“Implementation of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI),” the notoriously secretive program “which was established by President Bush in National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 in January 2008, continues at this time.”
That interesting reminder was mentioned in passing in newly disclosed answers to questions for the record (pdf) submitted by the Director of National Intelligence to the Senate Intelligence Committee in April 2009 following the DNI’s annual threat briefing last February.
Some other notable observations from the DNI’s forty pages of wide-ranging answers to Senators’ questions include:
Some of the DNI’s statements are surprisingly flimsy. For example, he declares (question 17) that “In 2003, the Russian military prepared for an exercise that included attacking U.S. satellites to disrupt the NAVSTAR global positioning system, the Keyhole optical-electronic reconnaissance satellites, and the Lacrosse radar reconnaissance system with the intent of ‘blinding’ the Pentagon and denying it the opportunity to use precision weapons against Russia.”
This is an odd assertion, first, because intelligence officials rarely if ever use the old Keyhole or Lacrosse satellite names in unclassified public statements. And on closer inspection, it turns out that the DNI’s statement was simply lifted, almost word for word, from a news story that appeared in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on May 14, 2003. (It was also picked up by the online Newsmax.com on May 18, 2003.) The Russian story lazily attributed its claim regarding the anti-satellite exercise to “certain reports.” The DNI repeated the Nezavisimaya Gazeta item nearly verbatim, presenting it as an established fact, with no attribution at all.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has renewed the valuable tradition of submitting unclassified questions for the record to senior intelligence officials following the annual threat briefing to the Committee. Unfortunately, the congressional publication schedule is such that the answers to the questions often do not appear for one or even two years after they are prepared. The latest DNI responses to questions for the record, transmitted in April, were obtained by the Federation of American Scientists this week through the Freedom of Information Act.
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The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
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