SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 4
January 10, 2003

CIA FACES BUDGET CRUNCH

Billions of dollars of funds for the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies have been held up at least temporarily because they are embedded in Defense Department funds that are the subject of an unrelated accounting dispute between Congress and the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The manner in which CIA appropriations are concealed within the Defense Department budget is considered a classified "intelligence method" that must be protected at all costs.

"The Central Intelligence Agency in the coming months faces a cash crunch aggravated by a White House decision to finance a portion of the agency's budget through a special $10 billion contingency reserve for military and intelligence activities," wrote David Rogers in the Wall Street Journal ("Budget Cap Risks Cash Crunch for Sensitive Operations at CIA," 01/13/03, p. A4, not available online).

In order to relieve pressure on intelligence spending, the House of Representatives last week approved a measure authorizing the Secretary of Defense to transfer up to 2.5 billion dollars for intelligence and special operations programs that are part of the global war on terrorism.

See "Making Further Continuing Appropriations, Fiscal Year 2003" (section 5):


WIDER INTELLIGENCE SHARING SOUGHT

Pressure to share U.S. intelligence information is growing, due to threats to commercial transportation systems that are used to support the mobilization of U.S. military forces, as well as weapons inspectors' indeterminate search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, among other factors.

"New steps to share secret intelligence warnings with the private freight and passenger sector -- including a password-protected Web site -- are being been put in place" at the United States Transportation Command, according to a New York Times story today.

Gen. John W. Handy, the head of Transportation Command, told the Times that even classified reports from the American intelligence community must be made available -- at least in a sanitized form -- to the private sector.

Part of his job, he said, is to make that happen quickly. "Our request at my level is to keep pressing to share as much as we possibly can," General Handy told the New York Times.

"One wonders how this sanitization is carried out expeditiously," observed Allen Thomson, a former CIA analyst. "Much of the intelligence probably carries CIA and NSA ORCON [originator controlled] restrictions, and the ORCs are not famous for quickly agreeing to let their material go-- sometimes justifiably, often not."

See "Officials Reveal Threat to Troops Deploying to Gulf" by Thom Shanker, New York Times, January 13:

Meanwhile, Senator Carl Levin argued that the United States must support the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq by providing intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs.

"We must share all the information we can on suspect sites," Sen. Levin said on January 9. "If we don't share our information with the U.N. inspectors, or if we prejudge the outcome of these inspections, we will increase the likelihood that we will go to war and increase the risks, short term and long term, to our troops and our Nation." See:


NEW LEGISLATIVE ACTION

Senate Democrats led by Sen. Tom Daschle introduced a wide-ranging bill last week that would, among many other things, provide a legislative foundation for the military tribunals that the Bush Administration established unilaterally to try al Qaeda suspects. The bill also address FBI whistleblower protections and other security policy matters.

See the introduction of the bill, entitled the "Justice Enhancement and Domestic Security Act of 2003" (S. 22), here:

Senator Kyl introduced a formal amendment to one definition in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act here:

"We all say that we're for 'good government,' for openness, integrity, and accountability," said Sen. Joe Lieberman last week, introducing a series of amendments to last year's Homeland Security Act.

"So why should the Department of Homeland Security be allowed to exempt its advisory committees from ... requirements [of the Federal Advisory Committee Act]? Why should its advisory committees be allowed to meet in total secret with no public knowledge?"

The package of amendments offered by Senator Lieberman, who announced his candidacy for the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination today, would rescind the secrecy exemption for Homeland Security advisory committees. The amendments would leave the Department's widely criticized Freedom of Information Act exemption unaffected, however.

See Senator Lieberman's January 7 introduction of his proposed amendments here:


JAPANESE IMPERIAL ARMY FILES

An alphabetical list of historical record groups related to Japanese Imperial Army war crimes from World War II compiled for the Interagency Working Group on Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records and transferred to the National Archives may be found here (thanks to MJR):


RADIOACTIVE IN NEW YORK

A New York man with Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, set off radiation alarms in Manhattan subway stations after he was treated with radioactive iodine, according to a recent note in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The man was strip-searched by police who were on the alert for nuclear-armed terrorists.

"This patient's experience indicates that radiation detection devices are being installed in public places in New York City and perhaps elsewhere. Patients who have been treated with radioactive iodine or other isotopes may be identified and interrogated by the police because of the radiation they emit."

See "Police Detainment of a Patient Following Treatment With Radioactive Iodine" in the December 4, 2002, issue of JAMA here (thanks to AT):

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

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