from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 112
November 8, 2007

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The declaration of emergency rule in Pakistan has focused new concern on the status of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. It may also bring renewed attention to the case of Richard Barlow, the former intelligence officer who attempted to warn Congress two decades ago about Pakistan's clandestine acquisition of U.S. nuclear technology and who was punished for his trouble.

In a classic whistleblower tale, Mr. Barlow's security clearances were suspended, the state secrets privilege was invoked, and he was personally vilified after he attempted to notify Congress of irregularities and illegalities in Pakistan's U.S. acquisitions program. Yet his allegations about Pakistani export control violations and official attempts to conceal those violations were ultimately corroborated.

A summary account of Mr. Barlow's actions and experiences was presented in one of two pending amendments introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) last summer to provide belated compensation for his losses. See:

Mr. Barlow's story, and much else about the clandestine development of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, is presented in a new book called "Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons" by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark (Walker & Company, 2007):

The Congressional Research Service examined "Pakistan's Political Crisis and State of Emergency" in a new report dated November 6, 2007:

See also "Pakistan-U.S. Relations," updated October 18, 2007:

And "Direct Overt U.S. Aid to Pakistan, FY2001-FY2008," November 8, 2007:


National Special Security Events (NSSEs) are public events that are deemed to require national-level security planning. They include Presidential inaugurations and nominating conventions, major sporting events like the Super Bowl, and international summits.

Between September 1998 and February 2007, there have been 27 designated NSSEs, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, which helpfully tabulated them and provided as much related background as anyone might want.

See "National Special Security Events," November 6, 2007:


Noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.

"Managing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Policy Implications of Expanding Global Access to Nuclear Power," November 1, 2007:

"F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background, Status, and Issues," updated October 25, 2007:

"Navy DDG-1000 Destroyer Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress," updated October 25, 2007:

"Operation Iraqi Freedom and Detainee Issues: Major Votes from the 110th Congress," October 22, 2007:

"Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses," updated October 18, 2007:

"Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress," updated September 27, 2007:

"National Emergency Powers," updated August 30, 2007:


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

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