Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: August 2010
- Political Wisdom: The Ethics of Leaking Military Secrets by Mary Lu Carnevale, Wall Street Journal Washington Wire, July 31. "The reform that may be needed more urgently than any other is a careful reduction in the size of the secrecy system. When less information is kept secret, it will become easier to keep it secure," Aftergood says.
- WikiLeaks: An Editor-In-Chief Or Prolific Source? by David Folkenflik, National Public Radio, July 31. "The shadowy website WikiLeaks proved this week it can obliterate the ability of the U.S. government and the military to smother the circulation of closely held secrets."
- Afghan Leak: Does Keeping More Secrets Make Them Less Secure? by Alex Altman, Time, July 30. "The leak highlights an intelligence paradox: the more data classified as secret, the less secure that data becomes. More classified information requires clearing more people to handle it, a bigger network to process it and more secure facilities to store it.
- From One Transparency Advocate to Another, On the Media, July 30. "WikiLeaks leaked the biggest collection of classified documents in U.S. history, a fact that should make government-transparency advocates proud. But even some of WikiLeaks most likely allies have mixed feelings about precisely how this leak took place and how WikiLeaks operates."
- DOD Briefing with Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen on Wikileaks Release of Classified Records, July 29. "This department is conducting a thorough, aggressive investigation to determine how this leak occurred, to identify the person or persons responsible, and to assess the content of the information compromised. We have a moral responsibility to do everything possible to mitigate the consequences for our troops and our partners downrange, especially those who have worked with and put their trust in us in the past, who now may be targeted for retribution."
- Is WikiLeaks the Pentagon Papers, Part 2? Parallels, and differences, exist by Paul Farhi and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, July 27. "Superficially, the two episodes do seem related. In substance, however, the case may be weaker."
- WikiLeaks shrouded in its own secrecy by Peter Eisler and Gregory Korte, USA Today, July 27. "WikiLeaks emerged in 2007 as a self-described check on unjustified government secrecy and the abuses that can come with it, yet the organization itself is shrouded in no small amount of secrecy."
- Army begins probe of leaked secret Afghan war files by Susan Page, USA Today, July 27. "The debate over America's longest war was fueled Monday by history's most massive leak of classified documents. Now, it's a criminal matter."
- Document Classification System Under Review by Max Cacas, Federal News Radio, July 26. "A Presidential panel is wrestling to develop a simpler, more common-sense approach to government documents, and protecting the nation's sensitive information. And the outcome will determine how agencies all across the federal government deal with the classification of sensitive material."
- Drones, Deaths and Bribes: Mining the WikiLeaks Data by Sharon Weinberger, AOL News, July 26. "Documents posted by WikiLeaks are a trove of raw data about Pakistan and Afghanistan, featuring such events as previously unreported civilian deaths and drones gone missing."
- Wikileaks takes new approach in latest release of documents by Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick, Washington Post, July 26. "Wikileaks' decision to transfer tens of thousands of raw classified field reports on the Afghan war to the New York Times and two European news organizations reflects the growing strength and sophistication of the small nonprofit Web site, founded three years ago to fight what it considers excessive secrecy."
- Is Wikileaks growing up? by Blake Hounsell, Foreign Policy, July 25. "Wikileaks, the controversial website that on Sunday published more than 91,000 U.S. military documents related to the war in Afghanistan, has come under fire for its methods, its obvious agenda, and its willingness to publish seemingly anything it can get its digital paws on. But one prominent advocate of government openness who has previously been critical of Wikileaks sees the organization as behaving more responsibly with its latest document dump."
- In Disclosing Secret Documents, WikiLeaks Seeks ‘Transparency’ by Eric Schmitt, New York Times, July 25. "WikiLeaks.org, the online organization that posted tens of thousands of classified military field reports about the Afghan war on Sunday, says its goal in disclosing secret documents is to reveal 'unethical behavior' by governments and corporations.
- Was Post's 'Top Secret America' series a threat to lives and security? by Andrew Alexander, Washington Post, July 25. "From my point of view, The Post erred on the side of nondisclosure," said Steven Aftergood, a noted government secrecy expert with the nonpartisan Federation of American Scientists.
- War on Terrorism's Price Tag: $1 Trillion by Jeff Stein, Washington Post Spy Talk, July 19. "Military operations since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have cost over $1 trillion, according to a Congressional Research Service report, making the 'war on terrorism' second only to World War II in cost to U.S. taxpayers."
- ODNI Notice to Industry on Washington Post series involving "Potential Disclosure of Contract Information", July 16. "Early next week, the Washington Post is expected to publish articles and an interactive website that will likely contain a compendium of government agencies and contractors allegedly conducting Top Secret work."
- US intelligence spending – value for money? by Bernd Debusmann, Reuters, July 16. "America’s spy agencies are spending more money on obtaining intelligence than the rest of the world put together. Considerably more. To what extent they are providing value for money is an open question."
- PIDB to Hold Meeting on Formerly Restricted Data, Historical Congressional Records, Public Interest Declassification Board, July 22. "The Board was established by Congress to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities."
- Analysis: GAO in tug of war over Intelligence audits, interview with Steven Aftergood, director, Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, Federal News Radio, July 12. "The Government Accountability Office is caught in a tug of war over auditing intelligence programs. The White House is threatening to veto a pending intel bill that includes a provision that gives the GAO the authority to perform audits. At the same time, the Defense Department has issued a directive explicitly giving the GAO access to highly classified programs."
- DOD Briefing with Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen on Pentagon-Media Relations, July 8. "My hope and expectation is that this new guidance will improve the quality of press engagement by ensuring that the people the media talk to can speak with accuracy and authority. This should not infringe or impede the flow of accurate and timely information to you or to the public. That is not my intent, nor will I tolerate it."
- Does the U.S. Military Keep All Its Combat Videos? by Joshua E. Keating, Foreign Policy Explainer, July 8. "On July 6, the U.S. military announced that it had charged Army Spec. Bradley Manning with leaking classified video showing a 2007 airborne attack that killed a dozen people in Iraq. The clip, taken through the gunsight of an Apache helicopter, was published by the website WikiLeaks in April. Does the military keep all of its video? Not quite."
- Army intelligence analyst charged in Wikileaks case by Leila Fadel, Washington Post, July 7. "The military said Tuesday that it has charged an Army intelligence analyst in connection with the leak of a controversial video and the downloading and transfer of classified State Department cables, in a case that is likely to further deter would-be whistleblowers."
- Army: Alleged Wikileaker Swiped Thousands of Files by Andrea Stone, AOL News, July 7. "Whether Manning did the right thing or not is a judgment call, he said. The tape 'belonged in the public domain' because it 'did not cause identifiable damage to national security and it did give the viewing public a visceral sense of what the conduct of war is like. That is a public service'."
- Soldier Faces Charges in Leak by Nathan Hodge, Wall Street Journal, July 7. "Wikileaks' Fame From Baghdad Airstrike Video Carries a Price for Pfc. Manning."
- WikiLeaks case: Army charges soldier in release of Iraq cockpit video by Peter Grier, Christian Science Monitor, July 6. "The Army said Tuesday that Spec. Bradley Manning stole information on a massive scale, though charging papers did not mention the WikiLeaks website by name."
- Defense Department Broadens Congressional Oversight of Secret Programs by Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic, July 6. "The Department of Defense quietly and subtly offered Congress an olive branch last week, setting out a formal procedure for the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, to be granted access to special access programs, or SAPs."
- Charge Sheet Against Bradley E. Manning, July 5. "Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, U.S. Army, did have unauthorized possession of a classified video of a military operation filmed at or near Baghdad, Iraq, on or about 12 July 2007, and did willfully communicate, deliver and transmit the video, or cause the video to be communicated, delivered, and transmitted, to a person not entitled to receive it, in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 793(e)."
Older News: June 2010