SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 73
August 4, 2004

THE POSITION OF DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (CRS)

The various proposals to establish a Director of National Intelligence are described in a new report from the Congressional Research Service, which also provides a summary of arguments for and against such a position, and an historical overview of past efforts to strengthen the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence.

The current congressional leadership does not permit direct public access to CRS reports like this one. But a copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "The Position of Director of National Intelligence: Issues for Congress," July 29, 2004:

The CRS report was completed prior to President Bush's August 2 endorsement of an attenuated version of the National Intelligence Director position proposed by the 9-11 Commission.


INTELLIGENCE BUDGET DISCLOSED IN NETHERLANDS, NOT US

The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) of the Netherlands yesterday published an English edition of its 2003 annual report, which includes disclosure of that country's intelligence budget.

This degree of government accountability is still denied to the American public, although the 9-11 Commission has recommended publication of intelligence spending levels.

"When even aggregate categorical [intelligence budget] numbers remain hidden," the 9-11 Commission noted (p. 416), "it is hard to judge priorities and foster accountability."

The point was reiterated August 3 by Commission staff director Philip Zelikow who summarized the Commission's recommendations in testimony before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee:

"The overall [intelligence budget] appropriation should be unclassified, as should the topline appropriation for the principal intelligence agencies. Congress and the American people should be better able to make broad judgments about how much money is being spent, and to what general purpose."

In the Netherlands, and other democracies including the UK and Canada, such budget disclosure is taken for granted.

See the 2003 annual report of the AIVD here (budget data may be found at pp. 69-70) (thanks to Cees Wiebes):

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

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