from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 96
October 6, 2008

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In Israel, "newspaper headlines are often about future events rather than past events."

That peculiar assertion is presented by the DNI Open Source Center (OSC) in a new report on Israeli news media. The new report provides descriptive accounts of many major and minor Israeli news outlets, noting their ownership, circulation, political orientation and other distinguishing characteristics.

The OSC report also considers sensitive topics such as military censorship (which it says is "rarely exercised"), ethnocentricity in media accounts, stereotypical treatment of immigrants, and the impact of the internet.

Like most other OSC products, the new report has not been approved for public release by the Central Intelligence Agency, which manages the OSC. But the report is unclassified, is not copyrighted, and does not constitute an input into strategic decisionmaking. Therefore the refusal of the CIA to release it does not command respect. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "Hebrew- and English-Language Media Guide," Open Source Center, September 16, 2008:

At its best, Israeli journalism can be very good indeed and can justify the attention of non-Israelis as well. Today in Haaretz, one story considers the growing financial crisis from the perspective of homeless people in Washington, DC. Another story today looks at the limits of Israeli nuclear deterrence, with a citation to a classified report from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

The OSC statement that Israeli news headlines often refer to future events (which recalls an old Twilight Zone episode) was not immediately confirmed by a review of today's headlines.


"Intentional leaks of intelligence are a violation of law, may result in irrevocable damage to national security, and will not be tolerated," according to a 2002 directive from the Director of Central Intelligence that was itself leaked.

The directive largely reiterates longstanding policy, though perhaps with increased vigor. It states twice that leaks will not be "tolerated" and twice more that intelligence agencies will take "aggressive" measures to combat leaks.

The document notably advises intelligence officials not to prepare a damage assessment of a leak whenever there is a prospect of criminal prosecution against the leaker, suggesting implicitly that an accurate damage assessment might not always favor the prosecution.

The unclassified directive was obtained and published last week by Wikileaks (, a website that publishes confidential and controlled documents of various types.

See "Unauthorized Disclosures, Security Violations, and Other Compromises of Intelligence Information," Director of Central Intelligence Directive 6/8, December 9, 2002:

Last August, a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of all such unclassified DCI Directives was denied on appeal by Delores M Nelson of the CIA Agency Release Panel. In her denial letter, she strangely cited FOIA exemption (b)(1), among others, indicating that although they are unclassified, the requested Directives are at the same time "properly classified." Neither the law of non-contradiction nor the Freedom of Information Act is effectively enforced at CIA.

A collection of unclassified DCI Directives (which are gradually being superseded by DNI Intelligence Community Directives) can nevertheless be found here:

Thanks to Jeffrey T. Richelson of the National Security Archive for an updated list of DCI Directive titles.


An Army field manual published today updates military policy on "stability operations," referring to the use of military and other instruments of national power "to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, provide essential governmental services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief."

The new manual "represents a milestone in Army doctrine," grandly writes Lt. General William B. Caldwell IV. "It is a roadmap from conflict to peace, a practical guidebook for adaptive, creative leadership at a critical time in our history."

"The manual captures the key lessons of our past, including the hard-won experiences gained through seven years of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq," according to a blogger from the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center.

"But this doctrine looks beyond the here and now to address a likely future where threats to our national security emerge from regional conflicts arising from increased competition for scarce natural resources, teeming urban populations with rising popular expectations, unrestrained technological diffusion, and a global economy struggling to overcome the strain of the American financial crisis, meet mounting demands from emerging markets, and extend foreign development aid into third world countries."

See "Stability Operations," U.S. Army Field Manual 3-07, October 6, 2008:

The new manual was previewed in the Washington Post on October 5.


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

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