of 1953 CIA Covert Action in Iran to be Published,” Secrecy News, […]

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