from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 75
July 23, 2007

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A new publication of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presents U.S. military doctrine on "homeland defense."

"It provides information on command and control, interagency and multinational coordination, and operations required to defeat external threats to, and aggression against, the homeland."

See "Homeland Defense," Joint Publication 3-27, July 12, 2007:

The document further extends the unfortunate use of the term "homeland" to refer to the United States, a relatively recent coinage that became prevalent in the George W. Bush Administration.

Not only does the word "homeland" have unhappy echoes of the Germanic "Heimat" and the cult of land and soil, it is also a misnomer in a nation of immigrants.

Moreover, "homeland" is defined by the military exclusively in terms of geography: It is "the physical region that includes the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, United States territories and possessions, and surrounding territorial waters and airspace."

This means that actions to defend the Constitution and the political institutions of American democracy are by definition excluded from "homeland defense."

For the Joint Chiefs, constitutional liberties are subordinate to, and contingent upon, physical security:

"To preserve the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the Nation must have a homeland that is secure from threats and violence, especially terrorism." (page I-1).


Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has put forward an agenda to increase transparency in government that includes "publishing budgets for every government agency."

This appears to be a roundabout way of endorsing disclosure of intelligence agency budgets, since the budgets of all other agencies are already published.

The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment or elaboration on the proposal.

Intelligence budget secrecy is perhaps the preeminent and most enduring example of overclassification, i.e. classification that is not justified by a valid national security concern.

A proposal to declassify the aggregate figure for the National Intelligence Program, comprised of over a dozen individual agency intelligence budgets, is pending in the Senate version of the FY 2008 Intelligence Authorization Act (S. 1538).

The 9/11 Commission went further and said "the overall amounts of money being appropriated for national intelligence and to its component agencies should no longer be kept secret." (Final Report, p. 416).

The Clinton campaign appears to have adopted this bipartisan Commission recommendation for release of component agency budget information. The Bush Administration opposes any disclosure of any intelligence budget data, even the aggregate figure.


Recent reports of the Congressional Research Service on Middle East-related topics, obtained by Secrecy News without CRS authorization, include the following.

"U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2008 Request," updated July 3, 2007:

"Libya: Background and U.S. Relations," updated June 19, 2007:

"U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel," updated April 25, 2007:

"Lebanon," updated July 11, 2007:

"The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)," updated July 9, 2007:

"Iran's Influence in Iraq," updated July 9, 2007:


More publicly unreleased reports from the Congressional Research Service on various topics of interest to some include these.

"Journalists' Privilege to Withhold Information in Judicial and Other Proceedings: State Shield Statutes," updated June 27, 2007:

"Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Background, Legal Analysis, and Policy Options," updated June 30, 2007:

"Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database," updated July 16, 2007:

"Chemical Facility Security: Regulation and Issues for Congress," updated June 21, 2007:

"Pipeline Safety and Security: Federal Programs," updated July 11, 2007:


Under extreme conditions, live maggots may be inserted into a wound to consume damaged or diseased flesh, according to a medical manual for U.S. Army Special Forces.

"Despite the hazards involved, maggot therapy should be considered a viable alternative when, in the absence of antibiotics, a wound becomes severely infected, does not heal, and ordinary debridement [removal of diseased tissue] is impossible," according to the 1982 manual (at page 22-3).

See "U.S. Army Special Forces Medical Handbook," ST 31-91B, 1 March 1982 (407 pages, 16 MB PDF file):

It turns out that maggot therapy is recognized and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sterilized maggot colonies can be ordered, by prescription only, from specialized suppliers.

The Special Forces manual, however, envisions the use of unsterilized maggots for emergency use.

Along with a lot of standard wilderness medicine, the manual also describes various unorthodox, potentially dangerous remedies that may be considered when conventional medical alternatives are unavailable.

For example, the manual suggests that intestinal worms can be combated by eating cigarettes. "The nicotine in the cigarette kills or stuns the worms long enough for them to be passed."

Another option for dealing with intestinal parasites is to swallow kerosene. "Drink 2 tablespoons. Don't drink more." (page 22-2).


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

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