Secrecy News

Various Resources

National Security Agency director Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander answered dozens of questions for the record related to NSA surveillance activities following a September 6 July 26, 2006 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “FISA for the 21st Century.” That hearing record has not yet been published, but General Alexander’s 35 page response to Senators’ questions is available here (pdf).

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office “examines the costs and potential performance of four possible designs for a Space Radar system.” See “Alternatives for Military Space Radar” (pdf), Congressional Budget Office, January 2007.

“Joint Operation Planning” (pdf) is a new publication from the Joint Chiefs of Staffs that “reflects the current doctrine for conducting joint, interagency, and multinational planning activities across the full range of military operations.” See Joint Publication 5-0, December 26, 2006.

A newly released opinion (pdf) from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel advises that the open meeting requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act do not apply when government officials consult non-governmental individuals (as opposed to committees). Nor do they apply to government meetings with non-governmental groups, says OLC, as long as the members of the groups only provide their opinions as individuals, and not as a collective. See “Application of Federal Advisory Committee Act to Non-Governmental Consultations,” Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, December 7, 2001 (released January 3, 2007).

A conference entitled “Covering the New Secrecy: The Press and Public Policy” (pdf) and sponsored by the Knight-Wallace Fellows will be held at the University of Michigan on January 8.

0 thoughts on “Various Resources

  1. I imagine you already knew this or someone has already brought this to your attention, but an interesting, if unsurprising, bit of trivia about the OLC memo whose release you announced: Jay Bybee, the assistant AG who signed the memo (and now judge on the 9th Circuit) wrote a very well-placed law review article while he was an academic that argued FACA is unconstitutional: “Advisingthe President: Separation of Powers and the Federal Advisory Committee Act,” 104 Yale L.J. 51 (1994). He is now more famous for his role in the torture memos (which didn’t stop him from being confirmed to the federal bench), but I imagine he quite enjoyed authoring this memo, especially the final sentence of the penultimate paragraph (that you summarized in your notice), which would pretty much render FACA a nullity.

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