from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 81
July 19, 2006

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"In the 1958 1968 decade, the U.S. Government approved four covert programs to try to influence the direction of Japanese political life," the State Department revealed this week in the latest volume of Foreign Relations of the United States, the official history of U.S. foreign policy.

"Concerned that potential electoral success by leftist political forces would strengthen Japanese neutralism and eventually pave the way for a leftist government in Japan, the Eisenhower administration authorized the Central Intelligence Agency before the May 1958 elections for the Japanese House of Representatives to provide a few key pro-American and conservative politicians with covert limited financial support and electoral advice," according to an Editorial Note in the new volume (document 1).

"By 1964, key officials in the Lyndon Johnson administration were becoming convinced that because of the increased stability in Japanese politics, covert subsidies to Japanese politicians were no longer necessary."

"Furthermore, there was a consensus that the program of subsidies was not worth the risk of exposure. The subsidy program for Japanese political parties was phased out in early 1964."

"Meanwhile, a broader covert program, divided almost equally between propaganda and social action and designed to encourage key elements in Japanese society to reject the influence of the extreme left, continued to be funded at moderate levels -- $450,000 for 1964, for example -- throughout the Johnson administration."

See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, Volume XXIX, Part 2, Japan:


A new U.S. Army Field Manual introduces the concept of "police intelligence operations," an emerging hybrid of military intelligence and law enforcement.

"Police intelligence operations are a military police function that supports, enhances, and contributes to a commander's situational understanding and battlefield visualization and FP [force protection] programs by portraying the relevant criminal threat and friendly information, which may affect his operational and tactical environment."

The new manual presents doctrine that is broadly applicable to support military operations abroad as well as domestic military facility protection.

A copy of the new manual was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "Police Intelligence Operations," Field Manual 3-19.50, 21 July 2006 (3.8 MB PDF):


Last year the National Academy of Public Administration developed a proposal to perform an "ethics audit" of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The proposal was a response, at NIH's request, to persistent concerns from members of Congress and others that numerous NIH employees had conflicts of interest arising from their compensated activities outside of the agency.

Rumor had it that the resulting NAPA proposal contained in a January 2006 report was "not what NIH wanted, so they simply buried the paper after it was given to the Director."

"One of the ... people who felt it got deep-sixed thought it would be of interest to the NIH research community," a friendly tipster wrote.

Secrecy News requested the document under the Freedom of Information Act, and it was promptly released by NIH.

See "Enhancing Risk Management at the National Institutes of Health Through an Audit of the Ethics Program," prepared by a National Academy of Public Administration Staff Study Team, January 2006 (4 MB PDF file):


On January 19, 2006 NASA successfully launched the New Horizons spacecraft on a mission to Pluto. It will fly by the ninth planet on July 14, 2015 before proceeding into the Kuiper Belt.

New Horizons is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) fueled by plutonium-238. The natural heat of decay of the plutonium-238 fuel is converted to about 200 watts of electricity by means of thermoelectric cells.

"Since 1961, the United States has successfully flown 41 radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and one reactor to provide power for 24 space systems," reported Gary L. Bennett in a newly updated history of space nuclear power.

"The development and use of nuclear power in space has enabled the human race to extend its vision into regions that would not have been possible with non-nuclear power sources," wrote Bennett, a former Energy Department and NASA official who devoted much of his career to the development of space nuclear power sources.

See "Space Nuclear Power: Opening the Final Frontier" by Gary L. Bennett, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics paper number AIAA-2006-4191, presented at the 4th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, June 2006 (posted with the author's permission):


Some notable new reports of the Congressional Research Service that are not readily available to the general public include the following.

"Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler Aircraft: Background and Issues for Congress," updated June 8, 2006:

"Air Force Aerial Refueling Methods: Flying Boom versus Hose-and-Drogue," updated June 5, 2006:

"Project BioShield," updated June 5, 2006:

"China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities -- Background and Issues for Congress," June 2, 2006:

"Presidential Transitions," updated June 9, 2006:

"An Overview and Funding History of Select Department of Justice (DOJ) Grant Programs," June 23, 2006:

"Changing Postal ZIP Code Boundaries," June 23, 2006:


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

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