[Intelforum] Secrecy News -- 11/09/05 (IF)
saftergood at fas.org
Wed Nov 9 12:50:24 EST 2005
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 105
November 9, 2005
** LEAK INQUIRY SOUGHT IN SECRET PRISON STORY
** NO LEAK INQUIRY SOUGHT IN INTEL BUDGET DISCLOSURE
** CIA RESISTS RELEASE OF JFK ASSASSINATION RECORDS
** DOD DIRECTIVE ON INTELLIGENCE INTERROGATION
** NAVY DIRECTIVE ON WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
** A BRIEF HISTORY OF US COMMUNICATIONS INTELLIGENCE
LEAK INQUIRY SOUGHT IN SECRET PRISON STORY
Republican leaders of Congress yesterday called upon the congressional
intelligence committees to conduct a joint inquiry into the disclosure
that the CIA is detaining and interrogating prisoners at secret
locations abroad, as reported November 2 by Dana Priest of the
"As you know, if accurate, such an egregious disclosure could have
long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and
will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our
homeland from terrorist attacks," wrote Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
"The leaking of classified information by employees of the United
States government appears to have increased in recent years,
establishing a dangerous trend that, if not addressed swiftly and
firmly, likely will worsen," they wrote.
See their November 4 letter (signed November 8) here:
NO LEAK INQUIRY SOUGHT IN INTEL BUDGET DISCLOSURE
As far as could be determined, no official inquiry has been initiated
into the public disclosure of the total size of the classified U.S.
intelligence budget by a senior intelligence official, first reported
by U.S. News and World Report this week.
No complaints have been filed, no polygraph exams will be administered,
no one will be fired.
Far from causing "serious damage to the national security," which is
the standard for Secret-level classification, this leak just doesn't
matter -- which is another way of saying that this information should
not be classified.
The secrecy of the total intelligence budget figure is widely viewed as
a charade that has nothing to do with real national security concerns.
As such, it is the foremost example of a large but unquantified
volume of needlessly classified information that is wrongly withheld
from the public.
See "Official Reveals Budget for U.S. Intelligence" by Scott Shane, New
York Times, November 8:
See also "Intelligence Budget is $44 Billion" by Stephen Losey, Federal
Times, November 8:
CIA RESISTS RELEASE OF JFK ASSASSINATION RECORDS
More than 40 years after the JFK assassination, the Central Intelligence
Agency is refusing to release certain assassination-related records
that it holds.
"We are asking for discovery of JFK assassination records related to
the late George Joannides, chief of the Psychological Warfare Branch
of the CIA's Miami Station in 1963," said Jefferson Morley, a
researcher and Washington Post writer who is pursuing the CIA records.
"The CIA has acknowledged that it has an unspecified number of
documents about Joannides' activities in the summer and fall of 1963
but says it will not release any of them for reasons of 'national
security'," he explained.
A conference on the matter will be held at DC District Court next
The case has garnered significant outside support.
"As published authors of divergent views on the assassination of
President John F. Kennedy, we say the agency's position is spurious
and untenable," wrote some two dozen assassination specialists in a
joint letter on the Morley case.
("It's probably the first time ever that George Lardner and Oliver
Stone agreed on a JFK question," Morley told Secrecy News.)
The CIA refusal "defies the will of Congress. It obscures the public
record on a subject of enduring national interest. It encourages
conspiracy mongering. And it undermines public confidence in the
intelligence community at a time when collective security requires the
See "Blocked," New York Review of Books, August 11, 2005:
DOD DIRECTIVE ON INTELLIGENCE INTERROGATION
"All captured or detained personnel shall be treated humanely, and all
intelligence interrogations, debriefings, or tactical questioning to
gain intelligence from captured or detained personnel shall be
conducted humanely, in accordance with applicable law and policy."
So states a new Department of Defense Directive issued last week.
The directive applies to all DoD personnel and contractors, but not to
other agencies such as the CIA.
It was first reported by the New York Times.
See "DoD Intelligence Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and
Tactical Questioning," DoD Directive 3115.09, 3 November 2005:
NAVY DIRECTIVE ON WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
"No person may take, or threaten to take, an unfavorable personnel
action (including a referral for mental health evaluation), or
withhold, or threaten to withhold, a favorable personnel action in
reprisal against any member of the Armed Forces for making or
preparing to make a protected communication, including an allegation
of sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination, to one authorized to
receive the communication."
This is U.S. Navy policy as defined in a new Instruction from the
Secretary of the Navy.
See "Military Whistleblower Reprisal Protection," SecNavInst 5370.7C,
14 October 2005:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF US COMMUNICATIONS INTELLIGENCE
The National Security Agency has reviewed and declassified most -- but
not all -- of a 1952 history of communications intelligence.
"Prior to 1917 United States activity in the field of Communications
Intelligence was sporadic, and there is little record of it," begins
the study, which was originally classified TOP SECRET SUEDE.
A newly declassified version was released by NSA to FOIA requester
Michael Ravnitzky on October 27.
See "A Brief History of Communications Intelligence in the United
States" by Capt. Laurance F. Safford, USN (Ret.), March 1952:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.
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