from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
May 17, 2001


Former FBI Special Agent Robert P. Hanssen was indicted May 16 on 21 counts of espionage, attempted espionage, and conspiracy to commit espionage.

The text of the indictment is posted here:


The U.S. government is blocking the publication of a 500 page manuscript by U.S. nuclear scientist Danny B. Stillman that describes China's secret nuclear weapon facilities, the Washington Post reported on May 16.

Stillman, who visited nearly all of the Chinese nuclear facilities during nine trips over the course of a decade, submitted a memoir of his experiences for prepublication review 17 months ago, as required by a nondisclosure agreement that he signed. But government reviewers have so far denied his request to publish.

The memoir promises to cast doubt on some of the more extreme claims of Chinese nuclear espionage that have been made in the last two years. Stillman told the Post he believes that the Chinese nuclear program made its important advances without resorting to espionage.

See "The Man Inside China's Bomb Labs" by Steve Coll in the May 16 Washington Post here:

Rep. Curt Weldon, a member of the congressional Cox Committee that critics said exaggerated the threat of Chinese espionage, responded to the Post story by attacking the Clinton Administration. He suggested that the Administration was to blame for advances in Chinese nuclear weapons because it eased restrictions on exports of U.S. supercomputers in 1996.

Rep. Weldon also complained that the Cox Committee, which issued its report in 1999, had not been informed about Stillman's work. He called on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to "provide to me Stillman's trip reports, notes, photographs, videos, the list of Chinese scientists and a draft of his book. Along with a list of all DOE employees who have visited Chinese nuclear weapons facilities."

See Rep. Weldon's May 16 floor statement on this and other subjects here:


In a notable breakthrough in declassification policy, the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel declassified Eisenhower Administration records on the pre-delegation of nuclear weapon launch authority to military commanders under certain emergency conditions.

The Panel declassified several documents on this highly sensitive topic last month in response to an appeal by National Security Archive senior analyst William Burr, director of the Archive's nuclear documentation project.

Further information and copies of the declassified documents are available on the National Security Archive web site:


The Federation of American Scientists is moving from its Capitol Hill home of 30 years to new offices in downtown Washington, DC. Effective May 26, the new FAS coordinates will be:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy.

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