from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 21
February 28, 2008

Secrecy News Blog:


Noteworthy new publications from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

"Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons and Missiles: Status and Trends," updated February 20, 2008:

"Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues," updated January 23, 2008:

"Russian Energy Policy toward Neighboring Countries," updated January 17, 2008:

"North American Oil Sands: History of Development, Prospects for the Future," updated January 17, 2008:


The Joint Chiefs of Staff recently reaffirmed the requirement to preserve historically valuable records pertaining to the Iraq War.

"Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NOBLE EAGLE and current operations pertaining to Iraq are a prominent part of American and world history. It is important that we preserve the historical records of these continuing operations and we obtain information and lessons that can be applied in planning, shaping, and implementing our national defense in the future."

See Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Notice 5760, Preservation of Historical Records of Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle and Pertaining to Iraq, 7 September 2006, current as of 31 January 2008:

A new Army Regulation defines policies and procedures governing military civilians who are engaged in human intelligence and counterintelligence activities. See Army Regulation 690-950-4, "Military Intelligence Civilian Excepted Career Program," 20 February 2008:

A revised new Army Field Manual 3-0 on "Operations" has not yet been released. But the Defense Department has released revised doctrine on Joint Operations. See Joint Publication 3-0, change 1, 13 February 2008:


"The disdain and uncooperative nature that this administration has shown toward Congress... is so egregious that I can no longer assume that it is simply bureaucratic incompetence or isolated mistakes. Rather, I have come to the sad conclusion that this administration has intentionally obstructed Congress' rightful and constitutional duties."

That rather damning criticism comes not from a liberal opponent of the Bush Administration, but from one of its most right-wing supporters in Congress, California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.

"This administration is setting a terrible precedent. What people have to understand... is when there is a liberal Democrat in the White House, the President will have set [the precedent] that Members of Congress can simply be dismissed, and that when they are trying to do a congressional investigation need not be cooperated with, in fact, can be obstructed. Is that the type of President that we want? Is that acceptable? It shouldn't be acceptable to Democrats and it shouldn't be acceptable to Republicans," he said on the House floor on February 26.

Rep. Rohrabacher described a series of incidents in which the Bush Administration blocked congressional initiatives or failed to meet his expectations. Some of the offenses described, like the failure to administer a polygraph to former national security advisor Samuel R. Berger concerning his theft of documents from the National Archives, seem idiosyncratic or otherwise questionable. But the Congressman's outrage appears genuine enough.

"It is truly with a heavy heart, Madam Speaker, that I stand here reciting example after example of the maliciousness and condescending attitude exhibited by this administration. It is a problem that's flowing from the top."

"When I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle accusing this administration of stonewalling, of coverups, or thwarting investigations, I sadly must concur with them," Rep. Rohrabacher concluded.


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

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