from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 14
February 7, 2005


The 9-11 Commission concluded last year that the best way to begin to combat the excessive secrecy that has undermined the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies would be to disclose the annual intelligence budgets of those agencies, as well as their aggregate total (9-11 Commission Final Report, p. 416).

But the Department of Energy, which always used to disclose the budget of its small Office of Intelligence, has chosen to move in the opposite direction.

For the second year in a row, DOE has classified its formerly unclassified budget request for intelligence in budget documents released today.

The last unclassified appropriation for DOE intelligence was in Fiscal Year 2004, when the budget was $39,823,000, a minuscule amount by U.S. intelligence standards.

Incredibly, although this FY 2004 figure can still be found on the DOE budget web site (included in House Report 108-357), DOE now claims that it too is classified information. The Department has gone so far as to withhold the published figure from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

Previously, for more than a decade, the size of the DOE intelligence budget was unclassified public information. Along with the State Department's Intelligence and Research Bureau, DOE intelligence was one of the few intelligence community components to have an unclassified budget.

"The DOE intelligence budget does not disclose any classified information," advised John G. Keliher, then-Director of the DOE Office of Nonproliferation and National Security, in a June 24, 1994 letter he wrote on the subject.

"National security is neither threatened nor damaged as a result of the unclassified [DOE] intelligence budget released to the public," he wrote.

But that was then. According to one DOE official, the Central Intelligence Agency directed the Department to cease publishing its intelligence budget total. That assertion, not for attribution, could not be independently confirmed.

Several annual DOE intelligence budget requests dating from before the big chill set in may be found here:

"The [DOE] intelligence program provides information and technical analyses on international arms proliferation, foreign nuclear programs, and other energy related matters to policy makers in the Department and other U.S. government agencies," according to last year's DOE appropriations bill.


The U.S. Army last week issued revised guidance on the classification of chemical and biological weapons-related research and defense, a field which is unclassified in large part.

See Army Regulation 380-86, "Classification of Former Chemical Warfare, Chemical and Biological Defense, and Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Contamination Survivability Information," 1 February 2005:

Unrelated, but of interest to some, another newly updated Army regulation describes in painstaking detail the proper manner of wearing Army uniforms along with their diverse insignia and accouterments.

See Army Regulation 670-1, "Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia," 3 February 2005 (362 pages, 2.9 MB PDF file):


Some new reports from our friends at the Congressional Research Service include the following.

"Continuity of Operations (COOP) in the Executive Branch: Issues in the 109th Congress," January 31, 2005:

"The Middle East Peace Talks," updated February 1, 2005:

"Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems," January 24, 2005:


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

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