from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 63
July 11, 2005


Under pressure of the "war on terrorism," relations between U.S. military and domestic security and law enforcement organizations are becoming more fluid, with the military poised to increase its prominence in domestic security matters.

"Our adversaries consider US territory an integral part of a global theater of combat," a Department of Defense report stated last month.

"We must therefore have a strategy that applies to the domestic context the key principles that are driving the transformation of US power projection and joint expeditionary warfare."

See "Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support," U.S. Department of Defense, June 2005 (1.2 MB PDF file):

There are legal limits on military involvement in civilian affairs enshrined in the Posse Comitatus Act, which generally prohibits the Army and the Air Force from performing civilian functions without specific authorization. But there are exceptions to those limits, and pending legislation would modify them further.

See "Terrorism: Some Legal Restrictions on Military Assistance to Domestic Authorities Following a Terrorist Attack," Congressional Research Service, updated May 27, 2005:

See also "The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch," Congressional Research Service, updated June 6, 2005:

and a longer study of "The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law," Congressional Research Service, updated June 1, 2000:


Some other recent reports of the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

"Presidential Succession: An Overview with Analysis of Legislation Proposed in the 109th Congress," June 29, 2005:

"U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress," updated June 9, 2005:


An internal CIA history of the Bay of Pigs has found its way into the public domain as one of the beneficent effects of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act.

Most internal CIA histories are routinely withheld from disclosure, regardless of their age. But apparently because the Bay of Pigs history touched on the question of assassination policy, it was caught up in the broad sweep of the JFK Act and declassified.

The document was located at the National Archives by Prof. David Barrett of Villanova University, who copied the 295 page volume and posted it on his web site.

See "The Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, volume III: Evolution of CIA's Anti-Castro Policies, 1951-January 1961":


The use of dogs in military missions from combat support to narcotics detection is addressed in a new U.S. Army Field Manual.

"The highly aggressive dog tactics of the 1960s and 1970s are long gone," the manual states.

"Today, [military dog] teams are employed in dynamic ways never before imagined."

Military dogs are "used around the world from Afghanistan to Africa and from the Balkans to Iraq."

However, "[military dog] handlers will not use their [dogs] to guard prisoners inside prisons or detainee holding facilities and confinement facilities. In addition, [dog] handlers will not use their [dogs] to degrade, torture, injure, or mistreat EPWs [enemy prisoners of war], detained personnel, civilian internees (CIs), or other detainees in US custody."

See "Military Working Dogs," U.S. Army Field Manual 3-19.17, July 2005 (135 pages, 5.0 MB PDF file):


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

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