SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 34
April 13, 2005

CLASSIFIED DEFENSE SPENDING CONTINUES TO GROW

Classified spending in the proposed 2006 defense acquisition budget totals about $28 billion, according to an analysis by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA).

That is nearly double the amount in real dollars that was spent in fiscal year 1995, which was the post-Cold War low for classified defense spending.

Since 1995, classified Defense Department spending has grown even faster than the overall defense acquisition budget, which itself grew by 60 per cent, CSBA reported.

See "FY06 Classified Funding in the Defense Budget Request" by Stephen Kosiak, CSBA, March 28:

and "FY06 Black Budget Estimates," March 28:

From a public policy perspective, the concern raised by classified spending is that it sharply diminishes the quality and quantity of independent oversight, and provides a hospitable environment for corruption, waste or mere incompetence.

"Effective immediately, I do not want anyone within the Air Force acquisition community discussing any of our programs with the media (on or off the record)," wrote Darleen A. Druyun, a senior Air Force acquisition official, in an October 2001 email message:

In retrospect, Ms. Druyun's devotion to strict secrecy appears to be something less than patriotic. Last year, she was convicted of corrupt practices and was sentenced to nine months in the Marianna, Florida women's prison.


STATUTORY AUTHORITIES OF THE DNI (CRS)

The specific authorities granted by statute to the Director of National Intelligence are "substantially stronger" than those enjoyed by the Director of Central Intelligence, but whether they are sufficient to the task is not clear, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

See "Director of National Intelligence: Statutory Authorities," Congressional Research Service, April 11:

"I will seek to make the fullest possible use of these authorities," Amb. Negroponte told the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday in a vague, sometimes cliched presentation. A copy of his prepared statement is here:


HALLIBURTON AUDIT DATA SUPPRESSED

Data showing that Halliburton had overcharged more than $200 million for its work on Iraqi oil contracts were withheld by the Bush Administration from international auditors responsible for overseeing the contracts, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) reported this week.

"Both the amount of Halliburton's overcharges and the extent of the information withheld from the auditors at the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) are much greater than previously known," the Waxman analysis stated.

In an April 11 letter to Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), Rep. Waxman cited several classification and information policy experts who agreed that "contractor overcharges are not proprietary information that can be withheld" from disclosure.

See "DOD Audits: Halliburton Overcharges Top $212 Million," House Government Reform Committee Minority Office, April 11:


IKONOS VIEWS SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY

Space Imaging, Inc. has released a satellite image of space shuttle Discovery on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in anticipation of the forthcoming shuttle launch sometime between May 15 and June 3. It will be the first shuttle mission since the Columbia accident in February 2003.

The new image, captured by Space Imaging's Ikonos satellite on April 8, may be seen here:

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

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