Secrecy News -- 07/11/07 (Cloaks)

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Aftergood, Steven

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Jul 11, 2007, 1:23:28 PM7/11/07
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SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 70
July 11, 2007

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


** DURBIN MOVES TO CUT FUNDING FOR VICE PRESIDENT
** SSCI WARNS AGAINST CLEARANCES FOR EX-CONVICTS
** APPEALS COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS ON PRES DAILY BRIEFS
** CRS ON NAVY ACQUISITION, FORCE STRUCTURE
** EVEN MORE FROM CRS


DURBIN MOVES TO CUT FUNDING FOR VICE PRESIDENT

A pending Senate bill would suspend funding for the Office of Vice
President next year unless Vice President Cheney agrees to comply with
the oversight provisions of the executive order on classification,
something he claims he is not obliged to do.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), chairman of the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Financial Services, included language in the pending
appropriations bill to suspend the funding after the Vice President
failed to respond to the Senator's June 25 letter urging compliance with
the executive order.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2007/07/durbin071007.html

A similar measure to cut funding for the Office of Vice President,
introduced in the House last month by Rep. Rahm Emanuel, was narrowly
defeated on June 28 by a vote of 209-217.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2007/h062807.html

J. William Leonard, the Information Security Oversight Office director
whose oversight activities were rebuffed by the Office of Vice
President, will testify tomorrow, July 12, at a House Intelligence
Subcommittee hearing on classification policy. I will also be among the
witnesses at the 1 PM hearing in Rayburn 2216.


SSCI WARNS AGAINST CLEARANCES FOR EX-CONVICTS

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence endorsed a statutory
prohibition that prevents the Department of Defense from granting
security clearances to former convicts who have served a year or more in
jail, individuals who are mentally incompetent, are drug addicts, or
have been dishonorably discharged from the military.

The Pentagon had requested a repeal of that provision, first enacted in
2000, and the request was approved by the Senate Armed Services
Committee.

"The [Intelligence] Committee understands DoD's desire to have more
flexibility to give clearances to otherwise qualified individuals who
are currently barred from receiving or renewing their security
clearances."

"Because of the extremely sensitive nature of DoD's military and
intelligence activities, however, the Committee is concerned that a
blanket repeal of section 986 could lead to unintended compromises or
mishandling of classified information. Further, the Committee believes
that the waiver authority that is currently provided in section 986 is
sufficient to give DoD the flexibility and discretion it needs in
handling cases involving convictions or dishonorable discharges."

In a dissenting view (favoring the Pentagon proposal to repeal),
Committee Chairman Rockefeller and Senators Wyden and Feingold said they
had "no reason to question the adequacy of the security clearance
process established under presidential order, nor to question the joint
assessment of DoD and the Armed Services Committee that national
security can be protected without this one DoD-specific statute."

See the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the FY 2008 Defense
Authorization Act, Senate Report 110-125, June 29:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_rpt/srpt110-125.html

The dispute was first reported in "Ex-convicts and addicts may get DoD
clearance" by Elana Schor and Roxana Tiron, The Hill, July 10
(www.thehill.com).

Writing in the Danger Room blog, Sharon Weinberger correctly noted that
someone like Scooter Libby (mentioned by me in The Hill article) would
not technically be subject to the statutory prohibition since he is not
going to spend a year or more in jail.

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/07/should-criminal.html


APPEALS COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS ON PRES DAILY BRIEFS

A federal appeals court yesterday heard oral arguments in a Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit seeking disclosure of two Vietnam-era editions
of the President's Daily Brief.

The Central Intelligence Agency refused to disclose the two PDBs to
University of California professor Larry Berman, who filed the lawsuit
in cooperation with the lawfirm Davis Wright Tremaine and the National
Security Archive.

The July 10 hearing was reported in "Federal Court Skeptical of CIA Bid
for Secrecy" by Josh Gerstein, New York Sun, July 11:

http://www.nysun.com/article/58209

An audio recording of the fairly technical court session can be
downloaded from this site:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/

Click on "Audio Files" on the left side of the page and then enter case
number 05-16820.

Additional background on the case is here:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/pdbnews/index.htm


CRS ON NAVY ACQUISITION, FORCE STRUCTURE

Recent Congressional Research Service reports on Navy acquisition
programs and related topics include these.

"Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for
Congress," updated June 12, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32665.pdf

"Navy DDG-1000 (DD(X)) and CG(X) Ship Acquisition Programs: Oversight
Issues and Options for Congress," updated June 11, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32109.pdf

"Navy CG(X) Cruiser Design Options: Background and Oversight Issues for
Congress," updated June 13, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22559.pdf

"Navy Attack Submarine Force-Level Goal and Procurement Rate: Background
and Issues for Congress," updated June 11, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32418.pdf

"Navy-Marine Corps Amphibious and Maritime Prepositioning Ship Programs:
Background and Oversight Issues for Congress," updated June 12, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32513.pdf


EVEN MORE FROM CRS

Some other recently updated Congressional Research Service reports that
have not been made freely available to the public include these.

"China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy,"
updated June 28, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL32165.pdf

"Military Airlift: C-17 Aircraft Program," updated June 5, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL30685.pdf

"Indonesia: Domestic Politics, Strategic Dynamics, and American
Interests," updated June 20, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL32394.pdf

"The Global Peace Operations Initiative: Background and Issues for
Congress," updated June 11, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32773.pdf

"Conventional Warheads For Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and
Issues for Congress," updated June 19, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL33067.pdf

"War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance," updated June 12, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33532.pdf

_______________________________________________
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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