SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2009, Issue No. 95
December 2, 2009

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

CRS ON MILITARY COMMISSIONS VS. CRIMINAL TRIALS

Many of the procedural safeguards that are provided to a defendant in a criminal trial are not available to those tried in military commissions, or are present in attenuated or modified form. Thus, for example, military commissions offer no right to a speedy trial and may allow hearsay into evidence.

These and numerous other distinctions between the two judicial frameworks were helpfully tabulated in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. See "Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court," November 19, 2009:

Related information on the rights of detainees in a criminal prosecution was discussed in "Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues," updated November 17, 2009:


GREENHOUSE GAS POLICY IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES

A comparative study of greenhouse gas control policies in several large industrial nations was presented in another report from the Congressional Research Service that has not been made readily available to the public.

"All of the countries examined have in place, or are developing, some enforceable policies that serve to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," the CRS found. "Most are at some stage of making their programs more stringent." See "An Overview of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Control Policies in Various Countries," November 30, 2009:


MARKET STRUCTURE OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY

Why do Americans have to pay far more for health care than do citizens of other countries who receive comparable or even superior service? A new report from the Congressional Research Service does not answer that question, but it does provide some insight into the role of the health insurance industry in generating those high costs.

"Health costs appear to have increased over time in large part because of complex interactions among health insurance, health care providers, employers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, tax policy, and the medical technology industry. Reducing the growth trajectory of health care costs may require policies that affect these interactions," the CRS delicately said.

See "The Market Structure of the Health Insurance Industry," Congressional Research Service, November 17, 2009:

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

See also "Reducing Government Secrecy: Finding What Works" by Steven Aftergood, Yale Law and Policy Review, vol. 27, no. 2, Spring 2009:
      http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/aftergood.pdf

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