SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 29
March 28, 2011

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

INTELLIGENCE AND THE DECLINE OF US MANUFACTURING

The U.S. intelligence community will prepare a National Intelligence Estimate on the implications of the continuing decline in U.S. manufacturing capacity, said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) citing recent news reports.

"Last month Forbes reported that the continued erosion of the U.S. manufacturing base has gotten so serious that the Director of National Intelligence has begun preparation of a National Intelligence Estimate... to assess the security implications of the decline of American manufacturing," said Rep. Schakowsky, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

"Our growing reliance on imports and lack of industrial infrastructure has become a national security concern," said Rep. Schakowsky. She spoke at a March 16 news conference (at 28:10) in opposition to the pending U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The Forbes report referenced by Rep. Schakowsky was "Intelligence Community Fears U.S. Manufacturing Decline," by Loren Thompson, February 14:

The decision to prepare an intelligence estimate was first reported by Richard McCormack in "Intelligence Director Will Look at National Security Implications of U.S. Manufacturing Decline," Manufacturing & Technology News, February 3:

Rep. Schakowsky told the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade (March 25) that she hopes a "declassified portion" of the NIE will be publicly released.

But according to the Congressional Research Service, that may be unlikely. "There seems to be an emerging consensus that publicly releasing NIEs, or even unclassified summaries, has limitations. Some of the nuances of classified intelligence judgments are lost and there are concerns that public release of an unclassified summary of a complicated situation does not effectively serve the legislative process." See "Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?", January 6, 2011:

"With 14 million Americans out of a job we should not be considering a trade deal that will ship additional jobs overseas," said Rep. Schakowsky, referring to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

"Instead, we need to work to rebuild the American manufacturing sector, creating jobs at home. And instead of approving FTAs (free trade agreements) that will offshore more American jobs, we need to establish a trade policy that benefits American workers and the entire American economy," she said.

The CRS cited a study which concluded that overall changes in aggregate U.S. employment attributable to the US-Korea agreement "would be negligible given the much larger size of the U.S. economy compared to the South Korean economy. However, while some sectors, such as livestock producers, would experience increases in employment, others such as textile, wearing apparel, and electronic equipment manufacturers would be expected to experience declines in employment."

Accordingly, the "U.S. beef sector" supports the agreement, while some labor unions oppose it.

See "The Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications," Congressional Research Service, March 1, 2011:

See also "Free Trade Agreements: Impact on U.S. Trade and Implications for U.S. Trade Policy," January 6, 2011:


STATE SECRETS, AFGHAN CASUALTIES, AND MORE

Despite a requirement of law, the U.S. State Department has failed to produce two retrospective volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series documenting U.S. policy toward Iran (1952-54) and the Congo (1960-68). See Stephen R. Weissman, "Why is US withholding old documents on covert ops in Congo, Iran," Christian Science Monitor, March 25, 2011.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan were documented in new detail based on the release of internal military databases to Science Magazine, which published them this month:

An extensive online collection of judicial rulings involving the state secrets privilege and other related resources has been compiled by the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law.

Louis Fisher, a constitutional scholar formerly at the Congressional Research Service and the Law Library of Congress, has posted many of his writings on the state secrets privilege, war powers, and others aspects of constitutional interpretation on a new web site here:

A recent law review paper entitled "Intolerable Abuses: Rendition for Torture and the State Secrets Privilege" by D.A. Jeremy Telman is available here:

"The False Choice Between Secrecy and Transparency in US Politics" by Clare Birchall appeared in the March 2011 issue of Cultural Politics.

The National Archives and Duke University will hold a conference on April 12 on media access to government information.

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

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