2017 Intelligence Bill Passes the House

The Director of National Intelligence shall “review the system by which the Government classifies and declassifies information” and shall “develop recommendations… to make such system a more effective tool… and to support the appropriate declassification of information.” That’s just one of the many requirements included in the Fiscal Year 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act (in section […]

Read More

Mark Bradley Named To Be New ISOO Director

In what must be one of the very last national security-related posts to be filled in the Obama Administration, national security lawyer and former CIA officer Mark A. Bradley was named as the next director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which is responsible for oversight of the national security secrecy system government-wide. He […]

Read More

Garwin to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

The celebrated and accomplished individuals selected by President Obama to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — include figures such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill and Melinda Gates, Robert Redford, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jordan– and Richard L. Garwin. As noted by a November 16 White House news release, “Richard Garwin […]

Read More

Pakistan’s Evolving Nuclear Weapons Infrastructure

By Hans M. Kristensen In our latest Nuclear Notebook on Pakistani nuclear forces, Robert Norris and I estimate that Pakistan has produced an estimated stockpile of 130-140 nuclear warheads for delivery by short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and fighter-bombers. Pakistan now identifies with what is described as a full-spectrum nuclear deterrent posture, which […]

Read More

Transparency Will Need a Reboot in the Trump Era

The future of transparency in the Trump Administration is uncertain. It will ultimately be determined in practice as the new Administration embarks on its programs, determines its priorities, appoints its personnel, engages with Congress and confronts the public. On his first full day in office, President Obama famously pledged to conduct the most transparent Administration […]

Read More

Patents Granted to Two Formerly Secret Inventions

Two patent applications that had been subject to “secrecy orders” under the Invention Secrecy Act for years or decades were finally granted patents and publicly disclosed in 2016. “Only two patents have been granted so far on cases in which the secrecy order was rescinded in FY16,” the US Patent and Trademark Office said this […]

Read More

Will Trump Be Another Republican Nuclear Weapons Disarmer?

By Hans M. Kristensen Republicans love nuclear weapons reductions, as long as they’re not proposed by a Democratic president. That is the lesson from decades of US nuclear weapons and arms control management. If that trend continues, then we can expect the new Donald Trump administration to reduce the US nuclear weapons arsenal more than […]

Read More

FOIA Exemption for CIA “Operational Files” at Issue

Last March, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency seeking a copy of “all pornographic material” collected during the May 2011 military operation that killed Osama bin Laden. In opposition, CIA argued that “responsive records, if any, would be contained in operational files,” and […]

Read More

CIA Releases Draft History of Bay of Pigs

The Central Intelligence Agency yesterday released a long-sought draft of the fifth volume of its internal history of the 1961 invasion of the Bay of Pigs. The release was among the first tangible results of this year’s amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, which imposed a 25 year limit on the exemption for “deliberative” […]

Read More