SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 76
August 27, 2004

US CONTINUES TO LEAD WORLD IN ARMS SALES (CRS)

The United States led the world in the sale of conventional weapons for the eighth year in a row, according to a report yesterday from the Congressional Research Service.

"From 2000-2003, the United States made $35.8 billion in arms transfer agreements with developing nations, in constant 2003 dollars," according to the report, which also noted that overall arms sales declined substantially in 2003.

The CRS report, authored by analyst Richard F. Grimmett, is revised and published annually. It is based in part on unspecified U.S. government data.

"Grimmett's annual report is a definitive source for basic statistics and analysis of trends in global arms transfers," said Matthew Schroeder of the FAS Arms Sales Monitoring Project.

CRS reports are not made directly available to the public. A copy was obtained by FAS.

See "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1996-2003," August 26, 2004 (94 pages, 2.4 MB PDF file):


NEW CRS REPORTS ON SECRECY POLICY

New, previously unpublished Congressional Research Service reports on secrecy policy include the following:

"Secrecy Versus Openness: New Proposed Arrangements for Balancing Competing Needs," updated August 26, 2004:

"The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework," updated August 5, 2004:


NEW CRS REPORTS ON INTELLIGENCE POLICY

New, previously unpublished Congressional Research Service reports on intelligence policy include:

"Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Term Limits and Assignment Limitations," August 12, 2004:

"Intelligence Community Reorganization: Potential Effects on DOD Intelligence Agencies," August 6, 2004:

"Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Programs: Issues for Congress," updated August 4, 2004:

"Information Warfare and Cyberwar: Capabilities and Related Policy Issues," updated July 19, 2004:

It is the policy of the Congressional Research Service and the current congressional leadership to block direct public access to CRS reports like these.


REMOVING TERRORIST SANCTUARIES (CRS)

U.S. efforts to shut down terrorist enclaves around the world are examined in another unpublished Congressional Research Service report, obtained by Secrecy News.

"The 9/11 Commission identified six primary regions that serve or could serve as terrorist sanctuaries. These included Western Pakistan and the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region; southern or western Afghanistan; the Arabian Peninsula, especially Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and the nearby Horn of Africa, including Somalia and extending southwest into Kenya; Southeast Asia, from Thailand to the southern Philippines to Indonesia; West Africa, including Nigeria and Mali; and European cities with expatriate Muslim communities."

"In all of these regions, the United States and its allies have mounted campaigns to deny safe havens for terrorists. This report analyzes current U.S. policies aimed at closing down sanctuaries in each of these countries and regions in light of the 9/11 Commission recommendations."

See "Removing Terrorist Sanctuaries: The 9/11 Commission Recommendations and U.S. Policy," August 10, 2004:


SENATOR ROBERTS' INTELLIGENCE REFORM BILL

Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, this week unveiled his vision of a reformed, restructured intelligence community. The controversial proposal would establish a national intelligence director and essentially eliminate the Central Intelligence Agency.

The actual text of Sen. Roberts' draft bill has not been made widely available. It may be found here (139 pages, 240 KB PDF file) (thanks to J):

The bill includes a lukewarm endorsement of intelligence budget disclosure (section 131), starting after Fiscal Year 2005, that falls short of the 9/11 Commission recommendation on the topic.


FIRSTGOV FEATURES SECRECY NEWS

"Whatever you want or need from the U.S. government, it's here on FirstGov.gov."

FirstGov.gov, which is "the U.S. government's official web portal," purports to offer the most comprehensive search engine and index of U.S. government publications.

Remarkably, its definition of U.S. government information includes the Secrecy News archive, as well as much of the Federation of American Scientists web site.

Secrecy News is not, um, a U.S. government publication. So how does it come to be indexed in FirstGov.gov? A site policy statement explains:

"In rare instances, FirstGov.gov links to websites that are not government-owned or government-sponsored if these websites provide government information and/or services in a way that is not available on an official government website."

Which is precisely the point.

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

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