Aftergood is the director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists. See Aliya Sternstein, "A Career as a Secrecy Watchdog," Federal Computer Week, 13 Nov. 2006.
Aftergood, Steven. "2006 Satellite Failure Remains a Mystery, NRO Says." Secrecy News, 25 Jun. 2009. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
Scott Large, then-NRO director, told the House Armed Services Committee on 5 March 2008 that the reason a U.S. intelligence satellite had failed shortly after launch in December 2006 remains unknown. Large also told Congress that "[t]he era of Acquisition Reform ... has left the NRO in a fragile state with a poor history of performance."
On 12 June 2009, "Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, with concurrence of the DNI, appointed retired Air Force Gen. Bruce Carlson as the 17th director" of the NRO.
Aftergood, Steven. "Admin Threatens Veto Over GAO Role in Intel Oversight." Secrecy News, 17 Mar. 2010. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
In a 15 March 2010 letter to Congress, Peter Orszag of the Office of Management and Budget identified "several provisions in the pending FY2010 Intelligence Authorization Act that were objectionable to the White House and that might prompt a presidential veto of the bill." These include "a requirement to increase congressional notification of covert actions beyond the 'Gang of 8'; the proposed GAO language [to reinforce the GAO's role in intelligence oversight]; and a proposed reduction in the budget authorization for the Office of the DNI."
Aftergood, Steven. "Army Establishes Psyops Branch." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 16 Jan. 2007. [http://www.fas.org]
This item reports issuance by Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey on 12 January 2007 of General Order 30: "Effective 16 October 2006, Psychological Operations was established as a basic branch of the Army, pursuant to the authority of Section 3063(a)(13), Title 10, United States Code." General Order 30 is available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/go30.pdf.
Aftergood, Steven. "Army Rethinks Unconventional Warfare." Secrecy News, 12 Nov. 2008. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
U.S. Army Field Manual FM 3-05.130, "Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare," dated 30 September 2008, defines unconventional warfare (UW) as "'[o]perations conducted by, with, or through irregular forces in support of a resistance movement, an insurgency, or conventional military operations.... This definition reflects two essential criteria: UW must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and such surrogates must be irregular forces.'" The manual "presents updated policy and doctrine governing unconventional warfare, and examines its 'three main component disciplines': special forces operations, psychological operations, and civil affairs operations. Appendices include an historical survey of unconventional warfare as well as an extensive bibliography." The 248-page manual is available as a 3.7 mb PDF file at: http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm-3-05-130.pdf.
Aftergood, Steven. "Bush Signs 2004 Intel Bill into Law." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 15 Dec. 2003. [http://www.fas.org]
President Bush signed the 2004 intelligence authorization act (H.R. 2417) on 13 December 2003. The President's signing statement is available at http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2003/12/wh121303.html.
Aftergood, Steven. "CIA Halts Public Access to Open Source Service." Secrecy News, 8 Oct. 2013. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
According to an announcement from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), the "Open Source Center (OSC) ... will cease to provide its information feed to the publicly accessible World News Connection [WNC] as of December 31, 2013.... The WNC public feed from the Open Source Center is a highly attenuated version of what is available to official government users. Within government, copyright considerations are ignored, but for public distribution they must be respected, and so (with some exceptions) only information products whose creators have signed a royalty agreement with NTIS are publicly released."
Aftergood, Steven. "CIA Wins Ruling in Prepublication Review Dispute." Secrecy News, 30 Jun. 2011. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
On 15 June 2011, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that the CIA officer, who uses the pseudonym Ishmael Jones, "would be held liable for publishing his 2008 book" The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, following the CIA's Publication Review Board's refusal to clear the volume for publication. The "Reporter's Transcript" for this Motions Hearing is available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/jones/061511-hearing.pdf.
Aftergood, Steven. "Commercial Satellites as 'National Technical Means.'" Secrecy News, 5 Mar. 2008. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
In a 2007 study, an advisory panel told the NRO and NGA directors that "U.S. intelligence agencies could do more to incorporate commercial satellite capabilities into the U.S. intelligence satellite architecture."
The "National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Advisory Group" was chaired by Peter Marino. The group's report, "Independent Study of the Roles of Commercial Remote Sensing in the Future National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG)," dated 16 July 2007, is available at: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2008/03/commercial_satellites_as_natio.html. It posits that "the US government can commercially acquire robust commercial remote sensing capabilities to meet minimal acceptable requirements through the adoption of acquisition strategies that 'buy' proven, complex technologies but are modularly designed so as to maximize flexibility to meet dynamic mission needs."
Aftergood, Steven. "Congress Approves 2012 Intelligence Authorization." Secrecy News, 20 Dec. 2011. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
"Congress last week enacted the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012." On 14 December 2011, SSCI Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said: "The legislation we are approving today keeps funding for intelligence essentially flat from fiscal year 2011, representing a meaningful reduction from the President's request."
Aftergood, Steven. "Defectors May Sue CIA." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 2 Jun. 2003. [http://www.fas.org]
In a 29 May 2003 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that "two purported defectors are entitled to sue the CIA for compensation allegedly owed them," Totten v. United States notwithstanding. The court's ruling in Doe v. Tenet is available at http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe052903.pdf.
Aftergood, Steven. "DHS Seeks Increase in Domestic HUMINT Collection." Secrecy News, 6 Apr. 2015. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
The Department of Homeland Security "recently told Congress" that it "aims to increase its domestic human intelligence collection activity this year.... Human intelligence collection in this context does not necessarily mean that the Department is running spies under cover. According to a 2009 report from the Congressional Research Service (footnote 38), For purposes of DHS intelligence collection, HUMINT is used to refer to overt collection of information and intelligence from human sources."
Aftergood, Steven. "DNI Assigned to Oversee All Security Clearance Policy." Secrecy News, 1 Jul. 2008. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
Executive Order 13467, issued by President Bush on 30 June 2008 and entitled "Reforming Processes Related to Suitability for Government Employment, Fitness for Contractor Employees, and Eligibility for Access to Classified National Security Information," assigns the DNI responsibility for overseeing "security clearance investigations and related policies on access to classified information for all federal agencies." The DNI is charged with "'developing uniform and consistent policies and procedures' for security clearance investigations and adjudications government-wide."
Aftergood, Steven. "DNI Intelligence Community Directives Disclosed." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 30 Aug. 2006. [http://www.fas.org]
The DNI has instituted a new system of policy statements for the Intelligence Community -- Intelligence Community Directives (ICDs). The new directives replace the former Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCIDs). The DNI is also issuing "a series of Intelligence Community Policy Memorandums (ICPMs), which are initial statements of policy that have not yet been formalized as an ICD." ICDs are available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/icd/index.html; and ICPMs are available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/icpm/index.html.
Aftergood, Steven. "'Drastic' Changes Seen in Domestic Military Operations." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 2004, no. 26 (9 Mar. 2004). [http://www.fas. org]
"The 2004 Operational Law Handbook published by the U.S. Army JAG [Judge Advocate General] Corps provides a comprehensive map of the terrain of military law, from the legal basis for the use of force to domestic operations to the laws governing intelligence and special operations. A copy is posted [at] (562 pages, 4.6 MB PDF file): http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/law2004.pdf."
Aftergood, Steven. "FY 2008 NRO Budget Book Released." Secrecy News, 6 Nov. 2008. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]
The NRO "has released a heavily redacted version of the Fiscal Year 2008 Congressional Budget Justification Book for the National Reconnaissance Program. It provides a few intriguing glimpses of the intelligence agency in transition."
Return to Af-Agt