SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 106
October 26, 2007

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DNI ISSUES DIRECTIVES ON HISTORY, SOURCING, PRIORITIES

"The United States Intelligence Community (IC) has an obligation to learn from its history and its performance and to document its activities," Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell wrote in a newly disclosed Intelligence Community Directive.

Towards that end, "each IC agency/organization shall establish and maintain a professional historical capability... to document, analyze and advance an understanding of the history of the agency or organization and its predecessors."

See "Intelligence Community History Programs," Intelligence Community Directive 180, August 29, 2007:

Another new DNI directive instructs intelligence analysts that "disseminated analytic products must contain consistent and structured sourcing information for all significant and substantive reporting or other information upon which the product's analytic judgments, assessments, estimates, or confidence levels depend."

"Thorough and consistent documentation enhances the credibility and transparency of intelligence analysis and enables consumers to better understand the quantity and quality of information underlying the analysis."

See "Sourcing Requirements for Disseminated Analytic Products," Intelligence Community Directive 206, October 17, 2007:

Intelligence collection and analysis objectives are defined and ranked through something called the National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF), which "is the DNI's sole mechanism for establishing national intelligence priorities."

Based on topics approved by the President, the NIPF provides a process for prioritizing competing intelligence requirements and allocating resources accordingly.

See "Roles and Responsibilities for the National Intelligence Priorities Framework," Intelligence Community Directive 204, September 13, 2007:


NATIONAL ACADEMY DEFENDS OPEN RESEARCH POLICIES

Poorly considered security restrictions on unclassified research and limits on foreign scientists' access to U.S. laboratories could erode U.S. scientific and engineering prowess, a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences concluded.

"The success of U.S. science and engineering has been built on a system of information sharing and open communication, not only among U.S. institutions, but also with the international science and technology communities."

"Given the current diminishing rates of new scientific and engineering talent in the United States ... the size of the U.S. research and development effort cannot be sustained without a significant and steady infusion of foreign nationals," the report said.

See "To Maintain National Security, U.S. Policies Should Continue to Promote Open Exchange of Research," NAS news release, October 18:


WHITE HOUSE SEEKS TO RATIFY NUCLEAR PROTECTION POLICY

To submit an international arms control agreement to the U.S. Senate for ratification has not always been the Bush Administration's first instinct. But last month the White House asked the Senate to ratify a 2005 Amendment to the 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

"This Amendment is important in the campaign against international nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation," President Bush wrote in his transmittal letter.

"It will require each State Party to the Amendment to establish, implement, and maintain an appropriate physical protection regime applicable to nuclear material and nuclear facilities used for peaceful purposes."

The pending Amendment along with a State Department overview and related materials were recently printed for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. See "Amendment to Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material," submitted by the President of the United States to the U.S. Senate, September 4, 2007:

International progress on ratifying the Amendment "remains slow," lamented Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in a September 10 statement. Of the 128 States that are party to the 1980 Convention, only 11 have approved the 2005 Amendment, he said.

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

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