FAS Roundup: May 10, 2016

FAS Special Event: “30 Years After the Accident: the Meaning of Chernobyl Today?”

Leading experts came together to discuss Chernobyl on the eve of its 30th anniversary, the lessons learned, and possible implications that this fateful event has for the nuclear industry today. Speaker presentations and the full recording of the event are available now.

 From the Blogs

Archivist Won’t Call “Torture Report” a Permanent Record: Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero last week rebuffed requests to formally designate the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogation practices a “federal record” that must be preserved. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy had urged the Archivist to exercise his authority to certify that the Senate report is a federal record.

HASC Favors Classified National Military Strategy: The forthcoming National Military Strategy, unlike previous versions of the Strategy, should be a classified document, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) said in its markup of the FY2017 defense authorization bill. Paradoxically, the Committee said that classifying the Strategy would enable increased disclosure of information– to the Committee, not to the public.

Questions for the Record: Arctic Camouflage: The camouflage netting used by the U.S. Army in the Arctic region is obsolete and ineffective, Army officials told Congress in response to a question for the record in a newly published hearing volume. “The existing Arctic camouflage system has not been upgraded since its inception in the mid-1970s…Due to improvements in technology, these variants are now ineffective against current and emerging advanced sensor threats and are in need of updates,” the officials said.

Judge Garland’s Opinions, and More from CRS: The Congressional Research Service continues to devote substantial attention to the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, even if the U.S. Senate remains unwilling or unable to act on the nomination. This week CRS issued a new report presenting an annotated tabulation of hundreds of decisions written by Judge Garland.

Punishing Leaks Through Administrative Channels: The Obama Administration has famously prosecuted more individuals for unauthorized disclosures of classified information to the media than all of its predecessors combined. But behind the scenes, it appears to have sought administrative penalties for leaks — rather than criminal ones — with equal or greater vigor. “This Administration has been historically active in pursuing prosecution of leakers, and the Intelligence Community fully supports this effort,” said ODNI General Counsel Robert S. Litt in testimony from a closed hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2012 that was released last week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Judge Garland’s Jurisprudence, and More from CRS: A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines Judge Merrick Garland’s approach to various domains of the law in an attempt to assess what the impact would be if his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court were ever confirmed by the U.S. Senate. “The report focuses on those areas of law where Justice Scalia can be seen to have influenced the High Court’s approach to particular issues, or served as a fifth and deciding vote on the Court, with a view toward how Judge Garland might approach that same issue if he were to be confirmed.”

FAS in the News

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