from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2014, Issue No. 57
September 8, 2014
Secrecy News Blog: http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/
WANTED: ASTRONOMER WITH TOP SECRET CLEARANCE
NASA's orbiting James Webb Space Telescope will be "the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide, and studying every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System."
So why does its Director need to have a Top Secret/SCI security clearance, as specified in the job description posted last month on USA Jobs?
Clearly, the secrets of the universe do not lend themselves to, or require, national security classification controls, let alone non-disclosure agreements or polygraph testing.
But in practice, the civilian space program intersects the national security space program at multiple points, and former CIA analyst Allen Thomson suggested that the future Webb Director might need a Top Secret intelligence clearance in order to engage with the National Reconnaissance Office on space technology and operations, for example.
The Webb Space Telescope "will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity," according to NASA. "The longer wavelengths enable the Webb telescope to look much closer to the beginning of time and to hunt for the unobserved formation of the first galaxies, as well as to look inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today."
The Webb Telescope has a projected launch date in 2018.
POLITICAL UNREST IN PAKISTAN, AND MORE FROM CRS
As Congress plumbs new depths of futility and irrelevance, analysts at the Congressional Research Service continue to churn out policy-relevant studies that are informative and free of partisan embellishment. How long can it be until they are punished?
The latest CRS products that Congress has withheld from online public access include the following.
Pakistan Political Unrest: In Brief, September 3, 2014:
The "1033 Program," Department of Defense Support to Law Enforcement, August 28, 2014:
Special Immigrant Juveniles: In Brief, August 29, 2014:
Unaccompanied Children from Central America: Foreign Policy Considerations, August 28, 2014:
The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq: A Possible Threat to Jordan?, CRS Insights, August 28, 2014:
The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), August 27, 2014:
U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations, August 28, 2014:
A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion, September 4, 2014:
Congressional Participation in Article III Courts: Standing to Sue, September 4, 2014:
The Elder Justice Act: Background and Issues for Congress, September 3, 2014:
Common Core State Standards and Assessments: Background and Issues, September 2, 2014:
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs), CRS Insights, August 28, 2014:
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?, August 28, 2014:
The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Issues in Brief, August 27, 2014:
"Dark Pools" In Equity Trading: Significance and Recent Developments, CRS Insights, August 27, 2014:
Can Body Worn Cameras Serve as a Deterrent to Police Misconduct?, CRS Insights, August 28, 2014:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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