SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 44
April 26, 2007

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

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NATIONAL EXERCISE PROGRAM WOULD TEST CRISIS RESPONSE

On January 26, 2007, the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council approved the establishment of a National Exercise Program (NEP) that would conduct management exercises to help senior government officials prepare for national crises from terrorism to natural disasters.

In a briefing last month, the Department of Homeland Security presented a proposed Five Year Schedule for the NEP.

Proposed exercises would model government responses to a nuclear weapons accident, pandemic influenza, Olympic terrorism, IED and MANPADS attacks, and other emergency scenarios.

Cabinet officers and other senior officials would be required to participate in five such exercises annually.

See the Department of Homeland Security briefing on the National Exercise Program, March 8, 2007 (For Official Use Only):

See also "Exercise Synchronization Working Group and NEP Implementation Plan Update and Way Ahead," Joint Chiefs of Staff, 5-6 March 2007:

Thanks to Nemo at Entropic Memes.


SENSITIVE SITE OPERATIONS

The U.S. Army yesterday issued a new Field Manual on "Sensitive Site Operations" (FM 3-90.15, 25 April 2007).

The document itself is restricted and the Army would not immediately provide a copy to Secrecy News. But a few blanks can nevertheless be filled in.

"A sensitive site is a designated, geographically limited area with special military, diplomatic, economic, or information sensitivity for the United States," according to the Army Field Manual (2-0) on Intelligence (pdf).

"This includes factories with technical data on enemy weapon systems, war crimes sites, critical hostile government facilities, areas suspected of containing persons of high rank in a hostile government or organization, terrorist money laundering, and document storage areas for secret police forces."

"Sensitive site exploitation consists of a series of activities inside a sensitive site captured from an adversary."

"These activities exploit personnel, documents, electronic data, and material captured at the site, while neutralizing any threat posed by the site or its contents. While the physical process of exploiting the sensitive site begins at the site itself, full exploitation may involve teams of experts located around the world."

For further background and description of some fairly recent sensitive site operations, see a seminar paper entitled "The Strategic Implications of Sensitive Site Exploitation" by Col. Thomas S. Vandal, National Defense University, 2003:

See also "Managing Sensitive Site Exploitation -- Notes from Operation Iraqi Freedom" by Major Pete Lofy, 2003:


WAL-MART RECRUITS INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS

Wal-Mart, the massive retail chain, has established its own "intelligence" unit to conduct threat assessments, and to perform intelligence collection and analysis.

And it has been recruiting senior personnel from U.S. intelligence agencies to staff its operation.

"I've had a number of people contact me who have purely law enforcement / security investigative backgrounds," wrote one Wal-Mart recruiter in a January 2007 bulletin board posting. "That is not what the company is looking for."

"The primary screening criteria for the positions is [sic] formal training and experience in intelligence analysis. If an individual does not possess that minimal criteria, then he will not be considered."

See "Wal-Mart Recruits Intelligence Officers" by Marcus Kabel, Associated Press, April 24:

See also "Wal-Mart Defends Itself with New Intel Unit" by Jason Goodwin, Government Security News, February 2006:


OTHER SECRECY NEWS

Having spent months assessing the role of contractors in U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. intelligence officials say they cannot disclose how many contractors there are, because that's classified. See "Government Keeps a Secret After Studying Spy Agencies" by Scott Shane, New York Times, April 26:

Veteran female intelligence officers charge that the Central Intelligence Agency deals more harshly with women employees who have relationships with foreign nationals than it does with men. See "Does the CIA have a double standard when its spies cozy up to foreigners?" by David E. Kaplan, U.S. News and World Report, April 22:

A tumultuous congressional hearing on the CIA's extraordinary rendition program was captured by Jeff Stein in "A CIA Man Speaks His Mind on Secret Abductions," CQ Homeland Security, April 20:

In 1967 the United States had a top secret contingency plan for attacking Israel to prevent it from moving westward into the Sinai or eastward into the West Bank, reported Amir Oren in Haaretz. See "The Right to Strike," April 23:


SELECTED CRS REPORTS

With congressional concurrence, the Congressional Research Service refuses to make its products directly available to the public. Some noteworthy new CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

"Presidential Advisers' Testimony Before Congressional Committees: An Overview," updated April 10, 2007:

"Information Operations, Electronic Warfare, and Cyberwar: Capabilities and Related Policy Issues," updated March 20, 2007:

"Network Centric Operations: Background and Oversight Issues for Congress," updated March 15, 2007:

"Statutes of Limitation in Federal Criminal Cases: An Overview," updated April 9, 2007:

"Speechwriting in Perspective: A Brief Guide to Effective and Persuasive Communication," April 12, 2007:

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

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