from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 103
October 19, 2007

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It's an impossible job, and perhaps it was meant to be.

The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) has "responsibility for security classification, safeguarding and declassification policy and oversight throughout the Executive Branch of the United States Government." Ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound is preferred but not required.

Except for the last part, that is the job description that was posted online yesterday as the search for a new ISOO Director commenced in earnest.

Bill Leonard, the highly regarded current Director, announced his retirement last month, to the surprise and dismay of many (Secrecy News, 09/28/07).

See the Job Announcement for the position of ISOO Director here:


"It is an abuse of the classification process to withhold from Congress and the people of the United States broad assessments of the extent of corruption in the Iraqi Government."

Remarkably, that complaint was endorsed Tuesday by a large majority of the House of Representatives, which voted 395-21 to condemn the Administration's restrictions on disclosure of information about Iraqi corruption.

The resolution condemning the restrictions, sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, emerged from the conflict between his Oversight Committee and the State Department over access to and disclosure of government records on this topic.

See the October 16 floor debate on House Resolution 734 here:

One of the assessments of Iraqi corruption that was retroactively classified after Rep. Waxman's committee requested it has been made widely available on the Federation of American Scientists web site (Secrecy News, 09/26/07).

State Department official David Satterfield disputed allegations that the Department had improperly withheld information in an October 16 conference call:


A resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives to honor the participants in "Post Office Box 1142," a military intelligence interrogation program from World War II.

"In advancing the Nation's interests and uncovering vital secrets, the interrogators at P.O. Box 1142 never resorted to tactics such as sleep deprivation, electrical shock, or waterboarding. Their captives were never sexually abused, humiliated, or tortured. They never resorted to the methods that have recently branded our Nation so negatively," said Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA).

See also "Fort Hunt's Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII" by Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, October 6:


The late Chuck Hansen, a relentless and resourceful researcher, worked for decades to document the history, technology, design and development of nuclear weapons. His findings helped nurture a continuing wave of scholarship and historical reflection on nuclear policy and technology.

An extensive new collection of his most valuable and important acquisitions has recently been published on compact disk under the title Swords of Armageddon, Version 2. It is a veritable encyclopedia of nuclear weapons history.

More details about the collection and ordering information can be found here:


Earlier this year, the U.S. Army updated its Handbook on Weapon Systems. A copy of that illustrated and annotated catalog is now available online.

Along with basic system data, each entry includes information about program contractors and foreign military sales, and other useful reference material.

See "2007-2008 Army Weapon Systems" here:


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

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