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The value of a publication like this can sometimes be hard to define, and its impact difficult to trace. Yet we believe that Secrecy News has made an identifiable contribution, particularly by introducing significant government information and documents into the public domain.
So, for example, the Washington Post reported on October 16 that a controversial internal U.S. government report on Iraqi corruption had been made “widely available on the Internet.” In fact, a Google search indicates that the report was made available only on the Federation of American Scientists web site, where it was published by Secrecy News.
The New York Times reported on October 30 that “several advocacy groups” had filed legal challenges seeking disclosure of the intelligence budget total after September 11, 2001. But there is no record of such a legal challenge brought by anyone other than the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, Secrecy News’ publisher.
A widely-noted New Yorker article (February 19) on torture and U.S. government policy stated that the Intelligence Science Board had “released a report” criticizing coercive interrogation. In private correspondence, however, author Jane Mayer courteously acknowledged that she merely assumed the Board had released the report and that she had actually read it on the FAS web site after it was posted there by Secrecy News. (It has since been published elsewhere.)
What these stories indirectly confirm, even without crediting Secrecy News, is that we have succeeded in creating an effective conduit for transmitting restricted or inaccessible government information to the public.
With almost every issue of Secrecy News, we publish government records that members of the general public cannot readily locate elsewhere– unique resources on foreign affairs and domestic surveillance, psychological operations and special operations, and much more. And we make them available on demand and without charge to a large audience. (Less than a day after we published a U.S. Army Field Manual on “Survival” last week, it had already been downloaded more than 35,000 times.)
We were fortunate to have had support for this work over the past year from several philanthropic foundations– including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the HKH Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Stewart S. Mott Charitable Trust. But their assistance does not cover all of our costs.
So if you count yourself among those who have benefitted from Secrecy News, we invite you to help sustain our work for another year.
A secure online contribution to the FAS Project on Government Secrecy can be made by credit card here:
Checks payable to the Federation of American Scientists and earmarked for Secrecy News can also be mailed to us here:
Federation of American Scientists
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Help us get the job done.
A supply-side tax credit (STC) could offer a tax incentive to material suppliers and professional service consultants that provide goods or services to affordable housing projects.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Commerce, and Department of Transportation should jointly develop and manage a data resource—a Housing Production Dashboard—to track housing production within and across states.
Exempting affordable housing from volume caps would address the underlying issue and have the greatest impact in this housing emergency.
To increase the supply of affordable homes, Congress should make greater investments in the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF).