SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 103
November 3, 2011

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

HELP SUPPORT SECRECY NEWS

We invite you to help sustain Secrecy News and the work of the FAS Project on Government Secrecy by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Federation of American Scientists.

Last week, the Congressional Research Service issued a report about "The Arsenal Act," a peculiar and little-known law dating back to 1854 that authorizes the Secretary of the Army to "abolish any United States arsenal that he considers unnecessary." If you wanted to read that report you could purchase a copy for $29.95 from a commercial vendor. Or you could write to your Congressman to request that a copy be sent to you. Or you could simply read the report right now for free on the Federation of American Scientists web site.

We do not charge anyone for access to this or thousands of other valuable, hard-to-find government records that are highlighted in nearly every issue of Secrecy News. The whole point of our work is to make such records more easily available.

But we do incur costs in gathering and publishing the records. We also invest time and resources in probing the boundaries of the national security secrecy system and reporting our findings to the interested public. We engage in advocacy to promote a real, measurable reduction in the scope of secrecy through the Fundamental Classification Guidance Review and other mechanisms. And we assist reporters and researchers dealing with questions of access to government information.

If you derive any benefit from these activities, please help us to maintain and expand them. Donations can be made online here (specify that your donation should be directed to "government secrecy"):

If contributing via Paypal, send us a separate email to let us know you want your contribution allocated to the FAS Project on Government Secrecy. Checks payable to FAS may also be mailed to:


SOME CORRECTIONS ON INTELLIGENCE BUDGET SECRECY

Earlier this week, we noted that it was increasingly unlikely that the budget for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) would be removed from concealment in the Defense Department budget and given its own budget line item, as the Director of National Intelligence and others had proposed.

Instead, the status quo is likely to persist, we wrote, because "Congress likes it that way." But this remark was too glib. The language we cited from the House version of the Defense Appropriations Act that would prohibit NIP separation has not been adopted in the Senate. Influential members of the Senate Intelligence Committee actually favor a separate NIP budget as a way to increase transparency and to provide the DNI with greater control of appropriated funds. So Congress is not of one mind on this question, and it has not completed action on the prohibition proposed in the House.

We also mistakenly credited the DNI with "voluntarily" disclosing the amount of the FY2012 NIP budget request in February of this year. But in fact, that disclosure was not voluntary. It was mandated by Congress in the FY2010 Intelligence Authorization Act (section 364).

While disclosure of the budget request for the National Intelligence Program is required by law, the disclosure of the budget request for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) is not specifically required. Secrecy News asked the Pentagon to disclose it anyway. Officials said a response to that request would be forthcoming "sometime around January 1, 2012."

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

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 the FAS Project on Government Secrecy with a donation here:
      http://www.fas.org/member/donate_today.html