[Intelforum] Secrecy News -- 12/06/05 (IF)
saftergood at fas.org
Tue Dec 6 13:42:33 EST 2005
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 110
December 6, 2005
** A FAILING GRADE ON SECRECY REFORM
** NRO DEFENDS FOIA EXEMPTION FOR OPERATIONAL FILES
** DOD DOCTRINE ON PUBLIC AFFAIRS
** OVERSIGHT OF NAVY INTELLIGENCE
** DOD STABILITY OPERATIONS
** CRS ON SPACE POLICY
A FAILING GRADE ON SECRECY REFORM
Congress deserves an "F" for failing to declassify the amount of the
overall intelligence budget, members of the 9/11 Commission said in a
final report on the status of their recommendations.
"The Congress cannot do robust intelligence oversight when funding for
intelligence programs is buried within the defense budget.
Declassifying the overall intelligence budget would allow for a
separate annual intelligence appropriations bill, so that the
Congress can judge better how intelligence funds are being spent."
See the Final Report on 9/11 Commission Recommendations, December 5:
The Commission recommendation to declassify the intelligence budget
was intended not merely to produce public disclosure of a particular
number. It was the beginning of an attempt to reform the entire
edifice of unnecessary secrecy that, the Commission said, undermines
the performance of U.S. intelligence.
But the Commission initiative, opposed by the Bush White House and
blocked by House Republicans, was stopped in its tracks.
Several news stories have suggested that the secrecy of the
intelligence budgeting process may have facilitated or exacerbated
the admitted corruption of House Intelligence Committee member Rep.
Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
See "Pentagon's 'Black Budget' Veils Contracting Shenanigans" by David
Wood, Newhouse News, November 30:
See also "'Earmarking' has grown in Congress" by Toby Eckert, Copley
News Service, December 3:
NRO DEFENDS FOIA EXEMPTION FOR OPERATIONAL FILES
The National Reconnaissance Office told a federal court yesterday that
it should not have to process a Freedom of Information Act request
for unclassified portions of its congressional budget justification
book because the document is contained in "operational files" that
are exempt from search and review under the FOIA.
That contention was challenged in a lawsuit by the Federation of
American Scientists, which told the court that the budget book cannot
be considered an operational file because it is disseminated inside
and outside of the agency, and that records that have been
disseminated are excluded by statute from the definition of
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a member of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, confirmed the fact that his Committee is in possession of
the requested budget justification document, and said it should be
processed under FOIA.
"It would seem appropriate for this document to be subject to review
under the Freedom of Information Act," Senator Wyden wrote. "Of
course large portions of the document will be exempt from disclosure
as they are properly classified."
In the past, more than 100 pages out of approximately 300 pages in the
NRO budget justification book have been partially or completely
declassified under the FOIA.
See the latest case files from Aftergood v. National Reconnaissance
The case is before the Honorable Reggie B. Walton, who is also the
presiding judge in USA v. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
DOD DOCTRINE ON PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The role of Department of Defense Public Affairs (PA) officers in
disseminating public information and their relationship to
psychological operations and military deception targeted at enemy
forces and populations were set forth in a DoD doctrinal publication
earlier this year.
News reports in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere recently revealed
that a Pentagon contractor had paid to have favorable news stories
planted in the Iraqi press. The practice was widely criticized as
inconsistent with efforts to build democracy and a free press in Iraq.
Yet such "information operations," like military deception, are an
established part of the military toolkit.
"PA [public affairs] and information operations (IO) activities
directly support military objectives, counter adversary
disinformation and deter adversary actions. Although both PA and IO
require planning, message development and media analysis, the efforts
differ with respect to audience, scope and intent, and must remain
separate," according to the DoD doctrinal publication.
"PA capabilities are related to IO, but PA is not an IO discipline or
psychological operations (PSYOP) tool.... PA activities affect, and
are affected by, PSYOP, and are planned and executed in coordination
with PSYOP planning and operations. PA must be aware of the practice
of PSYOP, but should have no role in planning or executing these
Likewise, "PA activities affect, and are affected by, military
deception (MILDEC) operations. PA operations should be planned,
coordinated and deconflicted with MILDEC operations consistent with
policy, statutory limitations, and security. PA must be aware of the
practice of MILDEC operations, but should have no role in planning or
executing these operations."
See "Public Affairs," Joint Publication 3-61, U.S. Department of
Defense, 9 May 2005 (97 pages, 1.5 MB):
OVERSIGHT OF NAVY INTELLIGENCE
Oversight of Navy intelligence activities is the subject of a recently
issued Instruction from the Secretary of the Navy.
The Instruction helpfully includes an "updated definition of DON
[Department of the Navy] intelligence components, to include new and
reorganized DON intelligence organizations."
"Under no circumstances shall any DON personnel condone, support,
encourage, engage in, or conspire to engage in the assassination of a
specific individual or individuals," the Instruction states in
See "Oversight of Intelligence Activities Within the Department of the
Navy," SECNAVINST 3820.3E, 21 September 2005:
DOD STABILITY OPERATIONS
"Stability operations are a core U.S. military mission that the
Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct and support,"
according to a new Pentagon directive. "They shall be given priority
comparable to combat operations...."
The new directive, which was first reported in the New York Times,
evidently reflects and responds to defects in military efforts to
stabilize Iraq following the U.S. invasion.
See "Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and
Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations," DOD Directive 3000.05, 28 November
See, relatedly, "Peacekeeping and Related Stability Operations: Issues
of U.S. Military Involvement," Congressional Research Service,
updated October 27, 2005:
CRS ON SPACE POLICY
Recent reports of the Congressional Research Service on space policy
include the following:
"Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS
Programs," updated November 25, 2005:
"Space Exploration: Issues Concerning the 'Vision for Space
Exploration'," updated November 18, 2005:
"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's FY2006 Budget
Request: Description, Analysis, and Issues for Congress," updated
November 17, 2005:
"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Overview, FY2006
Budget in Brief, and Key Issues for Congress," updated November 17,
"U.S. Space Programs: Civilian, Military, and Commercial," updated
November 17, 2005:
"Space Stations," updated November 17, 2005:
"The International Space Station and the Iran Nonproliferation Act
(INA): The Bush Administration's Proposed INA Amendment," updated
November 14, 2005:
"China's Space Program: An Overview," updated October 18, 2005:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.
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