Secrecy News -- 07/25/07 (Cloaks)

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Steven Aftergood

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Jul 25, 2007, 10:16:53 AM7/25/07
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SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 76
July 25, 2007


** CRS VIEWS CONGRESS'S CONTEMPT POWER
** CRS REPORTS ON VARIOUS TOPICS
** COMBATING WAR PROFITEERING


CRS VIEWS CONGRESS'S CONTEMPT POWER

A major new report from the Congressional Research Service provides a
detailed account of Congress's contempt power, including the use of
contempt proceedings to coerce compliance with congressional demands
for information or testimony and to punish non-compliance.

"This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the
historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory
and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the
procedures associated with each of the three different types of
contempt proceedings. In addition, the report discusses limitations
both nonconstitutional and constitutionally based on the power."

The 68-page report also examines the Justice Department position that
"Congress cannot, as a matter of statutory or constitutional law,
invoke either its inherent contempt authority or the criminal contempt
of Congress procedures against an executive branch official acting on
instructions by the President to assert executive privilege in response
to a congressional subpoena."

See "Congress's Contempt Power: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure,"
July 24, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34097.pdf


CRS REPORTS ON VARIOUS TOPICS

Recently updated reports of the Congressional Research Service that
have not been made readily available to the public include these.

"Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary
Committee, and Senate," updated June 25, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL31989.pdf

"U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy
Options," updated July 9, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL32649.pdf

"Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Oversight Issues and Options
for Congress," updated June 11, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33741.pdf

"U.S. Army and Marine Corps Equipment Requirements: Background and
Issues for Congress," updated June 15, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33757.pdf

"Pakistan: Significant Recent Events, March 26 - June 21, 2007," July
6, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34075.pdf

"Ballistic Missile Defense: Historical Overview," updated July 9, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22120.pdf


COMBATING WAR PROFITEERING

The U.S. Senate is placing increased emphasis on exposing corruption
and profiteering in military contracting in Iraq.

Last week, Sen. James Webb (D-VA) introduced a bill with twenty
co-sponsors that would establish a Commission on Wartime Contracting to
investigate fraud and abuse in government contracts, including
intelligence contracts, in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation
Enduring Freedom.

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_cr/s1825.html

"We are outsourcing this war in ways we've never seen," said Sen. Webb.
"Defrauding the government of millions of taxpayer dollars should not be
considered 'the cost of doing business'."

There are now more contractors (180,000) than military personnel
(156,247) in Iraq, according to a July 18 news release from Sen. Webb.
A
list of companies contracted in support of Operations Iraqi and
Enduring Freedom does not exist, it said. Nor has information on how
much the government is paying contractors been made available.

http://webb.senate.gov/newsroom/
=20
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on "war
profiteering," the record of which has just been published. See
"Combating War Profiteering: Are We Doing Enough to Investigate and
Prosecute Contracting Fraud and Abuse in Iraq?," March 20, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_hr/warprofit.html

_______________________________________________
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

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_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web: www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: safte...@fas.org
voice: (202) 454-4691

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