from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 87
September 9, 2002


The role of intelligence in a new Department of Homeland Security has emerged as a major point of contention in the continuing debate over the Department's establishment.

In contrast to the Bush Administration proposal and the House bill, which would give intelligence a lower profile within the new Department, the Senate version of the Homeland Security bill would establish a separate new directorate of intelligence with its own undersecretary, and it would provide the Department with routine access to so-called "raw intelligence."

Senator Joseph Lieberman, the leading architect of the Senate proposal, said that a robust intelligence capability to support homeland security had been lacking, and was essential to the new Department.

"For the first time, we would create a new intelligence division focused on the threats to our homeland, equipped to truly connect the intelligence and law enforcement dots from Federal, State, and local agencies, from human and signal intelligence, from closed and open sources, from law enforcement and foreign sources, including particularly the Counterterrorism Center at the CIA," Sen. Lieberman said.

Furthermore, under the Senate proposal, "unless the President directs otherwise, the Secretary [of Homeland Security] is provided with broad, routine access to reports, assessments, analytical information, and other information--including unevaluated intelligence--from the intelligence community and other United States government agencies," said Sen. Lieberman on September 4. See:

A White House statement of administration policy said that it was a mistake to "stovepipe" intelligence in a separate directorate. The White House also complained that by mandating access to intelligence, the Senate bill "does not allow the President sufficient flexibility to calibrate carefully the information flow to the Department to protect intelligence sources and methods." See:

A Congressional Research Service report on "Homeland Security: Intelligence Support," by Richard A. Best, Jr., briefly analyzed the various proposals as of August 7:

The role of intelligence in Homeland Security was also examined in "Competing Visions" by Thomas Frank in Newsday, September 8:

Senator Robert Byrd warned generally against racing to establish a new Department of Homeland Security at all costs. "We should take time to remember the legacy that we have inherited, a legacy of liberty and limited Government, and preserve these principles in the legacy that we will bequeath," he said on September 3. See:


The morass of accusations concerning Steven J. Hatfill, the scientist identified by the Attorney General as a "person of interest" in connection with last year's anthrax attacks, leaves one to wonder what is true, what is false, and "why are so many people eager to believe that this man is the anthrax killer?"

Those questions are posed by David Tell in The Weekly Standard this week. His lengthy cover story is the most probing examination of this disgraceful episode published to date.

See "The Hunting of Steven J. Hatfill" by David Tell in the September 16 issue of The Weekly Standard (in two parts) here:


The impending declassification of selected imagery from the KH-7 and KH-9 intelligence satellites -- to be announced at a National Imagery and Mapping Agency conference on September 20 -- is discussed in "Old spy satellite photos going public" by Leonard David:

The Bush Administration has asked the National Academy of Sciences not to publish a new report on agricultural bioterrorism, fearing that it could provide a "road map" for terrorists, an Academy official told the New York Times. (A government spokesperson disputed that.) The Academy will publish an edited version of the report in any case. See "Many Worry That Nation is Still Highly Vulnerable to Germ Attack" by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Judith Miller in the September 9 New York Times:

The implementation of the USA Patriot Act and its impact on civil liberties are considered in "Patriot Act's scope, secrecy ensnare innocent, critics say" by Seth Rosenfeld in the San Francisco Chronicle, September 8:


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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send an email message to with "subscribe" (without quotes) in the body of the message.

To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a blank email message to

OR email your request to

Secrecy News is archived at: