from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
May 9, 2001


A new volume of the State Department's official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series was released yesterday, devoted to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the aftermath of the Six Day War in 1967.

It traces the Johnson Administration's role in Middle East diplomacy, notably including official U.S. efforts to discourage the Israeli nuclear weapons program.

The new release does not encompass the 1967 war itself, which is the subject of another volume to be published next year. According to the FRUS editors, that long-awaited volume will include documentation on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967. The attack on the Liberty is the subject of a disputed account by James Bamford in his new book Body of Secrets.

The newly released FRUS volume is posted here:


The "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement" that government employees and contractors must sign before they are granted access to classified information has been reissued in slightly revised form and is now being circulated to government agencies.

The Agreement, designated Standard Form (SF) 312, was updated last year to include reference to 18 U.S.C. 1924 on "Unauthorized Removal and Retention of Classified Documents or Material" and to cite the current executive order on classification. The previous version of the Agreement, published in 1991, is to be phased out by next month.

A copy of the new SF 312 is posted here:

An SF 312 briefing booklet prepared by the Information Security Oversight Office is posted here:


The Defense Personnel Security Research Center has published a new book on "Security Clearances and the Protection of National Security Information: Law and Procedures."

The book is authored by attorney Sheldon I. Cohen, who has specialized for many years in the arcana of security clearance law, regulation and policy.

It is hard not to learn something new from this 344 page volume. For example: The CIA categorically refuses to disclose transcripts or charts of its polygraph examinations under the Privacy Act since the Agency believes that to do so "would compromise its investigative methods." Or: "There is no [right of] appeal ... of a denial or removal of access to a Special Access Program." And so forth.

In a lengthy series of appendices, Mr. Cohen provides a selection of relevant agency documents, including a few items that are not readily available elsewhere.

The book "is written for lawyers practicing in this area of the law, for security officers and security managers of corporate government contractors dealing with classified information, and for government employees and contractor employees whose livelihoods depend on obtaining or keeping a security clearance."

The full text is available online in an extremely unwieldy 17 MB PDF file through the Defense Technical Information Center. Search under Accession Number ADA388100 here:

Alternatively, the softbound volume may be purchased for $49 plus $3 shipping from Sheldon I. Cohen and Associates, 2009 N. Fourteenth Street, Suite 708, Arlington, Virginia 22201.


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