Support Secrecy News

09.25.06 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Dear Reader:

Secrecy News is published 2-3 times each week by the Federation of American Scientists with the support of a small number of foundations. But as is the case with public broadcasting and other not-for-profit enterprises, foundations do not cover all our expenses and the need for individual support grows each year.

If Secrecy News is providing you with valuable information, insights and documents that you do not find anywhere else, please help us continue to bring you this service by making a tax-deductible contribution.

Since the FAS Project on Government Secrecy was established in 1991, we have been persistent advocates of greater openness, speedier declassification, and more rational security policies.

In today’s climate, for a variety of reasons, the traditional tools of advocacy have been blunted. Not even the bipartisan 9/11 Commission succeeded in getting its recommendation on declassification implemented.

So we strive to go beyond advocacy, and to do what a hundred op-eds and press releases cannot: to actually open up to the public some of the important government records that have been needlessly withheld.

Almost every issue of Secrecy News provides you with records that can’t be readily obtained elsewhere. Some of the most important documents that we introduced into the public domain this year included:

** A history of the production of highly enriched uranium that the Department of Energy refused to release for seven years;

** A major revision to U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine (pdf), the first such effort in twenty years, which was not intended for public release.

** The essential case files from the controversial trial of two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, who are charged with receiving and distributing national defense information without authorization, files which were not available on the courthouse web site.

In most cases, these are not “sensational” documents that expose grand conspiracies.

But they are something much more important — the indispensable building blocks for informed public deliberation on some of the most urgent policy issues of our times: how to combat nuclear proliferation, how best to defend against non-state adversaries, and how to preserve a vigorous free press in the face of mounting official restrictions.

The American system of government is today facing extraordinary internal pressures to retreat from its democratic ideals. The growth of official secrecy is an enabling condition for such a retreat.

On a good day, we make a real, tangible reduction in such secrecy, not just a rhetorical one, and we bring you data and documents that you can’t get from other sources.

Please help us with a donation so that we may persevere.

Contributions can be made securely online or by check payable to Federation of American Scientists, earmarked for Secrecy News, and mailed to:

Federation of American Scientists
Attn: Secrecy News
1717 K Street NW Suite 209
Washington, DC 20036

Thank you.

Steven Aftergood