from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 32
April 8, 2005


A large portion of a major Department of Defense web site was taken offline overnight after unclassified documents on the site became the subject of news stories and public controversy.

The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Joint Electronic Library, including hundreds or thousands of doctrinal and other publications, has been replaced by a single page that reads "File Not Found" (

One of those publications was a draft entitled "Joint Doctrine for Detainee Operations" (JP 3-63) that was circulated by Human Rights Watch and others and that was widely and critically reported in the press today.

Another was a draft "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" (JP 3-12), that was spotlighted and cleverly analyzed by Jeffrey Lewis of earlier this week.

In response, the Defense Department removed those draft documents, but also many hundreds of others. A DTIC spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

A selection of DoD Joint Publications and other doctrinal documents previously available through DTIC remains available on the FAS web site here:


"Security restrictions on sharing of information ... are hindering progress in address potential vulnerabilities of spent [nuclear] fuel storage to terrorist attacks," a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee reported this week.

The NAS study tends to confirm, as many people have intuited, that indiscriminate or poorly conceived government controls on information are impeding security instead of enhancing it.

"The committee fully agrees that information that could prove useful to terrorists should not be released. On the other hand,... sharing information with industry is essential for ensuring that mitigative actions to reduce vulnerabilities are carried out."

"Sharing information with the public is essential in a nation with strong democratic traditions for sustaining public confidence in the [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission as an effective regulator of the nuclear industry, and for reducing the potential for severe environmental, health, economic, and psychological consequences from terrorist attacks should they occur," the NAS Committee wrote (p. 77).

"While it would be inappropriate to share all information publicly, more constructive interaction with the public and independent analysts could improve the work being carried out...." (p. 78).

See "Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage: Public Report," NAS Board on Radioactive Waste Management, 2005:


After Vandenberg Air Force Base removed the unclassified launch schedule from its web site (Secrecy News, 03/14/05), officials reconsidered the move and reposted a revised schedule, Inside the Air Force reported on April 1.

Instead of the previous one-year launch schedule, the revised site provides a three-month launch schedule, with a one-year projection (without fixed dates) beyond that. See the new Vandenberg AFB unclassified launch schedule here:

A new Defense Department publication "provides guidance and procedures for designating and naming defense military aerospace vehicles."

Aerospace vehicles -- rockets, satellites, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, etc. -- are identified by an alphanumeric designation and by a popular nickname. The new regulation describes how both are to be chosen.

See "Designating and Naming Defense Military Aerospace Vehicles," March 14, 2005:


Russia will supply eighty metric tons of uranium fuel for Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor, Russian TV reported this week.

Excerpts from the television report, captured by the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, may be seen here:


The Congressional Research Service does not make its products directly available to the public. Some recent CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News include the following:

"Counterintelligence Reform at the Department of Energy: Policy Issues and Organizational Alternatives," updated March 8, 2005:

"Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," updated March 11, 2005:

"European Views and Policies Toward the Middle East," updated March 9, 2005:

"Iraq: Summary of U.S. Forces," updated March 14, 2005:

"U.S. Embassy in Iraq," updated March 11, 2005:

"Palestinians and Middle East Peace: Issues for the United States," updated March 7, 2005:

"The European Union in 2005 and Beyond," updated March 7, 2005:

"Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants," updated February 24, 2005:


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

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