[Intelforum] Secrecy News -- 08/01/07
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from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 79
August 1, 2007
** REPORTERS COULD BE PROSECUTED UNDER ESPIONAGE LAW, DOJ SAYS
** DNI ISSUES DIRECTIVES ON ANALYTICAL STANDARDS, DOCEX
** U.S. ARMY RANGER HANDBOOK
** CRS REPORTS ON VARIOUS TOPICS
REPORTERS COULD BE PROSECUTED UNDER ESPIONAGE LAW, DOJ SAYS
The espionage statutes concerning classified information could be
employed against journalists who publish such information without
authorization, a Justice Department official told Congress recently,
elaborating on remarks made last year by Attorney General Gonzales.
Those statutes, "on their face, do not provide an exemption for any
particular profession or class of persons, including journalists,"
wrote Matthew W. Friedrich, DoJ Criminal Division Chief of Staff, in a
March 2007 response to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee
that has been newly published.
He stressed that "the Justice Department's primary focus has been and
will continue to be investigating and prosecuting leakers, not members
of the press."
But he added that "it would be inappropriate to comment on whether the
Department is now considering the prosecution of journalists for
publishing classified information."
The congressional correspondence touched on several issues that are new
or rarely addressed.
"What about conduct that is incidental to a journalist publishing a
story," asked Senator Pat Leahy, "such as retaining classified
documents that may be used later in a story, or communicating such
information to a publisher or other reporters in the course of writing
The legality of these activities would "depend on the particular facts
and circumstances," Mr. Friedrich replied. "It would be inappropriate
to offer an advisory opinion about the legality of such conduct."
Could improper or unnecessary classification be used as a defense
against prosecution? "We are aware of no case that affirmatively holds
that such a defense is available to defendants in Espionage Act cases,"
Mr. Friedrich wrote. And he cited one Ninth Circuit decision that said
that "under section 798 [one of the espionage statutes], the propriety
of the classification is irrelevant."
He disclosed that "over the past five years, the Department has
approved search warrants for materials related to the news gathering
process... in four cases." These were not specified.
Mr. Friedrich's answers to questions for the record from Senators
Specter and Leahy, transmitted March 1, 2007, are posted here:
They were recently published in the record of a June 6, 2006 Senate
Judiciary Committee hearing entitled "Examining DOJ's Investigation of
Journalists Who Publish Classified Information: Lessons from the Jack
DNI ISSUES DIRECTIVES ON ANALYTICAL STANDARDS, DOCEX
Director of National Intelligence J.M. McConnell has issued new
Intelligence Community Directives on standards for intelligence
analysis and on document exploitation.
"Analysts and managers should provide objective assessments informed by
available information that are not distorted or altered with the intent
of supporting or advocating a particular policy, political viewpoint,
or audience," the DNI instructed.
See "Analytical Standards," Intelligence Community Directive 203, June
Meanwhile, a new interagency DNI Center called the National Media
Exploitation Center "will serve to advance the IC's collective DOMEX
[document and media exploitation] capabilities on behalf of the DNI."
See "Document and Media Exploitation," ICD 302, July 6, 2007:
Also new is "National Intelligence Board," ICD 202, July 16, 2007:
U.S. ARMY RANGER HANDBOOK
The U.S. Army Ranger Handbook, updated last year, provides an
introduction to this branch of Army special operations forces with a
mixture of history, lore, doctrine, operational guidance and survival
"Tell the truth about what you see and what you do," advised a historic
Ranger document from 1759, reprinted in the current Handbook. "There is
an army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you
please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don't never lie
to a Ranger or officer."
See "Ranger Handbook," U.S. Army, July 2006:
CRS REPORTS ON VARIOUS TOPICS
Recent reports of the Congressional Research Service that have not been
made readily available to the public include the following.
"Defense: FY2008 Authorization and Appropriations," updated July 30,
"Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S.
Military in Africa," updated July 6, 2007:
"Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and
U.S.-Russian Economic Ties," updated July 10, 2007:
"Judicial Security: Responsibilities and Current Issues," updated July
"Judicial Security: Comparison of Legislation in the 110th Congress,"
updated July 11, 2007:
"Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and
Implications for U.S. Interests," updated July 12, 2007:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.
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