By Group August 2 of 2014
Europe: This is good ….
By Group August 2 of 2014
Europe: This is good ….
Secrecy News — 07/28/14
Inbox (from email)
Jul 28 (4 days ago)
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2014, Issue No. 49
July 28, 2014
Secrecy News Blog: http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/
** WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION ASKS ITSELF TO DECLASSIFY
** MEASURING THE LOSS OF MANUFACTURING JOBS, AND MORE FROM CRS
WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION ASKS ITSELF TO DECLASSIFY
In preparing its recent report on the Section 702 surveillance program,
the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) demonstrated an
unusual mode of declassification, in which one executive branch agency asks
another agency to declassify information.
In this case, the process was remarkably productive, and it may offer a
precedent for future declassification efforts.
“During the process of preparing this report we sought and obtained
declassification of facts about this still highly classified [Section 702]
program in order to allow us to put in context how the program operates and
clarify some public misconceptions,” said PCLOB Chairman David Medine at a
July 2 public meeting.
“As a result, over one hundred new facts were declassified by the
government to provide needed context for the program’s operation,” he said.
In what the PCLOB staff termed a “lateral declassification” model, it was
an executive branch agency (i.e., the PCLOB itself) — rather than Congress
or members of the public — that pressed another government agency (ODNI,
NSA, CIA, FBI or Justice) to declassify specific information.
Such an interagency request for declassification differs from the
“referrals” that agencies routinely direct to one another. In those cases,
the receiving agency is simply asked to review records to identify its own
classified information (or “equities”) and then to advise the originating
agency what must be withheld and what may be disclosed.
Here, the PCLOB didn’t merely ask agencies to screen for classified
information under existing classification standards. It urged them to
actually change those standards. And in more than 100 specific cases, the
agencies did so.
Most of the declassified facts in the PCLOB Section 702 report are not
specifically flagged as having been declassified at the Board’s request,
and they may therefore be easily overlooked. A partial compilation of such
newly declassified facts, prepared by a participant in the process and
obtained by Secrecy News, is available here:
Several features appear to have contributed to the efficacy of the lateral
For one thing, the requesting agency (the PCLOB) already possessed the
requested information in classified form. So it knew exactly what it was
asking for, and why it was asking for it to be declassified.
And then the fact that the declassification requests originated within the
executive branch itself (the PCLOB is an independent executive branch
agency) made it harder for the recipient agencies to ignore the request and
easier for them to fulfill it.
By contrast, public requests through the Freedom of Information Act often
seem to decline into an adversarial contest, in which the agency adopts a
defensive posture and offers only minimal, grudging compliance with
disclosure requirements. (At CIA, one gets the impression that asking for
a record to be declassified can make it less likely to be disclosed.)
Requests from Congress also inevitably have a political overlay, and may be
seen to serve an agenda that does not coincide with the Administration’s
But as part of the Administration, the PCLOB’s many declassification
requests did not trigger the sort of immune response that any outside
request would have done.
Of course, the PCLOB’s work, including its declassification proposals, did
not take place in a vacuum.
“A lot of political wind was at our back,” said Peter Winn, acting general
counsel for the Board.
Not only had related classified details entered the public domain through
the Snowden disclosures, but calls for declassification of more information
regarding current surveillance programs had been explicitly endorsed by the
Director of National Intelligence and other senior officials.
Because of these competing factors, the role played by the Board’s
“lateral declassification” approach cannot be precisely delineated or
clearly distinguished from them.
But its apparent effectiveness is consistent with the productive
declassification work performed by another executive branch body, the
Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), which has
declassified information in a large majority of the mandatory
declassification review appeals presented to it.
Perhaps most important, the Board’s experience with declassification in
the Section 702 report may serve as a precedent for similar initiatives in
“For us, it’s a model,” said Sharon Bradford Franklin, executive director
of the PCLOB.
She noted that more than 90% of the Board’s requests for declassification
had been granted, and that they preceded completion of the Board’s report.
(That is, the declassification actions were not predicated on any agency’s
review of the Board’s conclusions or recommendations.)
Enough information about the 702 program was declassified that a
classified annex — which had earlier been assumed to be necessary —
turned out to be unnecessary, Ms. Franklin said.
She also credited the intelligence agencies for their diligent engagement
and cooperation in the declassification process, as did the published PCLOB
“In the preparation of this Report, the Board worked with the Intelligence
Community to seek further declassification of information related to the
Section 702 program,” the report noted (at p. 3).
“Specifically, the Board requested declassification of additional facts
for use in this Report. Consistent with the Board’s goal of seeking greater
transparency where appropriate, the request for declassification of
additional facts to be used in this Report was made in order to provide
further clarity and education to the public about the Section 702 program.”
“The Intelligence Community carefully considered the Board’s requests and
has engaged in a productive dialogue with PCLOB staff. The Board greatly
appreciates the diligent efforts of the Intelligence Community to work
through the declassification process, and as a result of the process, many
facts that were previously classified are now available to the public.”
The final PCLOB report on the Section 702 program included several
recommendations concerning transparency, including proposals for further
specific declassification actions. Those proposals remain pending.
MEASURING THE LOSS OF MANUFACTURING JOBS, AND MORE FROM CRS
New or newly updated publications from the Congressional Research Service
that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the
Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., July 23, 2014:
What Is the Farm Bill?, July 23, 2014:
Deploying 5G (Fifth Generation) Wireless Technology: Is the United States
on Track?, CRS Insights, July 23, 2014:
Federal Student Loan Forgiveness and Loan Repayment Programs, July 22,
State CO2 Emission Rate Goals in EPA’s Proposed Rule for Existing Power
Plants, July 21, 2014:
Measuring the Loss of Manufacturing Jobs, CRS Insights, July 21, 2014:
Shipping U.S. Crude Oil by Water: Vessel Flag Requirements and Safety
Issues, July 21, 2014:
Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies, July 21, 2014:
Defense Surplus Equipment Disposal: Background Information, July 22, 2014:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.
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Analyst: Germany Secretly Planning to Join BRICS
NSA surveillance controversy centered on U.S. fear that Europe’s economic powerhouse will dump the dollar.
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Germany has already experienced a financial meltdown in the 1920s that devastated her. She knows what that is all about, and does not wish to repeat it. A wheelbarrow full of marks in Berlin in the 1920s would not buy a German a loaf of bread. Millions starved t death. Thus, if the cabal seeks to bring down the dollar, Germany is seeking along with BRICS an alternative. This implies things are not well with the US, NATO and especially with Germany. The cracks and divides appear to be widening. Moreover, Germany knows who the true owners of the Federal Reserve are. The cabal also ran her financial system and plundered it for their own benefit. That is, until the Nazis wriggled out underneath their control and set their own independent course.
American power projection in Europe always depended on German compliance and the basing of American power in Germany in return for American financing in rebuilding her infrastructure and military. The Cold War threat from the Soviet Union has evaporated.
Germany has accomplished the rebuilding, and as observers have noticed chaffs under American suzerainty. There is little doubt the alliance with Germany is about to rupture. Therefore, the Americans are deeply suspicious of German intentions and suspect a stab in the back. The Americans fear a reversal of the game plan and a suspected tilt to Putin. This follows German wishes to lead Europe and to become the dominant financial and military power in Europe, and to follow her destiny as the leader of a continental German based European order (well, what about England? Germany may see England as America, too sick to be considered as a counter to the emergence of Germany). The critical question to ask will this nascent German influenced European order be benevolent to fellow European states?
Moreover, where and how does Russia fit within this construct? Germany and the Soviet Union cemented technological and commercial protocols during the 1920s that benefited both states, remaining in place until 1941. Momentarily, both states stand to benefit by technology, commercial and energy exchanges. Additionally, both seek to throw off the American yoke. Germany does not appear wedded to a march to the east foreign policy, nor do the Russians perceive Germany as a primary threat. The relations under Putin have been sober and constructive and most importantly respectful and stable.
Will the German emergence be at odds with American notions, or more importantly, will it trigger revanchist notions in France and in Britain that Germany is on the march again, seeking to become the bully boy of Europe? Those are very knotty issues and I do not have any substantive answers. The cabal uses France and England as two of its foundations in Europe with Germany serving as the foundation of the third leg of the tripod. However, we know historically that the cabal always uses other powers to be their whipping boys to maintain order.
This is the traditional post-War role played by the Americans in accordance with the cabal’s wishes. But what is happening inside America? We are seeing the country split along ethnic, political, social fault lines, but not totally. The Americans are rising out of a very long slumber and they have become aware of the cabal’s machinations and intentions. Despite huge differences there is an overall acknowledgment and coherence that the cabal is the raptor that has plundered America and set it off against the world. Consequently, if the Americans settle their internal differences, then who is to play international whipping boy for the cabal? This implies that the cabal’s grip is beginning to slip.
There is little doubt that a Berlin/Moscow axis will unhinge the American array and architecture of power built in Europe over the last 60 some years and this is critical…America has no friends any longer in the international order. She has become the most hated nation on Earth, thanks to the cabal’s penetration of the American government. I do see parallels of America becoming the sick man of the world. Kennedy in his seminal the Rise and Fall of the Great Powers posits once that happens blood is in the water and the sharks will soon start feeding. All that is required is to turn the United States inward on itself is the detonation of a nuclear weapon or a devastating unattributed information warfare strike at the US power grid. Or the collapse of the dollar and hyperinflation. Either of these scenarios and the wide scale social, economic, and political chaos following the aftermath will serve perfectly. The most perfect solution to turn America inward on itself is of course a ruinous civil war. What does the huge growth of the militia movement and the hot anger rising over the wave of illegals pouring over the border suggest to you?
Who benefits by a collapse of Pax Americana? Those states opposed to a unipolar American order. South America, Russia, China, Africa, and of course Germany. We have noticed a flurry of Russian and Chinese commercial and diplomatic activity in South America. Additionally, we have noticed the chill in American/German relations and widescale alarm voiced by the cabal’s front groups over an emerging nihilism in Europe and a growing awareness and resistance as to who the cabal is.
The King is dying… Long live the King!