from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 11
January 30, 2008

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Espionage remains "a very real threat to U.S. national security," a House Judiciary Committee panel was told this week.

"Since the end of the Cold War, there have been 78 individuals arrested for espionage or espionage-related crimes and since the 21st century began, there have been 37 individuals arrested in the US as agents of foreign powers," according to David G. Major, a former senior FBI official who is now President of the private Counterintelligence Centre.

In his January 29 testimony, Mr. Major presented a convenient tabulation of "Agents of Foreign Powers Arrested in the United States in the 21st Century."

But his list erroneously includes Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), who are charged with unauthorized receipt and disclosure of classified information.

They are not accused of espionage, nor does the U.S. Government argue that they are agents of a foreign power. To the contrary, prosecutors acknowledged in a January 30, 2006 court filing that it is a "fact that the defendants were not agents of Israel, or any foreign nation."

Recent espionage cases were also reviewed at the House Committee hearing by J. Patrick Rowan of the Department of Justice and Larry M. Wortzel of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Their prepared statements are here:


Author Max Holland takes an advance peek at a new, not-yet-published book about the 9/11 Commission.

"In a revelation bound to cast a pall over the 9/11 Commission, [New York Times reporter] Philip Shenon will report in a forthcoming book that the panel's executive director, Philip Zelikow, engaged in 'surreptitious' communications with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials during the commission's 20-month investigation into the 9/11 attacks," Mr. Holland writes.

See "Commission Confidential," January 30:


Noteworthy new and newly updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

"Presidential Transitions," updated December 27, 2007:

"Engineered Nanoscale Materials and Derivative Products: Regulatory Challenges," January 22, 2008:

"NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance," updated January 7, 2008:

"The Changing U.S.-Japan Alliance: Implications for U.S. Interests," updated January 10, 2008:

"Does the Army Need a Full-Spectrum Force or Specialized Units? Background and Issues for Congress," January 18, 2008:

"Security Classified and Controlled Information: History, Status, and Emerging Management Issues," updated January 2, 2008:


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

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