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NARA Releases Second Memo on Document Reclassification

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) today released a second newly declassified Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the withdrawal of government records from its public collections. National Archivist Allen Weinstein said that he discovered the existence of the second MOU (pdf), which was signed by the Central Intelligence Agency and NARA in October 2001, […]

04.17.06 | 2 min read
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FAS
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DoE Intelligence Embraces Discredited Budget Secrecy Policy

The Department of Energy Office of Intelligence has reverted to a policy of budget secrecy that it rejected more than a decade ago. For as long as anyone can remember, the small DOE intelligence unit always had an unclassified budget (around $40 million in recent years). “The size of the DOE intelligence budget is not […]

04.17.06 | 2 min read
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Nuclear Weapons
Blog
New Uranium Enrichment Calculator

Our ace FAS researcher, Lucas Royland, has developed a simple calculator that allows prediction of when Iran will first have enough highly enriched uranium to build a simple gun-assembled nuclear bomb. We must emphasize that the calculator gives the best case (from the Iranian point of view, the worst case from the rest of the […]

04.13.06 | 2 min read
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FAS
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House Intel Committee Urges New Action Against Leaks

Existing laws prohibiting unauthorized disclosures of classified information have not been effective, the House Intelligence Committee stated in a new report on the 2007 intelligence authorization act published today. “Additional and more creative steps to deter unauthorized disclosures are warranted,” the report said. Towards that end, the Committee asked the Director of National Intelligence to […]

04.07.06 | 2 min read
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FAS
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DCIA Goss Invokes State Secrets Privilege

Director of Central Intelligence Agency Porter J. Goss invoked the state secrets privilege last month to block litigation filed against the CIA and another U.S. Government agency. The likely effect is to terminate the case, for reasons that DCIA Goss said cannot be explained on the public record. “After deliberation and personal consideration, I have […]

04.07.06 | 2 min read
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FAS
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The Secret History of the JASONs

One of the lacunae in the history of defense policy and science advice to government concerns the role of the JASON advisory panel. A fascinating new book on the JASONs helps to fill in that mysterious gap. Established in 1960, the JASONs first gained unwelcome public attention as the result of a reference in the […]

04.06.06 | 1 min read
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FAS
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Bipartisan Executive Branch Reform Bill Advances in House

An ambitious bill (pdf) to promote an entire menu of “good government” reforms in the executive branch was endorsed on a bipartisan basis in the House Government Reform Committee today and reported to the full House. The bill would notably limit the use of “pseudo-classification” markings such as “sensitive but unclassified” and “for official use […]

04.06.06 | 1 min read
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Nuclear Weapons
Blog
Opposing the Indian Nuclear Deal, not India.

An earlier FAS blog entry analyzed, and criticized, proposed legislation that grants the Bush Administration pre-approval of the details of an eventual nuclear trade deal with India. FAS has also organized a petition campaign to encourage members of Congress to vote against the legislation. (And blog readers are encouraged to sign the petition.) The Times […]

04.06.06 | 2 min read
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FAS
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DoD Says Threat Database Included Improper Info

Of the 13,000 entries in the Pentagon’s TALON database of potential threats to the Department of Defense facilities and personnel, some two percent did not involve threats and should not have been retained, Pentagon officials acknowledged yesterday. The TALON system “should be used only to report information regarding international terrorist activity,” said Deputy Defense Secretary […]

04.06.06 | 1 min read
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FAS
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Federal Secrecy After September 11

The implications of increasing government secrecy are examined in a special issue of “I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society.” A series of articles, mainly academic in tenor, address both the “theory” and the practice of secrecy from various perspectives and on topics such as Biosecurity and Secrecy Policy, for example. […]

04.06.06 | 1 min read
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FAS
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Bush Authorized Disclosure of NIE to NY Times’ Miller

President Bush specifically authorized Vice Presidential aide Scooter Libby to disclose information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller in July 2003, effectively declassifying the information, according to a government filing (pdf) in the Libby prosecution yesterday. “Defendant’s [i.e. Libby’s] participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller […]

04.06.06 | 2 min read
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Nuclear Weapons
Blog
Harkin Amendment for Avian Flu funding passes!

Yesterday, the Senate passed a whopping $107 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill to fund the war in Iraq. Attached to the bill was an amendment by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that adds $2.3 billion to prepare for an influenza pandemic. Such money will also prepare the country for other public health emergencies and is a […]

04.05.06 | 1 min read
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