FAS Roundup: July 22, 2013

By July 22, 2013

U.S. relations with new Iranian president, missile defense and much more.


Countering an Iranian Rope-a-Dope: In a new op-ed published in Roll Call, FAS Special Projects Director Mr. Mark Jansson writes that the United States needs to be patient, flexible and relax pressure on sanctions in order to work with new Iranian president Hasan Rouhani to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue. Read the op-ed here.

Let’s End Bogus Missile Defense Testing: FAS’s Adjunct Senior Fellow Dr. Yousaf Butt calls for the end of bogus missile defense testing in a new op-ed published in Reuters. The Missile Defense Agency recently attempted a demonstration of the defensive shield, designed to protect the U.S. from North Korean and Iranian nuclear missiles, which turned out to be a dud. Read the op-ed here.

From the Blogs

Appeals Court Rejects Reporter’s Privilege in Leak Case: In a new ruling with ominous implications for national security reporting, an appeals court said on July 19 that there is no reporter’s privilege that would allow New York Times reporter James Risen to decline to identify the source of classified information that he revealed in his book State of War. Mr. Risen had been subpoenaed to testify in the leak prosecution of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who is accused of leaking information to Risen about a failed CIA operation against Iran’s nuclear program. Steven Aftergood writes that there is a permanent tension, if not an irreconcilable conflict, between a free press and the operations of national security. The tension can be managed by the exercise of prudent self-restraint on both sides.

Mentors for the Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament Announced: FAS is pleased to announce that three major diplomatic missions have agreed to provide mentors for the 2013 – 2014 Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament. The participating Geneva-based missions include Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Each of these mentors will provide the program’s young leaders with first-hand knowledge of WMD policymaking at the Conference on Disarmament. Their insider perspectives and expert experience will benefit the young leaders as they work to draft their own statement to the Conference on Disarmament for the start of the 2014 Session.

Insider Threat Policy Equates Leakers, Spies, Terrorists: A national policy on “insider threats” was developed by the Obama Administration in order to protect against actions by government employees who would harm the security of the nation. But under the rubric of insider threats, the policy subsumes the seemingly disparate acts of spies, terrorists, and those who leak classified information. One of the implications of aggregating spies, terrorists and leakers in a single category is that the nation’s spy-hunters and counterterrorism specialists can now be trained upon those who are suspected of leaking classified information.

Loose Ends: In response to an October 2012 presidential directive on “protecting whistleblowers with access to classified information,” the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy have produced their implementing policies.  These would generally prohibit retaliation against individuals who make “protected disclosures” of information to an authorized recipient.

The Defense Production Act of 1950 and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as the New START treaty, legal issues of fracking and an overview of arms control and nonproliferation treaties. 

FAS in the News

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