from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 21
March 14, 2002


Significant excerpts from the classified Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) report on U.S. nuclear weapons policy that was leaked to the press last weekend have now been posted on the website of, a policy research organization directed by John Pike:

"Needless to say, whoever leaked it violated federal criminal law," said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a March 13 press briefing.

"It seems that there are some people who simply have a compulsion to seem important, so they take classified information which can damage U.S. national security and give it to people who aren't cleared for it," Rumsfeld added. See:

But Administration officials have stressed that the NPR report is a policy document, not an operational plan. As such, critics as well as supporters across the political spectrum have argued that it properly belongs in the public domain.


"I'm not going to let Congress erode the power of the Executive Branch," President Bush said at a March 13 press conference. "I have a duty to protect the Executive Branch from legislative encroachment."

The President was responding to an astute reporter who asked, "To what degree are you trying to recalibrate the power between Congress and the presidency?" See:

The White House recently rescinded in part its claim of executive privilege that was asserted last December to deny Congress access to certain documents concerning misconduct by the Boston FBI in the 1960s.

"Today, the Justice Department agreed to provide the Committee with access to subpoenaed documents over which the President had originally claimed executive privilege," House Government Reform Committee chair Rep. Dan Burton said in a February 27 press release. See:


The mounting complaints about Bush Administration secrecy were reviewed by Laurence McQuillan in "For Bush, secrecy is a matter of loyalty" published in USA Today on March 14:

The secret and seemingly open-ended detention of dozens of persons as "material witnesses" in connection with the September 11 attacks was examined by Josh Gerstein in "Secret detentions: Do as USA says -- or as it does?" also in USA Today today:


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

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