SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 53
June 14, 2002

INTELLIGENCE BUREAUCRACY LAID BARE

At any given moment, U.S. intelligence officials are probably... attending a committee meeting. Like other government bureaucracies, the U.S. intelligence community has standing committees on everything from employee diversity and records declassification to the granting of awards for meritorious performance.

The organizational structure and procedures that define the intelligence bureaucracy are set forth in Director of Central Intelligence Directives, dozens of which have been newly disgorged by CIA and obtained by Secrecy News.

The Directives provide authoritative guidance on security policy, management of intelligence databases, communications with congressional committees, and preparation of the annual intelligence budget, among other important topics. See:


"INAPPROPRIATE" INFO FOUND ON ARMY WEB SITES

"The U.S. Army had publicly accessible Web sites that contained inappropriate information... in contravention of Army Web Policy," according to a recent Defense Department Inspector General audit report.

Between June and August of last year, 77 publicly accessible web sites were found to contain information on Army operational plans and other data deemed sensitive, the Inspector General found.

"The Army must prevent the disclosure of sensitive movements of military assets or personnel," the report stated.

See the June 5 Inspector General report, entitled "Information System Security: Army Web Site Administration, Policies, and Practices" here:


BILL WOULD BLOCK DISCLOSURE OF CHEMICAL SITE INFO

A bill introduced in the Senate last week would restrict public access to information about worst-case accident scenarios at chemical facilities. The current availability of such information, according to the bill's sponsor, Senator Christopher Bond, puts communities at increased risk of terrorist attack.

Environmentalists have argued that disclosure of accident scenarios is essential to enable communities to work to mitigate the risk of such accidents.

Seizing one horn of this dilemma, however, Senator Bond concluded that "The threat from terrorist attack now outweighs the benefits of making this information public."

See Senator Bond's June 5 introductory remarks here:

See his bill, "The Community Protection From Chemical Terrorism Act" (S. 2579), here:


MONSIEUR CHOUCHANI

Monsieur Chouchani is the (assumed) name of a mysterious Jewish teacher of uncertain origin who taught Talmud, philosophy, and mathematics to a small number of distinguished students in post-World War II Europe and elsewhere.

Emmanuel Levinas, the French Jewish philosopher who introduced Heidegger to France, called Chouchani "a marvelous master."

Elie Wiesel described his initial 1947 encounter with Chouchani in "Legends of Our Times" (Chapter 10). He was a "dirty," "hairy," and "ugly" "vagabond" who accosted and berated him in Paris in 1947, and then became his mentor. Wiesel wrote of him again in his memoir "All Rivers Run to the Sea" (pp. 121-130).

Aside from some "indecipherable manuscripts" cited by Wiesel, Chouchani (or Shushani) left no body of work.

"His birth and his life are sealed in enigma," according to his gravestone in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he died in 1965.

A French journalist named Salomon Malka wrote a 1994 book about him, entitled "Monsieur Chouchani: L'enigme d'un maitre du XXe siecle," which has just been reissued. It may be of interest to a few. See:

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

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