SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 79
September 23, 2003

KAY REPORT ON IRAQI WMD MAY NOT BE RELEASED

In an astonishing reversal, the Bush Administration signaled that it will not release the final report of the Iraq Survey Group led by David Kay, which was intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of the state of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs.

"I would not count on reports," said National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on September 22.

"David Kay is not going to be done with this for quite some time... I suppose there may be interim reports. I don't know when those will be, and I don't know what the public nature of them will be," she said.

Her remarks came near the end of a press briefing and seem to have gone unnoted.

A story in the London Sunday Times two weeks ago said that the Kay report had been "shelved" because the Iraq Survey Group had found no evidence of Iraqi WMD and that a report might never be published.

"Britain and America have decided to delay indefinitely the publication of a full report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction after inspectors found no evidence that any such weapons exist." ("Iraq Weapons Report Shelved" by David Leppard, Sunday Times, September 14).

But in response to a reporter's question, the White House dismissed the Times account.

"I haven't heard anything like that. David Kay continues to do his work. He's been compiling massive amounts of documents about Iraq's history of weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass destruction program," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan on September 16.

Secretary of State Colin Powell also recently reinforced widespread expectations of an authoritative, near-term public assessment of the Iraqi WMD program.

"Dr. Kay will be putting out a report in the very near future, and I look forward to seeing it, as everyone else does," he said on September 14:

But now "everyone else" can forget about it, judging from Dr. Rice's comments this week, because Dr. Kay will not be "putting out" his report after all.

"The American people should be prepared for surprises," advised David Kay at a July 31 news briefing. Indeed.


TERRORISM COMMISSION REPORTS ON ITS STATUS

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States -- the independent commission assigned to investigate the September 11 terrorist attacks -- presented a status report on its activities as its May 2004 statutory deadline approaches.

The Commission said that agency cooperation with the investigation had improved markedly in the last several months.

"Since our July report, Executive Branch agencies have significantly improved their performance in responding to our document requests."

Somewhat surprisingly, the Commission said it would soon hold hearings on whether there should be a new Director of National Intelligence, and other aspects of intelligence community reorganization which are normally the stuff of congressional oversight. But the largely inert Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has declined to address these topics even though they are the subject of pending legislation.

A copy of the National Commission's Second Interim Report, dated September 23, is posted here:


GAO ON MISSILE DEFENSE

The Pentagon is moving to deploy missile defense technologies before they have matured and before their performance and reliability has been demonstrated, the General Accounting Office warned in a report released today.

"Because the President directed DOD to begin fielding a ballistic missile defense system in 2004, [the Missile Defense Agency] began ... system integration with technologies whose maturity has not been demonstrated. As a result, there is a greater likelihood that critical technologies will not work as intended in planned flight tests," the GAO said.

See "Missile Defense: Additional Knowledge Needed in Developing System for Intercepting Long-Range Missiles," U.S. General Accounting Office, August 2003 (1.9 MB PDF file):


TREATMENT OF ITALIAN AMERICANS IN WWII QUESTIONED

"The full extent of the United States government's wartime restrictions on Italian-Americans is not known because the Federal Bureau of Investigation refuses to declassify World War II documents describing the nature of these events," according to a resolution pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The resolution calls upon "the Federal Bureau of Investigation [to] take the necessary steps to allow public access to the documents regarding the mistreatment of Italian-Americans during World War II."

See:

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

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