SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2012, Issue No. 64
July 9, 2012

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

DNI SEEKS TO BOLSTER IC FOREIGN LANGUAGE CAPABILITY

The Director of National Intelligence issued a new directive that is intended to improve foreign language skills throughout the U.S. intelligence community.

"Foreign language capabilities are essential to the performance of intelligence missions and operations," the May 2012 directive notes.

Foreign language competence for intelligence purposes extends well beyond mastery of a common vocabulary or the ability to translate a newspaper article.

"Foreign language capabilities include a broad range of language proficiency skills and other abilities, such as cultural awareness and understanding, regional expertise, skill in translation and interpretation, and knowledge of the scientific and technical vocabularies of critical foreign languages," the directive says.

"This Directive establishes an integrated approach to develop, maintain, and improve foreign language capabilities across the Intelligence Community (IC)." See Intelligence Community Directive 630, "Intelligence Community Foreign Language Capability," May 14, 2012:

Shortfalls in foreign language abilities are a recurring problem in U.S. intelligence agencies.

"U.S. intelligence efforts are complicated by unfilled requirements for foreign language expertise," according to the Congressional Research Service.

"A major constraint on HUMINT collection is the availability of personnel trained in appropriate languages. Cold War efforts required a supply of linguists in a relatively finite set of foreign languages, but the intelligence community now needs experts in a wider range of more obscure languages and dialects," wrote CRS specialist Richard A. Best, Jr. last year.


WHISTLEBLOWERS, LEAKS, OVERSIGHT: LAW REVIEW PERSPECTIVES

Questions of law and policy regarding unauthorized disclosures of classified information, whistleblower rights and the adequacy of oversight have been discussed lately in several law review articles, including these.

"Whistleblowers and the Obama Presidency: The National Security Dilemma" by Richard Moberly, Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, Volume 16, 2012:

"Free Speech Aboard the Leaky Ship of State: Calibrating First Amendment Protection for Leakers of Classified Information" by Heidi Kitrosser, Journal of National Security Law & Policy, 2012:

"Protecting Rights from Within? Inspectors General and National Security Oversight" by Shirin Sinnar, Stanford Law Review, forthcoming:


TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS, AND MORE FROM CRS

Newly updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been authorized by Congress for broad public distribution include the following.

Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress, July 6, 2012:

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions, July 6, 2012:

The Definition of "Supervisor" Under the National Labor Relations Act, July 5, 2012:

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2013 Appropriations, July 5, 2012:

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

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