from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2016, Issue No. 103
December 21, 2016

Secrecy News Blog:


The Pentagon has prepared a newly updated compilation of infractions that might be committed and prohibitions that might be violated by Department of Defense employees, together with the recommended punishments.

"Mishandling or failing to safeguard information or documentation that is classified," for example, can entail punishment ranging from written reprimand to removal. See Disciplinary and Adverse Actions, Administrative Instruction 8, December 16, 2016:

The document's Table of Offenses and Penalties does not include overclassification, faulty compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, or some other readily imaginable forms of misconduct.

But proscribed (and punishable) activities do include retaliation against whistleblowers (conduct unbecoming a federal employee), discourtesy (abusive language or gestures), and lack of candor or truthfulness.


The United States continued to lead global trade in conventional armaments last year, according to a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service, but overall trade declined from the year before.

"Worldwide weapons orders decreased in 2015. The total of $79.8 billion was a decrease from $89 billion in 2014. The United States' worldwide weapons agreements values increased in value from $36.1 billion in 2014 to $40.2 billion in 2015. The U.S. market share increased greatly as well, from roughly 40.5% in 2014 to 50.3% in 2015. Although the United States retained its position as the leading arms supplying nation in the world, nearly all other major suppliers saw increases too."

The CRS report is based on access to unclassified but unpublished government databases. As such, the 72-page document provides a uniquely informative view of the global arms trade.

See Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015, December 19, 2016:

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

Defense Acquisitions: How and Where DOD Spends Its Contracting Dollars, updated December 20, 2016:

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians, updated December 16, 2016:

Tribal Broadband: Status of Deployment and Federal Funding Programs, updated December 20, 2016:

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer, updated December 16, 2016:

State Management of Federal Lands: Frequently Asked Questions, updated December 16, 2016:

The FCC's Rules and Policies Regarding Media Ownership, Attribution, and Ownership Diversity, updated December 16, 2016:

Special Minimum Wages for Workers with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions, updated December 16, 2016:

Discretionary Budget Authority by Subfunction: An Overview, updated December 16, 2016:

Restrictions on Lobbying the Government: Current Policy and Proposed Changes, CRS Insight, December 15, 2016:

U.S. Policy on Cuban Migrants: In Brief, December 16, 2016:

The African Union (AU): Key Issues and U.S.-AU Relations, December 16, 2016:


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

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