from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 103
November 4, 2005


The amendment introduced by Senator John McCain to regulate the interrogation of enemy detainees and to prohibit their "cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment," which was overwhelmingly approved in the U.S. Senate on October 5 and awaits a House-Senate conference, is analyzed by the Congressional Research Service in a new report.

See "Overview and Analysis of Senate Amendment Concerning Interrogation of Detainees," November 2, 2005:

Concern over U.S. policy on detainees has been galvanized worldwide most recently by a Washington Post story by Dana Priest on November 2 that revealed the existence of secret prisons operated by the Central Intelligence Agency in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

"We are told that not a single member of the Appropriations Committee and not a single member of the staff have been told by the CIA that that had been going on," said Rep. David Obey in a statement on the House floor November 3.


The World Law Bulletin is a monthly publication of the Directorate of Legal Research at the Law Library of Congress. It provides "over 500 updates on foreign law developments annually."

But it only provides them to members of Congress and their staff. Like that other Library of Congress organization, the Congressional Research Service, the Directorate of Legal Research does not provide the public with direct access to its products.

This ought to change. But such a change will require the permission and the direction of the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress.

The Joint Committee has been notoriously reluctant to permit direct public access to CRS reports, forcing the public to adopt other means to acquire them.

But the products of the Law Library such as the World Law Bulletin are closer to pure research and typically possess even less advisory content than do CRS reports, and it may therefore be easier to win official approval for their broad publication.

In the meantime, a recent copy of the World Law Bulletin, from May 2005, may be found here:

On rare occasions, the LOC Directorate of Legal Research has received permission to publish some of its other reports. The most recent case was an exhaustive 400 page study on the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, dated June 2004, and available here (2.5 MB):


Thanks to those Secrecy News readers who responded to our appeal in the last issue with financial support and heartening words. We'll persevere.


Philip Agee, the renegade CIA officer whose efforts to publicly expose CIA employees working under cover around the world in the 1970s led to the enactment of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, says he now opposes such activities and specifically disdains the disclosure of CIA officer Valerie Plame's name by senior White House officials.

"I had my reasons for revealing the identities of agents and the White House had different ones," Agee said. "However, I am now categorically opposed to making their names public."

Agee's remarks were quoted in the Greek newspaper To Vima tis Kiriakis on November 2, as translated by the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service.


The Department of Homeland Security has issued a draft National Infrastructure Protection Plan for public comment by December 5.

The 175 page document, announced in the Federal Register on November 3, is intended to provide a "comprehensive, integrated national plan for the protection of critical infrastructures and key resources."

A copy of the draft Plan, with instructions and a form for submitting comments, may be found on this page:

The document is fairly dense and its precise import is a little hard to discern.

Rick Blum of the advocacy coalition pointed to a table on page 65 where, under the heading "Privacy and Constitutional Freedoms," it reads "No actions under this category."

"I think that sums it up," he quipped.


Several months ago (05/19/05), Secrecy News published an item about military bands that some readers considered to be insufficiently enthusiastic.

"I have just two words for you," wrote one gentleman. "Glenn Miller."

By way of penance, we offer a newly revised and astonishingly detailed History of U.S. Army Bands, published for use in courses offered by the U.S. Army.

"The first mention of a military musical organization used in the connection of battle in the United States Army occurred at the celebration held after Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga on 10 May 1775."

"A fife and Drum Corps performed at this celebration."

See "A History of U.S. Army Bands," U.S. Army Element, School of Music, Norfolk, VA, updated October 2005:


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

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