SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 91
October 18, 2004

INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO MILITARY OPERATIONS

The role of intelligence in supporting military operations is elucidated in a newly revised Pentagon doctrinal publication.

Detailed without being overwhelming, the document provides a snapshot of how U.S. intelligence functions today to support the military.

"This publication establishes doctrinal guidance on the provision of joint and national intelligence products, services, and support to military operations," the Preface states.

"It describes the organization of joint intelligence forces and the national Intelligence Community, intelligence responsibilities, command relationships, and national intelligence support mechanisms. It provides information regarding the fundamentals of intelligence operations and the intelligence process, discusses how intelligence supports joint and multinational planning, and describes intelligence dissemination via the global information grid."

See Joint Publication 2-01, "Joint and National Intelligence Support to Military Operations," approved October 7, 2004 (297 pages, 1.8 MB PDF file):


TRACKING THE DRAGON: NIE'S ON CHINA, 1948-1976

The National Intelligence Council at the CIA has published a new collection of recently declassified National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on China, dating from 1948 to 1976.

Since it is the nature of estimates to anticipate events on the basis of incomplete information rather than to record what has already been learned, the new collection arguably reveals more about the history of U.S. intelligence than about the history of China.

A compact disk containing 71 NIEs on China will be available for purchase from the Government Printing Office bookstore. But 37 of those NIEs may be downloaded directly from here:

An introductory essay by Robert L. Suettinger places the NIEs in their historical context.

In a minor irony, the essay cites an unclassified Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) that is posted on the FAS web site. The irony is that CIA, whose information policy is pretty well broken, now refuses to release all such Directives under the Freedom of Information Act, arguing that to do so would infringe upon the protection of intelligence sources and methods.


A HIDDEN STORY OF R. NAHMAN OF BRATSLAV

The lost or suppressed manuscript that surfaces at an auspicious moment to reveal shocking truths is a hoary motif of romantic fiction. Every once in a while, this kind of fantasy also comes true, more or less.

"For almost two hundred years, Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav's 'Tale of the Bread' was hidden and guarded," writes Zvi Mark in a recent edition of the Israeli journal Tarbiz. "Until recently the story was extant only in manuscript and was never printed." Now it has been.

Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (1772-1810) was the leader of a Hassidic Jewish sect, a theologically idiosyncratic and original figure, and an antirationalist.

Among other things, he was known for his stories, in which seemingly conventional folk tales were employed to communicate truths of the spirit and Jewish teachings of redemption. Rabbi Nahman's stories first came to widespread attention in Martin Buber's 1906 rendering, "Die Geschichten des Rabbi Nachman," which is said to have influenced Franz Kafka. Recent English editions include "Beggars and Prayers" by Adin Steinsaltz and "Nahman of Bratslav: The Tales" by Arnold Band. Arthur Green's "Tormented Master" is a probing critical biography.

Unlike the other thirteen canonical tales of Rabbi Nachman, The Tale of the Bread "was kept secret as esoteric lore," according to an English abstract of the new publication.

"This article presents the text of the tale and its variants on the basis of manuscripts and printed versions. It also explicates the biographical and ideational background of the tale and analyzes its literary components. The reasons for the secrecy surrounding the tale become apparent in the course of this analysis," the abstract coyly states.

"'The Tale of the Bread': A Hidden Story of R. Nahman of Bratslav" by Zvi Mark was published in Hebrew in Tarbiz, volume LXXII, no. 3, July 2004, which may be available at university libraries and can be ordered from Magnes Press at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (http://magnespress.huji.ac.il).

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

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