SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 56
June 17, 2004

NSPD ON FUTURE US OPERATIONS IN IRAQ

A National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) signed by President Bush on May 11 defines the organization and structure of the U.S. presence in Iraq that will replace the Coalition Provisional Authority following the planned transition to Iraqi sovereignty by June 30.

The NSPD establishes a State Department-controlled Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO) "to facilitate the transition in Iraq" as well as another entity within the Defense Department called the Project and Contracting Office (PCO) "to provide acquisition and project management support."

The directive was first reported by the New York Times on May 14. But as is the case with almost all Bush Administration NSPDs, the full text has not been made publicly available by the White House.

A copy was obtained by Secrecy News from a U.S. government source.

See "United States Government Operations in Iraq," May 11, 2004:


ISOO DIRECTOR LEONARD ON CLASSIFICATION POLICY

The director of the government office responsible for overseeing national security classification policy sounded a warning this week that the integrity of the classification system may be in danger.

"While the policy for security classification as set forth by the President is fundamentally sound, lately I have become increasingly concerned with respect to how the basics are being implemented in some quarters," said J. William Leonard, director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO).

Noting indications of excessive classification, Mr. Leonard suggested a link to the "veritable epidemic of leaks" experienced by some agencies, which he said are "part and parcel of what occurs when individuals begin to lose confidence in the security classification system."

Speaking to an annual gathering of classification officials convened by the National Classification Management Society Tuesday in Reno, Nevada, Mr. Leonard called for closer attention to "the basics" of classification policy.

It is true, he said, that "Too little classification can subject our citizens, our democratic institutions, our homeland security, and our interactions with foreign nations to potential harm."

But "Too much classification unnecessarily impedes effective information sharing, and inappropriate classification undermines the integrity of the entire process."

See the text of his June 15 speech here:


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FOIA GUIDE

The Justice Department Office of Information and Privacy has published a newly updated edition of its Freedom of Information Act Guide. The Guide is a comprehensive treatment of the Act's provisions, extensively annotated with footnotes to the ever-growing body of case law. While the principal audience for the Guide seems to be government attorneys and FOIA officers who must implement the Act, it is also a useful resource for FOIA requesters seeking insight into FOIA practice and procedure.

The full text of the May 2004 edition of the FOIA Guide is now available on the Justice Department web site here:


NORTH KOREAN WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY

For fifty years, North and South Korea have been blasting propaganda slogans at each other over dozens of high-performance loudspeakers placed along the border between them.

This week, by mutual consent, "the plug was pulled on the ear-splitting broadcasts... for the first time since the 1950-53 Korean War," according to an Agence France Presse report.

Meanwhile, to the annoyance of North Korea, U.S. aerial reconnaissance of the North naturally continues unabated.

The weather forecasting procedures needed to support U-2 reconnaissance flights over North Korea are described in a U.S. Air Force directive. A copy of the "recce forecast" directive, newly updated on June 9, is available here (thanks to RT):

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

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