SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 115
November 28, 2007

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

Support Secrecy News
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp

EXECUTIVE ORDER ON ASSET SEIZURE CASTS A WIDE NET

Last July, President Bush issued a broadly-worded executive order authorizing the government to seize the assets of "any person" who threatens the stability of Iraq and, more controversially, any person who provides assistance to such a person.

The scope, objectives and precedents of the order -- Executive Order 13,438, "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" -- were examined in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

"The broad language of this executive order has been the subject of a degree of criticism as potentially reaching beyond insurgents in Iraq to third parties, such as U.S. citizens, who may unknowingly be providing support for the insurgency," the CRS report noted, citing prior reports in the Washington Post, TPM Muckraker, and elsewhere.

In fact, the potential application of the order appears to be technically unlimited since it includes a recursive clause that has no defined endpoint.

Thus, section 1(b) of the Order states that any person who provides goods or services to a person whose actions are proscribed under section 1(a) is himself subject to section 1(a). But then, anyone who provides similar support to that person could likewise be swept up in the expansive terms of the order. And so on, without end.

In practice, the application of the order will be defined by implementing regulations to be issued by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which will also prepare an initial list of blocked individuals and organizations. Those have still not been published.

A copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "Executive Order 13,438: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," November 16, 2007:

The text of executive order 13,438 is here:


SOME NEW DOD INTELLIGENCE POLICY DIRECTIVES

New issuances on Defense Department intelligence policy include the following.

"Access to Classified Cryptographic Information," DoD Instruction 5205.08, November 8, 2007:

"Scientific and Technical Intelligence Liaison Officer (STILO) Program and Intelligence Support for the naval Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, and Acquisition Communities," OPNAV Instruction 3880.6A, November 5, 2007:

And for good measure there is the "NATO Glossary of Abbreviations Used in NATO Documents and Publications," 2007:

It indicates, for example, that the French for "sensitive compartmented information" is "informations sensibles cloisonnées.


BAHAMAS RATIFIES NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas announced this week that it has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, according to a news release from the CTBT Organization in Vienna. The Treaty prohibits all nuclear explosions.

The ratification by the Bahamas brings the total number of Treaty ratifications to 141. But the Treaty cannot take effect until it is ratified by ten other states with nuclear programs, including China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran and the United States.

For related background, see "Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty" from the Congressional Research Service, updated October 29, 2007:

******************************

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

The Secrecy News blog is at:
      http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
     http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/subscribe.html

To UNSUBSCRIBE, go to:
      http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/unsubscribe.html

OR email your request to [email protected]

Secrecy News is archived at:
      http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
      http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp