from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 79
August 19, 2002


Declassified U.S. documents concerning Argentina's military dictatorship (1976-1983) that were promised to Argentine human rights organizations by then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright two years ago will be disclosed in Buenos Aires tomorrow (August 20).

See "Darán a conocer documentos de los EE.UU. sobre la represión" by Silvana Boschi in Clarín (August 18):

The documents are said to consist mainly of declassified cables sent by the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires to the State Department in Washington during the years of Argentina's brutal dictatorship.

They were formally requested under the Freedom of Information Act (with the assistance of the National Security Archive at George Washington University).

Last December, when the government of Argentine President Fernando de la Rua fell, the US reportedly expressed hesitation about disclosing the historical documents, arguing that they might exacerbate the climate of instability.

But the non-governmental Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales argued to the contrary that disclosure would contribute to the vigor of Argentine democracy.

Eight boxes of declassified documents arrived in Buenos Aires last week in advance of tomorrow's release, the newspaper Pagina 12 reported on August 18.


"The Bush administration needs to make sure... the FBI will stop being led around by the Federation of American Scientists."

That is the improbable conclusion of a nasty, convoluted opinion article written by Wall Street Journal editor Robert Bartley and published today.

Bartley claims to discern an FAS "agenda" going back more than 15 years and culminating in the present ordeal of bioweapons scientist Steven Hatfill, who has been publicly identified as the subject of an FBI investigation in connection with last year's anthrax attacks.

"An anthrax outbreak in the U.S. [was] just what the Federation of American Scientists has been waiting for," Bartley states obscenely in the online version of his article "The Hatfill Case: Essential Background":

According to Bartley, "Everyone involved understands" that Hatfill was "designated the fall guy" for those attacks "not so much by the FBI but by none other than Barbara Hatch Rosenberg of the FAS."

Rosenberg, a scientist at the State University of New York who also chairs the FAS Working Group on Biological Weapons, has been an outspoken critic of the FBI investigation and has publicly and privately advanced her own theories concerning who might have been responsible for the anthrax attacks.

For the record, however, "Rosenberg's remarks on this topic do not represent the views of the Federation of American Scientists," wrote FAS President Henry C. Kelly in a letter to the editor of the Hartford Courant published on July 1.

Accordingly, the Federation declined to post on its web site a June 2002 analysis by Rosenberg that purported to identify a "likely perpetrator."

The Federation obviously encourages its members to provide officials with information and analysis that might be pertinent to the solution of a crime like the anthrax attacks, said Kelly.

But "FAS opposes any effort to publicly identify possible suspects or 'persons of interest' outside of a formal law enforcement proceeding and has not published such accusations," said Kelly.


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

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