SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 41
April 28, 2008

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

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RESOURCES ON THE ISRAELI STRIKE IN SYRIA

The September 6, 2007 Israeli strike against a suspected Syrian nuclear facility remains a puzzle despite the confident assertion by U.S. intelligence officials last week that the target was a Syrian reactor constructed for the production of plutonium with the assistance of North Korea.

An extensive, frequently updated collection of open source materials on the subject -- including foreign and domestic news reports, satellite imagery and analysis -- has been compiled by Allen Thomson in "A Sourcebook on the Israeli Strike in Syria, 6 September 2007" (currently 812 pages in a 15 MB PDF file):

An updated bibliography of Syrian nuclear science research, from reactor safety to laser isotope separation, was prepared by researcher Mark Gorwitz. See "Syrian Nuclear Science Bibliography: Open Literature Citations," April 2008:

A list of all cooperative agreements between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Atomic Energy Commission of Syria, also compiled by Mr. Gorwitz, is here:

The web site of the Atomic Energy Commission of Syria is here:


A NEW AMBASSADOR FROM BAHRAIN

The next ambassador from Bahrain to the United States will be a Jewish woman named Huda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, according to a report in GulfNews.com last week.

"Huda is Bahrain's nominee for the post and this is of course very good news for Bahrain's deep-rooted values of tolerance and openness," said Faisal Fouladh of the Shura Council, the upper house of Bahrain's legislature. The Shura Council currently includes 11 women, including one Christian.

See "Bahrain set to name Jewish woman envoy" by Habib Toumi, GulfNews, April 25:

Alone among Muslim countries, Bahrain and Bosnia have Jewish diplomats in senior positions, said Stephen S. Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism (www.islamicpluralism.org).


HEARING ON SECRET LAW

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing April 30 on the subject of "secret law."

"It's been nearly forty years since Professor Kenneth Davis stated in his seminal treatise on administrative law that 'Secret law is an abomination'," according to a Committee announcement.

"The upcoming hearing will examine the extent to which this abomination is gradually becoming a common state of affairs, and its effect on our democracy."

The hearing will be chaired by Sen. Russ Feingold. I will be testifying, along with J. William Leonard, the former director of the Information Security Oversight Office, and a diverse group of others. See "Secret Law and the Threat to Democratic and Accountable Government":


PRESIDENTIAL CLAIMS OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, AND MORE FROM CRS

Noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.

"Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa," updated March 10, 2008:

"High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) and High Power Microwave (HPM) Devices: Threat Assessments," updated March 26, 2008:

"Second FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations for Military Operations, International Affairs, and Other Purposes," April 15, 2008:

"Iraq: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy," updated April 4, 2008:

"Operation Iraqi Freedom: Strategies, Approaches, Results, and Issues for Congress," March 28, 2008:

"Major U.S. Arms Sales and Grants to Pakistan Since 2001" (fact sheet), updated April 23, 2008:

"Pakistan-U.S. Relations," updated March 27, 2008:

"Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice and Recent Developments," updated April 16, 2008:

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

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