SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 35
March 29, 2007

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

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BILL SEEKS INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Global climate change "represents a clear and present danger to the security and economy of the United States," according to a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate yesterday, and it therefore warrants the focused attention of U.S. intelligence agencies.

"For years, many of us have examined global warming as an environmental or economic issue," said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). "We also need to consider it as a security concern. Our bill begins this process by requiring a National Intelligence Estimate to assess the strategic challenges presented by the world's changing climate."

"In this legislation, we ask for the intelligence community to provide a strategic estimate of the risks posed by global climate change for countries or regions that are of particular economic or military significance to the United States or that are at serious risk of humanitarian suffering," Senator Durbin said. "This NIE will assess the political, social, agricultural, and economic challenges for countries and their likely impact."

The new bill is jointly sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

"Senator Durbin and I differ on policy initiatives designed to reduce the impact of climate change," said Sen. Hagel. "We do agree, however, on the need to assess potential impacts of the changing climate on U.S. national security interests so that our Nation can develop responsible, forward-thinking policies that ensure the continued safety and prosperity of the American people."

See their March 28 introductory statements and the text of the new bill (S. 1018) here:

Among the eleven "policy coordinating committees" at the National Security Council that were established by President Bush's National Security Presidential Directive 1 in February 2001 is one on "Global Environment." But this NSC committee has left no identifiable public trace on U.S. policy.


GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO JOINT OPERATIONS

A newly updated doctrinal publication from the Joint Chiefs of Staff describes the various types of geospatial intelligence products produced by U.S. intelligence agencies and their role in the conduct of joint military operations.

Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) includes imagery, maps and other data that characterize a target or area of intelligence interest.

The new publication "covers the foundation and evolution of GEOINT; discusses GEOINT support to operations; provides a complete discussion of the roles and responsibilities for GEOINT; discusses GEOINT in terms of the intelligence process;" and more.

See "Geospatial Intelligence Support to Joint Operations," Joint Publication 2-03, 22 March 2007 (135 pages, 2.3. MB PDF):


HONEY BEE POPULATION DROPS SHARPLY, AND MORE FROM CRS

A "sharp decline" in the U.S. population of honey bees is examined in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

"This phenomenon first became apparent among commercial migratory beekeepers along the East Coast during the last few months of 2006, and has since been reported nationwide," the CRS report said.

Various potential causes have been postulated, including parasites, pathogens, chemical contaminants, poor nutrition, and "stress."

The declining bee population is the subject of a hearing today before the House Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture.

See "Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines," Congressional Research Service, March 26, 2007:

Despite the best efforts of CRS management to impede public access to CRS products, the following CRS reports were obtained by Secrecy News.

"Federal Advisory Committees: A Primer," updated March 20, 2007:

"Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy and Implementation," updated March 13, 2007:

"Defense Acquisition: Use of Lead System Integrators (LSIs) -- Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress," March 26, 2007:

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

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