State Secrets, Afghan Casualties, and More

03.28.11 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Despite a requirement of law, the U.S. State Department has failed to produce two retrospective volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series documenting U.S. covert action in Iran (1952-54) and the Congo (1960-68).  See Stephen R. Weissman, “Why is US withholding old documents on covert ops in Congo, Iran,” Christian Science Monitor, March 25, 2011.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan were documented in new detail based on the release of internal military databases to Science Magazine, which published them this month.

An extensive online collection of judicial rulings involving the state secrets privilege and other related resources has been compiled by the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law.

Louis Fisher, a constitutional scholar formerly at the Congressional Research Service and the Law Library of Congress, has posted many of his writings on the state secrets privilege, war powers, and others aspects of constitutional interpretation on a new web site here.

A recent law review paper entitled “Intolerable Abuses: Rendition for Torture and the State Secrets Privilege” by D.A. Jeremy Telman is available here.

“The False Choice Between Secrecy and Transparency in US Politics” by Clare Birchall appeared in the March 2011 issue of Cultural Politics.

The National Archives and Duke University will hold a conference on April 12 on media access to government information.