SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
December 7, 2001

INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION FOR 2002

House and Senate conferees have completed work on the intelligence authorization act for fiscal year 2002, providing a substantial 8% increase in intelligence spending, according to the Associated Press.

The final legislation does not contain the most dramatic expansion of government surveillance authority that the executive branch had requested, but it does include a number of lesser "technical amendments" that will facilitate counterintelligence and counterterrorism surveillance.

The new act also rescinds the controversial 1995 CIA guidelines on recruitment of informants, directs the Attorney General to report on the need for any new authority to combat "leaks" of classified information, and provides assorted other tweaks to intelligence policy. See the new conference report (H.Rep. 107-328) here:


WORKING WITH THE CIA

If you are a U.S. military commander working in the field with CIA support personnel, you should clearly explain to the CIA officers what it is that you need.

However, "extraneous screaming and yelling are counterproductive."

That is one lesson proffered by former CIA case officer Garrett Jones in "Working with the CIA," published in the latest issue of Parameters (Winter 2001-2002), the US Army War College Quarterly.

Jones seeks "to illuminate the working relationship between the military and the CIA" based on his own experience. "It is the incoming brief I wish I could have given to the Ranger Task Force commander and his senior staff when they arrived in Somalia," where he served with the CIA.

A mostly pedestrian account, it includes some notable insights into joint military-CIA activities from a perspective that is rarely represented. See the text of the article here:


SUING THE CIA

The Federation of American Scientists filed suit today against the Central Intelligence Agency seeking declassification of intelligence budget data from 1947 and 1948.

The CIA's refusal to disclose this antiquated information highlights the corruption of the government secrecy system with unusual clarity.

"Since budget figures from Fiscal Years 1997 and 1998 could be disclosed without damage to national security or compromise of intelligence sources and methods," FAS argued in the complaint filed today, "it strains credulity to claim, as CIA does, that disclosure of budget data from fifty years earlier would have such adverse effects."

The text of the complaint is posted here:


INFO ON DETAINEES SOUGHT

Civil liberties groups this week filed the first lawsuit requesting disclosure of basic information about individuals arrested and detained since September 11.

"There is mounting evidence that secrecy is being invoked to shield serious violations of individual rights and not for legitimate investigative purposes," according to Kate Martin, Director of the Center for National Security Studies, which brought the suit with 15 other organizations.

Justice Department officials have repeatedly stated that the rights of all detainees are being upheld. But at every turn, the options for independent oversight of the Department's activities have been curtailed.

"Instead of the Attorney General simply announcing that they are respecting the Constitution, we need the evidence that will show whether that is true," said Ms. Martin.

A copy of the complaint may be found on the ACLU web site here:


AL QAEDA TRAINING MANUAL

The Department of Justice yesterday released excerpts from what it termed an "Al Qaeda Training Manual" that provides inspiration and instruction for would-be jihadis.

The manual, translated from an Arabic original acquired by the Manchester, England police during a search of an al Qaeda member's home, was introduced earlier this year at the embassy bombing trial in New York.

"The Department is only providing ... selected text from the manual because it does not want to aid in educating terrorists or encourage further acts of terrorism," according to a notice on the Justice Department web site.

The translated excerpts of the manual, as released by the Justice Department, are posted here (in large, multi-megabyte PDF files):

More than 70 days of trial transcripts from the case USA v. Usama bin Laden, which was conducted in New York between February and July of this year, have been acquired and posted online by Cryptome.org. It is an immensely rich, disturbing and informative record that may be found here:

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Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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