from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2009, Issue No. 23
March 9, 2009
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
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- WHITE HOUSE WEB SITE OFF TO A SLOW START
- FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PURSUE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
- THE PRESIDENT AND THE DCI: TEN AUDIO RECORDS
- IRANIAN NUCLEAR SCIENCE: A BIBLIOGRAPHY
WHITE HOUSE WEB SITE OFF TO A SLOW START
Many of the most substantive and significant documents generated by the Obama Administration to date are surprisingly absent from the White House web site.
President Obama recently ordered the reorganization of the National Security Council through a Presidential Policy Directive. But the unclassified Directive is not even mentioned on the White House web site, much less posted there. Secrecy News obtained a copy of the signed directive PPD-1, which is available here:
Another directive, Presidential Study Directive-1, mandated a review of the organization of homeland security and counterterrrorism activities. Its existence is likewise unreflected on the White House web site. A signed copy is here:
A new White House report on the interdiction of aircraft engaged in illegal drug trafficking is similarly unmentioned on the White House web site. It was published by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is available here:
The White House web site does notify Americans that the First Lady visited Miriam's Kitchen last week to help feed the homeless, which is good to know. But its web page about the President's Intelligence Advisory Board does not provide meaningful information about the Board, not even a list of members.
In short, the current White House web site does not present a reliable or complete record of Presidential actions or activities. For that, one still has to turn elsewhere.
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PURSUE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
An ad hoc group of several hundred federal employees and others has convened online to advocate improved "knowledge management" in the federal government.
Knowledge management refers generally to the production, preservation and exchange of knowledge in such a way as to maximize the sharing of information and to optimize its use.
"Although most federal agencies have some knowledge management activities, there is no centralized federal resource for knowledge management. There is no government-sponsored support function for knowledge management. There is no clearinghouse for data on extant activities, no library of best practices, and no consulation available," according to the new Federal Knowledge Management Initiative.
"Over 700 Federal employees, contractors, academicians and interested members of the public have mounted a campaign to enhance collaboration, knowledge and learning in the Federal Government."
"The objective is to establish formal knowledge management across government," said Neil Olonoff, an Army contractor who started the new initiative on a volunteer basis.
The initiative is developing its developing its policy proposals along with educational and promotional materials on a public wiki site hosted by NASA. See:
THE PRESIDENT AND THE DCI: TEN AUDIO RECORDS
Audio recordings of ten conversations between President Richard M. Nixon and Director of Central Intelligence Richard M. Helms are now available online.
The conversations, which took place in 1971 and 1972, addressed topics including the Vietnam War, the India-Pakistan War of 1971, the Soviet Union, China, the Bay of Pigs, and more. Several of the recordings are still partially censored for national security reasons.
The materials were selected and prepared for online publication by Texas historian Dr. Luke Nichter.
IRANIAN NUCLEAR SCIENCE: A BIBLIOGRAPHY
The scale and sophistication of Iranian research in nuclear science and engineering are evident in a newly updated open-source bibliography. Thousands of titles address topics from nuclear physics and nuclear reactor safety to laser isotope separation.
The bibliography was prepared by independent researcher Mark Gorwitz. See "Iranian Nuclear Science Bibliography: Open Literature References, March 2009:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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