SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 25
March 21, 2005

FORGED INTELLIGENCE CABLE PEGS ARKIN AS IRAQI AGENT

Some unidentified person took the trouble to forge an authentic-looking Defense Intelligence Agency cable that purports to identify author, analyst and gadfly William M. Arkin as a paid Iraqi agent, the Washington Post reported on March 18.

"I am extremely concerned that someone familiar with Defense Department classified reporting has forged this document and given it to the press in the hope that it would be reported as genuine," Arkin wrote in a March 17 letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, requesting that the Pentagon undertake an investigation into the matter.

Arkin is the author most recently of the book "Code Names" (www.codenames.org), a compilation of data on mostly classified defense and intelligence programs.

The bogus cable was provided to Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, a frequent press conduit for classified government documents. Mr. Gertz, who is a professional, was not taken in by the forgery.

A copy of Arkin's letter, including the forged cable, may be found here:


A FOOTNOTE ON THE HISTORY OF CLASSIFIED INTEL BUDGETS

The reason that the Central Intelligence Agency has been unable to locate classified intelligence budget annexes from 1947 through 1970, the Agency now says, is that such classified annexes never existed.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request for historical intelligence budget figures, the Central Intelligence Agency last year told a federal court (1) that "the most definitive source for the total CIA appropriation for any given year is the figure indicated in the classified annex to the intelligence authorization act for that year"; and (2) that "CIA was not able to locate the classified annexes to the intelligence authorization acts for Fiscal Years 1947 to 1970."

This alarming admission caught the attention of the National Archives, which asked the CIA to explain whether it had lost or improperly destroyed the budget records (Secrecy News, 12/10/04).

In a February 23, 2005 reply, CIA chief information officer Edmund Cohen said the Agency conducted "extensive research" into the matter and found that such classified annexes only began to be produced by congressional authorizers in the 1980s.

"It is our understanding that prior to 1979 CIA budget figures were disclosed to CIA from closely held informal Congressional documentation maintained by Congress and not formally disseminated to the Agency," Mr. Cohen wrote. See his letter here:

CIA has opposed disclosure of all of its historical budget figures, asserting that their release would jeopardize an intelligence method, namely the clandestine funding of the Agency. However, FAS showed that the 1965 CIA budget -- $550 million -- was already in the public domain.

Contrary to the CIA claim, which was accepted by a federal judge, it is not possible to deduce or infer from this figure the precise budgetary pathways by means of which this amount was transferred to the Agency in 1964.


NSPD-41 ON MARITIME SECURITY POLICY

National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 41 "establishes U.S. policy, guidelines, and implementation actions to enhance U.S. national security and homeland security by protecting U.S. maritime interests."

The new maritime security policy directive was first reported by Mick Andersen of Port Security News in January. A copy of the text was obtained by Jason Sherman of InsideDefense.com, who reported on it last week.

NSPD-41, which is also designated Homeland Security Presidential Directive 13, may be found here:


JASON ON BEACHED WHALES

The ultra-low profile JASON scientific advisory group last year investigated a series of "whale-beaching events" that have been linked to underwater sonar exercises conducted by the U.S. Navy.

"The initial goal of the study was to use the current level of understanding of these events to recommend modifications of the sonar waveform as a mitigation strategy. As we learned about the subject, however, it became clear to us that this is at present an impossible task; we just do not know enough about the damage mechanism and the chain of causation for an engineering solution to the problem."

A copy of the June 2004 JASON study, entitled "Active Sonar Waveform," is here (2.1 MB PDF file):

The unclassified introduction to a 1999 JASON study on "Primary Performance Margins" (referring to the "primary" fission device that is used to initiate thermonuclear explosives) also recently found its way into the public domain here:


GOVERNMENT INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE

The government's failure to properly archive significant digital records is now damaging the public record, argue three librarians in a forthcoming journal article.

The Government Printing Office's refusal to formally deposit digital records in official libraries "has resulted in drastically limiting the amount of important government information available in depository collections across the country," write James A. Jacobs, James R. Jacobs, and Shinjoung Yeo in the May 2005 Journal of Academic Librarianship.

"We have seen repeated examples of the loss of information (by removal from government web servers) that would not have been lost if it had been deposited with [federal depository] libraries. The losses we face include the innocuous and trivial as well as the political and controversial."

"This has become such a problem that organizations and individuals are starting to create their own collections of government information," they observe, citing TheMemoryHole.org, the FAS Secrecy Project, and others.

See "Government Information in the Digital Age: The Once and Future Federal Depository Library Program" by James A. Jacobs, James R. Jacobs, and Shinjoung Yeo here:


A STEAMING HEAP OF CRS REPORTS

The Congressional Research Service does not permit direct online public access to its publications. Following are some recent CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News.

"European Union's Arms Control Regime and Arms Exports to China: Background and Legal Analysis," March 1, 2005:

"DOD's National Security Personnel System: Provisions of Law and Implementation Plans," updated March 11, 2005:

"Creating a National Framework for Cybersecurity: An Analysis of Issues and Options," February 22, 2005:

"Freedom of Information Act Amendments: 109th Congress," February 25, 2005:

"Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Programs: Issues for Congress," updated February 22, 2005:

"U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques," updated February 10, 2005:

"Polygraph Use by the Department of Energy: Issues for Congress," updated February 3, 2005:

"USA Patriot Act Sunset: Provisions That Expire on December 31, 2005," updated January 27, 2005:

"USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: A Sketch," updated January 27, 2005:

"North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program," updated January 27, 2005:

"Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Selected Legislation from the 108th Congress," updated January 11, 2005:

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

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