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Oct 23, 2006

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cyberman

While of some short term interest, the Board's timidity shrouded in wanting to get off on the right foot, is a bad precedent in itself. The board has members with no substantial responsibility for managing governmental classification programs so they may not have the expertise to focus on what really needs to be done - whether Bushman requests it or whether our dangerously incompetent senators ask for it or not. A challenge they should accept would be to strike out on their own to examine two matters, which, if resolved could help bring the country back a little into the good graces of our founders.

#1 Examine the IC's grossly wrong use of the "sources and methods" rubric. So much is hidden from public view under this designation, the subject matter is so politicized, it is so poorly managed and the IC employees so poorly trained that there is no way that excessive amounts of information are not withheld from congress, interagency, the public and under the FOIA law. I realize this is a highly conclusionary statement, but if the Board could, with sufficient expertise and objectivity, address this issue, miracles, I think, might happen. They are surely needed.

Little of long term value will happen if the Board just reviews pieces of information her and there to determine if they are properly classified or not. That is largely a waste of time and even dangerous unless they take actions within the perspective of their understanding and endorsing the frameworks under which the classification decisions are made.

#2 Another area that results in repetitive harm to the public sometimes without compensating national security value is the misuse of the states secrets defense used by the Justice Department. This hoary old defense, is slavishly revered by the courts and the government alike and often without a fair hearing on just why the information is classified, who classified it and with what guidance. And what are the national security risk, if any, in revealing the information? Perhaps the courts could be goaded into doing their job to analyze these features of the states secrets allegations much as they would permit a detailed analysis of the defendants motivations, background and state of mind in a murder case. As long as the courts permit the executive to claim states secrets without a through examination of their rationale, indeed without so much as a judge's cocked eyebrow, the courts are failing their responsibility as a constitutionally designated independent branch of government.

Mark

I agree on declassifying ALL of that report and invesitagiting all of the things mentioned in the top two posts at www.regimeofterror.com.

We know al Qaeda cooperated with Saddam's top guys post invasion, why can't we be told when/how it began? Why can't we hear what all the detainees who worked with both sides said?

www.regimeofterror.com

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