from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 59
June 28, 2002


The Senate has responded to the Defense Department decision to classify information about future missile defense flight tests by requiring the Pentagon to provide a "thorough" report to Congress on each test in both classified and unclassified form.

"One can argue whether [the new secrecy policy] is truly needed, since we are many years away from deployment of effective national missile defense systems," said Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"What is not arguable is that Congress has a right and obligation to know the results of such critical tests, regardless of whether they are classified," Sen. Levin said.

"[Previous] criticism -- particularly by the scientific community -- led the Missile Defense Agency to adopt a much more realistic, thorough, and exhaustive test process for our missile defense system," observed Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), who co-sponsored the new reporting requirement. "That criticism, in effect, has been very helpful to the development of the national missile defense. I think it is something that should be encouraged -- certainly not discouraged."

See this excerpt from the June 27 Senate debate on the 2003 Defense Authorization Act:


Compilations of past judicial rulings in Freedom of Information Act cases are gradually being published by the Justice Department Office of Information and Privacy, including this set of decisions from 1996 that was published today:

The General Accounting Office has published a June 26 report entitled "Defense Space Activities: Status of Reorganization" that provides a snapshot of the latest upheavals in military space programs. See:

This week the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee held two hearings on "The Relationship Between a Department of Homeland Security and the Intelligence Community." Prepared statements presented by governmental and non-governmental witnesses are available here:


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

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