Secrecy News Odds and Ends
A coalition of public interest groups asked the Senate and House Intelligence Committees to preserve an existing requirement for the Intelligence Community to produce an annual report on the number of security clearances. “We believe the annual report on security clearances provides exceptional value to the public and should continue to be published,” the groups wrote. The Senate Intelligence Committee markup of the 2013 intelligence authorization bill would repeal the reporting requirement.
Last week the Senate confirmed four of the five nominees to the long-dormant Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The nominations of James Dempsey, Elisabeth Collins Cook, Rachel Brand and Patricia Wald were unanimously confirmed. For unexplained reasons, the Senate did not act upon the nomination of David Medine to serve as Board chairman.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service contacted the Wired Danger Room blog to inquire where its reporter obtained a certain unclassified document five years ago and to ask that the document, which was marked “for official use only,” be taken offline. “Danger Room, through its attorney, declined to provide the information, or to answer any questions related to the reporting of the story. The document has not been removed.” A government information security official not involved in the matter said it was possible there was more to the story than appeared on the surface. “If the [NCIS] investigation is about the FOUO document, then it’s ridiculous. If it’s about something else, we might not ever know.”
The House Intelligence Committee filed its report on the extension of the FISA Amendments Act. Like its counterparts on the Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee rejected amendments that would shorten the extension of the law and increase public oversight of its implementation.
With little fanfare or self-congratulation, the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Security Agency have been steadily declassifying and releasing historical intelligence records. “This tremendous amount of information released in the past year is credit to an impressive declassification program within the intelligence services,” wrote historian Dwayne Day in an assessment of the latest NRO releases. “The US military and intelligence space programs during the first couple of decades of the space age can now be described in incredible detail and understood far better than before.”
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 […]
On 14 April 2023, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence released a short video of a Su-25 pilot explaining his new role in delivering “special [nuclear] munitions” following his training in Russia. The features seen in the video, as well as several other open-source clues, suggest that Lida Air Base––located only 40 kilometers from the Lithuanian border and the […]
A photo in a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student briefing from 2022 shows four people inspecting what appears to be a damaged B61 nuclear bomb.
In early-February 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) had informed Congress that China now has more launchers for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) than the United States. The report is the latest in a serious of revelations over the past four years about China’s growing nuclear weapons arsenal and the deepening […]