SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 66
July 23, 2002

2002 INTEL BUDGET TOTAL MAY YET BE DISCLOSED

The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) will give "significant consideration" to declassifying the total intelligence budget for 2002, according to a Justice Department memorandum submitted in federal court.

Disclosure of the 2002 intelligence budget total is being sought in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

The DCI is currently too busy with the war on terrorism to make an immediate determination on the subject, Justice lawyers said in a status report on the lawsuit.

But "when senior CIA officials are able to focus on this issue, they will give significant consideration to its resolution."

"In the three past years when plaintiff [FAS] requested release of similar information, the Agency's decision to withhold or disclose the aggregate intelligence budget number was carefully made on a year-by-year basis. In two of those prior years the DCI decided, in his discretion, to release the aggregate budget figure. This decision has taken into account a number of circumstances, including changes to the intelligence budget and changes in the world situation. It will be no easier this time," the Justice lawyers wrote.

See their July 17 Defendant's Status Report here:

A separate FAS lawsuit, challenging the continued classification of the 1947 and 1948 intelligence budget totals, is still pending.


RUMSFELD ON LEAKS

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday explained his decision to conduct an investigation into the leak of classified information concerning Pentagon war plans for an attack on Iraq. That information was reported in the New York Times on July 5.

"I am old-fashioned," Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon press briefing yesterday. "I think that anyone who has a position where they touch a war plan has an obligation to not leak it to the press or anybody else, because it kills people. People's lives will be lost."

"If people start treating war plans like they're paper airplanes and they can fly them around this building and throw them to anybody who wants them, I think it's outrageous! It's inexcusable, and they ought to be in jail."

See Rumsfeld's July 22 remarks here:


STATE DEPT HISTORICAL ADVISORY COMM MINUTES RELEASED

The State Department's Historical Advisory Committee yesterday approved the release of the meeting minutes from its March 2002 meeting. The minutes generally encompass current issues in declassification of State Department records, access to Nixon tapes and Kissinger telcons, and CIA declassification activities (or lack thereof) in support of the Foreign Relations of the United States series. See:


NEW DOCUMENT RELEASES FROM UK PRO, NARA

The latest July 2002 releases from the UK Public Record Office are itemized here:

The release of an additional 150 pages of Presidential records from Ronald Reagan's Presidency and 40 pages of Vice Presidential records from George H. W. Bush's Vice Presidency was announced by the National Archives on July 19.

The release was approved when, "in accordance with the procedures established by Executive Order 13233, representatives of former President Reagan, former Vice President George H. W. Bush, and President George W. Bush... decided not to assert any constitutionally based privilege with respect to these records." See:

A lawsuit is pending that challenges the legitimacy of Executive Order 13233, which imposed new obstacles to the release of presidential records from past administrations.

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

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