from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 102
September 26, 2006
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- NRC RESCINDS SECRECY SURROUNDING HEU FUEL EXPORTS
- CIA REGULATIONS ON PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEW POSTED
- JOINT OPS, IRAQI DOCS, AND AIR FORCE CLASSIFICATION MARKINGS
- THE COST OF THE WAR, AND MORE FROM CRS
NRC RESCINDS SECRECY SURROUNDING HEU FUEL EXPORTS
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that it will no longer conceal the amounts of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel proposed for export to foreign research reactors. The announcement marks a step back from the heightened secrecy adopted by the NRC and other government agencies post-September 11.The revised policy had been sought by the Nuclear Control Institute, a non-proliferation advocacy organization, and the move was disclosed in an August 31 letter to the Institute. "After considering your recommendations and various other factors, NRC will discontinue automatically withholding material quantity information from the public versions of export license applications," wrote NRC Chairman Dale E. Klein to NCI analyst Alan J. Kuperman. Henceforward, "Federal Register notices for proposed HEU exports will also include quantities requested," Chairman Klein wrote.
The Nuclear Control Institute had argued that such disclosure serves the public interest because it enables public vetting of applications for HEU exports and thereby helps to ensure that traffic in weapons-grade uranium is minimized. (Secrecy News, 02/15/06).NCI analyst Kuperman commended the NRC for "rethinking and reversing a secrecy policy that was a counter-productive over-reaction to the attacks of September 11." He said the new openness policy will "assist the Commission to fulfill its statutory responsibility to minimize commerce in bomb-grade uranium." "The NRC will continue to withhold information on projected or actual shipment schedules, delivery dates, ... or any other related logistical information... as this information could be useful to a potential adversary," Chairman Klein wrote.
CIA REGULATIONS ON PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEW POSTED
The Central Intelligence Agency requires current and former employees to submit all intelligence-related material that they intend to publish to the CIA for pre-publication review.Depending on the political climate, the subject matter and sometimes the personalities involved, the pre-publication review process can be routine and relatively painless, or it can be a bureaucratic nightmare spawning years of litigation. The current CIA regulations governing pre-publication review were revised in 2005 and issued by then-DCIA Porter J. Goss. A copy of the regs, in slightly redacted form, is available here:
The prior version, dating from 1995 (also partially redacted), is here:
Both editions were recently entered into the record of a pending lawsuit, Thomas Waters Jr. v. Central Intelligence Agency.Plaintiff Waters, a former CIA employee, is suing the Agency in a pre-publication review dispute in D.C. District Court. He is represented by attorney Mark S. Zaid.
JOINT OPS, IRAQI DOCS, AND AIR FORCE CLASSIFICATION MARKINGS
Some noteworthy military, intelligence and classification-related publications that have recently been issued include the following."Joint Operations," JP 3-0 published on September 17, 2006 by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "reflects the current guidance for conducting joint and multinational activities across the range of military operations." See:
"The Iraqi Documents: A Glimpse Into the Regime of Saddam Hussein" was the subject of an April 6, 2006 hearing before the House Committee on International Relations. The hearing transcript has just been published and is available here:
"Implementation of New Classification Marking Requirements" is the topic of a May 30, 2006 U.S. Air Force policy memo which is intended to remedy "a widespread lack of consistent and accurate classification markings" identified by the Government Accountability Office in a recent audit. See:
THE COST OF THE WAR, AND MORE FROM CRS
Congress has appropriated about $437 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through FY 2006, according to a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service.See "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11," updated September 22, 2006:
Some other notable new CRS reports that have not been made readily available to the public include these:"National Security Surveillance Act of 2006: S. 3886, Title II (S. 2453 as Reported Out of the Senate Judiciary Committee)," September 15, 2006:
"Bangladesh: Background and U.S. Relations," September 7, 2006:
"Terrorist Watchlist Checks and Air Passenger Prescreening," September 6, 2006:
"Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances," updated August 30, 2006:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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