from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2012, Issue No. 2
January 5, 2012

Secrecy News Blog:


With the formal ending of the U.S. war in Iraq on December 15, 2011, the Congressional Research Service has produced an updated report on "U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Current Conflicts":

"Confusion can occur because beginning and ending dates for 'periods of war' in many nonofficial sources are often different from those given in treaties and other official sources of information, and armistice dates can be confused with termination dates," the December 28, 2011 CRS report said.

A different kind of confusion can arise when misleading or mistaken information is presented as fact, as when President Bush declared in a May 1, 2003 address to the nation that "major military combat actions in Iraq have ended."

The CRS report does not address covert action or other unacknowledged military operations.

Some other noteworthy new or newly updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

"Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals," December 16, 2011:

"The National Security Council: An Organizational Assessment," December 28, 2011:

"Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress," December 28, 2011:

"The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) Programs: Background and Issues for Congress," December 27, 2011:

"National Infrastructure Bank: Overview and Current Legislation," December 14, 2011:

"Drug Offenses: Maximum Fines and Terms of Imprisonment for Violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Related Laws," December 12, 2011:

"Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues," December 12, 2011:

"Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions," December 12, 2011:

"'Super PACs' in Federal Elections: Overview and Issues for Congress," December 2, 2011:


The next issue of Secrecy News will be published the week of January 16, 2012.


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

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