Secrecy News -- 03/09/04 (IF)
saftergood at fas.org
Tue Mar 9 10:34:54 EST 2004
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 26
March 9, 2004
** "DRASTIC" CHANGES SEEN IN DOMESTIC MILITARY OPERATIONS
** HHS ESTABLISHES BIOSECURITY ADVISORY BOARD
** DOD DIRECTIVE ON SAFEGUARDING BIOLOGICAL AGENTS
** REP. HARMAN ON "SERIOUS INTELLIGENCE REFORM"
"DRASTIC" CHANGES SEEN IN DOMESTIC MILITARY OPERATIONS
In the absence of clear guidelines and effective oversight, the
U.S. military is becoming increasingly involved in domestic
operations, including surveillance activities that blur the
traditional distinction between foreign intelligence and
"Since September 11, 2001, the role of the military in domestic
operations has changed drastically," according to the 2004
Operational Law Handbook of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate
General (JAG) Corps.
"Prior to September 11, military involvement in domestic
operations was almost exclusively in the area of civil support
operations. Post-September 11, the military's role has
expanded to cover 'homeland defense' and/or 'homeland
security' missions, somewhat undefined terms," the JAG Handbook
stated (p. 355).
Several instances of "an expanding military role in domestic
affairs" were reported today in the Wall Street Journal.
In one case, an Army intelligence officer demanded that a
University of Texas law school turn over the videotape of an
academic conference in order to identify "Middle Eastern"
individuals who had made "suspicious" remarks.
See "Is Military Creeping Into Domestic Spying and
Enforcement?" by Robert Block and Gary Fields, Wall Street
Journal, March 9, p. B1, temporarily available to
One military intelligence organization with a domestic presence
is the low-profile Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA).
Quietly created post-September 11, CIFA has a broad charter to
provide counterintelligence and security support to the Defense
Department around the world and within the United States.
"Worldwide, more than 400 civilian and military employees work
for CIFA with the ultimate goal of detecting and neutralizing
the many different forms of espionage regularly conducted
against the United States by terrorists, foreign intelligence
services and other covert and clandestine groups," according to
the Defense Security Service.
"The threats posed by these adversaries include actions to kill
or harm U.S. citizens; to steal critical information or assets
(military or civilian); or destroy critical infrastructures."
CIFA was established in 2002 by Department of Defense Directive
5105.67. See a copy of that Directive here:
The 2004 Operational Law Handbook published by the U.S. Army JAG
Corps provides a comprehensive map of the terrain of military
law, from the legal basis for the use of force to domestic
operations to the laws governing intelligence and special
operations. A copy is posted here (563 pages, 4.6 MB PDF
HHS ESTABLISHES BIOSECURITY ADVISORY BOARD
The Department of Health and Human Services last week announced
the creation of a National Science Advisory Board for
Biosecurity to help oversee potentially sensitive or hazardous
research in the life sciences.
The move generally follows a recommendation of the National
Academy of Sciences in a report published last year on
"Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism: Confronting the
Dual Use Dilemma."
The new Board appears to have such limited authority that it is
unlikely to interfere with the conduct of research, as some
scientists had feared. It remains to be seen whether it has
sufficient authority to make a meaningful contribution to
security policy, as others had hoped.
See the March 4 HHS press release here:
A detailed FAQ and other information about the new Board may be
DOD DIRECTIVE ON SAFEGUARDING BIOLOGICAL AGENTS
The Department of Defense last month issued a new directive on
security for particularly hazardous biological agents and
It would establish a database of all DoD and contractor
facilities possessing such materials, and would impose
restricted access on them. It would also "establish a
Biological Personnel Reliability Program for individuals with
access to biological select agents and toxins."
See DoD Directive 5210.88 on "Safeguarding Biological Select
Agents and Toxins," issued by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz on February 11, 2004:
REP. HARMAN ON "SERIOUS INTELLIGENCE REFORM"
"Our intelligence community needs an extreme makeover," said
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) at a speech on intelligence reform
presented March 5 at the American Enterprise Institute. She is
the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on
Rep. Harman identified five steps that the President could take
this year to correct past errors and improve future
performance, beginning with a "scrub" of all intelligence on
weapons of mass destruction.
"If estimates of Iraq's WMD programs were so far off the mark,
we must be concerned that systemic deficiencies in intelligence
analysis on other WMD programs and activities exist, such as
those in Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan," she
"But there are no discernible signs from the Vice President or
President acknowledging the obvious flaws in our intelligence
systems," she said. See:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.
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