FAS Roundup: December 15, 2014

From the Blogs

CIA Torture Report: Oversight, by No Remedies Yet: Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA’s post 9/11 interrogation program. The report details the inhumane and brutal treatment of detainees, and was not a story the CIA was motivated to tell. Steven Aftergood writes that the Committee report is a remarkable demonstration of the congressional oversight function as it was performed in adverse, unfavorable conditions, as committee questions were ignored and inaccurate information was provided. The most important omission from the report is the absence of any discussion of remedies.

Congress Tells DoD to Report on Leaks, Insider Threats: Congress wants to receive quarterly reports from the Department of Defense on how the Pentagon is responding to leaks of classified information for the next two years; this reporting requirement was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY15. The Secretary of Defense will be required to report on changes in policy and resource allocations that are adopted in response to significant compromises of classified information. But, the defense authorization act does not address irregularities in the classification system, such as overclassification or failure to timely declassify information.

Defense Authorization Act Highlights and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as the FY15 budget requests to counter Ebola and the Islamic State, the role of Inspector Generals and nuclear energy cooperation with foreign countries. 

FAS at the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

The Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held on December 8-9 in Vienna; this was the third in a series of conferences organized by a growing number of countries and humanitarian organizations to discuss the risks nuclear weapons pose to humanity.

Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project, participated in the conference and gave two presentations. The first was to the ICAN Civil Society Forum on the overall status of worldwide nuclear forces; presentation slides are available here. Kristensen and Matthew McKinzie from the Natural Resources Defense Council, presented on nuclear deterrence, nuclear war planning and scenarios of nuclear conflict; briefing slides are available here. 

FAS in the News

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