from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 6
January 18, 2005


An expansive account of national security contingency planning has been newly published online.

National security contingency plans are devised by government and military planners to address a large and diverse range of potential threat scenarios.

The hierarchical structure of such plans are described, and many of the individual plans themselves are identified, in a new publication by independent national security policy analyst William M. Arkin as part of an online supplement to his new book "Code Names."

See "National Security Contingency Plans of the U.S. Government" linked from this page:


The latest Bush Administration National Security President Directive (NSPD) to have left a trace in the public domain is NSPD 41, entitled "Maritime Security."

The existence and topic of the Directive, dated December 21, 2004, were reported today by Martin Edwin Andersen in Port Security News (

The nine-page NSPD 41 (which is also designated Homeland Security Presidential Directive 13) "provides a strategy designed to coordinate federal, state and local governmental efforts with those of the private sector to protect ports and secure container cargos, while maintaining surveillance over U.S. territorial waters," according to Port Security News.

An updated but still incomplete list of Bush Administration NSPDs and HSPDs is available here:


The Department of Energy has responded to scientific criticism of its polygraph policy by proposing "significant reductions" in the number of employees who are subject to mandatory polygraph testing.

But even as it acknowledged fundamental concerns about polygraph validity, presented recently by a National Academy of Sciences panel, the revised DoE policy would initiate a new program of random polygraph tests "to deter unauthorized releases or disclosures."

This apparent internal inconsistency was observed by polygraph critic George Maschke of, who also pointed out that DoE did not address the potential use of countermeasures to defeat the polygraph.

See the proposed revision to DoE polygraph policy, published in the Federal Register on January 7, here:

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that "The US Department of Defense has given Dr. Jennifer Vendemia a $5 million grant to work on her theory that by monitoring brainwaves she can detect whether someone is lying."

See "The Future of Lying," by Chris Summers, BBC News, January 14:


Numerous recent "Homeland Security Operations Morning Briefs," all marked "for official use only" and not intended for public release, have been obtained and published by

The Briefs provide preliminary accounts of dozens of security-related incidents around the country, which in most cases have not been widely reported and which "may or may not be accurate." See:


A brief overview of "Access to Government Information in the United States" prepared by the Congressional Research Service, newly updated January 7, 2005, is available here:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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