from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2003, Issue No. 2
January 8, 2003


In the event of war with Iraq, up to one hundred thousand people may need to be accommodated in displaced persons camps along the Iraq-Kuwait border and in southern Iraq, according to a leaked U.S. military planning document posted on the web.

The number of displaced civilians (DC) caused by coalition military action would be "minimal," according to the document, thanks to careful targeting of precision munitions. But displaced persons caused by Iraqi action are a "potentially large group," that could result from "massacre of repressed minorities (Shia)," use of weapons of mass destruction, and flooding.

DC camps "will have to be rapidly constructed" with a 5,000 person camp available within four days of the outbreak of war, expandable to 100,000 person capacity within thirty days.

The document was published by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI), a humanitarian organization based at the University of Cambridge.

See "Displaced Civilian (DC) Camp Operations," 11 November 2002, here:

Related resources on the potential humanitarian and economic consequences of a war with Iraq may be found on the CASI web site here:


The most recent judicial decisions in Freedom of Information Act lawsuits are a interesting mix of wins and losses, with some oddballs thrown in for good measure.

See "New FOIA Decisions, October-December 2002" compiled by the Justice Department's Office of Information and Privacy here:


Department of Energy laboratories failed to "adequately control unclassified visits and assignments by foreign nationals," according to a newly released DOE Inspector General report. At least two labs "permitted certain foreign nationals to access their facilities without ensuring that the visitors or assignees had been properly admitted or were authorized to remain in the United States."

During the largely manufactured nuclear security scare of the late 1990s, this would have triggered congressional hearings and editorial fury. Today, in remarkable contrast, it hardly merits notice.

See "The Department's Unclassified Foreign Visits and Assignments Program," DOE Inspector General Audit Report, December 2002 (3.2 MB PDF file):

The CIA belatedly published its semi-annual report to Congress on proliferation of weapons of mass destruction this week. See "Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 July Through 31 December 2001":


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

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