[Intelforum] Secrecy News -- 11/02/05 (IF)
saftergood at fas.org
Wed Nov 2 10:53:26 EST 2005
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 102
November 2, 2005
** SECRECY NEWS NEEDS YOUR HELP
** SENATE MOVES INTO RARE CLOSED SESSION
** A LEXICON OF SECRECY
** AIR FORCE GLOSSARY
** A MILITARY GUIDE TO TERRORISM IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
SECRECY NEWS NEEDS YOUR HELP
The Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy
needs your support.
The FAS government secrecy web site was cited repeatedly yesterday on
Cable News Network after the Senate went into secret session.
You can "learn more about the secret sessions we've been talking
about," reporter Jacki Schechner told CNN's Wolf Blitzer two or
three times throughout the afternoon, "through this website --
FAS.org. This is the Federation of American Scientists. On the left
hand side of the page, there's a link for government
secrecy....It'll tell you everything you need to know about secret
It's no secret. On a normal weekday (without prompting from CNN),
more than 70,000 distinct visitors come to the FAS web site to view
hundreds of thousands of archived documents. Over 11,000
individuals now subscribe to Secrecy News directly, and innumerable
others receive it through secondary distribution.
But the future of this enterprise is not assured.
Several of the philanthropic foundations that have provided the
principal support for the FAS Project on Government Secrecy for the
past 15 years have reduced or withdrawn their funding of our work,
or redirected their support for open government advocacy to other
If you derive value from our publications and our web site, and if
you wish to do so in the future, please help to sustain our work.
Tax-deductible donations may be made online here:
Checks (payable to Federation of American Scientists, earmarked for
Secrecy News) may also be mailed to FAS Secrecy News, 1717 K Street
NW, Suite 209, Washington, DC 20036.
SENATE MOVES INTO RARE CLOSED SESSION
In an extraordinary procedural maneuver that exposed partisan
tensions over intelligence oversight, Senate Democrats forced the
Senate into a rare closed session for more than two hours until they
won agreement from the majority to get a progress report on the
status of the Senate Intelligence Committee's long-deferred review
of pre-war intelligence on Iraq.
The Senate floor debate preceding and following the closed session
featured unusually blunt statements on the quality of intelligence
oversight of a sort not usually voiced in official proceedings.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Vice Chair of the Intelligence Committee, said
the Bush White House had orchestrated a deliberate evasion of
oversight responsibilities by the Republican majority.
"It is apparent to me that the White House has sent down the edict to
the majority... that the Congress is not to carry out its oversight
responsibilities in detention, interrogation, and rendition matters,
... as it would bring uncomfortable attention to the legal decisions
and opinions coming from the White House and the Justice Department
in the operation of various programs," Sen. Rockefeller said.
"We have agreed to do what we already agreed to do," replied Sen. Pat
Roberts, the Intelligence Committee Chair, "that is, to complete as
best we can phase II of the Intelligence Committee's review of
prewar intelligence in reference to Iraq."
A task force of six Senators will report by November 14 on the
anticipated completion date of the Intelligence Committee review.
See the full text of the November 1 Senate floor debate before and
after the historic closed session here:
"Since 1929, the Senate has held 53 secret sessions, generally for
reasons of national security," according to a 2004 report on the
subject by the Congressional Research Service, whose availability on
the FAS web site was noted repeatedly on CNN during the course of
the secret Senate session.
See "Secret Sessions of Congress: A Brief Historical Overview,"
updated October 21, 2004:
A LEXICON OF SECRECY
The very words by which official secrecy policy is formulated and
carried out are often obscure to the outsider. They embody a latent
knowledge of statute and regulation, policy and practice that cannot
be inferred from the words themselves.
An excellent new publication helps "the outsider," i.e. the ordinary
citizen of the United States, to comprehend the vocabulary of
government information policy, and to discover its genealogical
roots in official documents.
>From "access" and "accountability" to "Yankee White" and "Xn," author
Susan Maret, an adjunct professor of library science at the
University of Denver, provides a concise definition of terms as well
as links to official sources.
Dr. Maret's Lexicon is published for the first time on the FAS web
See "On Their Own Terms: A Lexicon with an Emphasis on
Information-Related Terms Produced by the U.S. Federal Government"
by Susan Maret, Ph.D., November 2005:
AIR FORCE GLOSSARY
Another notable contribution to the understanding of official
government language is a newly updated glossary of Air Force
"Airmen should be able to clearly articulate their thoughts, ideas,
and commands to each other by using a common operational language,"
according to the glossary, which is published by the U.S. Air Force.
See "Air Force Glossary," Air Force Doctrine Document 1-2, 6
A MILITARY GUIDE TO TERRORISM IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
A comprehensive military textbook on terrorism has just been reissued
by the U.S. Army.
Based on open sources, the 280 page volume (with four large
supplements), provides a synthetic account of the nature and history
of terrorism, its operational characteristics, the threat it poses
to U.S. military forces, and the future of terrorism.
The publication was prepared "under the direction of the U.S. Army
Training and Doctrine Command, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for
A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.
See "A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century,"
version 3.0, 15 August 2005:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
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