from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 16
February 9, 2007

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The 2007 intelligence authorization bill was approved without amendment on February 8 by the Senate Armed Services Committee with a recommendation that it be passed into law.

The Senate bill would notably require public disclosure of the annual intelligence budget total, an objective long sought by open government advocates and classification reformers. Although there is no credible national security rationale for withholding the amount of the intelligence budget, it remains formally classified.

The Committee issued a brief report on the pending intelligence bill here:

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a closed hearing February 8 on Saudi Arabia and the reputed role of some Saudis in financing terrorist activities.

The hearing was held at the request of SSCI member Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) who described his perspective on the subject in a rather blunt statement on the Senate floor.

"It is time to bring to light the way in which Saudi oil money is fueling the fires of terrorism so people can actually see who is getting burned and what is necessary to protect the security and the well-being of Americans in a perilous world," he said.


A new compilation of official records, news releases and other documentation provides a fairly comprehensive account of the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX), an ambitious missile defense program intended to track warheads in flight and to cue ground-based interceptor missiles.

The SBX, constructed aboard a modified semi-submersible oil platform, departed Hawaii last month and arrived this week in the waters near Alaska's Aleutian Island chain, according to a February 7 release from the Missile Defense Agency.

Hundreds of pages of background material on the program were assembled by independent researcher Allen Thomson.

"The SBX story has been an interesting one, in my opinion, and I think it might become even more interesting when the history of NMD/GMD is written," Mr. Thomson told Secrecy News. "Right now, I'm waiting to see if the second CS-50 platform nearing completion at Severodvinsk is going to be bought by Boeing for SBX-2."

See "Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) Sourcebook" by Allen Thomson (19 MB PDF):

Related background is also available from the Congressional Research Service in "Sea-Based Ballistic Missile Defense -- Background and Issues for Congress," updated December 19, 2006:


Recent reports of the Congressional Research Service that are not readily available in the public domain include the following.

"Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress," February 1, 2007:

"FY2008 Appropriations for State and Local Homeland Security," February 5, 2007:

"Military Airlift: C-17 Aircraft Program," updated January 25, 2007:


Noteworthy new publications from the U.S. Army on military doctrine and regulation include these.

"Intelligence Support to Capability Development," Army Regulation AR 381-11, 26 January 2007:

"Army Field Support Brigade Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures," Field Manual Interim FMI 4-93.41, February 2007:

"Mortuary Affairs Operations," Field Manual FM 4-20.64, January 2007:


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

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