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Less Access 

to Less Information 

by and about the 

U.S. Government 


American Library Association 
Washington Office 

to Less Information 
by and about the 
U.S. Government 

A 1988-1991 Chronology 

Prepared by the 

American Library Associatiai 

Washington Office 

February 1992 

The American Library Association is most grateful for the 
generous support it has received from the Benton Foundation. 

ISBN: 0-8389-7585-2 

Printed in the United States of America 


Government information is a critical national resource. Less Access to Less 
Information by and about the U.S. Government documents a decade-long 
erosion of public access to government information. During the past ten 
years, the American Library Association Washington Office has continued 
a chronology of information dissemination activities. A policy has emerged 
which is less than sympathetic to the principles of freedom of access to 
information as librarians advocate them. A combination of specific policy 
decisions, the Administration's interpretations and implementation of the 
1980 Paperwork Reduction Act (PL 96-511, as amended by PL 99-500) and 
agency budget cuts have significantly limited access to public documents 
and statistics. 

Since 1982, one of every four of the government's 16,000 publications has 
been eliminated. Since 1985, the Office of Management and Budget has 
consolidated its government information control powers, particularly through 
OMB Circular A- 130, Management of Federal Information Resources. This 
circular requires cost-benefit analysis of government information activities, 
maximum reliance on the private sector for the dissemination of government 
information, and cost recovery through user charges. OMB has announced 
plans to revise this controversial circular in 1992. 

The pending reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act should pro- 
vide an opportunity to limit OMB's role in controlling information collected, 
created, and disseminated by the federal government. However, the reau- 
thorization bills that have been introduced in the 102 nd Congress would 
accelerate the current trend to commercialize and privatize government 

This chronology documents that in recent years, as the American econ- 
omy became more complex, numerous news articles showed that federal 
statisticians are losing the ability to track the changes. Article after arti- 
cle reported that poor statistics and inadequate information have led to 
major miscalculations in the formulation of federal policy. Examples in- 
cluded problems with federal data about early childhood immunizations, 
prescription drug use, the consumer price index, the 1990 census, and the 
hazardous waste cleanup. 

Another development, with major implications for public access, is 
the tendency of federal agencies to utilize computer and telecommunica- 


iv Preface 

tions technologies for data collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. 
This trend has resulted in the increased emergence of contractual arrange- 
ment with commercial firms to disseminate information collected at tax- 
payer expense, higher user charges for government information, and the 
proliferation of government information available only in electronic formats. 
While automation clearly offers promises of savings for agencies and con- 
venience to users, will public access to government information be further 
restricted for people who cannot afford computers or pay for computer time? 

Now that electronic products and services are being distributed to fed- 
eral depository libraries, public access to government information will be 
increased. The Depository Library Program, administered by the Govern- 
ment Printing Office, provides no-fee public access to government infor- 
mation through 1,400 congressionally designated depository libraries. 
Depository libraries contribute to the Jeffersonian ideal of an informed citi- 
zenry since through these libraries Americans are able to watch over their 
government, safeguarding their individual rights and freedom while they 
enhance and protect their personal lives and property. 

The American Library Association has reaffirmed its long-standing 
conviction that open government is vital to a democracy. A January 1984 
resolution passed by ALA's Council stated that "there should be equal and 
ready access to data collected, compiled, produced, and published in any 
format by the government of the United States." In 1986, ALA initiated a 
Coalition on Government Information. The Coalition's objectives are to 
focus national attention on all efforts that limit access to government infor- 
mation and to develop support for improvements in access to government 

Less Access to Less Information by and about the U.S. Governnient was 
named as the second most undercovered news subject of 1986 by Project 
Censored, the national media research project conducted at Sonoma State 
University in California. Less Access . . . was selected by a national panel 
of judges from among the top 25 nominations (of more than 300 articles 
nominated) on the basis of the quality of the story and its perceived impor- 
tance to the American public. In a "rare renomination," Less Access . . . was 
named the fourth most undercovered news subject of 1987. In 1990, Less 
Access . . . was included in the top 25 stories. Project Censored 
focuses on investigative journalism and tries to refocus media attention 
on some issues that have been overlooked. 

The ALA Washington Office prepared an earlier publication. Less Ac- 
cess to Less Information by and about the U.S. Government: A 198I-I987 
Chronology, in 1988. This chronology brings together the semiannual up- 
dates published from 1988 through 1991. 

January 1988 

January 1988 

Rep. Major Owens (D-NY) requested the General Accounting 
Office to examine the condition of information on education in 
the United States. The GAO report, obtained by the Washing- 
ton Office in January, found that: 

During the past decade, the production of federally spon- 
sored research, statistical, and evaluative information on 
education has declined notably. Research activities shifted 
away from the collection of new data to service-oriented 
activities such as dissemination, so much so that the avail- 
ability of up-to-date information for teachers may be threat- 
ened. Further, new data collection efforts have become 
narrowly focused and the scope of investigation restricted 
by increased use of contracts awarded to institutions rather 
than field-initiated grants. The quality of information is 
variable. The major influence on information production 
is severe reductions in funding levels, and activities that do 
not carry congressional mandates are most vulnerable to 
funding declines and changes in priorities. 

{Education Information: Changes in Funds and Priorities Have 
Affected Production and Quality [GAO/PEMD-88-4, Novem- 
ber 19871) 

January 1988 

International competition has prompted the President to re- 
move restrictions on civilian U.S. satellites, allowing them to 
make and sell much more finely detailed photographs of the 
planet. Until now, the government prohibited private com- 
panies from lofting satellites that could photograph clearly 
objects smaller than about ten meters in size. The Defense 
Department had sought the constraints in an effort to protect 
military secrets. 

Recently the Soviet Union began marketing highly detailed 
satellite photos, down to a resolution of five meters, of any 
part of the world outside its own territories. Scientists at the 
U.S. Geological Survey hove petitioned the government to 
let them buy the Soviet product, including photographs of 
the District of Columbia. The U.S. Landsat satellite, which 
once had a global monopoly, can detail objects no smaller 
than 30 meters. After the government turned Landsat over to 
private contractors, it allowed Landsat to wither, surrendering 
business to foreign rivals, including the Soviet Union and 


February 1988 

Some restrictions remain. For example, regulations issued 
recently by the Commerce Department give the State and 
Defense departments a veto over public acquisition of satellite 
photos if they pose a national security threat. ("Restrictions 
Lifted on Sale of Satellite Photos," The Washington Post, Jan- 
uary 22; see also "Landsat's Slow Death," National Journal, 
July 25, 1987) 

February 1988 

A series of articles in The Washington Post chronicled a con- 
troversy about the proper classification of records in govern- 
ment files. The document in question was a memo to Attorney 
General Edwin Meese UI from his friend, E. Bob Wdllach, con- 
cerning construction of an oil pipeline in Iraq. At the begin- 
ning of February, denying that he was negligent or protective 
of his friend, Meese said that he could not release the memo 
because it was classified. By the middle of the month, press 
reports said that an interagency review panel composed of 
representatives from the White House, Justice Department, 
State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, National Se- 
curity Council, and Overseas Private Investment Corp. had 
unanimously concluded that there was no national security 
basis on which to keep the Wdllach memo classified after 
news reports about it. The President decided to declassify 
the document. ("Meese Calls His Role in Pipeline 'Lawful,' " 
February 2; "Ten Little Words," February 3; "Meese Lawyer: 
McKay Classified Memo," February 4; "McKay Defends Memo 
Decision," February 5; "Reagan to Have Wallach Memo De- 
classified," February 12) 

February 1988 

In an interview as he prepared to leave the Justice Depart- 
ment for private practice. Assistant Attorney General Richard 
K. Willard said the Reagan Administration might have avoided 
its mistakes in the Iran-Contra affair if it had the political nerve 
to stand by its plan to curb leaks with widespread polygraph 
tests and expanded censorship. "The Administration paid a 
real price" for backing off from a 1984 Presidential order that 
was aimed at preventing unauthorized disclosures, Willard 
said as the architect of the plan known as the National Se- 
curity Decision Directive 84. NSDD 84 would have subjected 
the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who see 
classified papers to possible dismissal if they refused to take 
polygraph, or lie detector, tests in investigations of disclosures. 
Thousands of others would have to let the government censor 
their speeches and writings for life. ("Aide Says Fears Led to 
Contra Affair," The New York Times, February 15) 

March 1988 

February 1988 

Prohibitive state and federal rules and reduced spending on 
food programs for the poor hove contributed to a nutrition 
crisis in rural America, particularly affecting children and 
the elderiy, according to a study released by the Public Voice 
for Food & Health Policy. Ellen Haas, executive director of 
Public Voice, said, "For many rural residents, poverty cruelly 
twists isolation and inaccessibility into barriers to adequate 
nutrition — barriers that cause inferior health jeopardizing 
their lives." Among the study's key findings are that major 
barriers to food stamp participation resulted from tough eligi- 
bility rules, lack of information, and lack of mobility among 
the elderly. ("Study Links Federal Policy, Food Crisis," The 
Washington Post, February 24) 

March 1988 John A. McGeachy of North Carolina State University has 

published data from a project called "Checking the Monthly 
Catalog" which indicate a troubling phenomenon: the Month- 
ly Catalog includes entries with item numbers showing that 
depository libraries received certain documents when, in fact, 
the documents were not distributed to depository libraries. 
The Government Printing Office has been unable to deter- 
mine whether this situation is a result of systemic problems, or 
whether these documents hove simply fallen through various 
cracks as they wend their way through the Library Programs 
Service. McGeachy describes the checking project, identifies 
799 documents lacking in the North Carolina State and Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, library collections for 
the period May 1982 through December 1986, and describes 
correspondence with GPO concerning this situation. ("Docu- 
ments Lost: Depository Documents Depositories Did Not Re- 
ceive 1982-1986," Document to the People (DttP), March 1988) 

March 1988 In an effort to provide a screening tool to potential consumers 

of nursing home care, the Department of Health and Human 
Services plans to publish this summer a consumer-oriented 
guide to the quality of care provided by the nation's 16,000 
nursing homes that will include each one's history of safety, 
food, sanitary, and patient rights violations. Major nursing 
home industry groups said such a guide would only create 
confusion, but were not united in opposing the proposal. Jack 
McDonald, vice president of Beverly Enterprises, the industry's 
largest chain, said: "I have no problem with disclosure of that 
information — provided the public report is done properly and 
the date put in the proper context. The information is actually 
already publicly available on computer tapes." Details of 

March 1988 

what will be included in the reports remain to be worked out 
in consultation with the nursing home industry. 

This is the second time the Health Care Financing Adminis- 
tration, which runs Medicare and Medicaid, has decided to 
issue what amounts to a report card on a portion of the health 
industry. To ferocious opposition from the hospital industry, it 
has published two annual reports on the death rates at each 
of the nation's hospitals. ("HHS to Publish Consumer Guide on 
Quality of Care at Each Nursing Home," The Washington Post, 
March 5) 

March 1988 For the past four to five years West Virginia's top labor leader 

has watched with dismay a steady decline in good paying 
industrial jobs throughout the state. Replacing them have 
been low-paying service jobs — when they are replaced at all. 
"They started going down hill about 1982," said Joe Powell, 
president of the West Virginia Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. 
"There were ups and downs since then and it sort of leveled 
out in the last year. But most of the shift has been away from 
the high-paying jobs and to service industry jobs with lower 
pay and no fringe benefits. In essence, that's what's been 
happening in the whole country. We've traded off good pay- 
ing jobs to lower paying jobs while we've also switched from 
the one-job family to the two-job family to keep up." 

While Powell knows there has been a loss of the solid indus- 
trial jobs in West Virginia, he cannot say for sure how large 
that loss has really been. He cannot, he said, because in the 
same year the decline began, the Reagan Administration cut 
funds for the U.S. Labor Department Statistical Division and 
that data no longer is being collected. ("State Loses 'Good' 
Jobs," Citizen Courier-News [Charleston, W Va.], March 5) 

March 1988 Barbara Bailor, who resigned in January as head of statistical 

research at the Census Bureau, argued in an opinion piece 
that defective methodology has made the U.S. Census persis- 
tently inaccurate: 

When the count comes in from the 1990 census, several 
million Americans will be ignored. Most are young males 
who belong to racial or ethnic minorities. Others are poor 
and white; many are homeless. Most are in the nation's in- 
ner cities, but some live in rural areas on obscure byways. 
They are the invisible Americans. 

March 1988 

Although methods exist to compensate for that inaccuracy, 
the Commerce Department has ruled out any adjustment in 
the 1990 census .... The after-affects of an undercount are felt 
by every American in many ways. Census counts determine 
representation in the House of Representatives, state legisla- 
tures, and city and county legislative bodies. They are used 
to draw up new legislative boundaries and in formulas that 
apportion the transfer of over $35 billion a year from the fed- 
eral government to local governments and a like amount from 
state coffers to local jurisdictions. In addition, undercounting 
affects our understanding of disease, poverty, unemployment, 
and crime — the statistics for which are benchmarked against 
census figures. 

("The Miscounting of America/' The Washington Post [Outlook 
Sectionl, March 6) 

March 1988 The federal government plans to reduce the size of its monthly 

employment surveys in New York City and Los Angeles, thus 
sharply limiting its ability to track employment trends among 
black, Hispanic, teen-age, and other groups of workers. The 
change, to be made in April, is necessary because of budget 
cuts in the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, offi- 
cials of the agency said. New York and Los Angeles are the 
only cities in which the comprehensive monthly surveys have 
been conducted. New York area officials said the change 
would create problems almost immediately in planning public 
services. Particularly affected will be job training programs 
that rely on employment statistics to decide where to focus 
their efforts for minorities, young people, senior citizens, and 
other groups of workers. City and federal officials agreed 
that reducing the size of the survey would greatly reduce 
its reliability and quality. But officials of the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, who expect to save $750,000 a year by reducing the 
size of the New York City Survey, said their decision would 
not be reversed. The bureau has been ordered by Congress 
to cut $10 million from its budget this year, to $200 million. 
Reductions are also being made in record-keeping operations 
cross the country. ("U.S. Plans to Reduce the Scope of Report 
on Workers in Cities," The New York Times, March 7) 

March 1988 If the recent antics over a small federal agency that sells 

copies of technical government reports were on television, 
Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-NY) said, the show would be 
preceded by a warning: "something like, 'The story you are 

March 1988 

about to hear is true' or There is nothing wrong with your TV 
set.' " The caveat would be needed, Boehlert said, because he 
can find no logical explanation for the Reagan Administra- 
tion's determination to sell to private business the Commerce 
Department's highly acclaimed National Technical Information 
Service, Nor can the National Academy of Public Admin- 
istration, the Office of Technology Assessment, library and 
industry associations, labor unions, public interest groups, the 
House and Senate, and least of all, the 341 NTIS employees. 
Demand for NTIS documents is strong among research orga- 
nizations. Groups seeking to keep the NTIS under government 
control say they fear a private organization would have diffi- 
culty obtaining all the reports that are made readily available 
to the Commerce Department agency, and that a private com- 
pany's profit would increase users' costs. ("Administration's 
Policy for a Profit-Producing Agency: Sell It," The Washington 
Post, March 10) 

March 1988 Despite guilty pleas from former national security adviser 

Robert C. McFarland, independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh 
and his staff of two dozen lawyers have been frustrated by a 
series of roadblocks that have prevented them from getting 
the cooperation of key witnesses and much-needed documen- 
tation. According to sources, Walsh's investigators have not 
yet gained access to thousands of pages of detailed, daily 
jottings Marine Lt. Col. Oliver L. North compiled in 21 spiral 
notebooks. Edited versions of the notebooks were made avail- 
able to the House and Senate Iran-Contra committees as part 
of a grant of limited immunity to North, Congressional inves- 
tigators said North's notebooks turned out to be an essential 
component of the final House and Senate report, and could 
be the best documentary evidence on the Iran-Contra affair 
still available to Walsh. North's notebooks are so important in 
part because long before Walsh was appointed, North and 
others involved in the Iran-Contra affair shredded reams of 
official documents that would have been useful to Walsh's 
inquiry. ("Lack of Witnesses, Documents Troubles Walsh's Iran 
Inquiry," The Washington Post, March 14) 

March 1988 The National Weather Service, once the world's premier 

meteorological forecasting organization, concedes it is now 
a second-class operation struggling to improve. The White 
House, which some say is still pressing an old ideological 
battle to "privatize" the weather service, is refusing to invest 
more money in it. In 1986, the service was able to forecast 

March 1988 

and issue warnings for only 59 percent of the severe storms 
that developed. That year, 62 percent of the warnings issued 
were false alarms. Weather service officials blame their fore- 
cast problems on obsolete equipment for observing and ana- 
lyzing weather. Some of its radar systems, for example, date 
to World War U, and some of its electronic equipment still uses 
outmoded vacuum tubes. 

A first-rate weather service is more critical to the United States 
than to any other country because this nation, according to 
weather service statistics, has more dangerous weather than 
any other. In a typical year, the U.S. has about 10,000 severe 
thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,000 tornadoes, and 10 hurri- 
canes. These are all phenomena that can kill people and 
cause severe economic damage. Despite this, the government 
has fewer weather service personnel in proportion to popu- 
lation than any other industrialized country. Airline safety is 
closely tied to reliable forecasts. Many industries, like farming 
and construction, depend on accurate forecasts to remain 
economically sound. 

While the weather service begged for money to modernize, 
the White House resisted, arguing that the service, or at least 
parts of it, should be sold to private industry. Last year, after 
early enthusiasm for privatization died down, the Administra- 
tion seemed to relent, budgeting funds to start the modern- 
ization. However, the Administration's proposed budget for 
fiscal year 1989 eliminates $15 million in funding for a special 
computer system that would process data into a form that 
forecasters can use. An official of the Office of Management 
and Budget said that the omission was strictly a cost-cutting 
measure because the weather service had not proven that 
the computer system would be cost effective. Privatization, the 
official said, was not an issue. ("Forecast at U.S. Weather Ser- 
vice: Shortage of Funds for Modernization," The Washington 
Post, March 14) 

March 1988 CIA Director William H. Webster, responding to a lawsuit chal- 

lenging the legality of secrecy pledges, has warned that the 
leak of a single item of compartmented data could expose 
the workings of a U.S. spy satellite or electronic listening post. 
If a hostile nation compromised a U.S. spy system, it could 
intercept a broad range of intelligence and set up a similar 
apparatus for furnishing false data to the United States, Web- 
ster said in a statement included with a March 2 response in 

March 1988 

U.S. District Court in Washington. Webster cited a recently 
declassified 1984 CIA report that stated: "Because the intelli- 
gence (from sophisticated spy systems) inherently is source- 
revealing, the reader of an . . . intelligence report is just as 
capable of revealing compromising data about a system as 
the builder or operator of the system." Webster said that to 
protect each item of sensitive data, the government needs 
secrecy pledges from all employees with access. 

The Administration introduced the secrecy pledges in 1983 
over vigorous congressional opposition and has obtained 
more than 2. 1 million signatures. Most of the agreements were 
signed last year by Navy and Air Force employees, according 
to Steven Garfinkel of the General Services Administration. 
The CIA administers one secrecy pledge, known as Stan- 
dard Form 4193, to hundreds of thousands of employees in 
21 agencies. It imposes a lifelong obligation on workers to 
submit a wide range of information to prepublication cen- 
sorship review. The suit, filed by the Public Citizen Litigation 
Group, alleges that the pledge chills the flow of information 
to Congress. ("Single Leak Could Peril Spy Systems, Webster 
Says," The Washington Post, March 15) 

March 1988 Barry C. Beringer, Associate Under Secretary for economic 

affairs at the Department of Commerce, cautioned that open 
access to information could hurt U.S. competitiveness. Citing 
threats to the U.S. economy from foreign countries that cap- 
italize on American "technology and know-how," he said, 
"Heretofore, we could publish our research results and we 
were the only people capable of taking advantage of them. 
Now we need to realize the competitive implications of doing 
that." At a meeting of the Federal Library and Information 
Center Committee at the Library of Congress, Beringer called 
for a "unique U.S. model" of technology transfer and informa- 
tion sharing that would include private industry, universities, 
and the federal government. 

Several speakers, who included government officials con- 
cerned with information policy and information-industry 
representatives, cautioned that many of the Reagan Admin- 
istration's policies had made access to information more 
difficult for U.S. scientists and engineers. Chief among the 
problems cited was an Administration proposal to "priva- 
tize" NnS. Privatization, the speakers argued, would make it 

March 1988 

harder to gather public information on science and technol- 
ogy research in the U.S. and other countries because foreign 
governments and businesses would be less likely to entrust 
information to a private company than to a division of the 
U.S. government. ("Official Says Open Access to Informa- 
tion Could Hurt U.S.," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 
March 16) 

March 1988 An August 4, 1987, memorandum sent out by the Office of 

Scientific and Technical Information of the Department of En- 
ergy said to receive "selected limited reports," libraries had 
to agree to limit access to the reports to government agencies 
and their contractors. The notice said: 

By electing to receive this material, you are agreeing to 
limit access to the microfiche to only those persons and 
organizations authorized to receive them. 

Librarians, upset at what they regarded as a new attempt 
by the government to restrict public access to unclassified 
research, brought the memo to the attention of Quinlan Shea 
of the National Security Archive. Using the Freedom of Infor- 
mation Act, Shea asked for a list of these "limited reports." 
After a series of denials and appeals. Shea got his list of titles 
of 545 reports. Meanwhile, a number of university librarians 
say they are still concerned about OSTI's August 4 memo. 
Jay Lucker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says 
that while his libraries will not accept documents requiring 
restricted access, "I'm still concerned about what [OSTI] is not 
sending me .... Unless there's a [national] security issue at 
stake," he believes, "these materials ought to be made avail- 
able to everyone." ("FOI May Open Secret Cache of Energy 
Data, " Science News, March 19) 

[Ed. note: In one of the appeals to Shea's FOIA request, OSTI 
officials claimed that since their data were in a computer, 
manipulating them to create the list of titles would amount 
to creating a new file — something they are not required to do 
under the FOIA. In a decision "clarifying" their initial deci- 
sion to release the list of titles, DOE commented about FOIA 
requirements to search computerized databases: 

We believe, however, that to the extent that OSTI main- 
tains records in a database and already has software that 
is capable of searching the database, the FOIA requires 

March 1988 

OSTI to use that software to search the database for the 
requested records. This is true even if the type of search 
that must be performed is different from the type normally 
performed by OSTI. A search of this nature is not, in sub- 
stance, significantly different from a search of a file cabinet 
for paper records that are responsive to a request. If the 
FOIA required anything less it would allow agencies to 
conceal information from public scrutiny by placing it in 
computerized form. This would be inconsistent with the 
FOIA's policy of the fullest possible disclosure. 

(Decision and Order of the Department of Energy, Motion for 
Clarification, Case Number: KFA-0158, May 26, 1988)] 

March 1988 A bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress charged in a 

letter to the President that the 1990 census will be seriously 
impaired unless the Office of Management and Budget drops 
its demand for major changes in the Census Bureau's pro- 
posed questionnaire. "Overall, a questionnaire reflecting the 
OMB proposals would result in a significant reduction in the 
stock of detailed statistical data available to the public, the 
states, and localities, not to mention Congress and the execu- 
tive branch," the letter said. The letter called on the President 
to make sure that the final questionnaires reflect the Census 
Bureau's "best professional judgment" — not OMB's — on how 
to get the widest range of reliable information. The group is 
led by Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), chairman of the Joint 
Economic Committee. ("Lawmakers Denounce OMB Census 
Proposals," Washington Post, March 22) [Ed. note: A Wash- 
ington Post March 31 article, "What Every Household Will 
Be Asked in 1990," details the compromise reached between 
OMB and the Census Bureau.] 

March 1988 There have been numerous articles this spring on the FBI's 

Library Awareness Program. Just two are mentioned here: 

Gerald Shields in an article, "Academic Libraries Must Op- 
pose Federal Surveillance of Their Users," in the March 23 
The Chronicle of Higher Education, summarized the concerns 
of the library community about the FBI's program under which 
librarians have been asked to report suspicious behavior by 
library patrons. He pointed out that libraries are dedicated to 
the principle of free access to information, without question 
or moral judgment on the part of staff members regarding 
library users or their motives. He urged academics to take a 


March 1988 

long, hard look at the implications of the FBI's Library Aware- 
ness Program. In fact, Shields wrote, researchers and schol- 
arly publishers, as well as academics, would do well to join 
librarians in their efforts to protect the right of everyone to use 
libraries without theat of restriction or surveillance. 

In an April 9 The Nation article, "The F.B.I.'s Invasion of Li- 
braries," Natalie Robins rep)orted on the experience of librari- 
ans who were visited by FBI agents, and recounted interviews 
with FBI Director William Sessions and other FBI representa- 
tives who explain their rationale for the Library Awareness 

March 1988 Nearly half the streams in the mid- Atlantic and southeast- 

ern states are acidified or are in danger of acidification, 
according to preliminary data from an Environmental Pro- 
tection Agency survey. The data, released by the Natural 
Resources Defense Council, shows that the effects of acid rain 
are more serious than previously estimated for thousands of 
streams in the two regions, said Deborah Sheiman, a NRDC 
resource specialist. Sheiman said the analysis was based 
on preliminary results of the EPA's National Streams Survey 
internally circulated in February 1987 and obtained by the 
NP^DC. The environmental group was denied a Freedom of 
Information Act request for the final data, she added. She 
accused the agency of "sitting on" the data so as not to fuel 
efforts in Congress to control factory emissions of nitrogen ox- 
ides and sulfur dioxide, which acidify in the atmosphere and 
descend as acid rain. Bill Fallon, an EPA acid rain research 
specialist, said he knows of "no radical differences" between 
the preliminary data and the final report scheduled for pub- 
lic release in late May or early lune. ("Stream Acidification 
Alarms Nature Group," The Washington Post, March 23) 

March 1988 In the March 23 Federal Register, pp. 9468-69, the Department 

of Commerce International Trade Administration announced 
that the agency is improving the Trade Opportunities Program 
by changing the manner in which TOP leads are distributed 
to the U.S. business community. TOP leads identify export 
and investment opportunities for qualified U.S. suppliers. In 
the future, TOP leads will be available electronically to per- 
sons, firms, and organizations via the Department's Economic 
Bulletin Board. Fifteen days of historical TOP leads will be 
available online at all times. Private-sector publishers, trade 
associations, and other multiplier groups are encouraged 


March 1988 

to download the complete file, add value, and redistribute 
the information in printed or electronic form. Subscriptions to 
TOP leads through the Economic Bulletin Board are available 
through NTIS for a one-year subscription charge of $25 plus 
connect time which ranges from $3-$ 6 per hour. Users out- 
side the Washington area will incur long-distance telephone 
charges in addition to the above fees. 

The notice said due to declining subscriptions, Commerce- 
published daily TOP Notice and weekly TOP Bulletin hard 
copy subscription services have been discontinued. The agen- 
cy says that they hove increased the public's access to TOP 
leads through a variety of public and private venues. Orga- 
nizations and individuals without communication capabili- 
ties have access to TOP information within two to three days 
through commercial and public newspapers and newsletters. 
"Private sector distribution of TOP leads in both printed and 
electronic form will serve former subscribers to these publi- 
cations better by providing daily leads at a comparable or 
lower cost." 

In its February 1988 Administrative Notes, GPO notified de- 
pository librarians that the TOP Bulletin has been discontin- 
ued in paper effective with issue No. 36, August 31, 1987. In 
the meantime, DIALOG, a commercial database vendor, has 
mounted Trade Opportunities Weekly at $45 per connect hour 
with a charge of $.50 per full record printed offline. {DIALOG 
Database Catalog, no date indicated) 

March 1988 Government restrictions on the flow of scientific and techni- 

cal information undermine economic competitiveness and 
national security rather than increasing them according to 
a report, "Government Information Control: Implications for 
Scholarship, Science, and Technology." Written by Harvard 
University's lohn Shattuck and Muriel Morisey Spence, the 
report was released by the Association of American Univer- 
sities in Washington, D.C. A condensed version appeared in 
the April issue of Technology Review. The report states that 
the federal government has widened export lows to include 
scientific and technical ideas as well as manufactured items, 
making it illegal to discuss certain kinds of information with 
citizens of foreign countries. Since many faculty and graduate 
students now doing scientific research in American univer- 
sities are foreign nationals, such a restriction could have an 
inhibiting effect on scientific progress. 


March 1988 

Another area of immediate concern is a proposal unveiled in 
March by the Reagan Administration to amend the Freedom 
of Information Act to restrict information on superconductivity. 
The report points out that few scientists from the Soviet-bloc 
nations participated in the recent flurry of breakthroughs in 
the area of high-temperature superconductors, chiefly be- 
cause information restrictions imposed by their governments 
excluded them from the rapid exchange of ideas and data 
that took place within the rest of the scientific community. 

The report also comments on the federal governments re- 
cent tendency to restrict the amount of information available 
to the public, a trend initiated by the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1980. In the name of cutting costs, the Administration 
has greatly reduced the amount of data it collects and pub- 
lishes. In some cases, former government publications are 
now published by private firms, at much greater cost. Such 
cost-cutting measures can amount to censorship as well, ac- 
cording to the report. The report urges the new President to 
issue an executive order on information policy soon after his 
inauguration, reversing the recent trend toward restricted 
access to scientific and technical data. ("Report: Information 
Restrictions Threaten Competitiveness," Harvard Gazette, 
March 25) 

March 1988 In an op-ed piece. Rep. Guy V. Molinari (R-NY) accused the 

Federal Aviation Administration of continuing an attempt 
to deceive the American people about the state of aviation 
safety. He said that in a pattern repeated regularly for more 
than four years, FAA officials have stressed a new set of statis- 
tics as the indicator of air safety, discarding their previously 
selected indicators because the numbers are not going their 
way. "The FAA refuses to accept standard and consistent sta- 
tistical indicators of safety — near midair collision reports, run- 
way incursions, operational errors — because it knows the 
numbers will eventually go against it. It switches to whatever 
statistic looks favorable at the time." 

Molinari said that in the ultimate attempt to escape account- 
ability, the FAA declared that none of the statistics can really 
tell us anything about safety. "The lack of any apparent corre- 
lation between various data bases makes it difficult to define 
and measure the overall safety of the nation's airspace," as- 
serted FAA Administrator T. Allen McArtor. He thus promoted 


April 1988 

a program to develop new "safety indicators." Molinari con- 
cluded that the FAA has now given itself three years of not 
having to answer for safety declines. It will take until the end 
of this year to develop the new statistical system. Then it will 
take until early 1991 to have two years of data to compare. 
Such tactics severely affect the credibility of the FAA and 
further erode the public's confidence in air safety. ("The FAA' s 
Statistics Won't Fly" The Washington Post, March 30) 

April 1988 In an article, "Airline Deregulation: Economic Boom or Safety 

Bust?" in the April 1988 Transportation Quarterly, Vicki L. Go- 
lich of Penn State reported that safety-related information to 
enable consumers to make knowledgeable decisions about 
the trade-off between safety and economics is ensconced in 
the FAA's 1984 National Air Transportation Inspection report. 
The report is only available through the Freedom of Informa- 
tion Act at an approximate cost of $ 1 0. 

April 1988 At the same time that the FBI is warning technical librarians 

about the dangers of foreign intelligence agents using their 
facilities, the Reagan Administration is about to let a Dutch- 
owned firm run one of the federal government's technical 
libraries. The plan to contract out operation of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's central library 
has brought protests from members of Congress and library 
groups. They charge that the Administration's plan could 
place valuable scientific data in foreign hands and make a 
mockery of the FBI's program. The article quoted ALA con- 
gressional testimony: "Depending upon how it is used, by 
whom and for what purposes, this data could support actions 
hostile to the national interests of the United States." NOAA's 
extensive records about America's coastal waters would be 
an invaluable resource to an enemy submarine force. Non- 
sense, Administration officials said, noting that none of the 
materials in the NOAA library is classified. 

The winning contractor based its bid in part around the prom- 
ise of finding volunteers to help staff the library, filled with 
technical works on meteorology, hydrology, marine biology 
and oceanography. The government librarians said that was 
unfair and secured opinions from Labor Department officials 
backing their view. William Matuszeski, director of NOAA's 
office of private-sector initiatives, blamed the prolonged dis- 
pute on fears by library groups that the agreement would 
set a precedent for still more contracting out of government 


April 1988 

library services. ("Foreign Control of NOAA Library?" The 
Washington Post, April 4) 

April 1988 The Annua] Report to the President FY 1987 of the Information 

Security Oversight Office states that original classification 
decisions increased by 66 percent over FY" 1986 to 2,030,770. 
The total of all classification actions increased 10 percent from 
FY 1986, to 11,855,898, but remained significantly below the 
level of classification activity for FY 1985. Among executive 
branch agencies. Defense accounted for 70 percent of all clas- 
sification decisions; CIA 22 percent; lustice 6 percent; State 
1 .5 percent; and all others 0.5 percent. Under the systematic 
review program, agencies reviewed 13,087,655 pages of histor- 
ically valuable records, 20 percent fewer than in FY 1986; and 
declassified 8,984,613 pages, 37 percent fewer than in FY 1986. 
Agencies reported 19,909 infractions, 44 percent more than in 
FY 1 986. An appendix to the report contains a chronology of 
agency implementation of the Standard Form 189, "Classified 
Information Nondisclosure Agreement." It says that as of Jan- 
uary 1, 1988, approximately 2,183,400 government employees 
have signed the SF 189. 

April 1988 In a case pitting protection of national security against free- 

dom of speech, on April 4 a federal appeals court upheld the 
conviction of a former Navy intelligence analyst who gave 
photographs of a Soviet ship to a British military journal. The 
case is the first in which a federal employee was convicted 
on criminal charges for disclosing government information 
to the press. ("U.S. Court Backs Conviction in Spy Satellite 
Photos Case," The New York Times, April 5) 

April 1988 Former White House spokesman Larry Speakes, in his book 

Speaking Out, recounted two incidents in which he manu- 
factured quotes and attributed them to President Reagan, 
including a widely reported statement issued when Reagan 
and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev held their historic first 
meeting in Geneva in 1985. The other incident involved meet- 
ings of the President with his Cabinet and congressional lead- 
ers after a Soviet fighter plane shot down a Korean Air Lines 
passenger jet in 1983. Speakes said he decided to take Sec- 
retary of State George P. Shultz's words and put them in Rea- 
gan's mouth. "Since the president had had almost nothing to 
say during the . . . meetings, I made presidential quotes out of 
Shultz's comments . . . ," he wrote, adding, "My decision to put 
Shultz's words in Reagan's mouth played well, and neither 


April 1988 

of them complained." White House reporters who used the 
quotes said there is a great difference between characterizing 
how a president feels about an issue or incident and manu- 
facturing words. ("Things Reagan Never Said," The Washing- 
ton Post, April 12) 

April 1988 A federal appeals court panel, sharply rejecting Justice De- 

partment arguments, ruled that former president Richard M. 
Nixon may not automatically block release of his presidential 
papers by claiming they are protected by executive privilege. 
The three-judge panel, saying the department's arguments 
were based on a "misunderstanding of the Constitution," 
unanimously concluded that the National Archives, which 
has the documents, has the authority to rule on any executive 
privilege claims. Nixon could then have the option of going to 
federal court to overturn the archivist's ruling. The decision is 
the latest in a long-running legal battle over 42 million pages 
of documents and 880 tape recordings seized by Congress in 
1974 when it passed the Nixon Papers Act in order to "provide 
the public with the full truth, at the earliest reasonable date, 
of the abuses of government power" during the Watergate 
period. ("Court Diminishes 'Executive Privilege,' " The Wash- 
ington Post, April 13) 

April 1988 Two California members of Congress, Reps. Robert Matsui 

and Norman Mineta, said that language proposed for use 
on the 1990 census questionnaire, intended to determine the 
number of Asians in the United States, will confuse respon- 
dents and lead to inaccurate counts. They criticized the Bu- 
reau of Census' decision to delete specific ethnic categories 
that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were required 
to check off. Respondents will be asked instead to write in 
the designation of their heritage: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, 
or Filipino. Matsui said the number of Asians and Pacific 
Islanders settling in the United States increased sharply since 
1980. If the ethnic groups are not counted accurately, the 
group's health, education, and welfare concerns will not be 
recognized, he said. Dr. John Keane, Director of the Census 
Bureau, said the listing of nine categories was eliminated to 
conserve space on the forms, and accurate tallies were still 

Keane said the 1990 questionnaires would be shorter than the 
1980 forms, and would encourage more people to respond. 
The Bureau has been working with OMB to devise a census 


April 1988 

that will meet all data needs while reducing the number of 
questions. "How can a system in which Asian Americans 
must write in their sub-group be superior to a checkoff sys- 
tem?" Matsui asked. "It simply defies common sense, espe- 
cially given the language barrier faced by many Asian Amer- 
icans." ("Congressmen Fear Skewed Count in Census," The 
New York Times, April 17) 

April 1988 The Interior Department "grossly underestimated" the value 

of federal irrigation subsidies in a report to Congress two 
months ago, according to Rep. Samuel Gejdenson (D-CT), 
chairman of the Interior and Insular Affairs general oversight 
and investigations subcommittee. He said that the true sub- 
sidy may be more than twice the $9.8 billion calculated by 
the Bureau of Reclamation. Gejdenson said internal docu- 
ments show Interior officials ignored objections from its economists 
and OMB, and used a calculation method designed "to pro- 
vide the Congress with the lowest possible estimate of the 
value of BuRec irrigation subsidies." He continued, "American 
taxpayers who have footed the bill for the BuRec irrigation 
program have a right to know about Interior's activities in 
this area." ("Interior Dept. Appraisal Blasted," The Washington 
Post. April 22) 

April 1988 Judge Gerhard A. Gesell of the Federal District Court in Wash- 

ington, D.C., preparing for the Iran-Contra case, accused the 
government of intentionally withholding documents from the 
defense and warned he would dismiss the indictment unless 
they were turned over. "A stone wall is being built up be- 
tween this court and the trial," he said, blaming the govern- 
ment for the "intentional withholding of documents necessary 
for the defense." The judge placed the responsibility for de- 
lays on the Attorney General and the White House. ("Judge in 
Iran-Contra Case Says Administration Is Withholding Data," 
The New York Times, April 28) 

April 1988 Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who has repeatedly threat- 

ened to resign rather than be forced to take a polygraph ex- 
amination, told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary that he is autho- 
rizing a program of "voluntary" polygraphs for State Depart- 
ment employees. Shultz said his new program will authorize 
"lie-detector testing" at State "with the voluntary consent" of 
the individual under three circumstances: during criminal 
or security investigations after other reasonable investigative 


April 1988 

steps, when an employee requests such a test for the purpose 
of clearing his or her name, or when an employee volun- 
teers to work in or with an intelligence agency that requires 
such tests. After the hearing, Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), who 
chairs the subcommittee, said that he continues to believe in 
use of polygraphs as a deterrent to improper conduct. He did 
not object to the program announced by Shultz. ("Shultz Backs 
'Voluntary' Polygraph Tests at State," The Washington Post, 
April 29) 

April 1988 OMB Watch documented the March refusal by OMB to ap- 

prove the Environmental Protection Agency's reporting and 
record-keeping requirements to monitor drinking water con- 
tamination. Reasons for refusal included that a dispropor- 
tionate amount of the burden and costs fell on small systems. 
Environmentalists charged that because these are the systems 
that serve rural areas, public health is threatened without the 
EPA data. Environmentalists also said OMB recommendations 
to reduce the length of time EPA must keep sampling data 
from five to three years, reduces the ability of people to see 
trends in their community's water quality. ("Public Water Sys- 
tem Program Information," MONTHLY REVIEW, April 29) 

May 1988 Journals are being thrown out and two of seven employees 

have been transferred at the Department of Health and Hu- 
man Services Library and Information Center. These are the 
first steps of a plan to phase out the library and contract out 
most of its services. By June 30, the library is scheduled to 
be reduced to a general reference collection and two "infor- 
mation brokers," who will operate computers and seek ref- 
erences from other agency libraries, and a fee-based library 
service at a local Washington, D.C., university. A tiny, angry 
battle is being fought over the library. In letters to members of 
Congress, the staff wrote: "If this plan is allowed to succeed 
it could result in a precedent-setting situation in that other 
Federal managers could see this as a way of abolishing their 
own libraries and turning over the research needs of their 
department to the private sector. The impact on this to Federal 
research facilities could be devastating." 

Hallet Duncan, director of administration services at HHS, said 
the move was the result of budget reductions and an effort 
to use new technologies to run a more efficient information 
service than HHS has currently. The library staff does not buy 
that argument. Included in the part of the collection that the 


May 1988 

department plans to give away is "the only comprehensive 
collection of internal Department of Health and Human Ser- 
vices publications." ("Loss of a Library," The New York Times, 
May 10) 

May 1988 In an opinion piece, William B. Schultz and David C. Vladeck 

said that in the past seven years, OMB has taken on a new 
role that has had a chilling effect on regulations designed 
to protect consumers and workers. They used the case of as- 
bestos as an example. In the early 1960s, asbestos was identi- 
fied as a hazard that killed thousands of people annually, and 
in 1984 EPA proposed to phase out this substance over 5 to 15 
years. But the proposal, like every important regulation issued 
by federal health and safety agencies during the Reagan 
Administration, had a major hurdle to overcome: OMB. 

OMB performed a cost-benefit analysis, balancing the lives 
that would be lost if asbestos were permitted to be used in 
products, such as insulation, against the cost to industry of 
a ban. OMB officials decided that a life is worth $ 1 million, 
but then used an economist's tool called "discounting" to ad- 
just for their expectation that most people would not die from 
asbestos-induced cancer until many years after their initial 
exposure. Using discounting, OMB's economists calculated 
the adjusted value of a human life at $208,000. OMB found 
that the regulation was not justified because its costs exceed 
the value of human lives saved, and sent it back to EPA for 
revision. EPA's final decision is not expected until this summer. 
("An Obstacle to Public Safety," The Washington Post Health, 
May 10). 

May 1988 Top Army officials waited until early May to warn troops in 

the field that they had been using potentially defective bolts 
to repair tanks, TOW missile carriers, and other major 
weapons systems two years after the Pentagon discovered 
its supply depots were flooded with faulty hardware. "We did 
not do what you thought we'd do first — get the word out," Lt. 
Gen. Jerry M. Bunyard of the U.S. Army Material Command 
told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on over- 
sight and investigations at a hearing. Army officials also told 
the panel that the military is continuing to buy bolts from con- 
tractors that provided faulty hardware to the Pentagon in 
past years. Congressional committee staffers said they have 
received reports of complaints from West German authori- 
ties charging that American tanks were losing so many bolts 


May 1988 

along the roadways that it was becoming a safety hazard for 
civilian motorists. ("Warning on Faulty Bolts Issued Belatedly 
to GIs," The Washington Post, May 10) 

May 1988 In the May 16 Federal Register, p. 17239, the Department of 

Defense announced that it is "firmly committed to reducing 
the amount of data acquired from contractors under defense 
contracts." DOD is seeking public comment by July 15 to help 
identify which Data Item Descriptions can be eliminated or 
improved so that the paperwork burden on the public can be 

May 1988 At a May 17 Senate Judiciary hearing chaired by Sen. Patrick 

Leahy (D-VT), FBI Director William Sessions released the un- 
classified version of a report, "The KGB and the Library Tar- 
get 1962-Present" as the Bureau chief defended the Library 
Awareness Program. The report said a 26-year Soviet oper- 
ation has targeted the Library of Congress, along with sci- 
entific and technical sections of public libraries, specialized 
department of university libraries and large information clear- 
inghouses. None of the information is classified, but the FBI 
said the Soviets try to recruit library personnel who are first 
asked to obtain public information, and later requested to turn 
over classified material. Sessions testified that only in the New 
York City area are librarians asked to provide information on 
any suspicious individuals. He insisted that elsewhere the FBI 
is "following specific investigative leads." Patrice McDermott 
of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom said the FBI has 
asked for generalized information outside New York. In addi- 
tion, some agents have asked for information on an individual 
and then tried to enlist librarians as informants on any library 
users they regard as suspicious. ("Longtime Soviet Espionage 
Effort Target U.S. Libraries," Washington Times, May 18) 

[Ed. note: Three pages of the 33-page FBI report are excerpts 
from an April 6, 1987, New York article, "I Spy," an account 
of how a Queens College student helped catch Soviet agent 
Gennadi Zakharov in 1986. The FBI frequently points to the 
Zakharov incident to justify its Library Awareness Program. 
Yet, the article shows: the student was not recruited in a li- 
brary; he contacted the FBI concerning his suspicions about 
the "professor" who wanted him to conduct research; the FBI 
paid the student while he made photocopies from library ma- 
terials and took microfiche; the job the student took after grad- 
uation was arranged by the FBI; and the classified informa- 


June 1988 

tion involved was what the FBI provided the student to give to 
Zakharov when the FBI wanted to arrest the Soviet.] 

May 1988 The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an October 1986 

ruling that struck down the regulations used by the U.S. Infor- 
mation Agency to certify educational films for export. "The 
regulations are so ambiguous that they provide USIA offi- 
cials with a virtual license to engage in censorship/' said 
the unanimous decision written by Justice Cecil F. Poole. The 
filmmakers received a related victory recently when the Los 
Angeles District Court ruled that the agency's rewritten regu- 
lations allowing it to label some films as "propaganda" also 
were unconstitutional. The judged ordered USIA to certify 
immediately the six films whose producers filed the suit and 
to draft another set of regulations that do not discriminate be- 
cause of content. ("USIA Loses Film Appeal," The Washington 
Post, May 19) 

May 1988 Decisions on the content and coverage of the 1990 Census 

of Housing are coming to a head. Key policies governing 
the number of housing questions, and whether they will be 
enumerated in a way to provide accurate data for sub-groups 
in the population and by blocks in cities and small areas in 
rural constituencies will be made by June 1988. The key con- 
gressional action will be by the House Subcommittee on Pop- 
ulation and Census headed by Rep. Mervyn R. Dymally (D- 
CA). Following congressional review of the Census Bureau 
proposals for the final content of the 1990 Census, the Bureau 
must present its proposals to the OMB for final approval by 
the end of June. The OMB proposals to cut housing questions 
and the size of the sample are not based on any potential 
cost-saving, which would be minimal, but on respondent bur- 
den in answering the questions, and on a presumed improved 
data accuracy. ("Key Questions on Census Will Be Answered 
Soon," PA Times, May 20) 

June 1988 W. R. Grace & Co. pleaded guilty at the end of May to charges 

that it lied to EPA about the amount of toxic chemicals used 
at a plant in Woburn, Mass., where contaminated water has 
been blamed for eight leukemia deaths. The Grace Co. was 
fined $10,000 for misleading the government, a felony viola- 
tion. "They said they bought one 55-gallon drum of trichloro- 
ethylene in 1973," EPA regional administrator Michael Deland 
said. "In fact, they bought a substantial amount and it was 
in continuous use from the 1960s through 1975." According 


June 1988 

to court documents, the company also failed to tell the EPA 
it had used vinyl chloride, carbon tetrachloride, methylene 
chloride and other solvents at the plant, which manufactures 
food-processing equipment. In its plea, Grace acknowledged 
that it misinformed the EPA about its purchases of acetone, 
but the company continued to assert innocence. ("W. R. Grace 
Pleads Guilty To Lying on Chemical Use," The Washington 
Post, June 1) 

June 1988 A U.S. District Court judge struck down a Congressional pro- 

vision that bars the Reagan Administration from requiring 
government workers to sign secrecy pledges during the first 
ten months of 1988. The ruling said that the provision con- 
tained in a spending resolution passed by Congress in De- 
cember 1987 unconstitutionally intruded on the President's 
power to protect government secrets. The security forms in 
question are SF 189 and Form 4193 which have been criti- 
cized by members of Congress who contend that they stem 
the flow of information to Capitol Hill. All suits were dismissed 
except several claims by the American Federation of Gov- 
ernment Employes that the secrecy agreements violated em- 
ployees' First and Fifth Amendment rights. Patti Goldman, an 
attorney for Public Citizen Litigation Group, said the plaintiffs 
planned to appeal. ("Bar on U.S. Secrecy Pledges Lifted," The 
Washington Post, June 2) 

June 1988 The National Security Archive and People for the American 

Way have sued the FBI to gain access to documents related to 
the Library Awareness Program. Requests under the Freedom 
of Information Act have not produced any documents. "The 
program is running roughshod over Americans' rights," said 
Arthur J. Kropp, president of People for the American Way. "In 
their eagerness to catch spies who might be gleaning publicly 
available, yet somehow sensitive, information from American 
libraries, the FB.I. appears to be casting a net so broad in its 
scope that ordinary citizens engaged in harmless research 
could easily become enmeshed in a web of suspicion." FBI 
officials would not comment on the lawsuit. ("FBI Sued Over 
Its Program to Catch Spies in Libraries," The Chronicle of 
Higher Education, June 8) 

June 1988 Nearly every business day, the U.S. government releases one 

indicator or another, from the Consumer Price Index and ca- 
pacity utilization to retail sales and housing starts. Too often 
the overall impact of the numbers is to generate confusion 


June 1988 

and anxiety. Some of the statistics are subject to repeated 
revisions. Others fluctuate so wildly from month to month that 
they seem almost useless. Using the example of recent dra- 
matic shifts in the gross national product, the article describes 
how sometimes accuracy is sacrificed to get numbers out 
quickly. Some of the government's economic compasses may 
be poorly constructed as well. Examples used include the 
index of leading economic indicators and the unemployment 

While the government is striving to improve statistical ac- 
curacy, the effort has been repeatedly undermined by bud- 
get constraints. Federal funding for the compiling of statistics 
has fallen from $1.7 billion in 1980 to $1.6 billion in 1987, al- 
though the cost of gathering data has gone up. As Congress 
struggles to shrink the budget deficit, chances seem slim that 
something as unglamorous as statistics will survive the ax. ("A 
Mess of Misleading Indicators," Time, June 13) 

June 1988 In a commentary, Victor Cohn says that to a large and alarm- 

ing extent, doctors do not know what they are doing. Not that 
they are uninformed, but that in hundreds of illnesses doc- 
tors do not truly know which works better, a particular treat- 
ment or none at all. This is the gist of important new state- 
ments on a huge lack of information about the real outcomes 
of the things that doctors do to us. The government's role in 
assessing medical technologies has so far been either missing 
or stumbling, despite the billions in taxpayers' dollars that 
have been spent without firm information since Medicare was 
launched in the 1960s. Recent OTA and GAO studies recom- 
mend steps that the Administration and Congress might take 
to gather better data and use it to improve care. ("What Doc- 
tors Don't Know: A Major Proposal," Washington Post Health, 
June 14) 

June 1988 The Federal Maritime Commission has shelved plans for an 

electronic tariff-filing system until it can reach an agreement 
with OMB and Congress on whether users can gain access 
to the system directly or whether they have to use third-party 
providers. FMC's proposal for its Automated Tariff Filing and 
Information system called for an open system in which any- 
one equipped with a microcomputer and a modem could tap 
into the agency's database of tariffs filed by cargo shippers, 
carriers, and terminals. But on April 27, the day before the 
bidders' conference, OMB told FMC to reconsider its ATFI 


June 1988 

proposal, saying the system would improperly compete with 
commercial tariff information firms. 

Government sources said that Transax Data Corp., the only 
vendor providing third-party online access to FMC tariff infor- 
mation, has been vigorously lobbying Congress and OMB to 
stop the proposal for direct remote access. A company official 
said Transax would likely bid on the electronic tariff filing 
system when a request for proposals appeared. Although 
Transax attorney Ron Plesser acknowledged that Transax 
business would be severely affected by an FMC system with 
open access, he said that the information industry as a whole 
would suffer a loss, "How can you compete against the gov- 
ernment?" he said. Plesser said the issue is broader than just 
one federal computer system because it affects how the gov- 
ernment enforces its Circular A- 130, which restricts agencies 
from competing with the private sector. "It's a major policy 
issue whether A- 130 means anything." ("Disputes Put PMC's 
Tariff System on Hold," Federal Computer Week, June 13) 

[Ed. note: The FMC issued a Report on Tariff Automation 
Inquiry in the April 20 Federal Register which summarizes 
industry, public, congressional, and agency views on the Com- 
mission's proposed ATFI. Discussed are public access to agen- 
cy records, copyright policy, consulting with public users, user 
fees, competition with the private sector, cost-benefit analysis, 
and dissemination and access to information.! 

June 1988 The burgeoning scandal of widespread corruption and 

fraud in government contracting is shedding light on the long- 
standing and sometimes close relationships between defense 
contractors and former military officials they hire as consul- 
tants to help with lucrative contracts. These consultants are 
hired because of their connections, their information, and 
their sophistication in dealing with the procurement process. 
Those in the industry who would comment said defense pro- 
curement consultants hove become an important part of the 
way defense contractors do business in times of shrinking 
defense budgets, when winning or losing a contract often 
depends on knowing early what the military wants and what 
other contractors are up to. "To do that, you have to have a lot 
of information and access," said Gordon Adams, director of 
the Defense Budget Project. In a description of one consulting 
firm, the price tag for a one-man consulting job is given as 


June 1988 

$1,075 a day. ("Probe Sheds New Light on Pentagon Consul- 
tants," The Washington Post, June 16) 

June 1988 The FBI's Library Awareness Program was attached by librar- 

ians at a June 20 hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommit- 
tee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, chaired by Rep. Don 
Edwards (D-CA). Witnesses said that the program to monitor 
the use of American libraries by Soviet-bloc spies posed a 
threat to the free flow of information that was greater than 
the threat of Soviet espionage. Edwards said the program 
was "revolutionary in American society." He said he had dis- 
cussed his concerns with Bureau officials, but "to be candid, 
we've had very little success in getting the F.B.I, to understand 
that we in Congress are very much concerned about this 
issue." An FBI statement was distributed at the hearing, but 
the scheduled FBI witness, James Geer, did not testify. 

Those who did testify were uniformly critical of the program. 
Witnesses were C. James Schmidt and Judith Krug, ALA; Du- 
ane Webster, Association of Research Libraries; David Bender, 
Special Libraries Association; Paula Kaufman, Columbia Uni- 
versity; and Herbert Foerstel, University of Maryland. ("F.B.I. 
Search for Spies in Libraries Is Assailed," The New York Times, 
June 21) 

June 1988 A General Accounting Office report sharply criticized the 

quality of research on key health policy issues by the De- 
partment of Health and Human Services' Health Care Financ- 
ing Administration. The GAG study says reports to Congress 
from the agency often are "not fully responsive" to Congress' 
questions, are "frequently late" and are "variable in their 
technical accuracy." Rep. Ted Weiss (D-NY), who released the 
GAG study also questioned whether the reports are being 
politically doctored by officials before being sent to Congress. 

The GAG study said that of 28 reports mandated by Congress 
and due at various times before the summer of 1986, "26 were 
delivered late or were still overdue, some by more than two 
years." GAG said a major source of delay was extensive re- 
view of the reports — produced by the HCFA Gffice of Research 
and Demonstrations — by other Medicare and HHS officials 
and the Gffice of Management and Budget. Gf ten specific 
research projects GAG reviewed, failure to focus on relevant 
information was a problem in five. Weiss said, "If policies 


June 1988 

are made on the basis of inadequate or misleading infor- 
mation . . . then we can expect health care to deteriorate." 
Glenn Hacbarth, deputy director of the Medicare program, 
said that sometimes questions cannot be answered within 
the assigned time because of lack of data and analytical 
tools. ("GAO Study Assails Medicare Agency's Health Policy 
Research," The Washington Post, June 27) 

June 1988 In papers filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Henry E. 

Hudson, the United States Attorney at Alexandria, Vd., dis- 
closed that people under investigation in the Pentagon fraud 
case had destroyed documents, and he expressed fear that 
others were ready to do the same. Arguing against the public 
release of sealed affidavits used to obtain the search war- 
rants, Hudson confirmed that prosecutors were engaged in 
negotiations with people in the case that could lead to their 
cooperation. A motion asking a federal magistrate to unseal 
the material had been filed by Newsday, a New York news- 
paper. A statement submitted described the document de- 
struction. It did not provide specifics about which people or 
companies were involved. ("Documents Destroyed by Tar- 
gets of Pentagon Arms Fraud Inquiry," The New York Times, 
June 30) 

July 1988 Reflecting a growing debate about national security and aca- 

demic freedom, University of California libraries are drop- 
ping a scientific information service offered by the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration rather than restrict 
its use to United States citizens as the federal government 
requires. Calvin Moore, UC's associate vice president for aca- 
demic affairs, recently urged all UC libraries to cancel exist- 
ing contracts for the NASA RECON service and to avoid sign- 
ing any new ones. In a letter to the nine campuses, Moore 
said, "There are grounds to question the authority of a federal 
agency to impose such a restriction in the absence of express 
congressional authorization." 

The citizenship restriction on use of the NASA RECON data- 
base violates UC policy against discrimination and would be 
very difficult to enforce because there are so many foreign 
students at UC campuses, university officials said. In addi- 
tion, university librarians fear prosecution if they give, even 
inadvertently, the NASA material to the wrong person. At UC 
Berkeley, head librarian Joseph Rosenthal said he recently 
canceled NASA RECON because "all of our information is at 


July 1988 

least conceptually available to anybody who comes in our 
doors." UCLA and UC Berkeley will sign up for a competing 
information service that allows use by foreigners not work- 
ing on behalf of foreign governments. However, that other 
research system is much more expensive and, according to 
NASA, includes only about half of the listings in the NASA 
database. ("UC Libraries Quit NASA Databank in Rules Dis- 
pute," Los Angeles Times, July 3; "Libraries Discontinue NASA's 
Data Service," The New York Times, July 5) 

July 1988 Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta wrote that President Reagan 

has used the words "national security" to hide his policymak- 
ing from the public over the past eight years, and some of 
those policies strain the definition of national security. They 
said that when he came into office, the President "began 
drawing a blanket of secrecy over the workings of govern- 
ment." He revitalized the system of setting White House policy 
in the form of National Security Decision Directives (NSDDs). 
The directives are classified, meaning the public does not see 
them. Even members of Congress learn about them irregu- 
lariy or by accident. 

Many of the nearly 300 NSDDs issued by Reagan during his 
tenure contain legitimate national security secrets. But oth- 
ers set policy on things that beg for public debate and may 
cross over into Congress' territory. Using NSDDs, the Presi- 
dent established a U.S. research and development policy in 
the Arctic, committed U.S. resources to feed poor nations, set 
U.S. space program policies, authorized coveri actions and 
controlled scientific research at federally funded institutions. 
Government watchdog groups such as People for the Amer- 
ican Way say the NSDDs are secret laws, and lawmaking is 
the job of Congress, not the president. NSDDs are supposed to 
be declassified when their disclosure no longer risks national 
security. People for the American Way has drawn up a list of 
suggestions for the next president. The list includes publishing 
directives issued through the National Security Council in the 
Federal Register like other executive orders. ("Government by 
Secret Directive," The Washington Post, July 10) 

July 1 988 The United States government has joined Polish emigres in 

a major effort to help Solidarity and the Polish underground 
smuggle publications, printing machinery, radio equipment 
and video cassettes into Poland. The publications include 


July 1988 

thousands of books and journals highly critical of the Com- 
munist system and the Polish leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzel- 
ski. Over the last three years, the United States has provided 
more than $5 million in cash assistance to Solidarity and other 
groups opposed to the Warsaw government. Some of the 
money is openly appropriated by Congress. Some is provided 
through the National Endowment for Democracy, a private 
nonprofit corporation that receives almost all its funds from 
the federal government. The fact of American support for 
Solidarity has been known, in general terms, for a few years, 
but a full picture of this role emerged in recent weeks from an 
examination of government documents and interviews with 
American officials and Polish emigres. ("U.S. Helping Polish 
Underground with Money and Communications," The New 
York Times, July 10) 

July 1988 A government plan to equip 52,000 pharmacies with comput- 

ers to keep track of the medications and drug expenditures of 
32 million Medicare beneficiaries has aroused concern about 
privacy. The federal computer system, as planned by the De- 
partment of Health and Human Services, would determine 
quickly whether a patient qualified to receive a drug as a 
benefit and whether the $600 annual deductible to participate 
in Medicare had been paid. 

Critics say the plan poses a threat to individual privacy and 
offers too much power to organizations that collect and col- 
late such data. Rep. Don Edwards (D-CA), chairman of the 
Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights, said the plan was 
"fraught with danger." Supporters say computerized informa- 
tion can be protected from abuse and computerization has 
made many social advances possible. Louis Hays, associate 
administrator for operations at the Health Care Financing 
Administration said state laws, as well as pharmacists' own 
code of ethics, precluded pharmacists from disclosing infor- 
mation about their customers. 

David Burnham, author of The Rise of the Computer State, 
said government agencies sought access to computerized 
records of rentals of library books as well as telephone logs 
and credit card records of restaurants, hotels and motels fre- 
quented by the card user. "The gradual accretion of informa- 
tion by large organizations is reducing the power, indepen- 
dence and spontaneity of the American people," Burnham 


July 1988 

said. ("U.S. Plan for Computer Records on Medicare Patients 
Draws Fire," The New York Times, July 17) 

July 1988 The Pentagon has made weapons tests far too easy and 

has misrepresented negative results, making it impossible to 
determine whether weapons should be fielded or scrapped, 
according to a GAO survey. The GAO concluded that the 
Navy bought the Aegis battle system — which the cruiser U.S.S. 
Vincennes used when it shot down an Iranian jetliner over 
the Strait of Hormuz July 3 — despite tests that raised numer- 
ous serious questions about its performance. It now appears 
that the Vincennes's Aegis system gave the crew information 
about the altitude and climb of the passenger jet that was 
inconsistent with information from other sources. ("GAO Says 
Weapons Tests Too Easy Data Misused," The Washington Post, 
July 18) 

July 1988 The Securities and Exchange Commission transferred the 

management of its public reference room yesterday after crit- 
ics charged that restricting public access to files could give a 
private contractor exclusive control over public information. 
The SEC said it was closing access to the microfiche files be- 
cause too many of them were missing or misfiled. The moves 
follow protests last week by regular users of the reference 
room to the sudden June 20 closing of the microfiche files, a 
vital source of information about publicly traded corporations, 
registered investment firms and the stock market. The journal- 
ists, legal experts and representatives of firms that sell SEC 
filings through computer links to corporate and institutional 
clients said closing the microfiche files abridged the public's 
right to information. 

In addition, the critics said closing the files give Bechtel In- 
formation Services, the SEC's unpaid exclusive contractor for 
copying and microfilming, a de facto monopoly over public 
information. Rep. Glenn English (D-OK) called on the GAO 
to investigate the Bechtel contract and the operations of the 
public reference room. "Maintaining timely public access 
to documents filed with the SEC is crucial to the operation 
of the nation's capital markets," English said in his letter to 
the GAO. "Any interference with public access could hove 
serious repercussions on Wall Street and throughout the na- 
tion." ("SEC Resumes Management of Its Public Files," The 
Washington Post, July 20) 


July 1988 

July 1988 

AFL-CIO economist Markley Roberts warned that OMB will 
subvert the activities of federal statistical agencies if pro- 
posed guidelines are implemented requiring OMB review of 
all government statistics before they are cleared for publica- 
tion. Roberts questioned OMB's need to know all the possible 
uses of data and to review statistical publications prior to their 
release. "OMB has actively tried to subvert legislation enacted 
by Congress to protect the health and safety of workers and 
the general public," he declared. Statistical agencies like the 
Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau 
of Labor Statistics would be affected. ("OMB Review Perils 
Federal Data," AFL-CIO News, July 23) 

July 1988 

The legal battle between documentary filmmakers and the 
U.S. Information Agency over questions of censorship and 
freedom of speech escalated when USIA Director Charles Z. 
Wick said that if the USIA loses in court he will recommend 
the United States withdraw from an international cultural 
exchange agreement. The 40-year-old Beirut Agreement 
allows educational films to be distributed abroad duty-free. 
U.S. withdrawal from it would make many markets financially 
inaccessible to independent filmmakers. The filmmakers who 
filed suit claimed that USIA methods of certifying educational 
films for export are unconstitutional, effectively penalizing 
films with which the USIA disagrees politically. California 
courts have ruled three times against the USIA, ordering the 
agency to draft new guidelines for deciding whether a film 
comes under the agreement. The USIA has appealed. ("Wick, 
Heating Up Film Battle," The Washington Post. July 27) 

August 1988 In a 1987 edition of The Reference Librarian received in Au- 
gust 1988, Sara D. Knapp of the State University of New York 
at Albany documented the impact of OMB Circular A- 130, 
"Management of Federal Information Resources," both in 
terms of its effects on federal government information gather- 
ing and reporting programs, and the reference service offered 
by libraries. She provided a number of examples of affected 
information resources, including discontinued publications 
and some turned over to commercial sources for dissemina- 
tion. ("OMB A- 130: A Policy Which Could Affect Your Refer- 
ence Service," The Reference Librarian, Number 20, 1987) 

August 1988 Federal nondisclosure agreements will drop the use of its 

controversial prohibition against the disclosure of "classifiable 
information" in new secrecy pledge forms being prepared 


August 1988 

for federal workers, according to Steven Garfinkel, head of 
the General Services Administration's Information Security- 
Oversight Office. Garfinkel said that the government is now- 
deciding what to do about the two million federal workers 
who hove already signed forms using the term. U.S. District 
Court Judge Oliver Gasch ruled on July 28 that use of the 
word "classifiable" without further definition is unconstitu- 
tional. Federal unions and several members of Congress ar- 
gued that the use of the word would have a chilling effect on 
the flow of legitimate information to Congress and the public. 
Federal workers would be afraid to disclose anything for fear 
it would later be classified and they would be held liable. 
The offending form, Standard Form 189, has not been used 
for more than a year. ("Secrecy Pledge Forms to Be Revised," 
The Washington Post, August 3) 

August 1988 The National Academy of Public Administration announced 
in July it will undertake a study for the National Archives and 
Records Administration on the impact of electronic technology 
on federal government record-keeping. The study will address 
concerns over potential loss of federal records which have 
been created and stored on electronic media and which doc- 
ument historically important policies, decisions, and events. 
("Electronic Technology and Federal Records," PA TIMES, 
August 12) 

August 1988 


The Department of Commerce asked for public comment on 
their proposed policies on dissemination of information in 
electronic format from a selected group of organizations. The 
August 1 1 letter from Richard E. Shute, Director, Management 
and Information Systems, said that Commerce was imple- 
menting OMB Circular A- 130, "Management of Federal Infor- 
mation Resources." In an October 13 letter, ALA Washington 
Office Director Eileen Cooke urged that a revised draft be 
published in the Federal Register, observing that the August 
draft should have been published in the FR since this policy 
may well be adopted by many agencies. She pointed out 
ALA's disagreement with some of the basic assumptions of 
the August draft: over-emphasis on cost-savings versus ap- 
propriate format to meet information needs; over-emphasis 
on private-sector involvement; rigorous application of OMB 
policies which ALA and many others have opposed. As a 
result of public and Congressional comment, it is anticipated 
that a revised draft would be published as a proposed policy 
in the FR during January 1989. 


August 1988 

August 1988 The White House barred federal agencies from cooperating 
with a General Accounting Office investigation into alleged 
drug trafficking by Gen. Manuel Noriega of Panama. White 
House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the Justice Depart- 
ment had concluded that "the subject matter of the request is 
beyond GAO's statutory authority." Heretofore, the Adminis- 
tration had been telling the agencies — the National Security 
Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Drug Enforce- 
ment Administration, and the departments of Defense, State 
and Justice — not to cooperate until the NSC could review the 
request for documents by the GAO. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) 
charged that the Administration was engaged in "a concerted 
stonewalling" of the GAO investigation. Kerry is chairman of 
the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International 
Communications, which requested last March that the GAO 
investigate "how information about drug trafficking by high- 
level government officials of nations friendly to the United 
States affects US foreign policy decisions." ("White House Bars 
Aid to GAO's Noriega Probe," The Boston Globe. August 19) 

August 1988 A House Government Operations Committee report charged 

that the Veterans Administration has been unfair to thousands 
of veterans and has concealed its own findings of "error and 
bias." The VA provides $14 billion a year in disability and 
pension benefits to about four million Americans. The report 
specifically accuses top managers of the Veterans Admin- 
istration's compensation and pension service of repeatedly 
publishing "inaccurate and misleading" data that underre- 
port mistakes made in processing veterans' benefits claims. 
The report, prepared by the Subcommittee on Human Re- 
sources and Intergovernmental Relations chaired by Rep. 
Ted Weiss (D-NY), said that agency officials were "trying to 
make themselves look good." ("Veterans Administration Draws 
Congress's Fire Over Errors," The New York Times, August 21) 

August 1988 In October 1986, nearly two years before the Pentagon pro- 

curement scandal erupted, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) wrote to 
President Reagan requesting a copy of his response to the 
Packard Commission, a presidential commission that had rec- 
ommended an overhaul of the military procurement process. 
Reagan had written a response to the commission's sugges- 
tions, but it was classified secret under the guise of "national 
security." "Officials in your administration . . . are misusing na- 
tional security classifications in order to withhold information 
from Congress," Dingell wrote. "This is unlawful and should 


September 1988 

be immediately investigated." Dingell and his staff got a copy 
of the document they wanted from a source they decline to 
name. Now, Dingell is convinced, as he wrote to Reagan, that 
the White House staff used the "classified" stamp "to conceal 
an agenda intended to ovoid more sweeping congressional 
reforms of the defense procurement system." ("Secrets for 
Security— or Politics?" The Washington Post, August 23) 

August 1988 When the President signed PL 100-418, an omnibus trade bill, 
he overturned the long-standing ban on the import and ex- 
port of informational materials from several countries cov- 
ered by trade embargoes. Restrictions applying to the impori 
of foreign publications, films, posters, phonograph records, 
photographs, microfilm, microfiche, tapes or other "informa- 
tional materials" covered the expori of American information 
materials as well. The restrictions were imposed under the 
Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency 
Economic Powers Act. Trade embargoes applying to Libya 
and Nicaragua hove exempted informational materials. 

Language attached to the trade bill by Rep. Howard L. Her- 
man (D-CA) lifted the trade restrictions, except in the case of 
classified material. "Imposing a regulation which keeps Amer- 
ican publications, American periodicals and American ideas 
from getting into the hands of people in other countries, par- 
ticulariy totalitarian countries, made no sense whatsoever," 
Berman said. Morion H. Halperin, director of the Washington 
office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the restric- 
tions violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the First Amend- 
ment. "It was treated under the law just as if you were dealing 
with spare parts for trucks," he said. "Harm may come from 
giving spare parts to trucks to people in other countries, but it 
doesn't come from giving them books and materials." ("Lift- 
ing Embargoes on Information . . . ," The Washington Post, 
August 25) 

September 1988 In an article, "Restricting Information: A Dangerous Game," 
Robert L. Park, professor of physics at the University of Mary- 
land and director of the Washington office of the American 
Physical Society, observed that in May 1988 the President was 
lecturing students in Moscow on the virtues of a free society, 
while in the U.S. the director of the FBI was defending the 
"Library Awareness Program" before a Senate committee. FBI 
agents had been visiting libraries asking employees to mon- 
itor the activities of "suspicious-looking people" or persons 


September 1988 

with "foreign-sounding names." Park thinks that behind the 
FBI's recruitment effort is the conviction on the part of those 
responsible for keeping the nation's secrets that the traditional 
openness of American society is a weakness — and a threat to 
national security and economic health. Not content to restrict 
access through classification, the government had attempted 
to keep foreigners away from information termed "sensitive 
but unclassified." Now it seeks to control "commercially valu- 
able" information. 

Park points out that the same actions that delay technology 
transfer to our military adversaries or economic competitors 
inevitably impede the transfer of information within our own 
borders. He concludes: "Above all, we must remember that 
the openness of the American system is not a weakness; it is 
our strength. It is no doubt true, as the Defense Department 
and the CIA insist, that the KGB maintains an elaborate in- 
telligence network aimed at the acquisition of Western tech- 
nology. The fact is, however, that the backwardness of the 
Soviets' technology has little to do with what they don't know. 
They trail because of the overly bureaucratic and secretive 
Soviet system, and a stifled civilian economy." ("Restricting In- 
formation: A Dangerous Game," Issues in Science and Tech- 
nology, Fall 1988) 

September 1988 The September edition of the journal Kommunist contained an 
article by Vladimir A. Rubanov, a department head at a KGB 
Institute, which said that excessive secrecy in the Soviet Union 
has produced abuses of power, crippled scholarship and left 
citizens ignorant of basic information about their own country. 
He said that a cult of secrecy had dominated and damaged 
the country for decades. "The preservation of the secrecy cult 
in political practice and political thinking is a way of sup- 
porting faith in the infallibility of bureaucratic thinking and a 
chance for power to be used irresponsibly and uncontrollably 
in the narrow interests of small groups of people," the article 
said. The blunt attack on secrecy is particularly striking com- 
ing from the KGB, long the feared guardian of Soviet secrets. 
("A K.G.B. Aide Attacks Secrecy, His Agency's Stock in Trade," 
The New York Times, September 8) 

September 1988 A "breakdown in procurement and provision of microfiche 

services" to federal depository libraries has resulted in a huge 
backlog of undelivered materials, according to a letter sent by 
consumer activist Ralph Nader to then Public Printer Ralph E. 


September 1988 

Kennickell, Jr. The July 26 letter says the events "disregard the 
rights of citizens to receive open and timely access to gov- 
ernment information" and "reveal serious problems in the 
Government Printing Office's ability to manage the Depository 
Library Program." 

The situation began in August 1987 when Automated Data- 
tron, Inc., the company that had produced the microfiche 
copies of government documents for federal depository librar- 
ies, defaulted on its contract. The Nader letter claimed that as 
a result of the defaults, libraries may not begin to receive the 
backlogged fiche for another six months. The letter blames the 
GPO problems on understaffing (due in part, it says, to Ken- 
nickell's failure to request adequate funding from Congress) 
and a disproportionate emphasis on the agency's sales pro- 
gram. Public Printer Kennickell discounted the charges as old 
news and "grandstanding." The Joint Committee on Printing 
has asked GAO to perform an audit of the GPO's microfiche 
procurement procedures. ("Nader Letter Blasts GPO Over 
Microfiche Delay," American Libraries, September) 

September 1988 In a series of three articles, "Shaky Data: The Numbers We 
Live By, " Stephen E. Nordlinger of The Baltimore Sun docu- 
mented how numbers guide decisions in virtually every field 
of American life. He said that because bad statistics lead to 
bad decisions, there is an insatiable demand for accurate 
numbers — especially among the business and government 
leaders whose choices involve billions of dollars. Nordlinger 
stated that leading economists say the government is allow- 
ing its statistical base to deteriorate by choking off funds that 
would allow agencies to keep their figures abreast of the 
sweeping changes in the economy. The nation's two chief 
economic groups, the American Economic Association and 
the National Association of Business Economists, have issued 
recent reports expressing alarm about the threat to the sta- 
tistical base. Government experts and the congressional Joint 
Economic Committee agree. 

Although the economy has grown about 40 percent in size 
since 1976, the resources devoted to maintaining the gov- 
ernment's basic statistics have stood still after discounting 
for inflation, according to the business group. For the federal 
government, the largest consumer of its own economic data, 
the consequences of faulty statistics could be catastrophic. 


September 1988 

The Federal Reserve could tighten monetary policy unnec- 
essarily slowing the economy and risking a recession. Or 
missteps could be taken in dealing with the budget deficit, 
since its estimated size depends on a reading of the econ- 
omy based on economic statistics. For millions of Americans, 
federal data on the economy directly affect their economic 
future. For example, Social Security payments are tied to the 
rate of inflation, but 38 million elderly may be hurt by the 
current statistical yardstick because the government has yet 
to develop a gauge to measure high health costs and other 
special expenses of the elderly. 

The first article contained numerous specific examples of how 
policy makers may be seeing a picture of the economy that 
is fundamentally distorted in a number of ways. The second 
described how OMB has exercised its clout to curb the ability 
of federal agencies to collect information on how the Ameri- 
can economy is performing. The third detailed the controversy 
around the question of whether minorities and perhaps mil- 
lions of other people, such as the homeless, will be nearly 
fully counted in the 1990 Census and whether steps must be 
taken to adjust the figures statistically to reflect this rapidly 
growing part of the U.S. population. ("Federal Cuts Weaken 
Statistics That Shape Decisions," The Baltimore Sun, Septem- 
ber 11; "U.S. Agencies Seeking Statistics Run Into Roadblock," 
September 12; "Bitter Debate Rages Over Accuracy of U.S. 
Census," September 14) 

September 1988 The conflict between American academic researchers and the 
keepers of U.S. government secrets is longstanding, but many 
academics and historians say that what they see as increas- 
ing restrictions on the flow of government information is com- 
promising the integrity of classroom teaching and academic 
research. The Freedom of Information Act was amended by 
Congress in 1986 in part to aid academic research. Under the 
amendment, academic and journalistic research was consid- 
ered of benefit primarily to the general public and was to be 
exempt from the bulk of fees incurred in processing a request 
for information. But many researchers say that government 
agencies are ignoring or perverting the intent of the amend- 

At an August 2 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcom- 
mittee on Technology and the Law, chaired by Sen. Patrick 


September 1988 

Leahy (D-VT), several people testified that they had been de- 
nied fee waivers for academic research and forced to choose 
between paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for docu- 
ments they had not seen or dropping the request. Paul Mac- 
cabbee, a researcher on the history of organized crime in 
Minnesota, testified that he waited four years for the FBI to 
respond to his letter appealing the denial of a fee waiver for 
his research. 

Page Putnam Miller, the director of the National Coordinat- 
ing Committee for the Promotion of History, acknowledged 
the need to classify many contemporary and covert govern- 
ment operations but objected to the "enormous amount of 
30-year-old documents not declassified yet." Prof. Anna Nel- 
son, who teaches history at Tblane, said, "The amount of ma- 
terial denied is changing the historical record." She described 
what she called a "trickle-down theory of scholarship." In 
one situation, five scholars are in a library studying recently 
declassified documents in their field. As they reach new con- 
clusions, they introduce these into their classes perhaps five 
years later, and then in another five years it is in high school 
textbooks. ("Educators Assail U.S. Curbs on Access to Data," 
The New York Times, September 14) 

September 1988 When the Pentagon procurement investigation broke into 

public view in June, there were quick, easy predictions from 
senior Justice Department officials that indictments would 
swiftly follow in what was described as one of the biggest 
defense corruption scandals of the post-war era. Sometimes, 
however, investigators hit unexpected roadblocks. In a search 
of consultant James Neal in June, FBI agents seized computer 
disks only to find that they could not run them on the agency's 
computers. So they subpoenaed Neal's vintage machine, gen- 
tly suggesting in the subpoena that he might be kind enough 
to help the FBI agents by demonstrating how it works. When 
Neal sought to hove the subpoena quashed, U.S. District Judge 
Albert V. Bryan, Jr., ruled that the government could have the 
computer for five working days. But, he added, "I don't un- 
derstand a subpoena asking for assistance. The government 
will have to learn to work with the machine itself." ("Pace 
of Pentagon Probe Belies Predictions," The Washington Post, 
September 20) 

September 1988 The Central Intelligence Agency let North Korean agents 

smuggle 86 high-performance Hughes helicopters out of the 


September 1988 

United States and withheld the information from law enforce- 
ment officials for nearly a year, according to an NBC News 
report. Quoting U.S. law enforcement officials, NBC said the 
CIA knew of the plan but considered their source of informa- 
tion so sensitive that they did not pass on details to American 
law enforcement officials. NBC obtained a document showing 
that underwriter Lloyd's of London insured the helicopters 
against confiscation during their transport from Long Beach, 
Calif, to Belgium; the Netherlands; Hong Kong; and then to 
North Korea. U.S. authorities in California finally learned 
enough to seize a final shipment of 15 of the helicopters — 
the same model supplied by the United States to the South 
Korean army. South Korean military officers told NBC they 
fear North Korea may use the choppers in a cross-border 
attack. ("CIA Reportedly Mum as Copters Were Smuggled, " 
The Washington Post, September 23) 

September 1988 An exasperated U.S. District Court Judge Oliver L. Gasch told 
the government to notify immediately the two million federal 
employees who have been required to sign secrecy pledges 
of the definition of the material they are forbidden to reveal. 
Gasch ordered the government in August to notify federal 
workers of what it meant when it prohibited them from mak- 
ing public classified or "classifiable" material. He gave the 
executive branch 60 days. The Justice Department asked for 
more time, contending that it would be unable to reach two 
million workers in two months because some employees are 
difficult to contact. No notices have been sent while the re- 
quest was pending. 

The judge told the government that if it can get out paychecks 
every two weeks, it can get out secrecy notices. Gasch gave 
the departments and agencies 30 days, but remarked that 
the government had been so obdurate that he was almost 
inclined to declare the whole thing unconstitutional, accord- 
ing to Joseph B. Kennedy, general counsel for the Govern- 
ment Accountability Project, who argued the case. Steven 
Garfinkel, head of the General Services Administration's In- 
formation Security Oversight Office, said that the contested 
Standard Form 189 will be replaced by a new Form 312 that 
will not include the word "classifiable." ("Judge Orders U.S. to 
Define Secrecy Pledge for Work Force," The Washington Post, 
September 24) 


October 1988 

September 1988 The Information Security Oversight Office issued a final rule 
in the September 29 Federal Register, pp. 38278-80, providing 
for the issuance of Standard Form 312, "Classified Information 
Nondisclosure Agreement." The rule also modifies all previ- 
ously executed copies of SF 189 to strike the word "classifi- 
able" and to substitute in its place language that clarifies the 
scope of "classified information" as used in those agreements. 
The notice states: "Notwithstanding the changes in some of 
its language, the SF 312 does not in any way differ from its 
predecessor nondisclosure agreements with respect to the 
substance of the information that each is intended to protect." 

October 1988 

"The General Accounting Office, the watchdog agency of 
Congress, has counted 50,000 systems of records in the fed- 
eral government that are 'sensitive,' according to testimony 
before the House Subcommittee on Transportation Sept. 22. 
Not all of the systems include personal information; many 
are regarded as sensitive for other reasons, but none include 
classified data. Systems labeled as sensitive are covered by 
the Computer Security Act of 1987 (PL 100-235), which requires 
federal employees to have computer-security training." ("In 
Congress," Privacy Journal, October 1988) 

October 1988 

In a critique of former President Nixon's "elaborate campaign 
to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the American public and, 
more importantly, of history," author Bob Woodward pointed 
out that the National Archives has 1 .5 million papers from the 
Nixon presidency and 4,000 to 5,000 hours of tape recordings 
from the Nixon White House. By invoking various privileges 
and exploiting the vague legalities of presidential papers, 
Nixon has succeeded thus far in blocking the release of 150,000 
documents, according to the archivists. Woodward says that 
the historical record will be incomplete until another 4,000 
to 5,000 hours of tape recordings and these documents are 
available. "Of course, Nixon's concern is that they contain the 
truth, which is exactly what his comeback is fighting." ("The 
Revisionist Nixon: Sinner in Shining Armor," The Washington 
Post. October 2) 

October 1988 

Warned that a preliminary survey indicated that as much 
as 12 percent of Veterans Administration hospitals appear to 
have excessively high mortality rates, the VA's chief medical 
officer directed researchers to produce a smaller number. 
The decision by Dr. lohn A. Gronvall, the VA's senior medi- 
cal executive, provoked an angry protest from the doctor in 


October 1988 

charge of the survey, who complained that the action might 
be seen as "self-serving" and could make the VA "vulner- 
able to charges of a cover-up." Gronvall acknowledged in 
an interview that he ordered researchers to come up with 
a lower number earlier this year, fearing that the VA could 
not withstand the criticism that "inevitably" would result from 
comparison between its survey and another federal survey 
that found 2.5 percent of the nation's private hospitals had 
higher-than-expected mortality rates. ("VA Official Ordered 
Critical Hospital Survey Altered," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 
October 11) 

October 1988 

A contract that the Securities Exchange Commission has 
given Bechtel Group Inc. to manage the SEC's public doc- 
uments has stirred unexpected controversy. Critics charge 
that the $4.5 billion San Francisco-based engineering and 
construction firm has taken unfair control of the flow of in- 
formation out of the SEC, where 18,000 of the nation's largest 
companies file regular reports. Richard Harrison, managing 
director of Global Securities Information Inc., one of the small 
companies that competes with Bechtel to disseminate infor- 
mation from the SEC, complains, "The SEC is privatizing the 
public record." Meanwhile, Bechtel said it's not even making 
a profit on its SEC work, although observers familiar with the 
contract said it could be a potential gold mine. 

With dwindling federal funds and pressure to move more 
government functions over to private industry, the problems 
with the SEC-Bechtel contract illustrate the type of questions 
that can be raised by such arrangements — questions of who 
should be allowed to profit from government information, and 
what effect such arrangements may have on competitors. 
Many of the service bureaus have complained that Bechtel's 
agreement with the SEC gives the company access to SEC 
filings before anyone else sees them, providing it with an 
advantage in supplying the information to its clients. One of 
Bechtel's marketing brochures boasts that Bechtel can get its 
clients "exactly the information they need, from the company 
that gets SEC filings first." The SEC and Bechtel deny the 
company has an advantage. Competitors also said staffing 
problems in the public document room cause delays of hours 
or days in obtaining documents requested from the SEC's 
files, forcing them to buy the information from Bechtel and 
then resell it to clients — sometimes at a loss. 


October 1988 

The article quotes a commission official as saying that the 
SEC does not care who makes money disseminating its rec- 
ords, as long as the information is available to individuals 
and companies that need them. The SEC has a financial stake 
in making the arrangement with Bechtel work, because the 
commission could lose its access to free microfiche services 
if Bechtel or other qualified micrographics companies de- 
cide the SEC contract is not profitable enough. For its part, 
Bechtel said it is far from ready to throw in the towel on the 
SEC contract. ("Seemingly Perfect SEC Deal Stirs Controversy 
for Bechtel," "Washington Business" Section, The Washington 
Post, October 31) 

October 1988 A Time cover story documented how the private contractors 
who ran the major U.S. weapons plants released huge quan- 
tities of radioactive particles into the air and dumped tons of 
potentially cancer-inducing refuse into flowing creeks and 
leaking pits, contaminating underground water supplies in 
a seepage that cannot be stopped. No one knows how many 
people may have been needlessly afflicted with such ailments 
as cancer, birth deformities and thyroid deficiencies — and no 
one in relevant offices seemed to care. Author Ed Magnuson 
said, "Operating secretively behind a screen of national se- 
curity for more than four decades, the bomb-makers have 
single-mindedly, sometimes recklessly, pursued their goal: 
to churn out all the warheads the military believes, perhaps 
prudently, are needed to maintain the U.S. nuclear deterrent." 

Recently, that attitude has begun to change. The Department 
of Energy in 1977 took over responsibility for the nuclear 
weapons network and finally seems bent on reform. "Far 
too belatedly, the whistle has been blown on government 
complacency, recklessness and secrecy. Under assault from 
congressional critics, citizen lawsuits and probing reporters, 
the private contractors and their see-no-evil federal super- 
visors hove admitted to shocking practices and promised to 
clean up after their predecessors." 

At a uranium-processing plant in Fernald, Ohio, it is esti- 
mated that 298,000 pounds of uranium wastes have been re- 
leased into the air since the plant started, and 167,000 pounds 
of wastes have been discharged deliberately into the Great 
Miami River over 37 years. An additional 12.7 million pounds 
were placed in pits, all of which may be leaking. Sen. John 
Glenn (D-OH) is still awaiting an analysis he requested three 


November 1988 

years ago from the Energy Department on whether such esti- 
mates are correct. DOE has admitted that the government 
was aware of these hazardous events at Fernald all along. 

An enraged Ohio Governor Richard Celeste has demanded 
that the plant be permanently closed. "If a terrorist had buried 
it there, there would be an extraordinary and prompt reac- 
tion. In this case, it was our Government that buried the time 
bomb," he declared. "They hove lied to us. Without a mech- 
anism to oversee what they're doing, we can't trust them." 
("They Lied to Us," Time, October 31) 

November 1988 The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Congress has 
the constitutional authority to block the Administration's pro- 
gram requiring federal employees to sign nondisclosure 
agreements. The case, American Foreign Service Associa- 
tion V. Garfinkel, poses significant questions concerning the 
constitutional separation of powers. In an editorial. The Wash- 
ington Post stated: "It is heartening that a significant number 
of justices see this case as important, not only because of the 
separation of powers issue but because it deals with national 
security and the often competing need to protect the rights 
of citizens to be informed about their government and freely 
to debate public questions." ("The Court Considers Secrecy" 
[editorial], and "Court Takes Separation-of-Powers Case," The 
Washington Post, November 1; "Secrecy Pledges," The New 
York Times, November 1) 

November 1988 As currently collected, environmental data do not provide 
the full or accurate picture of the state of the environment 
needed to perform regulatory tasks, environmental spokesmen 
and federal officials alike complain. Critics, including some 
officials of the Environmental Protection Agency, argue that 
EPA's collection methods are spotty and that the data gath- 
ered are often inconsistent. As a result, they say, the programs 
to monitor air and water quality and exposure to pollutants 
and pesticides are inadequate to support vigorous enforce- 
ment of the laws. Most critics say the problem exists because, 
until recently, the subject drew little interest. 

The statistics gathered generally reflect the narrow purposes 
of the law authorizing their collection. For example, data about 
air quality and water quality are collected and analyzed sep- 
arately even though a portion of water pollution is deposited 
from the air. Another problem with environmental statistics 


November 1988 

is the inadequacy of data-retrieval systems. "An awful lot of 
data collected are not put in a place where they could be 
used," said Jacqueline Schafer, a member of the Council on 
Environmental Quality. "States collect data about water qual- 
ity that literally sits in shoe boxes." 

A panel of 40 scientists established by EPA Administrator 
Lee Thomas called in mid-September for the creation of an 
environmental institute to be supported by EPA but to operate 
independently of the agency. Thomas has said he plans to im- 
plement as many of the panel's recommendations as possible 
during the rest of the Reagan Administration. ("Problems With 
Data Collection Hinder Efforts on Pollution, Experts Say," The 
New York Times, November 8) 

November 1988 Claiming that the full truth about the Watergate scandal may 
not be told until after the turn of the century, columnists Jack 
Anderson and Joseph Spear criticized former government 
officials Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig because they 
managed to retain control of most of their papers. "Put an- 
other way, they 'privatized' many of the documents they ac- 
cumulated at public expense and profited on them." Their 
actions were, in the words of University of Wisconsin history 
professor Stanley Kutler, "outrageous and arrogant." Kutler 
will soon publish a history of the Watergate era. 

Because they have role authority over the disposition of their 
papers, Kissinger and Haig can lay before the public a ver- 
sion of their activities during the Watergate years that can 
not be challenged. Because the Nixon Administration pa- 
pers could turn out to be needed in numerous court cases, 
Congress passed a law in 1974 which ordered that all Nixon 
documents be turned over to the National Archives for pro- 
cessing and eventual release. But before the law took effect, 
Kissinger and Haig took personal possession of their papers 
and donated them to the Library of Congress. Kissinger's pa- 
pers were donated to the Library on the condition that only 
he or his appointed assistants have access to them until the 
year 2001, or until his death, whichever was later. ("Watergate- 
Era Papers Still Under Wraps," The Washington Post, Novem- 
ber 10) 

November 1988 On November 8 President Reagan vetoed a bill that he said 
would require unnecessary questions about plumbing, heat- 
ing and cooling facilities in housing units as part of the 1990 


November 1988 

census. In a statement, the President said the questions "would 
not produce data sufficiently useful to justify their inclusion" 
and would "increase administrative costs and add to the pa- 
per work burden imposed on the public by the census." The 
bill also would hove required tabulations on Asian Amer- 
icans and Pacific Islanders. ("Reagan Vetoes Some Census 
Queries," The Washington Post, November 10) 

November 1988 Charles Elkins, director of the EPA's Office of Toxic Substances, 
wrote on the implementation of the Emergency Planning and 
Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. In the process of com- 
plying with reporting requirements, Monsanto, a multina- 
tional chemical giant, found to its surprise that its 35 plants 
across the nation released a total of more than 374 million 
pounds of toxic substances in 1987. More than 20 million were 
emitted into the air of the communities surrounding Monsan- 
to's facilities. The rest went into streams and bodies of water, 
underground injection wells, landfills and waste-treatment 
plants. As this information is gathered and reported to EPA 
and the states — and ultimately to the public through a com- 
puterized national database and other means — pressure will 
mount on manufacturing facilities to lower their toxic chemi- 
cal emissions. Achieving substantial reductions in the levels 
of toxic chemicals released into the environment was one of 
Congress's chief objectives in enacting the right-to-know law. 
("Toxic Chemicals, the Right Response," The New York Times, 
November 13) 

November 1988 Comptroller General Charles A. Bowsher, head of the Gen- 
eral Accounting Office, told President-elect Bush that the gov- 
ernment would immediately have to address many domestic 
problems neglected by the Reagan Administration and that 
the costs would be staggering. Officials said no comptroller 
general in GAO's 67-year history had volunteered such ad- 
vice to a President-elect or so heavily implied criticism of an 
outgoing President's management. Bowsher was appointed by 
President Reagan in 1981 for a 15-year term. 

GAO issued a series of reports setting out an agenda of ur- 
gent problems facing the new President. A pervasive theme 
in the reports was that federal officials often have insufficient 
information to make intelligent decisions because the gov- 
ernment has cut back on the collection of important data. For 
example, the report on the Transportation Department said 
that the Reagan Administration had cut back on the collection 


November 1988 

of data to save money and to "reduce the reporting burden 
on the private sector." As a result, it said, the government had 
difficulty determining whether the deregulation of airlines 
had reduced safety and whether airline mergers had led to 
an increase in fares. ("Reagan Leaving Many Costly Domestic 
Problems, G.A.O. Tells Bush," The New York Times, Novem- 
ber 22) 

November 1988 Federal efforts to gather information on education were also 
faulted by the GAO. The department collects little information 
that is useful in measuring the effectiveness of its programs, 
and that often the data that are collected are not uniform. 
Examples were given with problems in data collection on the 
Chapter 2 block grant program, vocational education, and the 
student-loan programs. (" 'Transition' Paper Cites Flaws in E.D. 
Program Guidance," Education Week, November 30) [Ed. note: 
The Transition Series of 26 reports numbered GAO/ OCG-89- 
ITR through GAO/OCG-89-26TR can be obtained from the 
U.S. General Accounting Office, P. O. Box 6015, 
Gaithersburg, MD 20877 (202/275-6241). The first five copies 
of each report are free.] 

November 1988 Three defense officials' efforts to explain the downing of an 
Iranian airliner by the U.S.S. Vincennes have won them the 
annual "doublespeak" award from the National Council of 
Teachers of English. "The language used in the official re- 
port and the language used during the press conference was 
filled with the doublespeak of omission, distortion, contradic- 
tion, and misdirection," said William D. Lutz, chairman of the 
NCTE's committee on public doublespeak. The award seeks 
to draw attention to public language that the committee finds 
to be "grossly deceptive, evasive, euphemistic, confusing or 
self-congratulatory," and able to cause "pernicious social or 
political consequences." An anonymous official of the Rea- 
gan Administration won second place for denying that the 
government had sought to cover up the involvement of Hon- 
duran military officials in drug crimes. "It wasn't that there 
was a coverup. It's just that {people knew certain questions 
shouldn't be asked," the Administration official reportedly 
said. ("Military Wins 'Doublespeak' Prize," Education Week, 
November 23) 

November 1988 Despite advice to the contrary from many public health ex- 
perts, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule 
that will permit companies to make health claims on food 


November 1988 

labels. The latest version of the rule differs substantially from 
the one originally proposed in 1987. Rewritten after public 
comment, the current unpublished rule details more carefully 
the conditions under which health claims can be made. Like 
similar federal regulations, it is subject to the approval of 
OMB, which is studying it now. 

Critics say the new rule leaves loopholes that will permit com- 
panies to make unsubstantiated claims. If a product has un- 
desirable nutritional components, the information will not 
appear on the label; instead it will be contained in a health 
message summary. For example, a high-sodium, high-fiber 
soup might have a label stating that fiber reduces the risk of 
cancer. But the label will not have to say that the soup con- 
tains a significant amount of sodium, which may contribute 
to hypertension. Consumers will have to refer to a consumer 
guide to learn about the connection between high sodium 
consumption and hypertension. Food labels that include 
health claims will have to tell consumers where to obtain the 
summaries on nutritional information. Richard Ronk, the act- 
ing director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied 
Nutrition, said he expected the summaries to be available 
from the federal government and in supermarkets. Dr. Jacque- 
line Messite, the executive secretary of the committee on pub- 
lic health at the New York Academy of Medicine said, "You 
have to wonder how many people would write for them." 
("Eating Well," The New York Times, November 23; "Update on 
Health-Claim Labeling," The Washington Post, December 21) 

November 1988 A research group in Pennsylvania filed a legal petition ask- 
ing the Federal District Court in Harrisburg to compel the 
Department of Energy to release the health records of 300,000 
people who have worked at American nuclear weapon plants 
and laboratories. The action by the Three Mile Island Public 
Health Fund is the latest step in a two-year struggle the group 
has had with the Energy Department to gain access to the 
records, which are widely considered to be the nation's most 
detailed information about the long-term effects of radiation 
exposure on human health. 

After months of fruitless negotiations to gain the medical data, 
the health group filed a request under the Freedom of Infor- 
mation Act. The Energy Department responded months later, 
contending that it was unable to release the records publicly 
because of agreements it had signed with all 50 states that 


November 1988 

prevented the government from disclosing the death records 
of workers. Daniel Berger, the health fund's lawyer, investi- 
gated the claim and found that the department had signed 
agreements with only four states. The Energy Department 
would not comment on the issue. ("Release Sought on Health 
Data in Atomic Work," The New York Times, November 24) 

November 1988 Following the announcement of the nomination of Richard 
Darman to head the OMB, an article about the agency de- 
scribed the intense conflict over the OMB's Office of Informa- 
tion and Regulatory Affairs. As a result of a policy decision 
that the potential benefits of any regulation must outweigh 
the potential costs, any federal agency that wants to propose 
or eliminate a regulation or a form first has to get approval 
from OMB. The same goes for collecting statistical data, in- 
cluding the delicate issue of census questions. This put the 
budget office in firm command of the government's informa- 
tion flow. Since then, there has been intermittent political 
warfare over the regulatory function, including an effort by 
Congress to cut off the agency's own funds. ("In Making Na- 
tional Policy, the Buck Starts Here," The New York Times, 
November 28) 

November 1988 When the Reagan Administration reports that manufacturing 
is thriving in the United States, it bases its optimistic assess- 
ment on a government statistic that is probably exaggerated, 
the Commerce Department now admits. The statistic, which 
measures the output of the nation's factories, is often cited as 
an argument against contentions that American manufactur- 
ers have lost ground to foreign competitors and that the coun- 
try is being deindustrialized. The Commerce Department data 
indicate that factory production still represents 21 to 22 per- 
cent of the gross national product. But Commerce has begun 
to suggest that manufacturing might not be so healthy af- 
ter all. Replying to critics, officials have acknowledged that 
the agency's figures on manufacturing output contain mis- 
calculations. A review of the data is in progress, and it may 
show that manufacturing's overage share of the economy 
has shrunk by one to two percentage points in this decade. 
If manufacturing has not been as strong as statistics indicated, 
new explanations may be necessary for why nearly two mil- 
lion manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1979. ("Strength 
in Manufacturing Overstated by Faulty Data," The New York 
Times, November 28) 


November 1988 

November 1988 The Postal Service proposed in the November 29 Federal Reg- 
ister, pp. 47977-78, to modify the fees charged for furnishing 
Postal Service records retrieved by computer to members of 
the public including Freedom of Information Act requests. 
The notice soys that the increased fees implement existing 
policy to recover the actual costs incurred for the retrieval. 
System utilization services for the central processor unit range 
from $3,000 to $3,400 per hour. Personnel charges for manual 
unit personnel will be $30.00 per hour, while systems and 
programming personnel will be charged at $42.00 per hour 

December 1988 The Pentagon announced that the Defense Department sev- 
ered the electronic links between two of its computer net- 
works in late November after an unknown "hacker" gained 
unauthorized entry to a contractor's computer. The connec- 
tions were severed between the Arpanet network, which links 
academic and corporate computer centers and which also 
was attacked by a "virus" in November, and Milnet, which 
links thousands of military computers. The Pentagon said the 
connection was broken after "an unidentified hacker pene- 
trated a VAX computer belonging to a defense contractor on 
the night of Nov. 27-28." ("Pentagon Cuts Link to Computer 
Lines," The Washington Post, December 2) 

December 1988 The National Computer Security Center, established seven 

years ago to help protect sensitive data stored in government 
and commercial data banks, was itself the victim of a small 
electronic "break-in" in October 1986. The unpublicized in- 
cident, which apparently compromised some unclassified, 
commercially sensitive data, is cited by experts as an exam- 
ple of how hard it is to thwart illicit acts by approved users of 
government computer networks. The break-in involving the 
National Computer Security Center's Dockmiaster network was 
engineered by someone who used familiarity with the system 
and an authorized password to defeat protections against the 
infiltration of others' accounts, former government officials 

Dockmaster was created in 1985 by the National Security 
Agency computer center as a unique bulletin board and 
clearinghouse for computer security news, as well as a sys- 
tem to transmit and receive proprietary corporate data about 
security systems under a confidentiality promise. The center's 
annual budget is about $40 million and it employs 350 com- 
puter scientists, engineers, mathematicians and other experts, 


December 1988 

according to officials. They add that its attention is fixed pri- 
marily on the threat of break-ins by outsiders, such as foreign 
spies, not insiders. "It's an incredibly narrow view of the prob- 
lem," said Robert Courtney, a former director of data security 
and privacy at IBM. "The people who would give your data 
to competitors are first and foremost your employees." Virgil 
Gligor, a University of Maryland professor who has served 
on the center's product certification panels, said it has yet 
to study the vulnerability of computer software in existing 
classified networks to "insider" attack. ("Computer Security 
Center Had 'Break-In'," The Washington Post, December 3) 

December 1988 No one knows exactly how much American real estate is 
now in foreign hands, because there is no comprehensive, 
continuing system for tracking foreign investment around 
the country — and because it is almost impossible to authori- 
tatively trace. At this point, it is believed to encompass less 
than two percent of all property holdings in the U.S. But the 
trend is increasingly controversial because the percentage, 
particularly in a few key markets, is growing steadily. In down- 
town Los Angeles, nearly three-quarters of the office market 
will soon be owned by foreigners, mostly lapanese, up from 
64 percent this year, and up from an estimated 51 percent last 
year. Foreign investors, mostly lapanese, British, Canadian 
and Dutch, own 23 percent of the District of Columbia's office 
market. Foreigners own ten percent of the property in Maine 
and 25 percent of downtown Atlanta. Hawaii has been a par- 
ticular target for foreign investment. 

The trend philosophically divides Americans. Rep. lohn Bryant 
(D-TX) wants to make sure Americans at least know the depth 
of the foreign investment and plans to reintroduce legisla- 
tion to require foreign buyers, who purchase more than five 
percent of an investment worth more than $5 million, to reg- 
ister with the government. At this point, no public account- 
ing is available. The Commerce Department gathers much 
information by industry, which makes it hard to distinguish 
separate real estate investments. Even when information is 
compiled, as has been done for farm land since the Agricul- 
tural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978 was passed, 
it is often inconclusive. Some investors hide behind layers 
of corporate names, and others simply establish themselves 
as corporations in the Netherlands Antilles, a little-populated 
island in the West Indies, which allows them to evade listing 
their countries of origin. According to Agriculture Department 


December 1988 

data, only Canadians and West Germans own more U.S. farm 
land than do people reportedly from the Netherlands Antilles. 
("Foreign Investment: A Divisive Issue in U.S./' The Washing- 
ton Post, December 3) 

December 1988 lournalists from the Bureau of National Affairs, The Washing- 
ton Post and Business Week warned the National Economic 
Commission that its plans to hold meetings on December 7 
and 12 behind closed doors is unlawful. This kind of clash 
involving the companies that run the country's newspapers, 
magazines and broadcast stations is becoming increasingly 
common. A new survey by the Society of Professional lour- 
nalists found that 77 percent of the news organizations waged 
more legal actions this year to get access to government meet- 
ings and documents than they did last year. The media lawyers 
do not think the surge in access suits is because government 
is getting more secret; it stems from reporters' getting more 
demanding. ("lournalists Fight Closed Meetings," "Wash- 
ington Business" Section, The Washington Post, December 5) 
[Ed. note: The National Economic Commission canceled its 
December 12 meeting after a federal judge ruled that it must 
be open to the press and public. ("Deficit Panel Cancels Meet- 
ing After Judge Orders Open Forum," The Washington Post, 
December 10)] 

December 1988 Readers of The Stars and Stripes, the military's overseas daily 
newspapers, have no clear legal right to uncensored news, 
according to GAO. The GAO, in a draft report to Congress, 
said its review of federal court cases found no legal decisions 
directly involving censorship of a newspaper published by 
the federal government. The legal analysis is contained in a 
GAO report about allegations of censorship in two editions of 
the newspapers. Investigators found evidence of censorship 
at the Pacific edition of the newspaper, and attempts by the 
higher command to influence news appearing in the Euro- 
pean edition. ("Censorship Question Unclear in Stars and 
Stripes Case," Federal Times, December 5; "Censorship of 
Stars & Stripes Alleged," The Washington Post, December 12) 

December 1988 

The Coast Guard's system for preventing ship collisions in 
New York Harbor has been shut down since last July, with 
little regard for the effect on safety, according to a GAO re- 
port. The decision was based instead on how much money 
could be saved by ending the Vessel Traffic Service on Gov- 
ernors Island. The Coast Guard estimated its annual savings 


December 1988 

from closing the system at $1,341,000 starting in fiscal year 
1989. The study found that the Coast Guard failed to con- 
sider a number of relevant factors, "including prevention of 
accidents and fatalities and protection of the environment 
through prevention of oil spills and accidents involving haz- 
ardous cargoes." Without the service, individual captains and 
crews have to look out for their own safety, using their eye- 
sight and other piloting methods. No significant accidents 
have occurred since the system was shut down. The system in 
New Orleans, the nation's busiest port, has been closed since 
March. ("Study Criticizes Closing of System to Safeguard New 
York Harbor," The New York Times, December 7) 

December 1988 Pollution from nuclear weapon plants in Ohio and Texas and 
from two national laboratories in Northern California pose 
serious threats to public health, according to a report released 
by the Department of Energy. The report, which for the first 
time ranks 155 instances of contamination at 16 weapon plants 
and laboratories in order of the potential hazard they pose to 
the environment and public health, paints a more threaten- 
ing picture of environmental problems at the sites than has 
previously been depicted. The report said the contamination 
by toxic chemicals of an underground reservoir at the Rocky 
Flats Plant near Denver was the most significant problem 
because of the threat it poses to city water supplies adjacent 
to the contaminated water. Until the last two years, the gov- 
ernment had consistently maintained that pollution from its 
weapon plants did not pose any health hazard. More recently 
the government has acknowledged the release beyond its 
property of harmful materials at a few weapon plants. ("Wide 
Threat Seen in Contamination at Nuclear Units," The New 
York Times, December 7) 

December 1988 If there is unhappiness with the Reagan Administration's 
secrecy policies, it was apparent only among the outsiders 
gathered at a symposium held on December 6 to discuss na- 
tional security information policy. John Shattuck from Harvard 
University suggested that President-elect Bush make "a mid- 
course correction" and consider drafting a new executive 
order that would restore the test of balancing the need for 
secrecy against the public's need to know. His proposal was 
not warmly received by the audience of about 600, most of 
them government information security officers. The article also 
reports on the remarks of other speakers, such as Robert M. 
Kimmitt, Colin L. Powell, John Walcott, and Rep. Henry Hyde 


December 1988 

(R-IL). ("Secrecy System Pronounced Sound," The Washington 
Post, December 9) 

December 1 988 The Federal Home Loan Bank Board, charged with regulat- 
ing the savings and loan industry, has convened only three 
public meetings, but has met at least 70 times behind closed 
doors. According to Jack Anderson, during some of those se- 
cret meetings, board chairman Danny Wall doled out tax 
breaks to rich investors who do the government a favor by 
taking over insolvent institutions. Recent estimates of lost tax 
revenue because of those secret deals range to at least $3 
billion. But those figures come from people Wall considers 
wild-eyed analysts — the Congressional Budget Office, the 
Joint Committee on Taxation and several private financial 
consultants. More than 500 savings and loans, about 20 per- 
cent of the thrift industry, are flat broke, with an estimated 400 
more institutions barely hanging on. Wall is still not admit- 
ting that any taxpayer money will be needed for the bailout, 
while more realistic insiders are trying to settle on how many 
billions of dollars that bailout will cost. ("The S&L Regulator's 
Bankrupt Policy/' The Washington Post, December 9) 

December 1 988 The classified information that the White House wants to keep 
secret in the trial of former National Security Council aide 
Oliver L. North includes some material that was disclosed 
in testimony during the nationally televised hearings of the 
congressional Iran-Contra committees in May 1987. White 
House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said at a December 1 
briefing that intelligence agency heads unanimously agreed 
in July that certain "categories of information" at issue in the 
case "could never publicly be disclosed." Fitzwater conceded 
that "minor categories" were being withheld, but there has 
been no indication so far that the government is willing to 
declassify anything. ("Some 'Secrets' in North Case Already 
Disclosed," The Washington Post, December 12) 

December 1988 The Defense Department plans to replace its aging computer 
communications system in Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain, 
the nerve center designed to warn of an attack on North Amer- 
ica, with equipment that is over budget, behind schedule and 
that will not work, the GAO said in a report. Moving ahead 
with the $281 million purchase presents "a very high risk to 
overall communications for Cheyenne Mountain." GAO also 
said that the proposed system has "unstable software" that 
has prevented Air Force officials from issuing commands and 


January 1989 

which engineers have been unable to fix. "A failure of this 
nature during actual operations could seriously affect the Air 
Force's ability to satisfy mission requirements during a crisis." 
Nearly all of the data collected by the Air Force's network 
of sensors and satellites about a missile or aircraft attack is 
funnelled to Washington through the Cheyenne Mountain 
Air Force Station. The computer communications system also 
serves as the internal link among the complex's 1,400 workers. 

The system's wiring is incompatible with other electronics in 
Cheyenne Mountain, the GAO said, adding that the Air Force 
knew that when it issued specifications for the new system 
four years ago. "The contractor found the equipment would 
not work correctly when connected." But instead of changing 
the wiring of the new system, the Pentagon has said the Air 
Force will change the wiring throughout Cheyenne Mountain 
to make it compatible with the new communications gear, an 
effort expected to take two years and cost $5 million. ("Pro- 
posed NORAD Computer System Called Flawed," The Wash- 
ington Post, December 16) 

January 1989 

The Department of State has not been able to keep pace with 
its Freedom of Information Act workload. It took longer than 
six months to complete most of the FOIA requests it received 
from January 1985 to December 1987, and there was a back- 
log of more than 3,700 requests as of January 1, 1988. The 
department's difficulties can be attributed in part to staffing 
limitations and in part to inadequate managerial controls 
necessary to help FOIA officials monitor the FOIA process, 
and identify and correct problem areas. During GAO's review, 
the department provided additional FOIA-related staff and 
improved its automated case tracking system. The department 
also took steps to deal with 220 cases that it had improperly 
closed in an effort to reduce the backlog. ("Freedom of Infor- 
mation Act: State Department Request Processing," General 
Accounting Office, GAO/GGD-89-23, January) 

January 1989 

Rep. Toby Roth (R-WI) concluded that a Defense Department 
report on 17 Navy men who died in training omitted key in- 
formation and must be resubmitted to Congress. According 
to Roth, the report lacked critical information about a Navy 
safety review and asked defense officials to revise the docu- 
ment. The DOD report briefly described each Navy death in 
a chart format and mentioned some changes that have been 
made to respond to the March 1988 drowning of a Wisconsin 


January 1989 

January 1989 

airman during an underwater exercise at the Naval Air Sta- 
tion in Pensacola, Fla. Defense officials originally planned to 
submit the nine-page document as a final report, but deemed 
it an "interim report" after Roth raised objections to it. They 
agreed to submit a more complete study later. ("Report on 
Navy Training Deaths Found Faulty/' The Washington Post, 
January 1) 

The Office of Management and Budget solicited public com- 
ment in the development of policy concerning the dissemina- 
tion, particularly electronic dissemination, of information by 
executive branch agencies. The proposed policy was pub- 
lished in the January 4 Federal Register, pp. 214-220, and 
would have amended OMB Circular A- 130, Management of 
Federal Information Resources. While the importance of pub- 
lic information was noted, the specific instructions to agencies 
would have compelled deference to the private sector, and 
told agencies to avoid offering value-added products to end 

January 1989 

January 1989 

Writing about how vulnerable disadvantaged Americans are 
to drug addiction, columnist George F. Will developed this 
axiom: "In this information age, the advantaged become more 
so, and the disadvantaged fall from the back." He explained: 

Life is increasingly regressive because the benefits of infor- 
mation are distributed disproportionately to those already 
favored by many advantages. The more certain kinds of in- 
formation matter, the more unequal society — life — becomes. 
In the last quarter-century, since the 1964 surgeon general's 
report condemning smoking, it has become clear that the 
most cost-effective thing government does is disseminate 
health information. Smoking has become declasse. Alcohol, 
high blood pressure, red meat, fiber, oat bran, seat belts, 
safe sex — the list is long. In a broadly educated middle- 
class country, information about such matters produces 
behavioral changes on a dramatic scale. 

("Information Gives the Advantage to Those Who Are Already 
Advantaged," Daily Press [Newport News, Vd.] January 9) 

The Securities and Exchange planned to close its New York 
and Chicago reference rooms, leaving only the Washington, 
D. C, reference room left for investors seeking comprehen- 
sive data on thousands of publicly traded companies. Since 


January 1989 

the SEC's beginning more than 50 years ago, the reference 
rooms hove been the most complete depositories of data on 
the securities industry. The libraries hold every scrap of in- 
formation filed by public companies, including annual and 
quarterly reports, studies, SEC investigations and records of 
securities-laws violations. The combined data are unavailable 
anywhere else, including stock exchanges, which hold only 
data of their listed companies. 

Lawyers, accountants, professors, investment bankers, an- 
alysts, students, and individual investors use the New York 
library each day. The supervisor of the New York reference 
room for the past 28 years. Myrtle Johnson, could be inter- 
viewed only in the presence of the SEC's regional adminis- 
trator, Larry lason, who prevented her from answering ques- 
tions about the library's pending closing. "We have an SEC 
spokesperson who can answer those questions," he said. "We 
have no further comment at this time," the spokeswoman 
in Washington said after confirming plans to close the New 
York and Chicago libraries because of budget cutbacks. One 
securities-firm executive thought the situation was ironic: "The 
SEC is demanding greater disclosure, and here they are shut- 
ting down the very thing that provides more information about 
securities markets to people." ("Not-So-Full Disclosure: SEC 
to Quietly Close Reference Rooms." The Wall Street Journal, 
January 12) [Ed. note: According to an SEC spokesman on 
June 6, the New York and Chicago reference rooms are open, 
and there are no plans to close them.] 

January 1989 A federal judge ordered the Reagan White House to stop its 
last-minute destruction or alteration of computer tapes in the 
so-called PROFS systems used by the National Security Coun- 
cil and some White House staff members to send messages 
to one another electronically. The lead plaintiff in the case, 
Scott Armstrong, executive director of the National Security 
Archive, said he had been told by government archivists that 
PROFS system tapes other than those turned over to Iran- 
Contra investigators "have not been and will not be preserved 
as a 'permanent record' of the Reagan administration." The 
attorney for the plaintiffs, Kate Martin, of the American Civil 
Liberties Union, said the suit was filed only after government 
archivists said the tapes would not be preserved because 
they were not covered by the 1 1 -year-old Presidential Records 
Act. ("White House Barred From Destroying NSC Files," The 
Washington Post, January 20) 


January 1989 

January 1989 

A study underway at the Tactical Air Warfare Center at Eglin 
Air Force Base, Fla., will study the Pentagon's primary war 
plans. For the first time, they will calculate how radio emis- 
sions from the weapons of one service might disrupt the so- 
phisticated electronic gear of the other services. The problem 
was apparent when U.S. warplanes striking Libya in 1986 ran 
into an electronic blizzard that Pentagon officials now suspect 
might hove caused one of the fighters to crash and others to 
miss their targets. The disruption came not from the Libyans, 
but from high-powered U.S. military transmitters that filled the 
night sky with electronic signals designed not only to enable 
the fighters to communicate, but to jam Libya's anti-aircraft 
defenses, hunt targets, and guide weapons. The Air Force 
recently finished a classified seven-month investigation of the 
problem, which led top Pentagon officials to order the more 
detailed three-year study expected to cost $35 million. ("Mixed 
Signals May Have Misguided U.S. Weapons," The Washington 
Post, January 22) 

January 1989 

The Census Bureau, responding to complaints from Asian 
American organizations and members of Congress, has an- 
nounced that it will list the names of nine Asian and Pacific 
Island racial groups on the 1990 census form rather than re- 
quire such identifications to be written in. Initially, the bureau 
has said a list would be unwieldy because there were so 
many racial groups in this category. Rep. Robert T. Matsui 
(D-CA) pushed legislation through Congress requiring Cen- 
sus to list the nine Asian-Pacific Island groups that could be 
checked off, but the overall bill to which it was attached was 
vetoed. However, the plan the bureau announced is the same 
as the Matsui bill. ("Census to List 9 Groups of Asians, Pacific 
Islanders," The Washington Post, January 23) 

January 1989 

An article about OMB's January 4 proposal on electronic in- 
formation dissemination indicated that the information in- 
dustry generally supported the proposal, but librarians and 
other groups criticized it as an abdication of the government's 
responsibility to provide citizens with information. Most of 
the concern focused on a provision in the policy calling on 
agencies to "avoid offering dissemination services they know 
(or should know) to be available in the marketplace." Another 
area of contention over the policy is its discussion of user fees 
for information. OMB called on agencies to charge only for 
the actual costs of dissemination. However, the policy added 
that many agencies should include often overlooked costs, 


January 1989 

January 1989 

January 1989 

January 1989 

such as employee time and office overhead, in addition to 
copying and mailing costs. ("OMB Proposal to Limit Dissemi- 
nation Draws Ire," Federal Computer WeeJ:, January 23) 

Scientists who have examined detailed military records of 
American troop movements during the Vietnam war have 
concluded that thousands of soldiers were heavily exposed to 
Agent Orange during the late 1960s. Although the records of 
the spraying were compiled in the 1970s, it was virtually im- 
possible to determine whether any troops were exposed until 
the federal Centers for Disease Control collected and collated 
data on troop movements. The CDC, directed by Congress 
in 1983 to study the effects of Agent Orange on veterans, ob- 
tained records from the Pentagon on battalion movements 
in the EQ Corps military region around Saigon, where the 
heaviest spraying took place in 1967 and 1968. 

Testing the blood of 646 soldiers who had served in heavily 
sprayed areas, the agency found normal levels of dioxin (the 
most toxic chemical known, a component of Agent Orange) 
in all but two men and concluded in a September 1988 article 
in the Journal of the American Medical Association that most 
troops were not heavily exposed. However, two epidemiolo- 
gists, Steven and Jeanne Stellman, said the CDC study was 
inadequate, that blood analyses are not an appropriate mea- 
sure of dioxin 20 years after exposure and that the agency 
prevented independent scientific scrutiny by failing to de- 
scribe the data it had used in professional journals until last 
September The Stellmans obtained the data last spring in 
a Freedom of Information request. ("Scientists Say Vietnam 
Troops Heavily Exposed to Defoliant," The Washington Post. 
January 25) 

"The Veterans Administration may have inadvertently over- 
or under-compensated many disabled veterans because it has 
been using outdated medical data, according to a recent U.S. 
General Accounting Office (GAO) study. Because the VA has 
not conducted a comprehensive review of its disability rating 
schedule since 1945, the GAO says VA rating specialists must 
use their individual judgment in classifying medical condi- 
tions which do not appear on the schedule." ("GAO Says VA 
Is Using Faulty Medical Data," PA Times, January 27) 

For the eighth year in a row, the Reagan Administration re- 
quested zero funding for the library programs in the Library 


January 1989 

Services and Construction Act and Title 11 of the Higher Edu- 
cation Act. ("Reagan FY 1990 Budget," ALA Washington News- 
letter, January 27) [Ed. note: The Bush Administration later 
adopted the Reagan proposals for the library programs.] 

January 1989 

"Database Supplier Terms and Conditions" issued by Dialog 
Information Services, Inc., and effective January 1989, con- 
tains the following notice for its AGRIBUSINESS U.S.A. data- 
base, although the computer-based system contains public 
domain data developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture 

This database is copyrighted by Pioneer Hi-Bred Interna- 
tional, Inc. No part of AGRIBUSINESS U.S.A. database may 
be duplicated without the written authorization of Pioneer 
Hi-Bred International, Inc 

[Ed. note: This item follows up on entries in this chronology 
beginning in February 1984 about the USDA EDI (Electronic 
Dissemination of Information) system developed and run by a 

February 1989 

For more than a year, depository libraries received few mi- 
crofiche copies of government publications. The General Ac- 
counting Office reviewed the Government Printing Office 
contracting for microfiche services, including its relationship 
with a defaulted contractor and the results of its efforts to ob- 
tain alternative sources of supply. Although some progress 
has been made, GAO believes that the microfiche shortage is 
likely to continue — at least over the short term: 

First, all the new contractors have been denied at least 
one additional replacement contract because (1) microfiche 
produced during pre-award testing did not meet GPO stan- 
dards or (2) the contracting officer rejected the firm be- 
cause it had a record of late deliveries. Second, the new 
contractors have received formal warnings from GPO about 
the quality of microfiche that they have produced under 
replacement contracts they have won. Third, much of the 
microfiche the contracts have produced is backlogged await- 
ing quality testing by GPO. Finally there is a large back- 
log of documents GPO needs to send to contractors for 
conversion to microfiche. 


February 1989 

("Procurement: Government Printing Office Supply of Mi- 
crofiche to Libraries Disrupted," GAO/GGD-89-44, February) 
[Ed. note: This document is available from the U.S. General 
Accounting Office, R O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 

February 1989 The Bush Administration is circulating a draft executive order 
on classified information that would allow the government to 
deny security clearances to federal workers and employees 
of government contractors without giving them the reason for 
the denial or the chance to respond. In a February 7 letter 
to the President, Rep. Don Edwards (D-CA), chairman of the 
Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, 
urged him not to sign the draft order. Under the order, Ed- 
wards warned, "a person denied a clearance on the basis 
of erroneous information would never be told what the infor- 
mation was and would never have an opportunity to correct 
it. I do not see how this serves the national security." 

Under existing regulations governing security clearances, 
most federal employees are entitled to a written explana- 
tion, to the fullest extent consistent with national security, of 
why they hove been denied clearances. They also have an 
opportunity to rebut the accusations and appeal the deci- 
sion. The draft order would grant no rights of due process to 
those denied their initial security clearances or those refused 
a higher clearance. Only employees whose clearances are 
revoked would be entitled to an explanation, a chance to 
respond, and an opportunity to appeal in writing. The Central 
Intelligence Agency is exempted from even those require- 
ments, and other agencies may waive them when they de- 
termine the procedures "would not be consistent with the 
national security interests of the United States." ("Plan to Deny 
Clearances Without Explanation Eyed," The Washington Post, 
February 10) [Ed. note: An article, "Bush Is Asked to Block 
Security Order," in the March 21 Washington Post reported 
that the bipartisan leadership of the House Civil Service Sub- 
committee has asked President Bush to block the proposed 
executive order. It has reported in the April 20 Washington 
Post that the President had decided to "take a fresh look" at 
the controversial draft order.] 

February 1989 As charged in the book, Moscow Station, the National Se- 
curity Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency found 
evidence of Soviet bugging of the communications center of 


February 1989 

the existing American embassy building in Moscow, but kept 
their findings secret from the State Department, which has 
denied such bugging occurred. Ronald Kessler, author of the 
book published in mid-February, charged that a team of NSA 
technicians discovered the Soviet penetration of the embassy's 
communications center in August 1987, after the entire com- 
munications center and all other communications equipment 
from Moscow were shipped to a secure building in Virginia 
for study. State Depxirtment officials familiar with the security 
investigation said they know of "absolutely no evidence" that 
the bugging alleged in the book took place, and said they do 
not believe the NSA and CIA would withhold such evidence. 
("CIA, NSA Knew Embassy Was Bugged, Book Says," The 
Washington Post, February 13) 

February 1989 

During the past several years, defense contractors, after agree- 
ing to prime contract prices, typically negotiate lower prices 
with their vendors. Contractors did not always adjust their 
estimates to reflect vendors' likely price reductions. For exam- 
ple, on one contract at Martin Marietta, 33 material purchases 
were proposed at $10.5 million based on vendor quotations. 
The proposed prices were accepted by the contracting officer, 
but after the prime contract award, the company actually 
purchased the items for $692,000 less. Department of Defense 
procurement regulations do not specifically require contrac- 
tors to develop, maintain, or disclose historical vendor pricing 
information. In April 1987, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of 
Defense (Procurement) issued policy guidance that defined 
such information as cost or pricing data. The Deputy Assistant 
Secretary also instructed DOD contracting officers to insist 
that contractors provide this data. ("Contracting Pricing: Con- 
tractors Should Provide Historical Vendor Prices to DOD," 
General Accounting Office, Ace. No. 137945, GAO/NSIAD-89- 
68, February 15) 

February 1989 

The government attorney who argued in the Supreme Court 
against publication of the "Pentagon Papers" in 1971 on the 
grounds that it would threaten national security now says that 
he has "never seen any trace of a threat to national security" 
since the papers became public. Erwin N. Griswold, as U.S. 
solicitor general, was the Nixon Administration's chief attorney 
arguing against publication of the papers concerning the war 
in Vietnam. Griswold wrote an opinion piece titled "Secrets 
Not Worth Keeping" in The Washington Post on February 15, 
in which he said there is "massive overclassification and the 


February 1989 

principal concern of the classifiers is not with national secu- 
rity, but rather with governmental embarrassment of one sort 
or another." Griswold said that he decided to write the article 
because the government is once again arguing, this time in 
the Iran-Contra trial of former White House aide Oliver L. 
North, that national security is threatened by release of clas- 
sified documents. ("Ex-Solicitor General Shifts View of 'Pen- 
tagon Papers,'" The Washington Post, February 16) 

February 1989 As first reported in this chronology in October 1984, federal 
agencies publish notices in the Federal Register announcing 
fees charged for furnishing records retrieved by computer to 
members of the public, including Freedom of Information Act 
requests. The fees implement existing policy to recover the 
actual cost of furnishing the records, but can be high when 
an individual requests information which must be retrieved 
by computer. For example, in the February 2 1 Federal Reg- 
ister, p. 7417, the U.S. Postal Service published charges for 
system utilization services which ranged from $3,000 to $3,400 
per hour. Personnel charges were $30 an hour for manual 
unit personnel; $42 an hour for systems and programming 
personnel. Local printing will cost $.95 per 1,000 lines. 

February 1989 The Internal Revenue Service loses about two million tax re- 
turns or related documents from its files each year, according 
to an in-house study. The agency usually discovers the loss 
when its employees, seeking to conduct an audit, make re- 
quests for tax returns or related documents. "It is very embar- 
rassing to tell a taxpayer I am disallowing all of your losses 
and then ask them to provide a copy of their return because 
we can't find their original return," said one IRS employee 
quoted in the agency-wide study. The study does not esti- 
mate how much tax revenue is lost each year because of 
misplaced original tax documents. ("IRS Loses 2 Million Tax 
Documents Yearly, Study Says," The Washington Post, Febru- 
ary 19) 

February 1989 OMB is known for preparing the President's budget, but it 

also contains 60 staffers who review government regulations. 
Recent legislation and executive orders have given them a 
broad mandate: to ensure that benefits outweigh costs to in- 
dustry, to reduce unnecessary paperwork and to make reg- 
ulations consistent with presidential policies. OMB soys it re- 
strains regulatory excess and saves consumers and businesses 


February 1989 

February 1989 

billions of dollars. Critics say it has weakened or delayed pro- 
tections on everything from drugs in the home to chemicals at 
the workplace. 

OMB officials say they ask questions but do not shape the 
substance of regulations. In practice, they do it all the time. 
In 1983, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
issued a rule to protect 75,000 health-care workers who use 
ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment. Studies had 
shown the chemical can cause spontaneous abortions and 
cancer. OMB economists concluded that brief exposure did 
not pose a threat (OSHA scientists argued differently) and 
asked that the regulations restrict only prolonged exposure. 
Even OMB efforts to reduce paperwork can influence regu- 
lation. One federal agency proposed a study to see if video- 
display terminals can cause miscarriages. OMB deleted sur- 
vey questions it felt were unnecessary and burdensome. Public- 
health experts say the study is now too vague to pinpoint VDT 

Some critics describe OMB as the National Security Council 
of regulatory policy — immensely powerful, but largely unac- 
countable. They cite a 1982 Food and Drug Administration 
plan to issue warnings that children can get a potentially 
fatal disease called Reye's syndrome by taking aspirin for 
the flu or chicken pox. After private meetings with the as- 
pirin industry, OMB concluded there was not enough proof 
of a hazard which persuaded the FDA to withdraw the rule. 
Three years later, after 3,000 more children developed Reye's 
syndrome and more studies had been completed, the FDA re- 
quired warning labels. ("Watching the Watchdogs," Newsweek, 
February 20) 

Another article about OMB's January proposed information 
dissemination guidance highlighted librarians' protests that 
the proposal would make government information cost more. 
In addition, Fred B. Wood, of the Office of Technology Assess- 
ment, said OMB's proposal could lead to costs that are too 
high for students, homeowners, citizen activists, and small 
newspapers. Using census data as an example, Wood said 
the government would charge about $50 for 250,000 pages 
of information on computer disk. But private companies ask 
for hundreds to thousands of dollars per disk. "It's going to 
end up aggravating the problem of the information-rich and 
the information-poor," Wood said. The order would apply to 



February 1989 

all agencies in the executive branch and would cover such 
data as agricultural reports used by farmers and educational 
surveys, as well as census data. An OMB official said the 
government ought to concentrate on providing more basic in- 
formation and let private concerns elaborate on the material. 
("Librarians Fight Government Plan," The New York Times, 
February 21) 

February 1989 President Bush's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform, 
which was directed by the President to reform and revital- 
ize federal ethical standards, is framing recommendations 
that would sharply reduce current requirements for financial 
disclosure by government employees. Among the proposals 
being considered by the panel are ones that would eliminate 
the current requirements to report estimated income from 
stocks, partnerships, and rental prop>erties; gains or losses 
from sales of such assets; and the size of personal debts more 
than $1,000. One source close to the commission said that "the 
public doesn't need to know" details of a person's financial 
situation, other than the names of those holdings worth more 
than $1,000 so as to determine whether there might be a con- 
flict. "Beyond that it is voyeurism on the part of the press and 
not public business," he said. 

Current reporting rules for executive, legislative, and judicial 
financial disclosure require the assigning of categories of 
value that range from $1,000 to $250,000; and in some cases 
more than $250,000. The new commission proposals would 
have the effect of eliminating these rules. Following public 
criticism, the panel is expected to modify, but not reverse, the 
plan. The commission is expected to suggest that the current 
detailed reporting be changed to require only that holdings 
be listed as worth more or less than a predetermined amount, 
such as $50,000 or $100,000. Such a limit would have made 
it more difficult to judge whether a serious potential conflict 
existed for Secretary of State James A. Baker HI, who divested 
himself of stock in a New York bank holding company that 
was a major holder of Third World debt. Baker's public disclo- 
sure statement had indicated that the stock in Chemical New 
York Corp. was worth "above $250,000." ("Bush's Panel Favors 
Easing Ethics Rules," The Washington Post, February 21) 

February 1989 An editorial in The Washington Post criticized the withhold- 
ing of the confidential FBI report that was the major body of 
evidence in the Senate consideration of the confirmation of 


February 1989 

February 1989 

John Tower as Secretary of Defense. The editorial said that 
the entire Senate and selected hardball players in the ex- 
ecutive branch are free to read the report, but, "We are not 
permitted to know, none of us, not the press, not the public." 
The editorial said that the public needed to know what the 
actual charges were and know much more about the nature 
of the evidence. ("The Tower Nomination," The Washington 
Post, February 25) 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the 
Department of Justice topped the list of federal agencies whose 
proposals to impose additional paperwork on the public were 
rejected by OMB last year. OMB last year approved nearly 
96 percent of proposed information collections required under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act. But roughly one-third of OSHA's 
findings were either rejected, given conditional approval or 
withdrawn. Justice followed with 24 percent, according to fig- 
ures released by OMB Watch. Gary Bass of OMB Watch at- 
tributed OSHA's high rate of rejection to its work in collecting 
workplace information from businesses. "It's an ideological 
decision," he said. "[OMB] has a bias away from paperwork 
that infringes on business." ("OMB Shoots Down Information 
Collection Proposals," Federal Computer Week, February 27) 

March 1989 In a five-page article, "White Wash: The Dioxin Cover-Up," 

in the March/April issue of Greenpeace, Peter Von Stackel- 
berg charges that senior officials of the Environmental Pro- 
tection Agency and the industries the agency was supposed 
to regulate were working together to limit public knowledge 
about the hazards of dioxin and a host of other dangerous 
chemicals. The article describes the efforts of two people in 
Oregon, Carol Van Strum and Paul Merrell, to obtain EPA 
dioxin studies in 1986 using Freedom of Information laws. 
Evidence gleaned from thousands of pages of the EPA docu- 
ments demonstrated that pulp mills were spewing dioxins into 
the air and water, creating what Van Strum and Merrell call a 
public health emergency. At the same time, according to U.S. 
District Judge Owen M. Panner, documents obtained from the 
American Paper Institute revealed an agreement "between 
the EPA and the industry to suppress, modify or delay the 
results of the joint EPA/industry (dioxin) study or the manner 
in which they are publicly presented." 

March 1989 In 1988, Rep. Bill Alexander (D-AR) asked the General Ac- 

counting Office to investigate any government involvement in 


March 1989 

drug and arms trafficking to Central America. He specifically- 
wanted to know if there was any link to an airport in Mena, 
Ark., a tiny town of 5,000 in the Ozark Mountains. A string of 
letters shows that the National Security Council told the GAO 
it would speak for the Administration in the investigation. 
Then the NSC instructed other government agencies not to 
cooperate with the investigation, and it gave the GAO no 
answers. ("Intrigue in the Arkansas Ozarks," The Washington 
Post, March 1) 

March 1989 Three articles in The Washington Post described the latest 

chapter in the Landsat story as the satellite system came close 
to being shut down because of budget cuts. At the last mo- 
ment, Vice President Quayle and the National Space Council 
announced that they had scraped together enough money 
to continue the Landsat images that map the Earth's surface 
and natural resources from space. Shutting down the Landsat 
system would have allowed French and Soviet competitors to 
take over a field in which the United States leads technologi- 
cally, according to Peter Norris of Earth Observation Satellite 
Company, the company that operates the two Landsat satel- 
lites with a Commerce Department subsidy. Japan will soon 
enter the market. 

Formerly owned by the federal government, the Landsat sys- 
tem was transferred to EOS AT in 1985 as part of the Reagan 
Administration program to shift government operations to 
the private sector. EOSAT receives the digitized images free 
and sells them for $3,600 each, about four times what the 
government used to charge. In return, EOSAT has agreed to 
start operating the system after the government builds and 
launches a new Landsat in 1991. Three reports from the De- 
partment of Commerce indicated that although there is sub- 
stantial demand for Landsat's images, it is not enough to sus- 
tain a business. 

Monitoring global environmental change is an increasingly 
important task for Landsat because it is the world's only source 
for some data. The satellites are the only ones aloft that give 
good images of the state of forests and other vegetation af- 
fected by acid rain, drought, toxic wastes, and other natural 
and man-made catastrophes. Intelligence agencies rely on 
them to map vegetation, and may be able to follow troop 
movements by noting changes in vegetation. Among notable 
successes are discoveries of gold in Nevada. Crop and timber 


March 1989 

images from Landsat may be the satellites' most imjxsrtant 
commercial uses. {The Washington Post: "Lack of Funds May 
Shut Down Two U.S. Mapping Satellites," March 3; "Satel- 
lites to Go Dark for Lack of Funds/' March 6; "Landsat Satel- 
lites Termed Incajxible of Profitable Operation This Century/' 
March 12) 

March 1989 The Federal Maritime Commission has come under fire over 

its plan to make the information it collects more accessible to 
the public. The agency, which oversees commercial shipping, 
has proposed opening its electronic tariffs to anyone with a 
computer. This proposal angered the private companies that 
hove made a business of providing the commission's shipping 
rate information to the public. Public interest groups charge 
that the private companies are, in effect, seeking to monopo- 
lize information collected with taxpayer dollars. "We're talk- 
ing about citizen access to Government records," said Marc 
Rotenberg, of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. 
"That is a quintessential public function, performed by a Gov- 
ernment agency for a public purpose at taxpayer expense." 
("Giving Public U.S. Data: Private Purveyors Say No," The 
New York Times, March 4) 

March 1989 

GAO has updated data in a 1986 report on employees af- 
fected by federal security programs. GAO sent questionnaires 
to 51 agencies that handle classified information and 48 agen- 
cies responded. Overall, the 48 responding agencies esti- 
mated that about 3.2 million federal and contractor employees 
held security clearances at the end of 1987. This is a decrease 
of about 500,000, or about 13 percent, since the end of 1985. 
The reduction is primarily the result of a continuing clearance 
reduction program within the Department of Defense. At the 
end of 1987, the 48 agencies reported that current and for- 
mer federal and contractor employees had signed 2.7 million 
and 270,000 classified information non-disclosure agreements, 
respectively. Seven agencies report 144 unauthorized disclo- 
sures of classified information during 1986. Forty-eight were 
referred to the Department of Justice for investigation. During 
1987, 11 agencies reported 177 such disclosures and referred 
53 to Justice. The total number of polygraph tests conducted 
annually has increased significantly in recent years. Between 
1984 and 1987, the number of polygraph tests given by the 
government increased by 94 percent. ("Information Security: 
Update of Data on Employees Affected by Federal Security 


March 1989 

Programs," General Accounting Office, GAO/NSIAD-89-56FS, 
March 7) 

March 1989 The Northrop Corporation cruise missile guidance system was 

never properly tested and many of the nearly 1 ,800 nuclear 
missiles aboard the U.S. bomber fleet may not work, accord- 
ing to allegations unsealed in court March 9. The disclosure 
came in a 16-month civil lawsuit against the defense contrac- 
tor by two former workers who said they were asked to falsify 
test data. The papers also show that the U.S. attorney joined 
against Northrop in the $63 million suit on February 15 un- 
der the False Claims Act. Federal prosecutors said Northrop 
falsely certified it had performed critical stress tests on flight 
data transmitters for 1,764 missiles between 1981 and 1986. 
The Air Force is "evaluating the evidence in order to deter- 
mine whether corrective action needs to be taken to assure 
their reliability," according to Mary McMenimen of the U.S. 
attorney's office in Los Angeles. ("Missile Parts May Not Work, 
Court Told," The Washington Post, March 10) 

March 1989 Documents newly disclosed at the trial of Oliver L. North con- 

tradicted then-President Reagan's assertion to an official in- 
vestigative board in 1987 that he was unaware of National 
Security Council assistance to the Nicaraguan contras at a 
time when Congress had banned U.S. aid to the rebels. The 
documents show that Reagan personally approved a plan to 
secretly solicit Honduran help for the contras in exchange for 
additional U.S. aid to Honduras, and that he apparently au- 
thorized a plan to air-drop weapons to them. Since the Iran- 
Contra affair began to unfold in 1986, Reagan has said that 
he was largely ignorant of secret U.S. government efforts to 
support the contras. ("Reagan Assertion, Trial Data Conflict," 
The Washington Post, March 17) 

March 1989 Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's report on abortion, which 

he refused to release last January, recommends in its final 
draft that the best way to reduce abortions is by doing more 
to educate the public. Although the report, which was re- 
leased at a congressional hearing on March 16, was to have 
been confined to abortion's health effects, it goes further to 
advocate much the same prevention strategy that long has 
been urged by family planning experts. Koop informed Pres- 
ident Reagan in a letter in January that he had decided not 
to issue the report because there was insufficient data on 
abortion's health effects. The report originally was intended 


March 1989 

for public distribution, similar to Koop's earlier report on AIDS. 
("Abortion Report Koop Withheld Released on Hill/' The Wash- 
ington Post, March 17) 

March 1989 The Environmental Protection Agency is risking a major pro- 

curement scandal by letting Superfund contractors police 
themselves for potential conflicts of interest, the General Ac- 
counting Office has concluded. In a report, GAO said that 
EPA enforcement is so lax that a Superfund contractor investi- 
gating a hazardous waste site also could be working for the 
polluter that dumped the chemicals there and the agency 
would not know it. "This system is currently dependent on 
contractors' identifying and informing appropriate EPA offi- 
cials about conflicts," according to the report. GAO said a 
company working for both sides could feed the EPA biased 
data, thereby weakening legal efforts to recover clean-up 
costs from a polluter. GAO also said that in one instance, 
the EPA did not discover such a conflict until a company at- 
tempted to represent both the agency and a polluter at a pre- 
liminary settlement hearing. David O'Connor, director of the 
EPA procurement and contracts management division, said, 
"We're not in a position to police every situation with every 
firm out there. The amount of effort required to do that would 
just be overwhelming." ("EPA Faulted for Lax Superfund En- 
forcement," The Washington Post, March 20; "Superfund Con- 
tracts: EPA's Procedures for Preventing Conflicts of Interest 
Need Strengthening," General Accounting Office, GAO/RCED- 
89-57, February) 

March 1989 The Annual Report to the President FY 1988 of the Information 

Security Oversight Office reported that original classification 
decisions increased 24 percent, to 2,508,693. The total of all 
classification actions decreased 12 percent from FY 1987, to 
10,429,385, the lowest annual total ever reported by ISOO. Un- 
der mandatory review for declassification, agencies processed 
3,569 cases, eight fewer than in FY 1987; declassified in full 
73,500 pages; declassified in part 147,297 additional pages; 
and retained classification in full on 22,034 pages. Agencies 
acted on 224 appeals, 46 percent fewer than in FY 1987, and 
declassified in whole or in part 14,844 pages in addition to 
those released in the initial mandatory review process. Under 
the systematic review program, agencies reviewed 10,436,160 
pages of historically valuable records, 20 percent fewer than 
in FY 1987; and declassified 4,927,193 pages, 45 percent fewer 
than in FY 1987. 


March 1989 

March 1 989 In an opinion piece, Robert L. Park of the American Physi- 

cal Society presented his case that steps should be taken at 
once to reform our system for handling important govern- 
ment, scientific, and technical material. Among his recom- 
mendations: 1) President Bush should review the rules for 
classification of national security information and move to re- 
verse the trend toward excessive secrecy; 2) Congress should 
revise the export-control laws to eliminate all restraints on 
the dissemination of unclassified information; 3) electronic 
databases should be assured of the same protection under 
the First Amendment as the printed word; and 4) The Free- 
dom of Information Act should be protected from any fur- 
ther erosion. ("We Need to Redress the Balance Between Se- 
crecy and Openness in Handling Important Government and 
Scientific Information," The ChTonicle of Higher Education, 
March 22) 

March 1989 Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) and New York state health 

officials sharply criticized a court-approved secret settlement 
involving a toxic spill at a Xerox manufacturing plant near 
Rochester, N.Y., citing the case as an example of how much 
legal secrecy can inhibit scientific and medical inquiry into 
questions of health and safety. Moynihan suggested that leg- 
islation may be necessary to ensure that legal settlements in 
environmental lawsuits do not cut off the flow of information 
to communities and government agencies. "There is some- 
thing unseemly about public health information, environmen- 
tal health information, not being available in any circum- 
stances," Moynihan said. 

As a result of the secret settlement, Xerox agreed to pay $4.75 
million to two families who had alleged that discharges from 
Xerox's plant in Webster, N.Y, had damaged their health. Xe- 
rox also relocated the families and bought their houses, which 
are now vacant. At the request of Xerox, the judge sealed 
all records in the case and prohibited the parties from dis- 
cussing the matter. Commissioner of the New York State De- 
partment of Environmental Conservation Thomas F. Jorling 
said, "Shielding information from the public domain creates 
obstacles to scientists seeking to discover the true effect of 
exposures to toxics and to regulators like myself seeking to de- 
velop comprehensive regulatory and enforcement strategies." 
Xerox general counsel Richard S. Paul said the company 
will now support a motion to unseal the records if it is made 
by a health or government agency. Moynihan praised the 


March 1989 

company for its willingness to open the records. ("Secrecy in 
Toxic-Spill Case Assailed," The Washington Post, March 22) 

March 1989 In an effort to better protect U.S. technology, the National Aero- 

nautics and Space Administration is seeking exemptions to 
the Freedom of Information Act similar to those already granted 
to the Department of Defense. The proposal would allow NASA 
to withhold technical data from release under the act if that 
data is ineligible for an export license from the departments of 
State or Commerce. ("NASA Solicits Tighter Rein on Release 
of Information," Defense News, March 27) 

April 1989 "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears to 

be finally setting up its electronic filing system called 'Edgar 
after fighting Congress for more than four years for funding. 
Edgar will be phased in during 1990 at SEC and is expected 
to be fully operational in 1993. SEC will install 9 systems at 
its offices and one at Mead Data Central which will offer the 
SEC data online via their LEXIS/NEXIS online services. The 
SEC data will also be available to the public through ter- 
minals installed at SEC regional offices. SEC has said that 
there are no plans to offer the data online publicly because of 
prohibitive costs." ("SEC Edgar System Will Provide SEC Data 
Online Via LEXIS/ NEXIS," Online Newsletter, April) 

April 1989 The staff of the Inspector General at the Department of Veter- 

ans Affairs has been accused of concealing politically sensi- 
tive finds of waste and abuse — finds that ended up on a shelf 
instead of in the hands of Congress. The IG audits are nor- 
mally released to the public in semiannual reports to Congress. 
However, a few were never released. A whistle-blower dubbed 
them "credenza" reports, for their final, private, resting place. 
A spokesman for the inspector general told Jack Anderson 
that the credenza reports are not a secret. The audits are avail- 
able for public inspection. ("Critical Audits of VA Shelved," 
The Washington Post, April 3) 

April 1989 In his column, "On the Air," Tom Shales said that American 

TV stations were supposedly being freed of prior constraints 
when the Federal Communications Commission summarily 
repealed its 38-year-old Fairness Doctrine in 1987. The rule, 
which required stations to give balanced treatment of "con- 
troversial issues of public importance," supposedly inhibited 
them from tackling troublesome hot potatoes. In fact, says a 
study released in early April, stations now give less time to 



April 1989 

public affairs than they did before the rule was thrown out. 
Comparing programming aired on commercial stations in 
1988 with a similar period in programming in 1979, Essen- 
tial Information, a public interest research group, found a 
51 percent decrease in the amount of time devoted to "issue- 
oriented public affairs" material. 

For its study, the group looked at programming on 217 TV 
stations in 50 markets from January through April of 1988 and 
compared it with a similar period nine years earlier. Jim Don- 
ahue of Essential Information said that local TV Guides were 
used to gather programming data because the FCC no longer 
requires stations to make their program logs public. Donahue 
said: "... the FCC may not even respond to the study be- 
cause they didn't collect any data to confirm that repealing 
the doctrine increased issue-oriented programming." But Sally 
Lawrence, a spokeswoman for the FCC commented: "This 
report is nothing short of outrageous. There is nothing in my 
data file that corroborates this study." Lawrence said networks 
and local stations are doing more public affairs programming 
than ever under deregulation, though she conceded she did 
not have figures to support the idea that such programming 
increased once the Fairness Doctrine was abolished. ("The 
Truth About the Fairness Doctrine," The Washington Post, 
April 5) 

April 1989 Reagan Administration documents show that the Interior De- 

partment suppressed warnings last year about the risks of 
offshore drilling and about the adequacy of technology for 
cleaning up oil spills, several members of Congress said. Warn- 
ings from the staffs of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the En- 
vironmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration were either expunged from 
the department's final recommendations for a sale of drilling 
leases, or simply not made public, members of California's 
Congressional delegation said. Rep. Mel Levine (D-CA), who 
obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information 
Act, said that the Reagan Administration's willingness to play 
down the dangers of oil spills and the lack of adequate means 
to deal with such an emergency contributed to the disaster 
caused by the tanker accident in Alaska's Prince William Sound. 
("U.S. Said to Censor Memo on Oil Risks," The New York Times, 
April 6) 


April 1989 

April 1989 In response to widespread opposition, OMB withdrew their 

January proposal intended to guide the federal government's 
dissemination of computerized information to the public. "Our 
initial documentation was perhaps misunderstood or at least 
not carefully enough stated," said Jay S. Plager, administrator 
of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. "Some 
people thought the point of the exercise was to make it more 
difficult to obtain government information." He said that his 
agency was committed to a policy of freedom of information 
and that setting fair guidelines had become a difficult task 
because of rapidly changing technology. "We're not going 
ahead with a new rule," he said. "Some people got upset 
that this was being forced down their throats. We're seek- 
ing additional comment and advice." Critics said that they 
welcomed the agency's latest move but that they remained 
concerned. "Until there is a formal acknowledgement of a 
change of policy, the public would be foolish to think there 
is a change," said David Plocker of OMB Watch. ("Policy Shift 
on Access to U.S. Data," The New York Times, April 10) 

April 1989 When the Justice Department in January laid off six of its ten 

spokesmen, department officials suggested the move could be 
a blessing in disguise for reporters who might now have more 
direct access to department lawyers. But Assistant Attorney 
General Edward S. G. Dennis, Jr., in a memorandum circu- 
lated in March to all employees in the department's criminal 
division, laid that one definitively to rest. "As a result of recent 
changes in the Office of Public Affairs," he noted in a two- 
page memo, "there may be an increased effort by the media 
to contact individual attorneys ... in the criminal division." 

Dennis restated criminal division policy on the matter: Don't 
talk. Refer all calls to the public affairs office. If reporters who 
"already have contacted or attempted to contact" the press of- 
fice try again, "you should refer them to me or to your super- 
visory Deputy Assistant Attorney General" And "if thereafter 
you are asked by one of us to talk to the media, you should 
do so in conjunction with the Office of Public Affairs or with 
me or your supervisory deputy." When a Justice spokesman 
was asked what if some department lawyers were actually 
willing to speak to a reporter, he replied: "I assume they're 
busy carrying out their jobs, or the same kind of rif [reduction 
in force] program that happened in the public affairs office is 
going to happen in other parts of the department." ("Dealing 
With Media: Don't Talk," The Washington Post, April 11) 


April 1989 

April 1989 During his trial, former White House aide Oliver L. Norih said 

that he had been told in 1985 to alter half a dozen secret doc- 
uments about his activities to protect not only his immedi- 
ate boss, but President Reagan. While the order came from 
national security adviser Robert C. McFarland, North said: 
"I had been led to believe that everything I was doing was 
at the direction of the president." Independent prosecutor 
John W. Keker asked North to "[elxplain how you got the un- 
derstanding that the president of the United States wanted 
you, Oliver L. North, to alter . . . documents." North said, "Be- 
cause everything I had done that was described in the docu- 
ments on this list, I had been told, was at the direction of the 
president." ("North Tells of Scheme to Shield Reagan," The 
Washington Post, April 13) 

April 1 989 In a highly unusual move, federal appeals court Judge Dou- 

glas H. Ginsburg deleted 12 of 18 pages of the publicly re- 
leased text of the dissenting opinion in a case decided April 14, 
saying his reasoning had to be kept secret because it was 
based on classified information. Court officials could not re- 
member another instance in which the appeals court in Wash- 
ington issued a secret opinion. Justice Department lawyers 
were permitted to see the full Ginsburg opinion but lawyers 
for the plaintiff in the case were not. The decision came in a 
lawsuit accusing the FBI, as part of its Cointelpro domestic 
surveillance program during the 1950s and 1960s, of engaging 
in illegal activity designed to discredit a New York man who 
was a member of the Communist Party. 

The government, invoking the state secrets privilege, asked 
the appeals court to take the unusual step of ordering the 
lower court to dismiss the suit without hearing the case. Se- 
nior Judge Max Rosenn refused, saying an FBI affidavit sub- 
mitted under seal did not convince the court "that evidence 
of the government's activities of 20 to 30 years ago will result 
in the disclosure of state secrets today." Ginsburg cited the 
affidavit by Assistant FBI Director James J. Geer, the head of 
the bureau's intelligence division, who asserted that disclo- 
sure of evidence "not only would pose a serious risk to the 
personal safety of government informants" but also "cause 
serious damage" to national security. 

ACLU's Kate Martin, who represented the plaintiff, called Gins- 
burg's secret opinion "totally improper," likening it to secret 
Star Chamber proceedings of the past in England. Bruce Fein, 


April 1989 

a conservative legal scholar said: "It's very disturbing if you 
hove secret law that's known only to the judge or the gov- 
ernment because you could imagine a future case when the 
government cites the opinion but the opponent doesn't know 
what's in it." ("U.S. Judge Deletes 12 Pages From Text of Dis- 
sent," The Washington Post, April 18) 

April 1989 The White House concluded that numerous documents from 

Oliver L. North's White House office, apparently including 
one referring to then-Vice President Bush's secret involvement 
in a deal to reward Honduras for helping the Nicaraguan 
contras, were never seen by congressional committees in- 
vestigating the Iran-Contra affair, an Administration official 
said. Bush has said twice that the documents, which were 
released during North's trial, were "available" to the Iran- 
Contra committees. The official said that the documents — 
among those seized from North's office in November 1986 — 
were in an archive whose contents were available to the in- 
vestigating committees if they specifically requested them. But 
the committees never asked to see the documents, the official 

John W. Nields, Jr., chief counsel to the House Iran-Contra com- 
mittee, said that this account was "absolutely cockeyed." Nields 
said the House panel repeatedly asked to review the docu- 
ments found in North's office, but the White House continually 
turned down its requests for direct access. Nields said that 
White House officials instead insisted that the committee rely 
on the judgment of FBI agents who inspected the documents 
found in North's office. ("Iran-Contra Panels Never Saw Some 
White House Documents," The Washington Post, April 20) 

April 1989 Because they did not hove access to key documents, the con- 

gressional Iran-Contra committees could not investigate the 
roles played by President Reagan and then- Vice President 
Bush in efforts to use American aid as an inducement to per- 
suade third countries to support the Nicaraguan contras. Rep. 
Lee H. Hamilton (D-IN) said. The documents indicate that Rea- 
gan and Bush were more extensively involved in these efforts 
than previously known. Documents released at the trial show 
that some Reagan Administration officials feared that secret 
quid pro quo agreements with third countries to win aid for 
the contras might be "an impeachable offense," although 
other officials said they were legal. ("Chairman Says Gaps 
Left in Iran Probe," The Washington Post, April 21) 



May 1989 

April 1989 Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-ME), Sens. Daniel 

Inouye (D-HI), and Warren B. Rudman (R-NH) of the Senate 
Iran-Contra Committee asked for an "immediate" inquiry 
into whether the Reagan White House withheld key docu- 
ments or p)olitically sensitive information from the 1987 con- 
gressional investigation of arms sales to Iran and secret aid to 
the Nicaraguan contras. ("Senators Seek Probe of Iran-Contra 
Data/' The Washington Post, April 27) 

May 1989 The Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes to 

the threshold reporting quantity (TRO) for hazardous chem- 
icals in the March 29 Federal Register, pp. 12922-13019. The 
reporting requirements would be slackened by raising the 
TRO from zero pounds after two years (as the regulations 
now provide) to 10,000 pounds. Raising the threshold to 10,000 
means that a facility with less than 10,000 pounds of a haz- 
ardous chemical will not have to report. As a result, less infor- 
mation will be available to citizens and emergency planners 
about the facilities near their homes and in their commu- 
nities. In addition, EPA wants to raise the reporting thresh- 
old for extremely hazardous substances to 500 pounds. To 
put this in perspective, 500 pounds is approximately equal to 
one 55-gallon drum, so that 10,000 pounds is about equal to 
twenty 55-gallon drums, or 1,100 gallons. Tremendous traffic 
in hazardous chemicals will go unreported under the pro- 
posal. ("Reporting Requirements Slackened." Working Notes 
on Community Right-To-Know, May) 

May 1989 The Senate Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation is investi- 

gating at least two instances in which Texas nuclear plant 
workers who raised safety concerns were paid for agreeing 
not to testify at licensing hearings. The Subcommittee is also 
examining at least one other secret deal between a nuclear 
plant contractor and an employee in order to determine the 
frequency and legality of such practices. Sen. John B. Breaux 
(D-LA), Subcommittee Chair, said such arrangements hold 
frightening implications for nuclear safety. "It turns the licens- 
ing process into a sham if witnesses can be paid money to 
withhold their testimony." Subcommittee sources said docu- 
ments indicated that a worker at Comanche Peak who had 
raised safety concerns received $30,000 as part of a deal with 
Gibbs & Hill, Inc., a contractor at the plant site. They said the 
arrangement prohibits the employee, Lorenzo Polizzi, from tes- 
tifying before the NRC about safety issues. ("Nuclear Workers' 
Silence Probed," The Washington Post, May 3) 


May 1989 

May 1989 The Food and Drug Administration drew few protests sev- 

eral years ago when it announced it was abandoning, for 
budgetary reasons, an annual compilation of data from its 
testing program for pesticide residues in food. The publication 
vanished shortly before disclosures of ethylene dibromide in 
muffin mix, aldicarb in watermelon and Alar in applesauce 
generated new interest in the subject. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service's Office of Information Transfer 
at Fort Collins, Colo., acts as a clearinghouse for technical 
information on a broad range of wildlife issues. To the Rea- 
gan Administration's budget-cutters, the office always had 
the look of an arcane and therefore easy mark. When the ax 
appeared about to fall several years ago, the office sent a 
notice to its thousands of clients that they would have to find 
another source for bibliographies, research summaries and 
other materials. The result was a blizzard of protest, includ- 
ing hundreds of letters from renowned wildlife researchers, 
academic institutions and libraries in the United States and 
abroad. ("Tiniest Projects Get Budget Ax," The Washington 
Post. May 8) 

May 1989 A federal judge in northern California has agreed with a 

group of Vietnam Veterans of America who brought a lawsuit 
to make the government agree that Agent Orange, which 
contains dioxin, the deadliest known poison, made them sick. 
Judge Thelton E. Henderson defoliated the Department of Vet- 
erans Affairs' claim that there was "no scientific evidence" 
of any connection between Agent Orange that was sprayed 
in the jungles and the afflictions of the veterans and their 

The story of the lengths to which the VA went to make sure 
there would be no scientific evidence is reported in a book 
called The Wages of War by Richard Severo and Lewis Mil- 
ford. After public outrage about the way the VA conducted 
a congressionally mandated study of cause and effect, the 
VA handed the study to the Centers for Disease Control. Its 
scientists spent several years on the study before stopping it 
because they said data was just not available. Not so, said 
Richard Christian, a retired Army officer who was director of 
the Pentagon's Environmental Support Group. He collected 
40,000 boxes of records about Agent Orange sprayings, about 
troop movements, sorties and retreats. The CDC, however, 
got the Viet Cong and the U.S. records confused, according 


June 1989 

to Severo and Milford. ("Justice for Vietnam Veterans," The 
Washington Post, May 9) 

May 1989 A NASA scientist told the Senate Commerce Subcommittee 

on Science, Technology, and Space that the Administration 
changed his testimony about his scientific opinions, over his 
objections. James Hansen, director of the Goodard Institute 
for Space Studies, said unknown officials of OMB forced him 
to add a paragraph to his written statement on the proba- 
ble causes of "global warming" that he did not agree with. 
The incident focused congressional attention both on OMB's 
practice of clearing testimony and on the failure of the White 
House to speak forcefully on the threat of global warming. 

Subcommittee Chair Albert Gore, Jr., (D-TN) and 12 of his fel- 
low senators wrote to President Bush to denounce the OMB 
changes. At the hearing. Gore said: "The Bush administration 
is acting as if it's scared of the truth. They are acting as if 
they do not want the best scientists in the administration to 
come to Congress to give us the best knowledge that they can 
glean from the data." Gore asked Hansen, "The statements 
which were changed by OMB were not statements about pol- 
icy. They were statements about the scientific data, correct?" 
Hansen agreed, "I do not believe that the science aspects 
of the testimony should be altered." In an interview, Hansen 
said that OMB had changed or tried to change his statements 
before three previous congressional appearances dating back 
to 1987. ("White House Alters Scientist's Conclusions," Federal 
Times, May 22) 

June 1989 This entry follows up an October 1988 item in this on-going 

chronology about whether the Department of Veterans Affairs 
chief medical director improperly ordered his staff to produce 
a report lowering the number of veterans' hospitals suspected 
to have high mortality rates. The General Accounting Office 
has reported it cannot conclude, based on information pro- 
vided by the VA, that Dr. John A. Gronvall tried to influence 
the results of the study or acted inappropriately. The depart- 
ment has not released the study or named the problem hos- 
pitals. ("GAO Finds No Evidence VA Medical Official Acted 
Improperly," The Washington Post, June 6) 

June 1989 The original version of a White House document showing 

that then-President Reagan approved a secret 1985 deal to 
reward Honduras for its continued support of the Nicaraguan 


June 1989 

contras has been found in Los Angeles among presidential 
files set aside for the Reagan library, according to informed 
sources. A copy of this document was disclosed during the 
trial of Oliver L. North. The fact that this document never 
reached Congress but has reached the Reagan archive in 
California has added questions about what happened. 

The Iran-Contra congressional committees' access to such 
documents depended on the papers' being cleared first by 
Administration officials. According to Brenda S. Reger, a for- 
mer National Security Council administrative aide who played 
a central role in assembling NSC files, many sensitive NSC 
documents were stored in vaults adjacent to the White House 
situation room. Reger said that immediately after the scan- 
dal broke in late November 1986, she and several situation 
room employees conducted the initial review of many of those 
files and determined which documents were relevant to the 
Iran-Contra investigations. Reger said all the searches were 
thorough and the best that could be done under the circum- 
stances. But she also said she would "not be surprised if some- 
thing eye-popping turns up years from now." ("Discovery on 
the Iran-Contra Paper Trail," The Washington Post, June 6) 

June 1989 The Defense Department relies too heavily on outside con- 

tractors for consulting help in procuring weapons systems, 
increasing the risk that some competitors will get an unfair 
advantage from leaked information, the General Accounting 
Office concluded. In testimony scheduled to be presented on 
June 7 to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Investi- 
gations, GAO endorsed a Navy plan to cut back on the use 
of outside contractors for sensitive aspects of the procure- 
ment process, and urged the Army and Air Force to follow 
the Navy's lead. 

Congressional concern over the use of outside contractors by 
the Pentagon to decide project requirements and to perform 
technical and cost reviews of proposals has grown since last 
summer's Pentagon procurement probe. Operation 111 Wind. 
The investigation illustrated the lengths to which some de- 
fense contractors and consultants would go to get inside infor- 
mation to obtain an edge in competitions for major contracts. 
Some members of Congress have argued that information 
about planned procurements should be closely held by gov- 
ernment officials to prevent leaks, and that outside consultants 


June 1989 

should be eliminated. ("GAO Urges Cutbacks on Contractors/' 
The Washington Post, June 7) 

June 1989 The Justice Department announced that it has begun a crimi- 

nal investigation into allegations that nuclear and other haz- 
ardous wastes were illegally stored and discharged into the 
environment by the Energy Department's Rocky Flats nuclear 
weapons plant near Denver. Hours after 70 FBI agents and 
other law enforcement officials searched offices at the long- 
troubled plant, the department said a grand jury will examine 
whether workers covered up the pollution. 

Rep. David E. Skaggs (D-CO) suggested that investigators 
were concerned about destruction of records and are inves- 
tigating the possibility of a wide-spread criminal conspiracy 
at the plant. Rocky Flats, 16 miles northwest of downtown 
Denver, makes plutonium triggers used in detonation of nu- 
clear weapons. Critics have alleged for years that radioac- 
tive pollution has contaminated the plant site and adjacent 
suburbs. Colorado Governor Roy Romer cited his reliance 
on assurances by federal officials that the plant was being 
cleaned and problems corrected. If those assurances were 
based on altered documents, he said, "I'm outraged; I'm ab- 
solutely outraged." ("Charges of Illegal Storage, Pollution 
Probed at Nuclear Arms Plant," The Washington Post, June 7) 

June 1989 Rockwell International Corporation, which operates the Rocky 

Flats nuclear weapons plant where workers are suspected of 
covering up illegal environmental pollution, has been awarded 
progressively larger bonuses by the Department of Energy for 
meeting production targets. In the first half of fiscal 1988, DOE 
paid the California-based aerospace conglomerate a base fee 
of $782,400 to manage the plant and added a bonus of $4.6 
million for the company's management, Rockwell spokesman 
Ed Heintz said. 

The bonus has climbed steadily, jumping from $3.2 million in 
fiscal 1983 to $8.5 million in fiscal 1987, the latest full year for 
which figures are available. During the same period, Rock- 
well's base fee ranged from about $2 million to $2.8 million a 
year. Heintz said the fee schedules were established by the 
Energy Department and were based on the company's "per- 
formance. Our performance is production." A DOE spokes- 
woman said there is nothing improper in the bonuses, but she 
noted that when senior DOE officials approved the awards, 


June 1989 

they were not aware of the massive criminal investigation 
the Justice Department announced on June 6. ("Probed Plant's 
Manager Got Bonuses," The Washington Post, June 8) 

June 1989 Resisting Senate demands to require stringent registration 

of Pentagon consultants in the wake of last summer's pro- 
curement fraud scandal, the OMB on June 7 proposed a less- 
onerous set of disclosure requirements designed to ferret out 
potential conflicts of interest by consultants to all federal agen- 
cies. The propxDsal, drawn up by the OMB Office of Federal 
Procurement Policy, would require some consultants to dis- 
close the names of other government and commercial clients 
when they apply for a contract. While industry officials said 
they were pleased that the proposed rules did not go as far 
as requirements that were passed by the Senate last summer, 
Sen. David Pryor (D-AR) charged that the proposal was full of 
loopholes that would "gut" consultant reform. 

Pryor's effort to require strict consultant registration did not 
pass the House, and conference committee members referred 
the matter to OMB, Pryor's legislation would have required all 
government services companies to register with the govern- 
ment and to list all their clients for the previous three years 
when applying for a contract. It also would have required 
prime contractors to list all their consultants. The OMB pro- 
posal exempts engineering, technical, legal and account- 
ing services, as well as some contractors with industry self- 
governance ethics programs. It also allows an agency head 
to grant a waiver to the conflict of interest policy on "public 
interest" grounds. ("New Rules for Consultants Proposed," The 
Washington Post, June 8) 

June 1989 When the Securities and Exchange Commission in June 1988 

eliminated public access to the microfiche files maintained in 
its reference room in Washington, D.C., complaints by regular 
users were reviewed by the General Accounting Office. Two 
areas of concern remain: (1) closing of the microfiche files to 
the public and allowing only SEC staff to fill users' microfiche 
requests led to delays in obtaining these materials and more 
difficulty in doing research, and (2) SEC's microfiche contrac- 
tor received copies of certain time-sensitive documents before 
regular users received them in the reference room. This gave 
the contractor an unfair advantage over regular users, who 
compete with the contractor in selling information from these 
documents. ("Information Access: Improving Securities and 


June 1989 

Exchange Commission's Public Reference Room Operations," 
GAO/GGD-89-85, June 7) 

June 1989 The FBI charged that senior executives in the Department of 

Energy knew for years about illegal and dangerous toxic- 
waste procedures at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant 
near Denver, Colo., but lied about the situation to conceal the 
violations. An affidavit quoted a 1986 DOE memo warning 
top officials that some waste practices at Rocky Flats were 
"patently 'illegal.' " The internal memo said misleading de- 
partment statements had kept the public from knowing "just 
how really bad the site is." Colorado Governor Roy Romer 
said he was outraged about the toxic dangers set forth in the 
FBI affidavit and just as angry that the information was kept 
secret for months by the criminal investigators. "It's absolutely 
inexcusable," he said, "that the information was kept from 
the people of Colorado .... It's more important to protect a 
person's health than to send somebody to jail." ("FBI Accuses 
Energy Dept. of Lying," The Washington Post, June 10) 

June 1989 Bowing to a storm of criticism of its January 4, 1989, advance 

notice on the development of policy concerning the dissemi- 
nation of information by executive branch agencies, the Office 
of Management and Budget withdrew the proposal. Two- 
thirds of the letters to OMB on the January notice were from li- 
brarians. The second advance notice, published in the June 15 
Federal Register, pp. 25554-25559, reframed the policy. Of 
particular interest is the OMB's assertion of its philosophy on 
government information policy: 

. . . OMB wishes to make clear that its fundamental phi- 
losophy is that government information is a public asset; 
that is, with the exception of national security matters and 
such other areas as may be prescribed by law, it is the 
obligation of government to make such information readily 
available to the public on equal terms to all citizens; that 
to the extent the flow of information from the government 
to the public can be enhanced by the participation of the 
private sector, such participation should be encouraged; 
and that participation by the private sector supplements 
but does not replace the obligations of the government. 
These principles apply whatever the form, printed, elec- 
tronic, or other in which the information has been collected 
or stored. 


June 1989 

According to an article in The New York Times, the new pro- 
posal points "to a significant reversal in the Federal Gov- 
ernment's policy of favoring the private sector for published 
Government data." ("O.M.B. Proposes Switch in Information 
Policy," The New York Times, June 10) 

June 1989 In an article in Library Journal, librarian Nancy Kranich 

presented empirical evidence gleaned from a government 
database — the Electronic Dissemination of Information (EDI) 
database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture — that illus- 
trated the issues and problems librarians face in trying to pro- 
vide access to government information in electronic formats. 
EDI offers news, commodity economic, statistical, and other 
reports through a computerized system operated by Martin 
Marietta Data Systems under contract to the USDA. In the 
past, USDA released this electronic information to AGNET, a 
not-for-profit group at the University of Nebraska, which put 
the information on its electronic network and made it avail- 
able to the public. In 1985, USDA signed an exclusive contract 
with Martin Marietta to provide that same USDA information. 
Because of increased costs charged by the vendor, AGNET 
can no longer afford to provide these data to its customers 
without raising its fees. 

Formerly, USDA distributed this information free or at nominal 
cost through the Government Printing Office to depository li- 
braries, farmers, and others. AGNET used to get the electronic 
version free from USDA, then charged $50 a year plus 50^ 
per minute for access. Martin Marietta also gets information 
free from USDA. However, the contract between the contractor 
and USDA does not specify charges to public users; rather, 
they are established by Martin Marietta in separate contracts 
with each user. Generally, these charges are $45 per hour 
plus a minimum use/subscription fee of $ 1 50 per month for 
subscribers like news services and commercial organizations. 
Once this information becomes available through Dialog, 
one of several commercial vendors, it costs $96/hour, 60^/full 
record offline, and 50 Mull record online. 

In addition, although government information is in the public 
domain. Dialog, in its "Database Supplier Terms and Con- 
ditions," claims that, "This database is copyrighted by Pio- 
neer Hi-bred International, Inc. No part of AGRIBUSINESS 
U.S.A. database may be duplicated without the written au- 
thorization of Pioneer Hi-bred International, Inc." ("Information 


June 1989 

Drought: Next Crisis for the American Farmer?" Lihrary Jour- 
nal, June 15) 

June 1989 Author Eve Pell maintained that secret presidential decrees 

have propelled America into some of the most dramatic and 
controversial events in the past four decades: in Cuba, South- 
east Asia, in Lebanon and Grenada. Yet most Americans are 
unaware of National Security Decision Directives, perhaps the 
most powerful and hidden tool of the President. During eight 
years in office, Ronald Reagan issued approximately 300 of 
these NSDDs; President Bush has begun his own series. 

"NSDDs reflect an ominous shift in the traditional locus of 
Federal decision-making. You have players from State and 
Defense and Justice all sitting around cutting deals," said 
Scott Armstrong of the National Security Archive. "The N.S.C. 
[National Security Council], the bureaucratic apogee of inter- 
agency decision-making, coordinates the agencies — and since 
the N.S.C. director is not subject to oversight, the process cir- 
cumvents Congress completely." 

When questioned in November 1988, a Reagan White House 
spokesman claimed that congressional committees were told 
about NSDDs on topics that concern them. Not so, soy several 
senior members of Congress. Reps. Louis Stokes (D-OH) and 
Lee Hamilton (D-IN), Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI) and several 
committee staff members insist that they were not informed in 
the Reagan years. Rep. Anthony Beilenson, chair of the House 
Intelligence Committee, stated that his fellow committee mem- 
bers hove requested NSDDs from, the Reagan White House 
and have been refused on the ground that the directives are 
"presidential documents." ("Hidden Government Revealed: 
White House Secret Powers," The Virginia Ohserver, June 16) 

June 1 989 Breakdowns of safety at government nuclear weapons plants 

are rooted in a devotion to secrecy and in poor management, 
charged a repori by the House Energy and Commerce Sub- 
committee on Oversight and Investigations. Rep. John Dingell 
(D-MI), chairman of the panel, said in a letter accompanying 
the report that "obsessive secrecy and lack of outside over- 
sight have been hallmarks of the nuclear weapons program 
since its beginning as the wartime Manhattan Engineering 
District" in the early 1940s. The investigators said unchal- 
lenged secrecy allowed the Energy Department and its con- 
tractors to neglect improvements in health and safety. ("Report 


June 1989 

Cites Secrecy as a Cause of Problems at Nuclear Plants," The 
New York Times, June 19) 

June 1989 The federal government has spent many billions of dollars 

during more than a third of a century in a thus-far fruitless 
attempt to tame hot fusion, a process that proponents see as 
a source of safe, cheap, and nearly inexhaustible power. But 
experts say the effort, which is now nearing its goal of igniting 
self-sustaining fusion reactions, has recently been hurt by 
excessive secrecy and large financial cutbacks. As a result, 
they say, rivals in Japan and Europe are forging ahead and 
taking the lead in some areas. 

In a recent report, the National Research Council, an advisory 
body to the government, said the United States had "lost its 
leadership position" in a key area of hot fusion. Cuts in funds, 
the report said, had given the lead to the Europeans. The loss 
of American leadership stems mainly from a 50 percent cut 
in funds during the past decade. The Europeans now have 
nearly twice the manpower, greater industry participation, 
and a more comprehensive array of fusion devices and ex- 
periments, the report said. Indeed, many experts now say the 
Europeans will probably be the first to achieve "break-even," 
the point at which the energy released by a fusion reaction 
matches that put in. Break-even, a critical first step on the 
road to creating a fusion power reactor, was a milestone the 
United States long expected to attain first. 

America is losing ground to foreign rivals in another type of 
fusion that uses lasers or particle beams to bombard tiny fuel 
pellets for a split second, trying to heat and squeeze them to 
the point of ignition. While America still maintains a long lead 
in this field, scientists say government secrecy is hampering 
their work and causing them to slip in standing. Laser fusion 
work has been classified as secret because of potential mili- 
tary applications while research on magnetic fusion is openly 
published. In contrast, Japanese scientists have been openly 
publishing articles on the subject and making rapid progress. 

The Japanese work is so advanced that it has violated Ameri- 
can secrecy rules, a situation some American scientists say is 
absurd. The journal Scientific American recently reported that 
security officials at the Lawrence Livermore National Labora- 
tory in California ripped the cover off a magazine showing 
a drawing of a laser fusion device pioneered by scientists 


July 1989 

at Osaka University in Japan. Following guidelines from the 
Department of Energy, Livermore officials barred the mag- 
azine's circulation at the laboratory. ("U.S. Losing Ground 
in Worldwide Race for 'Hot' Fusion," The New York Times, 
June 20) 

July 1 989 The Federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta either 

botched a $43 million study of health risks posed by the chem- 
ical defoliant Agent Orange or buckled under pressure from 
the White House to call off its research. Rep. Ted Weiss (D-NY) 
charged at a hearing of the Government Operations Human 
Resources and Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee. 
The CDC halted the evaluation in 1987, asserting that a lack 
of military records made it impossible to determine which 
soldiers were exposed to the herbicide that was widely used 
to clear jungle undergrowth during the Vietnam War. Nearly 
35,000 Vietnam veterans have claimed they suffered cancers 
and skin diseases and fathered children with birth defects 
as a result of exposure to Agent Orange, which contains the 
deadly chemical dioxin. However, scientists testifying before 
the subcommittee said military records do exist and show 
which Army companies were in areas sprayed by the her- 
bicide. ("Agent Orange Study Called Botched or Rigged," The 
Washington Post, July 12) 

July 1989 Author M. B. Schnapper reports that two days before Ronald 

Reagan left office, he signed an extraordinary executive order 
that has thus far gone largely unnoticed. It vested private 
citizen Reagan, in essence, with the lifetime power to prevent 
disclosure of "privileged" papers generated by or for him 
during his presidential tenure. Unless the order is nullified 
by President Bush, Reagan may be able to suppress whatever 
documents he regards as deleterious to his interests and those 
of his Administration. "For sheer audacity. Executive Order 
12667 — approved by Reagan on Jan. 18 but not published in 
the Federal Register until Jan. 23 . . . has few parallels in the 
annals of government flimflam." 

To the dismay of Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh 
and some critics of the Presidential Recordings and Materi- 
als Preservation Act of 1974, the statute permitted Reagan, 
his staff aides, and other personnel to privatize and bar per- 
manently congressional and public access to "non-public" 
information embedded in "personal notes . . . not circulated 
or communicated in the course of transacting government 


July 1989 

business." Schnapper said, "The addition of Executive Or- 
der 12667 restrictions to these statutory limits suggests that 
the former president would like a total news blackout on the 
Reagan years." ("How Reagan Put Wraps on His Records," 
Legal Times, Week of July 17) 

July 1989 A dispute between the White House and independent counsel 

Lawrence Walsh has blocked the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee from obtaining uncensored copies of nearly 3,000 
pages of convicted former White House aide Oliver North's 
notes on his own activities. North took 21 spiral notebooks 
with him after he was fired from the National Security Coun- 
cil for his role in the Iran-Contra affair, and has kept them 
ever since, preventing Congress from gaining access to the 
uncensored version of his writings. Sources familiar with the 
Walsh investigation have questioned why the White House 
and the Justice Department have not previously attempted to 
force North to return his original notebooks to the government, 
particularly since the notebooks are full of classified materi- 
als. After a long legal fight, Walsh obtained copies — not the 
originals — of the notebooks. 

The House and Senate Iran-Contra committees obtained ac- 
cess to copies of portions of North's notebooks only after North's 
attorneys had blacked out entries they felt were pertinent to 
the congressional inquiry. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and other 
Democratic panel members say several issues cannot be re- 
solved without seeing the complete text. ("Senate Panel Un- 
able to Get North Data," The Washington Post, July 19) 

July 1 989 The Justice Department, at the request of the Central Intelli- 

gence Agency, has agreed to block the disclosure of govern- 
ment secrets at the trial of a former CIA station chief indicted 
for his role in the Iran-Contra affair, the office of independent 
counsel Lawrence Walsh said. This decision could force dis- 
missal of all charges against him, Walsh aides said. If the 
government does use its powers to block critical information 
and cause Walsh to abort the trial of Joseph F. Fernandez, 
the CIA's former station chief in Costa Rica, it will be the first 
time that has happened under the Classified Information Pro- 
cedures Act. That law, enacted in 1980, made the attorney 
general the final arbiter of what classified information can be 
used in a trial. ("U.S. to Block Disclosures in Fernandez Case," 
The Washington Post, July 22) 


July 1989 

July 1989 Thanks to a surge over the past decade in national security 

and intelligence programs, and thanks also to President Rea- 
gan's 1982 Executive Order 12356, which even allows data to 
be classified merely when "disclosure reasonably could be 
expected to cause damage to the national security," document 
classification has become a growth industry, according to 
David Morrison. From fiscal 1981-82, the number of classifi- 
cation actions taken by the 70 or so federal agencies empow- 
ered to do so grew by less than 1 percent, to 17.5 million. But, 
from fiscal 1983-84, such actions jumped by 9 percent, to 19.6 

The Reagan Administration's hasty 1987 retreat from a plan 
to augment the existing types of controlled information — confi- 
dential, secret, top secret, and special access — with a striking 
new category-"sensitive but unclassified" — doubtless helped 
to keep this rising tide from becoming a completely ungovern- 
able tidal wave. But another mitigating factor may have been 
a realization that too much zeal in classifying data may be 
as harmful as too little. ("Your Eyes Only," National Journal, 
July 22) 

July 1989 Since 1964, the Department of Energy and its predecessors 

have spent $46 million compiling employment and medical 
records for more than 300,000 people who have worked at 
atomic weapons plants and laboratories. The records are con- 
sidered the most comprehensive raw data on whether chronic 
exposure to low levels of radiation endangers the health of 
workers and people living downwind from the plants. But no 
one except scientists under contract to the DOE can see the 
information, a policy that is coming under criticism from some 
members of Congress and medical experts. 

Sen. Timothy Wirth (D-CO) has introduced legislation that 
would transfer control of the radiation health information from 
DOE to the Department of Health and Human Services. The 
Energy Department has resisted the idea, arguing that it must 
carefully guard the data to insure the privacy of nuclear plant 
employees. To forestall efforts to wrest away control of the 
files. Secretary of Energy James Wdtkins announced in June 
that the department would spend $36 million to finish collect- 
ing records on all 600,000 people who have worked at gov- 
ernment nuclear installations since World War U, and to store 
the data in a computerized repository. He said that "qualified 


July 1989 

researchers" would be allowed to use the database, which is 
to be completed in 1996. 

The National Academy of Sciences has also formed a panel 
to find ways to allow independent researchers access to the 
data. An agency spokesman said that Secretary Watkins is 
commdtted to establishing a "state-of-the-art epidemiologic 
research program." But the government's critics contend that 
no timetable has been set for increasing access to the infor- 
mation, and they object to letting the Energy Department de- 
cide who is qualified to make use of it. DOE continues to bar 
access to the files of the Three Mile Island Public Health Fund, 
a group of scientists and laymen based in Philadelphia who 
requested the data under the Freedom of Information Act in 
May 1987. The group is preparing a lawsuit. ("The Govern- 
ment Health Data That So Many Want to See," The New York 
Times, July 23) 

July 1989 A column by Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta said that more 

than 150,000 pages of Watergate-era documents are sitting 
in the National Archives while archivists study them in se- 
cret to decide what should be returned to former President 
Nixon. Anderson and Van Atta describe a confidential re- 
port of a closed-door meeting of the five-member Nixon Re- 
view Board whose job is to decide whether the material — 
Watergate-related or not — is public or personal. The report 
indicated that the board was split on how to handle several 
touchy documents that "historians would love to get their hands 
on." A National Archives spokesman said they have made no 
final decisions. ("Judging the Nixon Papers," The Washington 
Post, July 25) 

July 1 989 The House Appropriations Committee dealt a setback to fed- 

eral plans for a large-scale survey of American sexual prac- 
tices when it eliminated $ 1 1 million for the survey from the 
budget for fiscal 1990 and directed the Public Health Service 
not to conduct the research. The aim of the survey, originally 
proposed in 1987, is to provide data to supplant information 
published by Dr. Alfred Kinsey in 1948 and 1953, the last com- 
prehensive study of American sexuality. Public health officials 
hove said new information would be important to efforts to 
combat the spread of AIDS. The project has been delayed by 
Office of Management and Budget questions. ("Sex Survey Is 
Dealt a Setback," The New York Times, July 26) 



August 1989 

July 1989 In a speech to the Heritage Foundation last year, Samuel R. 

Pierce, Jr., then Secretary of Housing and Urban Develop- 
ment, extolled the virtues of turning over some functions of 
the federal government to the private sector and cited his 
own department as a model. If the rest of the government 
"instituted similar policies and enjoyed similar successes," 
he said, "the total savings could be truly impressive." In the 
eight years of Pierce's tenure, the private sector had more 
control over and access to HUD money and guarantees, but 
the department's oversight over its assets diminished, even 
amid rapidly rising risk, according to HUD documents and 
present and former HUD officials. ("Risks to H.U.D. Rose Af- 
ter Its Shift of Responsibility to Private Sector," The New York 
Times, July 31) 

July 1989 With more than 20 million records culled from police reports 

around the country, the FBI's crime computers contain one of 
the most sensitive databases in law enforcement. But access 
to those records, along with other FBI files, could soon in- 
crease substantially if the Office of Management and Budget 
has its way. As a result of an OMB edict scheduled to take 
effect October 1, the FBI must begin eliminating up to 640 
jobs — including computer programmers, fingerprinters, data 
transcribers, file clerks and photographers — and turn those 
tasks over to private contractors. 

The order, which the Justice Department is resisting, is the lat- 
est beachhead in OMB's campaign to privatize large portions 
of the federal work force. FBI officials and some members of 
Congress say bringing outside contractors into the bureau 
could compromise foreign counter-intelligence investigations, 
background security checks, electronic wiretaps and other 
sensitive tasks. Privacy advocates warn that it could lead 
to abuses of the FBI's computer systems and files. But OMB 
officials say that they have heard such complaints before and 
that in most cases, the complaints are groundless. For exam- 
ple, the Pentagon has been privatizing for years, turning over 
many of its most sensitive national security tasks — such as 
operation of the Distant Early Warning system (DEW Line) — 
to outside contractors. ("J. Edgar Hoover Must Be Spinning 
in His Grave," The Washington Post Weekly Edition, July 31- 
August 6) 

August 1989 The Food and Drug Administration has been "negligent and 
reckless" in its enforcement of a law requiring makers of med- 


August 1989 

ical devices to notify the agency when malfunctioning devices 
cause deaths or serious injuries, Public Citizen Health Re- 
search Group charged. In the four years since the low went 
into effect, the FDA has brought no criminal charges against 
device manufacturers, although numerous violations were 
found, Public Citizen said. The consumer-advocacy group 
said that its examination of FDA records, obtained under the 
Freedom of Information Act, revealed numerous instances in 
which manufacturers of pacemakers, respirators, breast im- 
plants, and other devices failed to repxDri serious malfunctions. 

"The general attitude of the FDA has been to treat industry 
as a pariner, not as an adversary," said Sidney Wolfe, di- 
rector of the group. "And as long as they are pariners, peo- 
ple are going to die unnecessarily." Public Citizen obtained 
records of routine FDA inspections of medical device com- 
panies showing that since December 1985, the agency found 
unreported device problems in the files of 35 companies. At 
least seven people died and more than 100 were injured be- 
cause of unreported malfunctions of 76 kinds of devices, the 
records showed. 

An FDA spokesman. Bill Grigg, said the agency would have 
prosecuted the companies if it had found violations that were 
serious enough. Grigg noted that none of the products cited 
in the Public Citizen study warranted recall. "The occasional 
slips that we see are not the kind that require criminal prose- 
cution." ("FDA Called Lax on Medical Devices," The Washing- 
ton Post, August 4) 

August 1989 The Office of Management and Budget issued Bulletin No. 89- 
1 5, "Report on Obligations for Government Information Dis- 
semination Products and Services," on August 18 to the heads 
of executive departments and establishments. The bulletin 
provided instructions and materials for submitting a single 
consolidated table of total agency obligations for periodicals, 
nonrecurring publications, machine-readable data files (in- 
cluding CD-ROMs), software, online database services, and 
electronic bulletin boards, both current and proposed, for 
fiscal years 1988 through 1991. However, at the same time that 
OMB tightened its control over the broad range of agency dis- 
semination products and services, it also stated that compli- 
ance with OMB's system would "ensure that the appropriate 
information dissemination products are made available to the 
depository library program (44 U.S.C. 1902)." 


September 1989 

August 1989 According to Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, the FBI scored 
an intelligence coup in 1985: It learned that American missiles 
were shipped to Iran in violation of U. S. law and policy. But 
when the FBI briefed the CIA, it was warned to mind its own 
business because the shipment was a "White House oper- 
ation/' according to Intelligence sources. Just what the FBI 
and CIA knew about the Iran-Contra operation and when 
the agencies knew it has remained one of the blank pages 
in the affair. The story indicates that the cover-up of the Ira- 
nian arms deal was far more widespread and effective than 
initially believed. ("FBI Learned of Arms Shipment to Iran/' 
The Washington Post, August 29) 

August 1989 Accusing the Food and Drug Administration of endanger- 
ing women's health by failing to require uniform absorbency 
ratings on tampon labels, a federal judge gave the agency 
until October 30 to issue rules requiring such information on 
tampon packages. The ruling by Judge Barrington Parker in 
U. S. District Court in Washington, D. C, said that the FDA 
"has been lethargic in responding to and carrying out its le- 
gal obligation and, thus, has failed to adequately inform and 
protect the public on this important health issue." "Under the 
[new] regulation, everyone will have to disclose absorbency," 
said Patti Goldman, a lawyer with Public Citizen, a consumer 
group that sued FDA last year for not ordering new label- 
ing. "The most important part of this is to get the informa- 
tion out there so women can make an informed choice and 
minimize their risk of toxic shock." ("FDA Ordered to Require 
Uniform Tampon- Absorbency Ratings," The Washington Post, 
August 30) 

September 1989 The Navy has its secrets, which Richard D'Aleo says he 

understands. What he does not understand is why the docu- 
ment he signed six years ago promising never to reveal those 
secrets is now a secret. So he has sued the Navy to find out. 
In 1983 and 1984, D'Aleo worked on a special project for the 
Navy having to do with computers and counter-intelligence. 
He signed two "non-disclosure agreements" in which he prom- 
ised never to reveal the classified information to which he 
was given access. 

In 1986, when he began to write a book tentatively titled 
"Keeping Secrets: How to Protect Information," he decided to 
reread those agreements to make sure he would not violate 
them. He also wanted to see if, as is now common, they gave 


September 1989 

the Navy the right to censor his manuscript before he took 
it to a publisher. But — the Navy would not let him see the 

D'Aleo's Freedom of Information Act request was denied on 
the grounds that the "documents are being withheld in their 
entirety" because they were classified. In March 1988, two 
plainclothes Naval Investigative Service agents visited him 
at home and reminded him that he was still bound by the 
non-disclosure agreements he had signed in 1983 and 1984. 
D'Aleo said it slipped his mind to mention that it was hard 
to abide by the terms of an agreement the Navy would not 
let him see. ("Promise to Keep Secrets Is Also Secret," The 
Washington Post, September 11) 

September 1989 "Will the recent disclosure that Department of Energy labs 

have been allowing foreign countries to obtain sensitive infor- 
mation on nuclear weapons lead to a crackdown on scientific 
access? Researchers are concerned that the findings of a 
General Accounting Office investigation could hinder access 
to legitimate material requested under freedom-of-information 
laws. The June GAO report, which was commissioned by the 
Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, reported that in 1987 
the Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia national 
labs approved nearly 300 requests from nations believed to 
have secret nuclear-weapons programs for information on 
subjects such as detonators, high explosives, and neutron 

"The report recommends that DOE 'seek a legislative exemp- 
tion from the Freedom of Information Act' for unclassified data 
that could be of use to such 'sensitive' countries. But David 
Albright, senior staff scientist for the Federation of American 
Scientists, warns that such a move 'tends to inhibit research 
that sounds like it might be weapons-related even if it isn't.' 
So far. Congress hasn't decided if it will take GAO's advice, 
nor has DOE solicited such an exemption. But a committee 
staffer cautions that 'ultimately, if a trade-off must be made 
between the rigors of security and the benefits of information 
dissemination, the balance has to be toward security.' " ("DOE 
May Stem Flow of Information," The Scientist, September 18) 

September 1989 The Federal Housing Administration, which is administered 
by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, suf- 
fered losses of $4.2 billion in fiscal year 1988, nearly five times 


October 1989 

more than the Reagan Administration reported at the time, a 
two-year audit by the General Accounting Office and Price 
Waterhouse accounting firm shows. Both HUD officials and 
GAO cited poor management practices, high turnover and 
inadequate staffing at HUD during the Reagan years as 
major contributors to the FHA's fiscal problems. Economic 
downturns, during which more borrowers than usual suffer 
economic losses and fail to pay their mortgages, contributed 
to the difficulties. ("$4.2 Billion Loss Uncovered at FHA," The 
Washington Post, September 28) 

October 1989 Someone is directing food safety and nutrition policy in the 
United States, and it does not seem to be the federal gov- 
ernment. Increasingly, supermarkets, food companies, states 
and private organizations appear to be running the show. Re- 
sponding to the public's skittishness over the safety of the food 
supply and its desire for more meaningful health and nutri- 
tion information on food packages, these groups are stepping 
in where they believe the federal government has stepped 
out. The unfortunate consequence, observers believe, is confu- 
sion for consumers and a credibility crisis for the government. 

"All of it stems from the same thing," says Stephen Gardner, 
assistant attorney general for Texas. "We're beginning to see 
the fruits of the failure of the great Reagan deregulation era. 
Just as we're going to have to spend $50 to $100 billion to 
remedy S&L deregulation, we're seeing what's happening 
as a result of deregulation of consumer protection." Gardner 
believes that the past years of laissez-faire government have 
created an ironic backlash. Now it is the food industry that is 
calling for stronger federal regulation. 

"Some things should be left to the government," said John 
Cady, president of the National Food Processors Association. 
"I believe that food, diet, nutrition and health are complex 
issues that hove to be treated from a central point and that 
should be the federal government." Gardner and other critics 
say that industry is only balking now because it would rather 
be directed by a pro-business federal government than by 
private groups or 50 different states. 

Some point to the Office of Management and Budget as the 
reason for FDA's paralysis, since regulatory proposals are fre- 
quently blocked by OMB during its review. OMB proved to be 
a particular hindrance in the development of a health claims 


October 1989 

regulation, various versions of which have been going back 
and forth between the FDA and OMB since 1987. "The bottom 
line is that OMB has inadvertently but nonetheless destroyed 
the entire regulatory framework for food labeling," said Bruce 
Silverglade, an attorney with the Center for Science in the 
Public Interest. 

Regardless of OMB's impact, others believe "deregulation" 
never happened. "A repeal of regulations never occurred," 
said Peter Barton Hutt, a former chief counsel for the FDA 
and now an attorney with Covington and Burling. "There 
has been a diminution of resources [at FDA]. How can you 
enforce your existing regulations if you cut your inspectors 
in half?" Others blame Congress for not appropriating the 
proper funds to FDA, an agency that regulates products for 
which consumers spend 25 cents out of every dollar. 

As for the future of private intervention into federal policy 
making, an FDA official who asked not be identified said 
he believes it will get worse so long as the federal govern- 
ment does not play a more active role. "It will continue until 
it gets so chaotic that someone demands something happen," 
he said. ("Who's Minding the Store?" The Washington Post, 
October 4) 

October 1989 

When the Navy bought 80 new Phalanx Close-in Weapon 
Systems to help protect its ships from missile attacks, it also 
bought a $546,261 service warranty to protect the Navy from 
excessive repair costs. During the 12-month warranty period, 
the Navy reported 251 failures on the antimissile systems, but 
the contractor paid none of the repair costs. The warranty 
stated the company was responsible for repairs only if the 
Navy experienced more than 5,238 failures. 

The GAO found that the Navy, as well as other commands 
throughout the Pentagon, were depending on contractors 
to keep records of warranty claims. In addition, GAO found 
some agencies, such as the Naval Sea Systems Command, 
used inadequate information to determine warranty require- 
ments. The Defense Department said that not enough time 
has elapsed since the inception of most warranties to accu- 
mulate enough data to perform any meaningful analyses on 
the value of some warranties. The Army reported that it paid 
$9.6 million in warranties for engines on its M-1 tanks, but 
was reimbursed for only $10,453 worth of claims by the end 


October 1989 

of the warranty period in 1987. The contractor refused to pay- 
many claims because they were not filed within the required 
90 days, the GAO found. ("Pentagon Warranties: Not Worth 
Price?" The Washington Post, October 10) 

October 1989 

Contracting out has gone too far at the National Aeronautics 
and Space Administration, agency officials say. The pace of 
privatization is undermining the agency's ability to insure 
safety guard against mushrooming contract costs, and man- 
age its operations, NASA Deputy Administrator James Thomp- 
son told Richard Darman, director of the Office of Manage- 
ment and Budget, in a recent letter. "Management and inter- 
nal control oversight had inherently governmental functions 
which are adversely affected by initiatives like the current 
strong OMB emphasis on contracting out," he said. 

Deputy Personnel Director Stan Kask said NASA was founded 
on the premise that contractors would perform much of the 
agency's mission. But the agency has now reached the limit 
of what jobs can be contracted out without chipping away 
at the "critical core in science and engineering as well as 
the administrative core." Kask cited two areas where further 
contracting out would endanger NASA's ability to manage its 
operations: security and information systems. Within informa- 
tion resources, which includes NASA's libraries and computer 
systems, more than 6,000 positions are held by contract em- 
ployees and 1,000 are civil servants. "If you contract out more 
civil servants in those areas, you are reaching the critical limit 
to safeguard the management of the contracts," Kask said. 
("Contracting Out at NASA Imperils Mission, Official Says," 
Federal Times, October 16) 

October 1989 

The government's system of gathering economic statistics, 
much like the nation's highway network, is badly in disrepair. 
Statisticians and economists, both in and out of government, 
say that a combination of budget cuts and deregulation — 
much of it a legacy of the Reagan era — is eroding important 
yardsticks and undermining policy makers striving to guide 
the economy. Furthermore, despite an effort by the Bush Ad- 
ministration to reverse the trend, statistical agencies face more 
spending restraint this year. This could compound the dam- 
age, hurting some well-known reports, including the index of 
leading economic indicators, and reducing the frequency of 
data collection or eliminating some data altogether. 


November 1989 

These numbers affect the lives of all Americans. Social Secu- 
rity payments and some wages are tied to the official infla- 
tion rate, and the government uses statistics to help evaluate 
welfare and other social programs. On a broader scale, bad 
numbers can mean bad policy and a recession instead of 
a recovery. The financial markets increasingly jump up or 
down, making or losing millions for investors, with each new 
economic report — and with the revisions that follow. 

Critics see two problems: Current statistics, they say, are 
deteriorating because staffs and data collection have been cut 
and sampling techniques have not kept up with the economy. 
They also maintain that budget cuts have forced statistics 
agencies to skimp on research needed to make data reflect 
broader changes in the way the economy functions. Econo- 
mists are debating whether important statistics like produc- 
tivity, savings and the GNP really measure what is going on 
in the economy. It will not be long, some say, before the gov- 
ernment will be trying to set economic policy with a statistical 
compass so inaccurate that it cannot find north. 

Changes begun before the Reagan era but continued un- 
der President Bush have also hurt. Deregulation of some in- 
dustries, like airlines, and a cut in required paperwork for 
business reduced the amount and variety of data collected. 
Because of a changing attitude about government and the 
restraint on pay, there also has been a general decline in the 
quality of the people attracted to the statistical agencies. Janet 
Norwood, the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 
said the Consumer Price Index needs, but does not have, an 
adequate measure of medical costs, which now make up 
12 percent of the gross national product. "We have to have 
the resources to keep up with the changes," she said. "Be- 
cause these are tight times we don't. And that's what is scary." 
("Accuracy in Short Supply in Flood of U.S. Statistics," The 
New York Times, October 30) 

November 1989 The federal government is doing less than it has done in the 
past and than is needed now to build the foundations for un- 
derstanding education according to Lois-ellin Datta, direc- 
tor of GAO's Program Evaluation in Human Services Areas. 
Datta, testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Govern- 
ment Information and Regulation, gave at least two reasons 
for the decline in information-gathering activity. 


November 1989 

The first and most important reason is the large decline in 
federal funds for the purpose. GAO found a second reason in 
problems with the OMB paperwork review process that par- 
ticularly affect new, research-oriented data collection and that 
appear to be resulting in more-than-usual difficulty for the 
Department of Education. In addition, GAO concluded that 
a recent evaluation involving four school districts suggests 
that local data remain problematic for outsiders to use for 
purposes beyond those initially intended. ("Education Infor- 
mation: Production and Quality Deserve Increased Attention," 
GAOn'-PEMD-90-7, November 1) 

November 1989 In a letter to Senate and House intelligence committee leaders 
setting forth his intentions on notifying them of covert opera- 
tors, President Bush has cited the same broad legal interpre- 
tation that the Reagan Administration invoked in withholding 
notification to Congress of the secret White House arms-for- 
hostages operation with Iran. In a letter dated October 30, 
Bush said he intends to provide notice to the committees. "In 
those rare instances where prior notice is not provided, I an- 
ticipate that notice will be provided within a few days, " Bush 
wrote. But then he added that he retained the right not to 
inform Congress if he chose. 

Bush's assertion that he has constitutional authority to with- 
hold notification was part of a deal worked out on the notifi- 
cation process in White House negotiations with Sen. David 
Boren (D-OK), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on 
Intelligence, and Sen. William Cohen (R-ME), the panel's vice- 
chairman. ("Bush Cites Reagan's Reasoning on Covert-Action 
Notification," The Washington Post, November 1) 

November 1989 Chancellor Joseph Murphy, of the City University of New York, 
called for congressional hearings on reports that the FBI ran 
checks on librarians and others who opposed a bureau pro- 
gram to identify what the FBI said were Soviet espionage ac- 
tivities in U. S. libraries. The inquiries by the FBI followed the 
1987 disclosure of the bureau's "Library Awareness Program," 
which was protested by many library officials. 

Under the program, FBI agents asked librarians in at least 
2 1 scientific and technical libraries — most in the New York 
City area — to report any "suspicious" patrons, or those with 
Soviet-bloc identification or foreign-sounding names, said 
Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive. An FBI memo 


November 1989 

included among documents released to the Archive through 
the Freedom of Information Act stated that the bureau had 
run file checks on 266 persons "to determine whether a Soviet 
active-measure campaign had been initiated to discredit" the 
agency's program, Blanton said. 

The American Library Association has also protested the FBI's 
actions. "It's not consistent with First Amendment principles 
to investigate somebody on the basis of what he reads," said 
ALA's Anne Levinson, "nor to investigate somebody because 
he stands up to defend a First Amendment principle." The 
FBI denied that the checks were "investigations" of anyone 
in opposition to its program, which began in 1962 and still 
continues. FBI spokesman Gregory lones explained that the 
inquiries were the sort of "routine checks" that are made on 
anyone who contacts the bureau to determine if that per- 
son previously has been in touch with the FBI, or has ever 
been under federal investigation. ("Reports That FBI Checked 
on Librarians Prompt Call for Congressional Hearings," The 
Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15) 

November 1989 House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin (D-WI) 
accused the Bush Administration of deliberately withholding 
intelligence data that might have spared political pressures 
for weapons cuts. Aspin said recent evidence indicates the 
Soviet military budget is declining, that its weapons produc- 
tion has been reduced, and that Moscow "has retrenched 
somewhat in several strategic programs" such as ballistic 
missiles, a new bomber, and a submarine. 

But, he said, the Administration and its supporters recently 
have made statements to the contrary that are "outdated at 
best and absolutely false at worst," and thus are blocking a 
meaningful discussion of U. S. defense priorities. "We need to 
level with the American people about what has changed and 
what has not changed in the Soviet military. Keeping new in- 
formation bottled up in intelligence channels is shortsighted," 
Aspin said in a speech to a meeting sponsored by the Amer- 
ican Association for the Advancement of Science. President 
Bush "should uncork the intelligence bottleneck" and "trust 
the American people to make the correct decision when given 
correct information," Aspin said. ("Aspin: U.S. Suppressing 
Data on Cuts," The Washington Post, November 17) 


November 1989 

November 1989 Several government agencies have complained that the Gov- 
ernment Printing Office is charging too much for the agency- 
publications GPO sells to the public. The resulting concern 
from Sen. Wendell Ford (D-KY), chairman of the Joint Commit- 
tee on Printing, has prompted GPO to assemble a Documents 
Pricing Task Force to rethink its price formula. "This informa- 
tion is the people's information. And we want to see them get 
it," aid John Chambers, JCP staff director. But GPO's director of 
Document Sales Service, Jay Young, said that the information 
is affordable. "Most of the small publications have come down 
in price while some of the larger ones have gone up," he 
said. ("GPO Accused of Charging Too Much," The Washington 
Post, November 24) 

November 1989 U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton dismissed all four Iran- 

Contra criminal charges against former CIA official Joseph F. 
Fernandez, ruling that Fernandez could not fairly defend him- 
self without public disclosure of secret information that the 
Bush Administration refuses to release. Hilton made his ruling 
two days after Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, on the 
advice of CIA officials, filed an affidavit with the court that 
blocked use in the trial of CIA material that the judge last July 
had ruled Fernandez was entitled to use in his defense. 

Some aides of independent counsel Lawrence Walsh said that 
the CIA, by stubbornly seeking to bar use of some secrets that 
had already been published, sought to scuttle the trial partly 
to avoid public disclosure of embarrassing new information 
about the agency's role in the Contra resupply operation. 
("Fernandez Iran-Contra Case Dismissed," The Washington 
Post, November 25) 

November 1989 Reporter Carole Sugarman wrote a lengthy article describ- 
ing the coming legislative battle over pesticide standards in 
light of how little we really know about risk-assessment. The 
Administration has announced its intentions to overhaul the 
nation's pesticide laws. Two other bills pending in Congress 
take different approaches. All three plans attempt legisla- 
tive definitions of "negligible risk" — that is, legal maximum 
levels for a pesticide residue remaining on food. Sugarman 
maintains that in this case — as in so many of the efforts to 
legislate chemical safety levels — the only thing certain to be 
true is how little we really know about whether a substance is 
dangerous, safe, iffy, or anything in between. 


November 1989 

Sugarman concludes that efforts should focus on improving 
data. Much of the needed information — such as actual resi- 
due levels — exists; but the public has not demanded it. "This 
doesn't mean, of course, that everyone would interpret the 
data similarly. But it would give risk-assessment more cred- 
ibility, the public more confidence and parties on all sides 
less latitude for sloganeering." ("Assessment Risk: A Risky 
Business," The Washington Post, November 26) 

November 1989 "Independent researchers should be given access to secret 
government files on worker exposure to radiation at federal 
nuclear weapons plants, an advisory panel to Energy Sec- 
retary James D. Watkins has recommended. The recommen- 
dation, if accepted by Watkins, would mean a historic shift 
in the government's stance on public access to medical and 
radiation exposure records." ("Exposure to Radiation," The 
Washington Post, November 29) 

November 1989 The Justice Department's Bureau of Prisons announced pro- 
posed rules that would restrict press access to inmates and 
would allow wardens to ban reporters who do not "verify 
any allegations" about the nation's prisons with "authorized" 
prison officials. "It's just breathtaking. It's like something some 
high school student council would have tried to impose," said 
Bruce Sanford, an expert on press freedom and lawyer for the 
Society of Professional Journalists. "I see it as an attempt to 
control the flow of government information in a very severe, 
threatening way," Sanford said. "And in a crude way." 

The rules, which some journalists say are a reaction to re- 
cent stories abut flaws in the federal prison system, would 
revise 10-year-old rules on how the news media can interview 
prisoners or enter prisons. John Pendleton, a public affairs 
officer for the Bureau of Prisons, said that the proposed rules 
were written to help the bureau deal with a prison popula- 
tion that has almost doubled in the last decade. Pendleton 
said the proposed rules, which are open to public comment 
until January 12, were designed to deal with "the drain on 
staff resources when it comes to coordinating media visits." 
("Restricting Press Access Behind Bars," The Washington Post, 
November 29) [See following story.] 

November 1989 Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, expressing new frus- 
tration about press leaks within the Justice Department, said 
he has ordered a sweeping review of the department's public 


November 1989 

information policy with the aim of further restricting the num- 
ber of officials who may talk to reporters. In a frequently testy 
exchange with reporters, Thornburgh said new guidelines be- 
ing drafted will "raise the deterrent factor" for leakers, whom 
Thornburgh described as "criminals," and will ensure that the 
department speaks "with one voice on policy matters." 

Hours later, however, Thornburgh abruptly revoked one of 
the first results of the review — new regulations for the Bureau 
of Prisons that would have restricted reporters' rights to inter- 
view federal inmates and permitted prison wardens to bar re- 
porters who would not "verify any allegations" about federal 
prisons with corrections officials. Speaking at the department's 
daily press briefing, Thornburgh appeared to defend the new 
rules, saying the Bureau of Prisons had acted "according to 
my instructions to review their policies." But late in the day, 
Thornburgh, in a news release, said the proposed rules were 
being revoked because they had been "submitted prema- 
turely and without my personal review." 

The only example of a damaging leak cited by Thornburgh 
was the disclosure of the FBI's espionage investigation of U. S. 
diplomat Felix Bloch, who has not been charged or arrested. 
But Thornburgh's concern about leaks dates to earlier this 
year when he laid off six of the department's 1 career public 
spokesmen and ordered that all releases of substantive in- 
formation be cleared through a longtime Thornburgh aide. 
Critics said Thornburgh's new guidelines appeared to be an 
attempt to "muzzle" lustice employees and field agents and 
will end up being counterproductive. "It can never work," 
said Robert Feldkamp, who retired last year as chief Drug 
Enforcement Agency spokesman. "The people who would 
normally talk will still just talk surreptitiously." ("Thornburgh 
Wants Justice to Speak 'With One Voice.' " The Washington 
Post, November 30) 

November 1989 The Central Intelligence Agency has had in its possession 
since its creation 42 years ago a document that could have 
kept Kurt Waldheim from being named United Nations secre- 
tary general, the World Jewish Congress said. The document 
is a report of a British army interrogation of a captured Ger- 
man soldier who named Waldheim as a German army intelli- 
gence officer in the Balkans, a fact about the current Austrian 
president that was kept secret until 1986. The World Jewish 
Congress, which has been probing Waldheim's wartime past 


November 1989 

for three years, said it had obtained the document from Eu- 
ropean sources after being repeatedly rebuffed by the CIA. 
("CIA Held File on Waldheim War Role," The Washington 
Post, November 30.) 

November 1989 Increasingly, the Government Printing Office is notifying the 
nation's 1,400 depository libraries that government publica- 
tions are unavailable for distribution through the Depository 
Library Program. The following statement is frequently used 
now in the newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Pro- 

This publication will not be distributed to depository 
libraries, the agency could not provide sufficient copies 
for distribution, and GPO cannot legally reprint copies of 
publications not procured through GPO, as defined by 44 
U.S.C. §1903. 

("Whatever Happened To . . . ???" Administrative Notes, 
November 30) 

December 1989 Two young academics turned entrepreneurs have discovered 
a way to gather numbers that describe in detail every nook 
and cranny of an economic black hole. Their focus: hospi- 
tals, a multibillion-dollar industry whose operating figures 
are largely a mystery. That is because 84 percent of all U. S. 
hospitals are not-for-profit organizations, which are not re- 
quired to publicly disclose their financial results. But George 
Pillari and Steven Renn hove managed to pierce this veil of 
confidentiality to compile the most complete and up-to-date 
set of data on U. S. hospitals available anywhere. 

Their solution: Use the federal Freedom of Information Act 
to obtain highly detailed Medicare reimbursement reports 
that each of the nation's roughly 6,000 hospitals files annually 
with the government. I\ill key figures — such as current assets, 
occupancy rates, and debt per bed — from these reports, insert 
them in a computerized database and sell the figures to insur- 
ance companies, investment bankers, accounting firms, hospi- 
tal bond traders, and hospitals themselves. It is a variation on 
the increasingly profitable theme of recycling available data 
to new users, which many entrepreneurs are exploiting. 

And the Baltimore entrepreneurs have gone one step fur- 
ther: They are even selling their data to the client that col- 


December 1989 

lected the figures in the first place — the federal government. 
At least one federal agency has paid them to decipher the 
very figures the government ordered the hospitals to submit, 
but which arrive in a form too complex to interpret easily. 
("Hospital-Data Firm Recycles Public Statistics for a Price/' 
The Wall Street Journal, December 6) 

December 1989 Lawyers for former President Reagan asked a federal judge 
to rescind a subpoena seeking his personal notes and diary 
entries in the Iran-Contra trial of former national security ad- 
viser John Poindexter saying the action infringes on a presi- 
dent's confidential communications "with himself." U. S. Dis- 
trict Judge Harold Greene last month authorized Poindexter to 
subpoena Reagan's personal notes and diary notations after 
ruling that there was a "substantial likelihood" that some of 
Reagan's writing would be necessary for Poindexter's defense. 

Reagan's lawyers said Poindexter's subpoena was overbroad 
and "lacks sufficient specificity." Poindexter's specific docu- 
ment request, which was filed under seal, asks Reagan for 
"all notebook, diary entries and/or personal notes" involving 
"67 enumerated categories" of information or actions relating 
to the Iran-Contra affair, according to Reagan's lawyers. A 
central component of Poindexter's defense is that Reagan au- 
thorized some activities for which Poindexter is indicted. Rea- 
gan recently signed a $5 million deal with Simon & Schuster 
to write his memoirs and a book on his presidential speeches. 
Greene has not ruled on Poindexter's intent to subpoena Rea- 
gan as a trial witness. ("Reagan Moves to Quash Subpoena," 
The Washington Post, December 7) 

December 1989 A former Boeing Co. executive, Richard Lee Fowler, described 
by federal prosecutors as the hub of a network of defense 
contractors who trafficked in classified Pentagon budget re- 
ports in the early 1980s, was convicted by a federal jury of 
conspiring to use secret government data in his company's 
quest for huge defense contracts. Fowler could be sentenced 
to 300 years in prison and fines of $255,000. 

Assistant U. S. Attorney Randy Bellows assailed Fowler for 
transmitting classified information on unsecured telephone 
lines, defacing documents to conceal his source of the reports, 
for hiding and destroying documents illegally and for passing 
out secret documents in the parking lot of his office. John Bray, 


December 1989 

one of Fowler's attorneys, argued that his client provided doc- 
uments that were readily available throughout the defense 
industry and even from some military library services. ("Ex- 
Boeing Aide Guilty of Trafficking in Secrets," The Washington 
Post, December 8) 

December 1989 A structural engineer hired to study the effects of a possible 
earthquake on the Energy Department's nuclear weapx)ns 
plant at Oak Ridge, Tenn., was fired after he reported that 
the walls would fall down. Other engineers rewrote the study 
to say they would not. The engineer, Paul Nestel, reported 
September 25 that the unreinforced clay tile walls of the main 
building of Oak Ridge's Y-12 nuclear plant would give way 
if struck by an earthquake with a lateral force of . 1 2 percent 
of gravity, well below the .19 percent used nationwide as the 
"design basis" for quake vulnerability studies. 

By October 30, after meetings at which his conclusions were 
discussed, engineers from Lockwood Greene Inc., of Oak Ridge, 
Nestel's employer, and Martin Marietta Energy Systems Inc., 
which operates the Oak Ridge plant for the Energy Depart- 
ment, reported to the agency that the walls "have the capac- 
ity to withstand the design-basis earthquake." Nestel, who 
was fired November 3, gave copies of the documents to The 
Washington Post because, he said, he had "no reason to stay 
silent" after he was dismissed. He accused the contractors of 
"burying unfavorable reports," in violation of strong orders 
from Energy Secretary James Watkins to put safety consid- 
erations ahead of production demands at all plants in the 
troubled nuclear weapons complex. 

Oak Ridge and the Energy Department's Savannah River, 
S.C., complex have been cited as vulnerable to earthquakes, 
and new buildings are built to stronger specifications. But 
Y-12 began operating in 1944 when, Nestel said "nobody other 
than California paid any attention to this." He said a fault 
known as New Madrid, 120 miles from Oak Ridge, "altered 
the course of the Mississippi River the last time it slipped, in 
the 19th century. If it slipped again, it would certainly destroy 
those walls." ("Engineer Fired After Calling Nuclear Plant 
Vulnerable," The Washington Post, December 12) 

December 1989 Voice, a six-year-old Voice of America publication, has be- 
come a victim of its own success. Faced with a tight bud- 
get and a growing demand for the bimonthly, the VOA has 


December 1989 

placed the publication on the auction block. VOA spokesman 
Joseph O'Connell said that if no one is willing to take over the 
magazine, it probably will fold. "We would very much like to 
continue the magazine, but we are simply finding we don't 
have the resources for it," he said. 

What the VOA would like to do is "privatize" the magazine — 
that is, find a publisher willing to print it and sell it to VOA 
listeners overseas. The publisher could sell advertising in the 
publication. The National Aeronautics and Space Admin- 
istration took similar action several years ago with NASA 
Technical Briefs, converting the government publication into 
a private publication, O'Connell said. For years, the Defense 
Department has encouraged military bases to contract with 
private publishers to sell advertising in base publications in 
return for printing the papers. 

O'Connell said, however, that the VOA is uncertain that its 
publication, which by law cannot be offered in the United 
States, would be welcomed by a private printer. The VOA 
recently requested proposals from private organizations and 
is evaluating them, he said. Printed in English at a VOA print- 
ing plant in Manila, Voice is distributed free to about 155,000 
readers, many of whom are in Africa or India. Requests for 
the publication come in at the rate of 4,000 to 5,000 names a 
month. About 50,000 names are on a waiting list because the 
VOA cannot afford to add them to the mailing. Voice editor 
Frank Cummings said. The publication includes features on 
VOA personalities and carries its English-language program 
schedules. Created by a staff of five in Washington, it costs 
about $300,000 a year to publish, O'Connell said. ("Success on 
Paper Could Cause VOA to Lose Its Voice," The Washington 
Post, December 11) 

December 1989 The Defense Department, citing a consensus in the U. S. intel- 
ligence community, told President Bush in a classified study 
in May that the Soviet Union was reversing a 20-year pattern 
of growth in military spending. But Bush and his senior ad- 
visers continued until November to assert that Soviet defense 
spending was growing. At the same time, the Administration 
continued to press Congress to approve the $295.6 billion 
defense budget for fiscal 1990 agreed to at the May budget 
"summit" by congressional and Administration officials. 


December 1989 

Senior Administration officials ceased public assertions of 
higher Soviet military spending last month after The Washing- 
ton Post and The New York Times published articles in which 
unnamed intelligence analysts expressed the opposite view. 
("Bush Alerted in May to Soviet Military Cuts," The Washing- 
ton Post, December 11) 

December 1989 The Public Health Service has censored information on the 
health consequences of abortion, punished federal scien- 
tists whose results conflict with Administration policy, and 
"severely restricts" research on the issue, according to a re- 
port released by the House Government Operations Subcom- 
mittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Rela- 
tions. The report also criticized former Surgeon General C. Ev- 
erett Koop for withholding last January a long-awaited study 
on the medical and psychological impact of abortion, even 
though he reached many conclusions that could have been 
published. Koop said that he declined to release the report 
because the studies on which it was based were flawed. The 
report cited voluminous evidence obtained by the Centers for 
Disease Control that adverse medical effects of abortion are 
rare. ("Agency Censored Abortion Data, Hill Report Says," 
The Washington Post, December 11) 

December 1989 The Supreme Court, narrowing the reach of the Freedom 
of Information Act, ruled six to three on December 1 1 that 
government agencies may refuse to release documents "com- 
piled for law-enforcement purposes" even if the material was 
prepared long before any investigation started. The court 
said documents that ordinarily would have been available 
under FOLA can be transformed into documents exempt from 
disclosure once the government gathers them together in the 
course of an investigation. The FOLA case involved a request 
by Grumman Corp. for documents related to a 1 978 audit by 
the Defense Contract Audit Agency. 

Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting with Justice Thurgood 
Marshall, said the court was violating its rule that FOIA 
exemptions must be interpreted in favor of disclosure. The 
law-enforcement requirement "is readily evaded (or illusory) 
if it requires nothing more than gathering up documents the 
government does not wish to disclose, with a plausible law- 
enforcement purpose in mind," Scalia said. "That is a hole 
one can drive a truck through." ("Freedom-of-Information Act 
Curbed by High Court," The Washington Post, December 12) 


December 1989 

December 1989 The White House rejected a request from Iran-Contra 

prosecutor Lawrence Walsh that President Bush intervene 
to prevent the creation of "an enclave of high public officers 
free from the rule of law/' the independent counsel said in a 
report to Congress released on December 1 1 . Walsh charged 
that senior intelligence officials motivated primarily by insti- 
tutional self-interest can prevent the release of classified doc- 
uments that could lead to exposure of wrongdoing by current 
or former officials by government intelligence agencies. In an 
October 19 letter to Bush, Walsh said only the President can 
force U. S. intelligence agencies to release classified informa- 
tion needed for Iran-Contra criminal prosecutions. 

Walsh's growing concern about the classified information 
issue stems from the dismissal in November of all charges 
against a former Central Intelligence Agency official indicted 
for his role in the Iran-Contra affair. Walsh now fears that the 
same secrecy issue could scuttle the coming trial of former 
national security adviser John Poindexter, the highest-ranking 
Reagan Administration official charged in the scandal. ("Bush 
Rejected Plea on Iran-Contra Data, Walsh Says," The Wash- 
ington Post, December 12) 

December 1989 Office of Management and Budget Director Richard Darman 
is planning to combine the federal budget books into one 
1,600-page volume. Darman has ordered that the fiscal 1991 
budget, due for release January 22, incorporate seven sep- 
arate volumes in one big book, according to Administration 
officials. Gone will be the "Special Analyses" with its chap- 
ters on federal credit programs and tax expenditures. Gone 
also will be the "Budget in Brief," the historical tables, the 
appendix, the "Major Policy Initiatives," and the management 
report. Instead, the information traditionally provided by those 
volumes will be boiled down and included in the new super 
budget book, along with a somewhat condensed version of 
the "Budget of the United States Government," as the main 
budget book is called. 

The development is stirring concern on Capitol Hill, where 
some who have heard of Darman's plans are worried that he 
may be attempting to obscure the nature of the spending cuts 
the Administration is proposing. Sen. Jim Sasser (D-TN), chair- 
man of the Senate Budget Committee, has written Darman to 
warn that Congress will not be satisfied if the White House 
submits a budget containing only sketchy details of cuts, like 


December 1989 

the one Bush sent to Capitol Hill in February. Peter David, a 
budget expert with Prudential-Bache Securities' Washington 
office, is also worried. "It is going to be very difficult for even 
seasoned budget analysts to get to the bottom of what the Ad- 
ministration is really up to," he said. The budget format will 
offer one clear advantage over its predecessors — cost. The 
Government Printing Office expects to charge about $21 for a 
bound volume and $7.15 for a paperback. A full set of fiscal 
1990 budget books cost $94.50. ("OMB Chief Wielding Knife on 
Budgetary Explanations," The Washington Post, December 13). 

December 1989 In their zeal to cut the fat out of government, Reagan Admin- 
istration officials also cut the managerial muscle that was 
responsible for watching over the government's financial li- 
abilities and obligations. The result is tens of billions of dollars 
in losses and the potential for untold billions more. As more 
and more essential functions have been "privatized," the gov- 
ernment's control and its accountability to the public have 
been eroded. ("Regulators Say 80s Budget Cuts May Cost U.S. 
Billions in 1990s," The New York Times, December 19) 


lanuary 1990 

Members of the House Government Operations Committee 
hove charged that the Bush Administration is deliberately 
violating a law that bans funding for an employee secrecy 
pledge. At an emergency hearing on December 20, 1989, leg- 
islators demanded an explanation from Steven Garfinkel, 
Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, for the 
Administration's continued use of Standard Form 312. By sign- 
ing the form and its predecessor, SF-189, about three million 
employees and military members with classified access have 
pledged not to divulge classified information, or unmarked 
information they should know is classified, to unauthorized 

The secrecy pledge has been a battleground for Congress 
and the Reagan and Bush Administrations since 1983, when 
the former President issued an order increasing use of nondis- 
closure agreements. For several years, Congress has banned 
funding to disseminate the forms through the appropriations 
process. When President Bush signed the fiscal year 1990 
appropriations bill into law, he protested that the section on 
the secrecy forms was unconstitutional. Garfinkel told legis- 
lators that the Administration believes it is following the only 
constitutional interpretation of the law by, in effect, ignoring its 
ban on funding for the SF-312. Garfinkel reported that ISOO 


January 1990 

wrote to all agencies in November instructing them to con- 
tinue using the SF-312, and another form, SF-4355, that binds 
employees with access to special compartmented information 
to prepublication review of their writings and speeches. 

Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) repeatedly 
asked Garfinkel how the Administration arrived at the deci- 
sion he characterized as "flaunt[ing] the law and assert[ingl a 
presidential power to ignore duly enacted statutes." Garfinkel 
refused to tell Conyers the names of Justice Department, White 
House, and Central Intelligence Agency officials participating 
in deliberations on continuing to use the forms. Garfinkel 
also refused to provide the Committee a copy of the Justice 
Department opinion buttressing ISOO's decision to write to 
agencies, but he did offer to provide a Justice explanation of 
its rationale instead. {" 'Secrecy' Pledge Stirs Up Capitol Hill," 
Federal Times, January 1) 

January 1990 

January 1990 

Work-force statistics influence business investment decisions, 
union wage contracts. Social Security payments, and federal 
economic policies. A report for the congressional Joint Eco- 
nomic Committee, "Workforce Statistics: Do We Know What 
We Think We Know— And What Should We Know?" focuses 
on the periodic surveys of workers and businesses conducted 
by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
The underlying concern is that statistical activities at the two 
agencies have not kept pace with rapid changes in the Amer- 
ican economy during the 1980s. 

"In a changing economy, statistical policy must look ahead, 
attempt to anticipate change and provide for it," said Rep. Lee 
Hamilton (D-IN), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. 
"Over the past decade, however, our statistical programs have 
been allowed to deteriorate." Several shortcomings of the sur- 
veys were cited: significant variance between some Census 
and BLS data, cutbacks in sample size because of budget 
cuts, vague questions, and refusals by participants to answer 
questions about earnings. ("Work-Force Statistics Under Fire," 
The Washington Post, January 1) 

From 1947 until the early 1960s, two federal agencies strug- 
gled in secret over the fate of thousands of men who were 
being exposed to hazardous levels of radiation while min- 
ing uranium for the nuclear weapons industry. The Atomic 
Energy Commission prevailed in the battle over mine safety 


January 1990 

with the Public Health Service. The result has been a widen- 
ing trail of deaths and disabilities from lung cancer across 
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, according to fed- 
eral and state researchers. Hundreds of other men have been 
disabled by the disease. 

The history of the lung cancer deaths and disabilities among 
uranium miners, which has been unfolding in public docu- 
ments and congressional hearings since 1959, is still largely 
unknown outside the four-state mining region known as the 
Colorado Plateau. It is the most thoroughly documented ev- 
idence yet made public of how a secret government policy 
to put production ahead of safety in the nuclear weapons in- 
dustry jeopardized the health of thousands of workers. Almost 
4,200 miners who worked full time hauling uranium ore were 
secretly studied over the years. More than 400 have died of 
lung cancer — five times the number expected in a similar size 
group of American men, according to the National Institute of 
Occupational Safety and Health and the New Mexico Tumor 

Caught between Atomic Energy Commission demands for se- 
crecy and the belief that radiation in mines would produce an 
epidemic of lung cancer, the Public Health Service launched 
the country's first prospective epidemiology study to medically 
evaluate thousands of miners and follow them through their 
lives. In a pact that they now acknowledge was fraught with 
moral and ethical implications, the health specialists agreed 
not to tell the miners why they were undergoing periodic 
physical exams, chest X-rays, and blood, urine, and sputum 
analyses. The plight of the miners and the secret bureau- 
cratic struggle of years ago is attracting renewed attention. 
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Wayne Owens (D-UT) have 
proposed legislation to compensate miners and survivors. 
("Uranium Miners Inherit Dispute's Sad Legacy," The New 
York Times, January 9) 

January 1990 

The Energy Department and the Environmental Protection 
Agency are using private contractors to perform sensitive 
tasks that should be done by full-time federal employees, 
according to a General Accounting Office report. At Energy, 
contractor personnel are used to rule on security clearance 
applications and to help department officials prepare for ap- 
pearances before Congress. In one case, the contractor wrote 


January 1990 

the testimony delivered at a hearing by Energy Secretary 
James Watkins. 

The EPA has a contract with Geo/Resource Consultants, Inc., 
to answer questions from the public and from other govern- 
ment agencies on the "Superfund Hotline." GAO rejected 
EPA's argument that the contract employes are "merely a 
conduit for information." When the calls have to do with in- 
terpretations of EPA regulations, they "must be handled by 
EPA personnel/' GAO said. 

The report was prepored at the request of Sen. David Pryor 
(D-AR), who has been campaigning for some time to restrict 
the use of contractors to perform critical tasks, a practice that 
is widespread at both agencies. The Energy Department, for 
example, has 16,000 civil service employees, but more than 
100,000 civilian contract workers, including most of the em- 
ployees of its nuclear weapons manufacturing plants. "My 
ongoing investigations show that much of what the American 
public thinks of as its government is being turned over to an 
invisible bureaucracy of consultants and contractors," Pryor 
said in a statement. He said the GAO finding is "confirma- 
tion that something has gone very wrong when government 
officials are no more than mouthpieces or rubber stamps for 
testimony, rules and decisions prepared by private contrac- 
tors." ("Contractors and 'The Public Interest'," The Washington 
Post, January 22) 

January 1990 Hampered by high publication costs and delays, OMB may 

change the format of the government's annual five-year auto- 
mated data processing and telecommunications plans which 
the Paperwork Reduction Act requires the agency to publish. 
Instead of publishing a yearly summary of agency informa- 
tion technology spending and plans, OMB is considering mak- 
ing the information available through the National Technical 
Information Service and its own document room. OMB offi- 
cials question the feasibility of publishing the two-volume set 
of documents because only a small segment of the public is 
interested in the information and many people already use 
the document room to examine individual agency plans. 

The plan for fiscal year 1990 still has not been released. 
Sources said the plan was ready several months ago, but 
OMB Director Richard Darman has yet to approve the final 


January 1990 

draft. Meanwhile, congressional sources said the Senate Gov- 
ernmental Affairs and House Government Operations com- 
mittees will monitor closely any format changes to make sure 
OMB provides accurate data on time. Congress has criticized 
OMB for ignoring its management oversight responsibilities, 
and some members are concerned that a new dissemina- 
tion scheme might limit public access to information. ("OMB 
Weighs Whether to Quit Publishing Annual Summaries," Gov- 
ernment Computer News, January 22) 

January 1990 

An editorial, "Secrecy," in the January 22 Government Com- 
puter News deplored OMB's announcement that it wants to 
stop publishing the annual five-year automated data pro- 
cessing and telecommunications plans. The editor called that 
decision, and the one not to publish several special analy- 
ses as supplements to the annual federal budget, "a terrible 
decision and a worse trend." The information in the special 
analyses and management report is unavailable elsewhere. 
The editorial went on to state: 

As for the five-year plan, it contains an absolute wealth 
of information. For a newspaper without readership it is 
vital. Sure, we can dispatch people to the OMB document 
room, but that is not practical when you realize the plan 
is a document we turn to regularly. Don't feel sorry for us; 
feel sorry for yourselves. If we don't have access to this 
information, you don't — not only because it won't appear in 
the pages of GCN but also because you are less likely than 
we to send someone to fetch it. Why is it federal agencies 
are so stingy with information? Why do most of them act 
as though the most ordinary of information — gathered with 
public funds for public purposes — constitutes state secrets? 
Why do they routinely use the provisions of the Freedom of 
Information Act as just one more bureaucratic impediment 
to releasing data the public should have access to?. . . 
Any trend toward more government secrecy is a trend in 
the wrong direction. There is no reason to believe OMB is 
trying to hide something by cutting back on these reports, 
but the effects will be harmful to all of us. The decisions 
should be reversed. 

January 1990 


U.S. television networks petitioned the Pentagon to make avail- 
able all of the combat footage shot during the invasion of 
Panama. The Pentagon said no. The issues of news manage- 
ment and propaganda have again emerged in the wake of 

January 1990 

an invasion that was poorly covered by the news media be- 
cause reporters were barred from accompanying the troops. 
However, military photographers, carrying still and videotape 
cameras, shot footage which ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC have 
asked to review for its news value. 

Some footage was released by the Defense Department, but 
the networks asked the Pentagon to provide an index to all 
the footage, some of which is classified. David Martin, the 
CBS Pentagon correspondent, suggested that the Pentagon's 
primary interest in releasing videotapes was for the propa- 
ganda value: "The fact is that tapes get released very quickly 
if they tell the story that the Pentagon wants to be told and 
they get disappeared if they don't." A Defense Department 
official said that there is no intention of trying to assemble an 
indexed archive of videotape shot by combat teams during 
the Panama operation. The official said he thinks that the 
Pentagon should not get too deeply into producing the im- 
ages of the news business, for it would only lead to greater 
skepticism that the military was controlling or managing the 
flow of information. 

Reporters also raised the "hot tamale" issue at the briefing. 
Why did the military say it had seized 50 pounds or 50 kilo- 
grams of cocaine from Gen. Manuel Noriega's headquarters 
when, upon closer inspection, the illicit substance proved 
to be tamales wrapped in banana leaves? Officials in the 
Army's Criminal Investigation Division said recently that the 
tamales were used in Noriega's magic "binding rituals" 
against opponents or persons he wanted to control. Their 
report appeared to call into question how closely the military 
checked its information before alleging, as it did during the 
invasion, that it had discovered a significant cache of drugs 
in one of Noriega's lairs. ("TV Networks Ask Pentagon For 
Panama Combat Video," The Washington Post, January 24) 

January 1990 A Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta column details how the 
GAO is piecing together how one program was "put through 
the wringer" for six years because the Reagan Administration 
could not accept the notion that it worked. The program was 
the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants 
and Children, or WIC. About 3.4 million people are enrolled 
in the program, which costs $ 1 .93 billion a year. Needy preg- 
nant women and children receive medical care and food. 


January 1990 

For every $1 spent on WIC, the government saves $3 later 
in medical costs. 

January 1990 

February 1990 

In 1981, the Department of Agriculture stalled an ongoing 
study that would have proved the value of WIC. Congress 
had authorized the study in 1978 and expected it to be done 
within three years. By the time it was finished, the study 
took six years and cost $6 million. "And then the department 
printed so few copies that it was effectively kept under wraps," 
according to the authors. After many delays and rewrites, the 
report was ready to print in the summer of 1985. 

Then, the Agriculture Department began to backpedal in 
earnest. By law, government printing jobs must be done at 
the Government Printing Office. A loophole in that law says 
smaller jobs, up to 25,000 pages, can be taken to commercial 
printers. The department treated the five volumes of the report 
as if each were a separate report, and negotiated five sep- 
arate printing jobs. Since the fourth volume was 489 pages, 
the printer could produce only 50 copies of it, for a total 24,450 
pages. After six years and $6 million, the gutted study was 
finally distributed to a minuscule audience in January 1986. 
Only 50 people got all five volumes. It might have been buried 
there if David Rush, the official appointed to head the study in 
1981, had not cried foul to Congress, which put the General 
Accounting Office on the trail. The GAO's "restricted" report 
damns the Agriculture officials' actions. ("Reagan Minions 
Stalled Welfare Study," The Washington Post, January 24) 

In reducing the federal budget publication from 1 1 .9 pounds 
of prose in seven books to a single six-pound tome, OMB Di- 
rector Richard Darman said that it was designed to provide 
more, not less, useful information in a more convenient form. 
However, OMB sent to Capitol Hill a 47-page guide to specific 
analyses and tables contained in the $38 volume. Some re- 
porters were not so lucky. Reporters from Cincinnati and Den- 
ver, eager to find out details about the Energy Department's 
proposed clean-up of nuclear plants in their areas were told 
that the numbers were not available in the budget, only in 
the "congressional submission," which they were allowed to 
photocopy. ("The Budgetary 'One Book'," The Washington Post, 
January 30) 

In a Boston Globe column, David Wdrsh presented his case 
for the need to update one of the federal government's eco- 


February 1990 

nomic indicators, the standard industrial classification (SIC). 
The SIC code is like a Dewey Decimal system for the econ- 
omy; it divides the innumerable ways in which businesses 
make their livings into broad categories, and then subdivides 
each. Looking at the SIC census is the key to gauging the 
changing composition of the economy. It is useful for every- 
thing from antitrust enforcement to direct marketing to city 

As an example of how out of date the SIC codes are, Wdrsh 
uses the example of semiconductor manufacturing equipment 
which is lumped in a four-digit, not-elsewhere-classified cat- 
egory, along with broom-making machinery, buttonhole and 
eyelet machines, cotton-ginning machines, cement-making, 
hat-making, and other specialized machinery. Warsh believes 
that the SIC is so central to discussion of the American econ- 
omy and its role in world trade that the maintenance of the 
classificatory system will serve as a good bellwether of the 
Bush Administration's intentions to rebuild a statistical system. 
Its stewardship of the nation's statistics will in turn tell much 
about how it sets standards for everything else. Yet, in an Ad- 
ministration plan to boost spending on federal indicators by 
some $50 million, work on SIC revisions was one of only two 
major cuts made by the Office of Management and Budget. 

In discussing the reasons why the Administration may be 
lukewarm on the SIC code, Wdrsh speculates that it may be 
because it offers precisely the sort of data favored by would- 
be industrial planners: "And SIC data is crucial to the kind 
of 'food chain' arguments about the need to maintain cohe- 
sive vertical integration within high-tech industries that are 
becoming popular among engineers. Certainly it is impossi- 
ble to argue clearly about the extent to which America has 
become a service economy without an extensive knowledge 
of SIC definitions." ("The Ailing SIC: On Rebuilding Federal 
Statistics, " Boston Giobe, February 4) 

February 1990 The Commerce Department announced plans to abandon its 
computerized model of the economy, one of very few in the 
government, and the monthly publication associated with 
it called Business Cycle Developments (see Ed. note). Allan 
Young, the director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, called 
the moves part of "a restructuring of our program" to better 
utilize resources at a time of budgetary restraint. About 30 
pages of data contained in Business Cycle Developments will 


February 1990 

be retained and published as part of the Survey of Current 
Business, another monthly publication. The disappearance 
of the department's economic model, which was for internal 
government use, will force various federal agencies to obtain 
such services from the private sector. ("Government Shift on 
Data," The New York Times, February 14) [Ed. note: In June, 
a BLS official reported that the computerized model and the 
publication had been eliminated. However, the publication 
in question was titled Business Conditions Digest, although it 
was called Business Cycle Developments until the late 1960s.] 

February 1990 

The National Archives has identified serious weaknesses in 
the Energy Department's program for managing its vast col- 
lection of records on the nuclear weapons industry, a find- 
ing that could undermine efforts by Energy Secretary James 
Wdtkins to make the nuclear weapons industry safer and more 
accountable to the public. For instance, last December, Wdtkins 
announced that classified records on plutonium production 
at the Hanford nuclear weapons plant in Washington State 
would be made public as part of a health study there. But 
more than two months later, the department has not identified 
how many records should be released, where they are, or 
whether information in them should remain classified. 

The Archives investigators found that most weapons plants 
and laboratories had only one person to manage records, not 
nearly enough to meet the demands for information pouring 
in from the department's employees, other government agen- 
cies, Congress, and the public. The department was also criti- 
cized for failing to turn over to the Archives those records that 
had important historical value, but were no longer needed 
for current business. Archives said that one reason for the 
reluctance to transfer control of historic documents was that 
scientists and technical experts in the department considered 
its official records to be their personal property. In addition, 
there were sharp variations in rules for cataloging and mak- 
ing available records at each of the department's weapons 
plants and laboratories; records managers were not properly 
trained, and operated without adequate supervision from the 
department's headquarters. 

Sen. David Pryor (D-AR) has been investigating Energy's use 
of private contractors. Among the contractors is History Asso- 
ciates, Inc., that is paid $800,000 a year to declassify records. 
Sen. Pryor said: "It is appalling to see the ease with which 


March 1990 

February 1990 

March 1990 

the most sensitive public tasks are increasingly turned over to 
private contractors without any evident consideration of the 
costs involved. It is a cruel irony that we withhold information 
from the public while paying private contractors to determine 
whether their fellow citizens have the right to see it." 

Bryan Siebert, the director of classification and technology 
policy at the Energy Department, defended the use of a pri- 
vate contractor to declassify documents, saying it is entirely 
proper and a more efficient use of his budget. "There are no 
declassification judgments by contractors," Siebert said. "They 
work according to a classification guidance system, and their 
work is reviewed by a federal employee." The Environmental 
Protection Agency and the Defense Department also rely on 
private contractors to declassify records, although not as ex- 
tensively as Energy. ("National Archives Criticizes Records on 
Weapons Plants," The New York Times, February 19) 

Dealing an unexpected setback to the deregulatory efforts of 
the Reagan and Bush Administrations, the Supreme Court 
ruled that the Office of Management and Budget lacked statu- 
tory authority to block certain regulations issued by other 
federal agencies. The Court held that OMB overstepped its 
authority two years ago when it disapproved parts of a Labor 
Department regulation requiring nearly all employers to warn 
their workers about the prospect of exposure to hazardous 
substances on the job. The 7-to-2 decision applies to a broad 
category of regulations over which the budget office has as- 
serted control, affecting areas like food ingredients, housing 
inspections, and pension benefits. 

In its decision limiting OMB's authority under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act, the Supreme Court did not address broader 
questions about the budget office role within the executive 
branch or its authority under various Presidential directives to 
oversee the work of other agencies. ("High Court Holds O.M.B. 
Overstepped Authority," The New York Times, February 22) 

Copyright law prohibits copyrighting the federal government's 
computer software. Testifying at a congressional hearing, GAO 
official Keith Fultz stated that senior officials at five agencies 
believe the government's inability to copyright and exclu- 
sively license federal software has significantly constrained 
their efforts to transfer computer software with potential com- 
mercial applications to U. S. businesses. Accordingly, GAO 


March 1990 

believes effective transfer of this software is an appropriate 
goal that could be achieved by amending the copyright law 
to provide copyright and exclusive licensing authority. Such 
a fundamental change, however, must be balanced against 
the concern that it might reduce the public's access to federal 
databases and shift the federal laboratories' basic research 
mission. ("Copyright Law Constraints on the Transfer of Cer- 
tain Federal Computer Software with Commercial Applica- 
tions," by Keith O. Fultz, Director of Planning and Reporting, 
before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and 
the Administration of Justice, House Committee on the Judi- 
ciary, GAO/r-RCED-90-44, March 7) 

March 1990 In a March 9 editorial, "Info 'haves' and 'have-nots'," the 

Boston Globe quoted ALA President Patricia Wilson Berger's 
testimony before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee 
about the reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act. 
"A system of information 'haves' and 'have-nots' could be cre- 
ated: big business customers who can afford to buy, while stu- 
dents, individuals, libraries, and others cannot." Berger said 
she welcomes technologies that could improve access to infor- 
mation, but added. They are equally capable of erecting ar- 
tificial barriers to citizens' rights to know. The problem arises 
when libraries lack equipment, software, indexes, trained staff 
and expertise in the use of data bases." The editorial con- 
cluded that OMB should follow through on the Bush Admin- 
istration pledge to reverse the Reagan information policies 
and, thus, guarantee the continued flow of free information to 
the pubic. 

March 1990 Charles Richmond, forced to retire from the Navy when a vi- 

sion problem made him unable to continue work as a welder, 
knew nothing of such technical, legal concepts as "detrimen- 
tal reliance" and "equitable estoppel." But when Richmond 
lost his disability benefits in 1986, after receiving incorrect 
information from a Navy employment relations specialist who 
gave him an outdated government publication, he felt be- 
trayed by his own government, and decided to fight. Rich- 
mond's case is before the Supreme Court, which is expected 
to decide whether the government can be barred from enforc- 
ing its laws against citizens who relied on incorrect informa- 
tion from government employees about taxes. Social Security 
benefits, retirement pay, or a host of other matters. 


March 1990 

The government argues that citizens are "expected to know 
the law" and that it is "critical to the government's effective 
operation" that it not be penalized for the mistakes of govern- 
ment employees who fail to meet that standard themselves. 
Richmond was misinformed about the amount of additional 
income he could earn in addition to his disability benefits. 
When his income as a bus driver was $919.26 over the al- 
lowance, he was informed that his benefits would cease. ("Mis- 
led by Government, Retiree Fights Back," The Washington 
Post, March 9) 

March 1990 The Department of Energy says it will propose procedures to 

protect, from retaliation by their employers, nuclear weapons 
workers who complain about health or safety violations. The 
new procedures will extend the protections of the Whistle- 
Blower Protection Act of 1989 to about 100,000 employees of 
Energy Department contractors. Despite protections in the 
Atomic Energy Act and other laws, employees of four con- 
tractors at four different sites have said that after they raised 
safety concerns, their superiors ordered them to see psychia- 
trists or psychologists. Others have said they were harassed, 
demoted, or laid off. 

Thomas Carpenter, of the Government Accountability 
Project in Washington, D. C., complained that the Department 
of Energy regional managers who would make decisions 
about employees' complaints are graded by headquarters 
on how well they meet production schedules and budgets. "A 
whistle-blower is often bringing up safety problems that can 
cost money," he said. Carpenter noted that other agencies 
draw hearing officers and administrative low judges from 
the Department of Labor. He said this made it more likely that 
they would be impartial than would be the case under the 
Energy Department procedures. ("Whistle-Blowers in Atomic 
Plants to Be Aided," The New York Times, March 10) 

March 1990 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press issued a 

report that listed nearly 100 instances of Bush Administra- 
tion restrictions on press coverage, such as excluding a press 
pool from early coverage of the Panama invasion. The ac- 
tions listed were categorized as either "disinformation," "prior 
restraints," "secret government," or "pxjlicing thought." The 
Committee's Executive Director, Jane Kirtley, said the report 
"chronicles the activities of a White House bent on controlling 
the presentation of news. The policy clearly fails to serve the 


March 1990 

interest of the American people." ("Curbs on Press Listed/' 
The Washington Post, March 14) 

March 1990 OMB Circular A-76 establishes federal policy for the perfor- 

mance of commercial activities under contract with commer- 
cial sources or in-house, using government facilities and 
personnel. According to OMB, annual savings from the im- 
plementation of Circular A-76 in fiscal year 1988 totaled over 
$133 million. More than 80 percent of these reported govern- 
mentwide savings come from the Department of Defense. Yet, 
the General Accounting Office evaluation of DOD savings 
data shows that OMB figures do not accurately reflect the 
extent to which economy in government operations is being 
achieved. GAO found that neither DOD nor OMB has reli- 
able information on which to assess the soundness of savings 
estimates, or knows the extent to which expected savings are 
realized. Complete and accurate savings information would 
help to reduce some of the controversy surrounding the A-76 
program. ("OMB Circular A-76: DOD's Reported Savings Fig- 
ures Are Incomplete and Inaccurate," GAO/ GGD-90-58, 
March 15) 

March 1 990 A report commissioned by the Pentagon has concluded that 

an excessive concern for secrecy on the part of Defense Sec- 
retary Dick Cheney prevented reporters from covering cru- 
cial engagements in the invasion of Panama. The report also 
asserts that the Defense Department failed to develop a de- 
tailed plan for news coverage because a preliminary plan 
was locked away in a safe to avoid its disclosure. ("Cheney 
Blamed for Press Problems in Panama," The New York Times, 
March 20) 

March 1990 Scientists seeking to mine the huge trove of data gathered at 

great risk and expense in 30 years of space flight have found 
that much of it is so badly labeled or stored that extracting 
useful information can require years of ingenious detective 
work. The results can be well worth the effort. For example, 
scientists working with ten-year-old data recently constructed 
the clearest picture yet of the biggest volcano on Mars. And 
scientists planning future lunar missions are sifting through 
data recorded in the mid-1960s to produce detailed pictures of 
the dark side of the moon. 

But it can take months and even years to pry useful informa- 
tion from the hundreds of thousands of magnetic tapes on 


March 1990 

which it is stored. Many of the tapes are uncataloged. Some 
have been damaged by heat or floods. Even tapes in good 
condition may be missing the documents needed to decode 
them. Others are so old that computer experts no longer un- 
derstand how they were programmed. Still others can be 
processed only on machinery so outdated that little of the 
necessary hardware remains. Even tapes that were properly 
stored contain so much information that scientists are only 
beginning to catalog it and put it on modern computer tapes 
and more advanced storage systems. 

Despite recent efforts to preserve tapes at the Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory in California, the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration has not been taking proper care of the bulk 
of their magnetic tape holds, gleaned from more than 260 
scientific missions, according to a recent audit by the General 
Accounting Office. Hundreds of thousands of the agency's 1 .2 
million tapes are currently kept under "deplorable conditions" 
at various NASA facilities, said GAO's Ronald Beers. NASA 
has not performed an agencywide inventory of its magnetic 
tapes, and does not know what data are retained and what 
may have been lost. At several NASA storage facilities, tapes 
were found stacked on pallets, strapped down with steel bands, 
and left in rooms where the temperature reached 100 de- 

However, new technologies are being developed to make bet- 
ter use of archived data. More data are being made available 
to scientists on compact disks as well as through a special 
computer network associated with six universities. ("Lost on 
Earth: Wealth of Data Found in Space," The New York Times, 
March 20) 

March 1990 The scientific research now being generated throughout the 

world has important implications for U. S. competitiveness. If 
the United States is aware of foreign research activity, Amer- 
ican scientific research and policy formulation can be en- 
hanced. GAO looked at federal programs and activities that 
monitor foreign dual-use technologies — items that have both 
commercial and military uses. GAO found that six depart- 
ments and independent agencies account for much of the 
current monitoring. Within these agencies, GAO identified 
62 federal, civilian, and military agency offices and divisions 
that monitor foreign technology. There is, however, no central 


March 1990 

source for identifying and coordinating agency monitoring. As 
a result, duplication and gaps in monitoring are more likely. 

While federal monitoring has produced substantial informa- 
tion that would be of use to researchers, program managers, 
and policy makers in other federal agencies and in the pri- 
vate sector, there are several obstacles to the dissemination 
of this information. These obstacles include different hard- 
ware and software requirements to access databases, diverse 
foreign copyright laws, and limited resources for translating 
documents into English. Several possibilities exist to help im- 
prove access to monitoring information, such as a computer 
concept called gateways. ("Foreign Technology: U.S. Moni- 
toring and Dissemination of the Results of Foreign Research," 
GAO/NSIAD-90-117, March 21) 

March 1990 A March 22 Washington Post editorial, "Putting a Price on 

Information," commented on the March 19 Supreme Couri 
decision to let stand a lower court ruling that the National 
Security Archive was a representative of news media and, 
therefore, could be charged only for cost of reproducing 
documents obtained through the Freedom of Information 
Act. The National Security Archive is a private group that 
collects government documents for use by researchers and 
the news media. The Posf said that search and review costs 
are very subjectively determined, and some agencies hove 
been known to set them as high as $500,000 for a single FOIA 
request. Because these figures are difficult to challenge and — 
more important — usually lead a petitioner to abandon a re- 
quest, it is important that the term "representative of the news 
media" be interpreted as broadly as possible so the exemp- 
tion is more widely available. 

Last luly, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a 
ruling the Supreme Court has now decided not to review, 
held that the archive qualifies for a fee schedule less than 
that charged to commercial users, because it "gathers infor- 
mation of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its 
editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, 
and distributes that work to an audience." Publication is the 
key component of the definition, and it is broad enough to 
apply to free-lance journalists, authors of books, producers 
of newsletters, and others whose right to the exemption had 
been challenged. According to the editorial: "The court, true 



March 1990 

to the intent of Congress, has made access to government in- 
formation more easily and less exp>ensively available through 
the media to the public. The decision is a clear victory for 
those who work for greater government accountability and 
a better informed electorate." 

March 1 990 GAO looked at Internal Revenue Service efforts to provide 

quicker and more accurate responses to taxpayer correspon- 
dence. The backlog of taxpayer correspxDndence is now sub- 
stantial. In 1989, IRS monthly inventories of unanswered mail 
ranged between 323,000 and 740,000 pieces of correspondence. 
The Automated Inventory Control System, a part of the IRS 
Tax System Modernization program, is intended to improve 
the timeliness and accuracy of IRS resp>onses to taxpayers. 
However, the system has not yet been designed, and the mas- 
ter plan for modernization has not been completed. It seems 
unlikely that any significant improvement will occur before 
1992, when the IRS Automated Inventory Control System is ex- 
pected to be in operation. In the meantime, interim projects — 
such as using facsimile equipment and expanding telephone 
usage — are underway or planned to help handle taxpayer 
correspondence. ("Tax System Modernization: IRS' Efforts to 
Improve Taxpayer Correspondence," GAO/IMTEC-90-26, 
March 22) 

March 1 990 On the eve of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's issuance 

of a full-power operating license to the controversial Seabrook, 
N.H., nuclear power plant, someone leaked reports question- 
ing safety conditions there to Robert Pollard, a nuclear en- 
gineer and critic of the industry who works for the Union of 
Concerned Scientists. The reports were from the Institute of 
Nuclear Power Operations, known as INPO, which is con- 
trolled by its members, the 55 electric utilities that operate 
nuclear plants. Its $51.8 million budget comes from their cus- 
tomers' electric bills. INPO's stated purpose is to help member 
utilities achieve excellence in plant operations and operator 
training. But some critics say it has usurped, or taken over by 
default, some functions that should be exercised by the NRC. 

Pollard shared the reports with Ralph Nader, whose Critical 
Mass Energy Project has been trying for years to persuade 
the federal courts to order the NRC to make INPO reports 
public. Appearing at a House Interior and Insular Affairs Sub- 
committee hearing March 14, Nader said: "INPO documents 


March 1990 

which reflect unsafe conditions at Seobrook also serve to high- 
light the public's on-going lack of access to virtually all of 
INPO's vital records." He continued: "INPO reports are rou- 
tinely made available to everyone concerned in any way 
with the construction and operation of nuclear plants in the 
Untied States, with the exception of the American public. Since 
INPO is funded by utility dollars, which come from consumer 
dollars, consumers are paying for the intolerable secrecy." 

In two court challenges to INPO's role, Critical Mass has at- 
tacked the NRC for keeping INPO's reports secret and for al- 
legedly abdicating its responsibility to set operator training 
standards. INPO is not a defendant. Justice Department lawyers, 
defending the NRC, said that access to INPO reports "allows 
the NRC to allocate its limited resources to those issues, and 
in a manner, having the greatest impact on the public's health 
and safety." If the NRC is forced to make INPO reports public, 
the lawyers said, INPO will stop making them available to the 
NRC, because INPO officials believe nuclear plant employees 
will be less than candid with investigators if they think their 
information will be made public. ("Is Industry Usurping NRC 
Functions?" The Washington Post, March 26) 

March 1990 First Amendment specialists have accused the Justice Depart- 

ment of deliberately abusing obscenity laws to drive mail- 
order companies out of business for distributing adult films 
and publications that were never determined to be obscene. 
The experts soy the department's National Obscenity Enforce- 
ment Unit has practiced censorship by intimidation, using 
laws meant to restrict the distribution of individual products 
in selective communities to eliminate national distribution 
networks for a wide range of films and publications. 

In the first federal case of its kind in the Washington area, 
Karl Brussel and his Connecticut-based Pak Ventures, Inc., 
were indicted in December on charges of mailing obscene 
videotapes to individuals in Northern Virginia. Brussel and 
his company also were charged with mailing the videos and 
related advertising brochures to addresses in the Eastern Dis- 
trict of North Carolina and two federal districts of Alabama. 
"The goal [of multiple indictments] is to use prosecutorial 
threats and actions to coerce distributors of these kinds of 
materials to self-censor a broader range of materials than 
the government could achieve by law," said Bruce Ennis, 
counsel for the American Library Association. ("U.S. Accused 


March 1990 

of 'Censorship by Intimidation' in Pornography Case," The 
Washington Post, March 26) 

March 1990 In an opinion piece on March 27 in The Washington Post, 

"Uncle Sam Is Watching You," Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) 
said that the Bush Administration "could use a shot of glas- 
nost." Among the four examples he used to illustrate the mea- 
sures with "such significant impact on personal liberties/' 
Rep. Conyers cited first the FBI Library Awareness Program. 
He described the program this way: 

First, the FBI attempted to enlist librarians throughout the 
country in an attempt to unmask supposed Soviet agents 
rummaging through their stacks of unclassified, publicly 
available technical publications. It then conducted inde- 
pendent investigations of those librarians who objected 
to being conscripted into the intelligence service and re- 
porting on their borrowers, "to determine whether a Soviet 
active measure campaign had been initiated to discredit" 
the FBI. The Committee on Government Operations is still 
awaiting an explanation from the FBI director as to how 
many of the objectors' names were permanently recorded 
in the bureau's data base. 

Rep. Conyers' other examples included: executive branch 
secrecy agreements; the Justice Department's invocation of 
executive secrecy to interfere with the prosecution of a former 
CIA official on charges arising from the Iran-Contra affair; 
and the use of Standard Form 86, the revised employment 
questionnaire for employees designated as "sensitive." 

March 1990 Energy Secretary James Wdtkins agreed to turn over to the 

Health and Human Services Department responsibility for 
long-term health studies of workers at the nation's nuclear 
weapons plants. The Department of Energy and its predeces- 
sor agencies had controlled the studies and kept them secret. 
He also ordered his staff to develop a plan for the release of 
health data in nuclear plant workers, their unions, and the 
public. Watkins said independent review of the health data 
was necessary to restore his department's credibility with 
100,000 workers in the nuclear plants and with residents of 
nearby communities, who have charged for years that the En- 
ergy Department suppressed information about the damaging 
effect of radiation. ("Energy Defers to HHS on Safety Studies," 
The Washington Post, March 28) 


April 1990 

April 1990 The official record of American foreign policy, published by 

the Department of State, contains serious "distortions" and 
"deletions," historians have charged. At the annual meeting 
of the Organization of American Historians, scholars passed 
a strongly worded resolution charging that changes in the 
process for reviewing sensitive material for inclusion in a 
documental series, known as Foreign Relations of the United 
States, threaten to undermine its credibility. At issue in the 
current controversy is not just the State Department series, 
many scholars say, but the federal government's overall pol- 
icy on the classification of its records. "The difficulties with 
the series highlight the larger problems historians hove faced 
gaining access to government materials," said Page Putnam 
Miller, director of the National Coordinating Committee for the 
Promotion of History. "In recent years, fewer documents have 
been made available, and fewer requests honored under the 
Freedom of Information Act. The real problem is that we have 
no systematic policy for declassifying documents." 

Historians say problems with the State Department series 
have been mounting for more than a decade. Now number- 
ing more than 300 volumes, the series has been published 
since 1861, but recently has fallen farther and farther behind 
schedule. Through World War U, volumes appeared about 
1 5 years after the events they covered. Today, the lag has 
slipped to almost 40 years. The growing tendency of officials 
to withhold documents from publication has touched off the 
most recent wave of scholarly concern. Some scholars charge 
that the department classifies too many materials as secret, 
and does not cooperate with the department's advisory com- 
mittee of scholars. 

The problem was underscored with the publication last fall of 
the volume in the foreign-relations series covering U. S. policy 
in Iran from 1952 to 1954. Bruce Kuniholm, of Duke University, 
says that, when he worked at the State Department a decade 
ago, he saw galleys of the volume that had already been 
prepared. But when it was published, many of the selections 
were gone. There is now no reference, he says, to the fact 
that the U. S. government considered a coup to overthrow the 
Iranian leader Muhammad Musaddiq. "The removal of doc- 
uments, particularly of any mention of C.I.A. covert actions, 
makes it appear as if Musaddiq were overthrown by popular 
will, with no U. S. involvement," said Kuniholm. "But inter- 
views with former officials have made it abundantly clear 


April 1990 

that the U. S. did play a role. Those kinds of deletions call 
the credibility of the entire series into question." ("Historians 
Criticize State Department for 'Distortions' and 'Deletions' in 
Its Record of U.S. Foreign Policy" The Chronicle of Higher 
Education, April 4) 

April 1990 Government decisions to classify information as "Top Secret," 

"Secret," or "Confidential" dropjDed by 35 percent last year, 
according to the Information Security Oversight Office. In 
its annual report to the White House, ISOO said there were 
6,796,501 classification actions in fiscal year 1989, a decrease 
of more than 3.6 million from the year before. But it added 
that the unprecedented drop was "primarily the result of more 
accurate counting, rather than an actual tremendous decrease 
in classification activity." In addition to a striking drop in clas- 
sifications at the Defense Department, the report said the CIA 
reported 22 percent fewer original classification decisions 
and the State Department a 13 percent reduction. The Justice 
Department, by contrast, grew more secretive, especially the 
FBI, the report indicated. Original classification decisions at 
Justice jumped by 43 percent. ("A Cutback in Classified Infor- 
mation?" The Washington Post, April 10) 

April 1990 In the 11 days since federal health officials announced a new 

treatment that prevents a significant degree of paralysis from 
spinal cord injuries, an estimated 300 Americans have sus- 
tained such injuries but, according to a consumer advocacy 
group, many may have gone untreated because the govern- 
ment failed to send specific information to hospital emergency 
rooms. The Public Citizen Health Research Group called it a 
"colossal failure of communication" and said that "any further 
delay in notifying all emergency rooms about this is recklessly 

The drug, methylprednisolone, must be given in high doses 
beginning within eight hours of the injury to be effective. The 
group called on Health and Human Services Secretary Louis 
W. Sullivan to send information about the therapy to emer- 
gency room and trauma care physicians to alert those who 
may not have heard about it through the news media and to 
allow them to evaluate data documenting the effectiveness of 
the drug. ("Word of Spinal-Injury Drug Not Getting Out, Group 
Soys," The Washington Post, April 11) 


April 1990 

April 1 990 A California defense contractor has pleaded guilty to falsi- 

fying test results on millions of bolts it produced for some of 
the military's most sophisticated warplane engines including 
the B-1 bomber and F-14 jet fighter, according to federal offi- 
cials. The bolt manufacturer, MacHaffie, Inc., pleaded guilty 
to submitting fake documents to the military during an eight- 
year period certifying that its bolts met government standards, 
even though the bolts had never been tested, according to 
Assistant U. S. Attorney Stephen Mansfield of the Central 
District of California in Los Angeles. In other cases, the firm 
sent the bolts to an outside laboratory for performance testing, 
but when bolts failed the tests, the defense contractor falsified 
the results to indicate the products had passed, Mansfield 

Military officials and prosecutors said they do not know how 
many of the bolts are now in use in working aircraft. Mans- 
field estimated the company sold nine million bolts to the mil- 
itary and other defense contractors for more than eight years 
beginning in 1979. The military has reported no instances of 
engine failure as a result of the bolts, he said. ("Company 
Admits Fraudulent Tests of Aircraft Bolts," The Washington 
Post. April 11) 

April 1990 Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh is engaged in a 

mini-dispute with the CIA over disposition of a small stack of 
documents generated by his investigation of the Iran-Contra 
scandal. The CIA wants the records back. Walsh contends he 
is bound by law to hand them over to the National Archives. 
Whatever happens, it is likely that the documents will be safe 
from prying eyes for years to come. But if the records go to 
the Archives, some future historian may have a chance of 
gaining access. If they go back to the CIA, it has been sug- 
gested, they will disappear forever. ("Walsh and CIA Tug 
Away At Some Inquiry Papers," The Washington Post, April 12) 

April 1990 President Bush kicked off the White House conference on global 

warming by restating his call for more research before setting 
up costly programs to meet what many experts call mankind's 
greatest threat. "What we need are facts," Bush said in open- 
ing remarks. But several participants at the 17-nation con- 
ference turned the event into a challenge to the go-slow ap- 
proach, accusing the Administration of ignoring key scientific 
data and manipulating the conference to obscure European 
arguments for aggressive measures to combat rising world 


April 1990 

temperatures. German environmental minister Klaus Topfer 
said "gaps in information should not be used as an excuse 
for worldwide inaction." ("Bush Says More Data on Warming 
Needed," The Washington Post, April 18) 

April 1990 A Department of Veterans Affairs internal investigation has 

supported allegations that a VA supervisor harassed a worker 
who had warned a federal judge that department officials 
were destroying records in a highly sensitive lawsuit. Three 
years ago, a judge in the U. S. District Court in San Francisco 
levied a $120,000 fine for the wholesale destruction of records 
needed in a lawsuit over the treatment of veterans exposed to 
radiation during atomic bomb tests. In addition, she warned 
VA officials not to harass any workers who had cooperated 
with the investigation of the records destruction. 

Barry Boskovich, a staff consultant in the VA central office, 
had testified that records in the case were being destroyed 
and that some VA officials were not cooperating fully with 
lawyers' requests for documents. Last September, Boskovich 
complained to Equal Employment Opportunity officials that 
his annual evaluation had been lowered by a supervisor 
in retaliation for his actions in the lawsuit. After an EEO in- 
vestigator said in a February report that Boskovich "estab- 
lished a prima facie case of discrimination," the VA ordered 
another investigation. The report of the second investigation 
was inclusive and basically told VA officials they would have 
to resolve the dispute. The judge has yet to rule in the long- 
pending lawsuit involving veterans who were exposed to ra- 
diation during the tests. ("Harassment Claim at VA Supported, 
The Washington Post, April 24) 

April 1990 The second phase of the 1990 Census began in late April, 

and as tens of thousands of census-takers began knocking 
on doors across the country, many experts were concerned 
that the problems the government has already encountered in 
the national head count were only going to be compounded. 
The Census Bureau has had trouble finding enough qual- 
ified "enumerators" in some areas, creating the possibility 
that it will have to hire less qualified workers and require 
staff to cover more territory and stay in the field longer than 
planned. Census workers will have to visit a much larger 
number of households than had been anticipated, because of 
the nation's unexpectedly lethargic response in mailing back 
census questionnaires in recent weeks. The poor return rate, 


May 1990 

coupled with the hiring difficulties, presents what many say 
is an unprecedented challenge to the bureau. ("Census Goes 
Door-to-Door to Find the Uncounted," The Washington Post, 
April 26) 

May 1990 Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta reported: "Entire towns 

were missed in the first sweep of the 1990 census. Huge hous- 
ing complexes received only one questionnaire. But long af- 
ter those gaffes are forgotten, the political dogfight over the 
numbers will rage, because the census is more than just a 
count to satisfy a statistician's curiosity. It is a tool used by 
Democrats and Republicans to dole out political favors and 
apportion power." They said that nobody claims that the 
census counts every American. The debate is whether the 
Census Bureau should make educated guesses — statistical 
adjustments — to get closer to the truth. 

The column points out that the debate is as old as the census 
itself. When George Washington heard the 1790 census tally, 
he was concerned that the new nation was not as populous 
as he wanted England to think it was. The issue has now 
become so divisive that more than 50 cities and groups sued 
after the 1980 census, claiming they had been undercounted. 
One group of cities, assuming the worst, sued in advance of 
the 1990 census, demanding an adjustment. 

Two facts make that adjustment controversial. More than $50 
billion in federal aid that goes to states and cities annually is 
based on population. More important, the undercounted are 
usually low-income and minority groups in the inner cities — 
traditionally Democrats. An internal memo from the Republic 
Research Committee, written by Reps. William M. Thomas 
(R-CA) and Vin Weber (R-MN), gave their perspective: "Sta- 
tistical adjustment could entail cooking the books for political 
purposes. If the 1990 census is adjusted, we can expect the 
majority party in Congress [Democrats] to dictate conditions 
for adjusting future censuses." ("Political Fires Cook Census 
Numbers," The Washington Post, May 4) 

May 1990 The White House and Congress are feuding over the fate of 

the Office of Management and Budget unit that for nearly a 
decade has been the main focus of a battle over reducing the 
amount of government regulation. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), 
chair of the Government Operations Committee, complained 
in a letter to panel members and congressional leaders that 


May 1990 

the White House had abruptly withdrawn an agreement to 
limit the powers of the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs. As a result, he has threatened to try to defeat a bill 
to keep the agency alive. The office, which was created un- 
der the Paperwork Reduction Act, has been the principal 
weapon in a drive by conservatives to ease the power of fed- 
eral regulatory agencies. But its authority was considerably 
expanded under two executive orders signed by President 
Reagan within days of his inauguration. 

Rep. Conyers said that he and others in Congress had negoti- 
ated an agreement in March with the Bush Administration to 
limit OIRA authority. He said he believed that OMB had ap- 
proved the new agreement, because senior aids to OMB Di- 
rector Pochard Darman had been involved in the negotiations. 
But in April, C. Boyden Gray, the White House counsel, and 
John Sununu, the White House chief of staff, said the Admin- 
istration did not support the agreement. Gray said, in a letter 
to Congress, that such an agreement would infringe on the 
President's ability to run the executive branch and, thus, was 
constitutionally flawed. The agreement. Gray wrote, "would 
seriously interfere with the President's constitutional duty to 
supervise the executive branch, yet it was never subject to 
White House or Justice Department review." He added that 
Darman had never reviewed the agreement personally. 

Conyers characterized Gray's letter as breaking an agree- 
ment with Congress. He said the agreement had been ne- 
gotiated with "the most senior staff of the O.M.B.," including 
Frank Hodsoll, OMB's chief financial officer. Conyers said that 
his committee, which oversees OMB, had agreed to continue 
financing the regulatory affairs office under the presumption 
that there would be an agreement with the White House. "The 
decision to break an agreement with the House raises seri- 
ous questions as to whether O.I.R.A. and its many functions 
can be reauthorized," he said. ("Regulatory Review Office in 
Dispute," The New York Times, May 5) 

May 1990 The State Department is accustomed to contests of wills — with 

foreign alliances. Congress, even, occasionally, the White 
House. "But this time, it finds itself in a verbal shoving match 
with U. S. librarians," according to USA Today. Cause: The 
department, without notifying subscribers, in December 1989 
stopped publication of the State Department Bulletin — a com- 
pendium of current action on treaties, public policy state- 


May 1990 

ments, statistics, and other information. "It served for more 
than 50 years as a timely source of information on U. S. for- 
eign policy," observed Bruce Kennedy of the Georgetown 
University Law Center library. Says the State Department's 
Tony Das: "It took up to a third of our publications budget 
and in effect did a lot of other people's homework for them." 
The department initially answered librarians' complaints by 
saying all the information is available in other publications. 

Susan Tulis, chair of the ALA Government Documents Round 
Table, countered: "But some of those series don't get written 
up for years." And most public libraries simply cannot af- 
ford all the subscriptions, she points out. "Now, there is no 
one source you can go to to find general information about 
what the State Department is doing." It is even worse with 
treaties, said Kennedy: "The U.N. sometimes takes decades 
to print them. The Bulletin was the source of the full text of 
policy statements" made by top State Department officials. "I 
don't believe there are any alternate sources for much of that 
material." There will be ripple effects, he predicts. Example: 
State Department pronouncements on trade policy "might 
affect the competitiveness of American Business." Das said 
the department is studying resuming the publication in a less 
costly format: "I would expect it to include everything in the 
Bulletin and much more as well." Even so, Das said, "This 
is a non-story." "This," said Kennedy, "is a step backward." 
("Publication's Death Revives Debate," USA Today, May 9) 

May 1990 Only hours after Oliver North met with members of Congress 

in 1986 and lied to them about his involvement with the Nica- 
raguan rebels, he met with Vice President George Bush, North's 
private notebooks show. The meeting with the legislators was 
a critical moment in the history of the Iran-Contra affair, but 
until the release of hundreds of pages of North's notebook, the 
Bush meeting was not known. The brief notebook entries do 
not suggest the purpose of the Vice President's meeting with 
North, and it is possible the session was unrelated to Iran- 
Contra matters. The page of North's notebook that refers to 
the "session with V.P." was omitted from the entries released 
by the Iran-Contra congressional committees in 1987. Asked 
about the notebooks, the White House press secretary, Marlin 
Fitzwater, said: "The Vice President's role in the Iran-Contra 
affair was completely examined in the Congressional inquiry 
and we have nothing to add." 


May 1990 

The notebooks were obtained by the National Security 
Archive through a Freedom of Information Act after filing a 
lawsuit last August against the independent prosecutor in 
the Iran-Contra case. "They raise a lot more questions than 
they provide answers," said Tom Blanton, the archive deputy 
director, referring to the notebooks. "The Vice President's role 
has never been fully explained. It raises a further question 
about Bush." ("North's Notes Show He Met Bush Soon After 
Lying to Congress in '86, The New York Times, May 9) 

May 1990 President Bush declared yesterday that the nation's budget 

deficit has ballooned into an "urgent" problem, but he refused 
to propose any solutions, saying that he first wants Congress 
to join him in any deal involving politically difficult tax and 
spending choices. Bush said the only way "the negotiating 
process" will succeed is if the talks are conducted in secret, 
and he expressed concern that he not "inadvertently sug- 
gest crisis and frighten markets." In mid-May, OMB Director 
Richard Darman privately briefed members of the House Bud- 
get Committee on the dimensions of the burgeoning deficit. 
Rep. Leon Panetta (D-CA), chair of the Budget Committee, 
had asked Darman to testify at a public hearing, but Darman 
would only agree to a closed session. "What about the Amer- 
ican people?" asked Rep. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a member 
of the Budget Committee. "Don't they have a right to know 
what's going on with the economy?" ("Bush Calls Deficit 
'Urgent' Problem," The Washington Post, May 17) 

May 1990 Mention the national parks, and images of snowcapped moun- 

tains, virgin forests, limitless horizons come to mind. Here 
is another way to think of them: profit centers. According to 
an Interior Department investigation, park concessionaires 
in 1988 recorded $500 million in gross profits while returning 
$12.5 million — 2.5 percent of the total — to the U. S. Treasury. 
Investigators told a congressional panel that Interior is losing 
tens of millions annually as a consequence of long-term con- 
tracts granting virtual monopolies to the operators of camp- 
grounds, hotels, restaurants, and other services on the nation's 
355-unit park system. 

The most profitable of those companies is Yosemite Park and 
Curry Co., a subsidiary of giant MCA, Inc., that operates com- 
mercial services in California's Yosemite National Park and 
recorded gross 1988 profits of $76,570,000. The fee paid to the 


May 1990 

government was $570,000 — about three quarters of 1 percent 
of the total. 

The investigation was ordered by Secretary of Interior Manuel 
Lujan, Jr., who wants to increase the fees charged to the con- 
cessionaires, shorten the duration of the contracts, and plow 
the extra money back into the parks. Chief among his con- 
cerns is that some concessionaires have been allowed to own 
park facilities, which would have to be purchased for millions 
if their contracts were canceled. Lujan's proposals have been 
bitterly resisted by the concessionaires, some of them owned 
by large conglomerates, which went to court in an attempt 
to withhold portions of the investigation from release. Much 
of the information relating to specific companies and con- 
tacts was deleted from the Interior inspector general's report 
under an agreement reached between Interior officials and 
attorneys for the concessionaires. But a source with access to 
the uncensored document provided several key examples of 
profitable park concessions. 

Among them are Amfac Hotels and Resoris (Grand Canyon), 
which recorded 1988 profits of $44.3 million and paid a fran- 
chise fee of $ 1 .2 million; ARA Leisure Services Inc./Wdhweap 
Lodge (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area), $22.5 million 
and $505,000; Guest Services, Inc., (National Capital Region), 
$17 million and $480,000; and Hamilton Stores (Yellowstone), 
$13 million and $360,000. The report also found that, while 
concessionaires often are responsible for major physical im- 
provements in national parks, they also reap the greatest 
benefits from those expenditures. ("Profiteering in the Parks?" 
The Washington Post, May 25) 

May 1990 The Supreme Court agreed to decide the constitutionality of 

regulations preventing federally funded family planning clin- 
ics from providing poor women with any information about 
abortion. The question of whether the regulations violate the 
freedom of speech guarantee has broad implications outside 
the abortion context in areas such as federal funding of the 
arts, where there are restrictions on how funds can be used. 
The federal appeals court in New York, in a decision by Judge 
Ralph Winter, acknowledged that the regulations "may ham- 
per or impede women in exercising their right of privacy in 
seeking abortions." But Winter said that was "constitutionally 
irrelevant" so long as the government's action did not create 
"affirmative legal barriers to access to abortion." Winter also 


May 1990 

rejected the argument that the regulations trample on free 
speech rights, saying that they did not discriminate on the 
basis of viewpoint. 

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Amalya L. Kearse rejected that 
analysis and said the regulations went far beyond refusals to 
provide public funding for abortions for poor women, which 
have been upheld by the high court. "By prohibiting the de- 
livery of abortion information and prohibiting communica- 
tion even as to where such information can be obtained, the 
present regulations deny a woman her constitutionally pro- 
tected right to choose," Kearse said. "She cannot make an 
informed choice between two options when she cannot ob- 
tain information as to one of them." ("Supreme Court Accepts 
Abortion-Counseling Case," The Washington Post, May 30) 

May 1990 The Justice Department, reacting to concerns expressed by 

U. S. officials who took part in the invasion of Panama last 
December, has asked government agencies, including the 
Central Intelligence Agency, to verify that there has been no 
tampering with records seized from the regime of Gen. Manuel 
Noriega. U. S. government sources said Army intelligence 
officials became concerned about the CIA's role in the recov- 
ery of sensitive Panamanian documents when members of a 
special Army document team said CIA personnel in Panama 
asked them to leave a building that housed one of Noriega's 
primary offices. 

A U. S. government source familiar with the military's doc- 
ument recovery operation said that after the special Army 
document collection team was told to vacate the building in 
question, they did not return to the building for about 2 1/2 
days. The source said, based on information received from 
Panamanian informants, the Army intelligence unit viewed 
"Building Eight" at Fort Amador as a potential major source 
of documents on Noriega. But when the Army unit resumed 
the search, according to the source, it did not find the kinds of 
records that the Panamanian informants had said would be 

This reported incident was a primary reason Army intelli- 
gence officials involved in the document collection operation 
expressed concern that the CIA either may have removed 
or destroyed documents to cover up aspects of its controver- 
sial relationship with Noriega, the source said. In response 


June 1990 

to questions, a CIA spokesman said "the CIA did not take 
any documents from Building Eight/' and the agency "has 
not prevented access to any materials obtained during 'Op- 
eration Just Cause'," the Pentagon's name for the Panama 
invasion. Noriega's involvement with the CIA and other U. S. 
agencies, including the military and the Drug Enforcement 
Administration, is expected to be a central issue in his trial 
in U. S. District Court in Miami on drug-trafficking charges. 
Recently, federal prosecutors proposed that the U. S. govern- 
ment temporarily subsidize Noriega's defense costs, partly to 
avoid disclosing how much the CIA and other U. S. agen- 
cies secretly paid Noriega, but a judge refused to approve 
this suggestion. ("Possibility Raised That Records Seized in 
Panama Were Manipulated, " The Washington Post, May 31) 

June 1990 John Poindexter was sentenced to six months in prison by a 

federal judge who said the one-time national security adviser 
to former President Ronald Reagan was "the decision-making 
head" of a scheme to deceive Congress in the Iran-Contra 
affair and to "invalidate the decisions made by elected offi- 

U. S. District Judge Harold Greene warned of the dangers of 
high government officials using national security concerns 
to mask deceit and wrongdoing. Greene said the govern- 
ment must maintain secrets, but "if members of the security 
apparatus could, with impunity, keep from those elected by 
the people that which they're entitled to know — or worse, 
feed them false information — those who control the classified 
data could be the real decision makers. That is precisely what 
happened here." ("Poindexter Gets 6 Months in Prison," The 
Washington Post, June 12) 

June 1990 For more than four decades, the United States and its allies 

kept a secret list of computers, machine tools, telecommuni- 
cations equipment, and other high-technology products that 
could not be sold to the Soviet Union or its East Bloc satellites. 
However, high-tech companies in the Western alliance never 
knew what products were on the list, which was compiled 
by a 17-nation group that polices technology sales, the Co- 
ordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls, known 
as Cocom. With the Cold War winding down, the East Bloc 
turning capitalist and Cocom making more advanced tech- 
nologies available to Moscow, all that has changed. In May, 
the State Department bowed to a Freedom of Information Act 


July 1990 

request and made the Cocom list public. It acted 1 1 years af- 
ter Congress said the list should be readily available. ("High- 
Tech List Comes Out of Cold/' The Washington Post. June 22) 

June 1990 Retired Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. accused government 

and industry scientists of manipulating research data to hide 
what he called clear evidence that Agent Orange may have 
caused cancers, birth defects and a wide variety of other ail- 
ments in Americans who fought in Southeast Asia and their 
offspring. The admiral, who recently reviewed studies on the 
widely used defoliant for the Department of Veterans' Affairs, 
charged that the distortions continue to "needlessly muddle 
the debate" over the impact of dioxin-laden chemicals on 
the American public. Forms of dioxins, a carcinogenic agent 
in Agent Orange, are present in herbicides widely used in 
American agriculture. 

Appearing before the House Government Operations 
Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovern- 
mental Relations, Zumwalt noted that he had suspected that 
his son, a former naval officer, died of cancers caused by 
Agent Orange. But Zumwalt said that until recently he had 
also believed "that there was insufficient scientific evidence 
to support a linkage between his illness and Agent Orange 
exposure. That was, of course, the conventional propaganda. 
The sad truth which emerges from my work is not only is there 
credible evidence linking certain cancers and other illnesses 
with Agent Orange, but that government and industry offi- 
cials credited with examining such linkage intentionally ma- 
nipulated or withheld compelling information of the adverse 
health effects " ("Ex- Admiral Zumwalt Claims Manipula- 
tion on Agent Orange," The Washington Post, June 27) 

July 1990 "The federal government has come up with a novel approach 

for handling bad economic news: it has decided to stop re- 
porting it. The statistic in question is the annual assessment of 
America's global investment standing, which in the past few 
years has shown that the United States has gone from being 
the world's largest creditor nation to being the largest debtor 
nation. The government soys the figure is no longer reliable. 
Critics say the Bush administration is playing politics by not 
releasing it." ("Bad News Is No News," Newsday, July 2) 

July 1990 A top Air Force general knew that the Stealth fighter plane 

had missed its targets in its first combat mission, but he did 


July 1990 

not tell his sujDeriors at the Pentagon, a classified report says. 
The lapse left Defense Secretary Dick Cheney bragging about 
the plane's "pinpoint accuracy" in the Panamanian invasion 
even though one of the bombs missed its target by 160 yards. 

The general, Robert D. Russ, chief of the Tactical Air Com- 
mand, which controls the Air Force fighter planes, knew 
shortly after the mission about the flaws in their performance 
and should have kept his superiors fully informed about prob- 
lems in the raid by the planes, the report said. Asked about 
the report, General Russ issued a statement saying that the 
Army commanders who led the invasion were responsible 
for telling top Pentagon officials about what happened in the 
attack. Soon after the invasion, Cheney said that each of the 
fighters had delivered a 2,000-ix>und bomb with "pinpoint ac- 
curacy," based on information provided to him by the military. 
And for months after, the Pentagon continued to insist that 
it had been a picture-perfect operation. But in early April, 
after a New York Times reporter showed a senior Air Force 
official a picture of the bombed site, Cheney learned that the 
bombs had missed their targets. Soon after, he commissioned 
the report. ("Report Says General Knew of Stealth Fighter's 
Failure," The New York Times, July 2) 

July 1990 The Bush administration is seeking a change in the federal 

computer espionage law that would open the door to pros- 
ecution and conviction of whistle-blowers and journalists as 
well as spies. The Justice Department said the proposal would 
make the espionage law "more useful." It would eliminate a 
provision in current law requiring proof of espionage and 
make it a crime to use — or cause the use of — a computer to 
obtain classified information without authorization. The penal- 
ties would be the same as they are now. Violators would be 
subject to 10 years in prison for a first offense, or "an attempt 
to commit such an offense." Second offenders could be impris- 
oned for 20 years. 

The proposal was submitted to Congress in June by the Justice 
Department as part of a package of changes in the computer 
fraud and abuse statute of 1986. "It seems they want to make 
far more people spies than actually are," said Rep. Charles 
E. Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Sub- 
committee on Criminal Justice. Another part of the Justice 
Department package that drew criticism was a provision that 
would define information in a computer, as well as computer 


July 1990 

processing time, as "property." "The thrust of that is to say 
that if you take information, that's property and you can be 
accused of stealing," Schumer said. "I think that's very dan- 
gerous. We need a law more finely honed than that." 

Morton Halperin, Washington director of the American 
Civil Liberties Union, said the proposals call to mind the 
controversial 1985 prosecution of former naval intelligence 
analyst Samuel Loring Morison, the first person convicted 
under espionage laws for leaking documents "relating to the 
national defense" to the news media. Morison's lawyers con- 
tended that the sections of espionage law used in the case 
were meant to apply only in a clandestine setting, to spies 
and saboteurs, and not to disclosures to the news media. As 
for the theft charges, they protested that making the law ap- 
plicable to government "information" would give the exec- 
utive branch unbridled discretion to control what the public 
may be told. 

Under the Justice Department computer espionage proposal, 
it could be even more dangerous to take the secrets from a 
computer than to get them on paper. The bill would make it a 
crime to pluck from a computer any "classified" information, 
even items stamped secret, because disclosure would be em- 
barrassing. That is a much broader category than documents 
"relating to the national defense." 

Halperin said, "Given the amount of information that is clas- 
sified and the degree to which debate in the United States 
depends on that information, we have consistently opposed 
criminalizing access to classified information by private cit- 
izens, except where it involves transfer to foreign powers." 
Justice Department officials acknowledged that their proposal 
would cover whistle-blowers and journalists. "No one con- 
sidered that in the drafting of it," said Grace Mastalli, special 
counsel in the Justice Department Office of Policy Develop- 
ment. But she said it was "probably not possible to narrow it 
without destroying the purpose of the bill." ("A Revised Com- 
puter Espionage Law?" The Washington Post, July 5) 

July 1990 At a time when the American economy never has been more 

complex, federal statisticians are losing the ability to track the 
changes. The official statistics report that the nation is in the 
midst of a period of unsurpassed prosjDerity — a peacetime 


July 1990 

record oil \ 12 years without a recession. But private econo- 
mists say many of the statistics spewed by the government 
each month that purport to track the economy are seriously 
flawed. Some are so suspect that analysts ignore them in 
preparing forecasts rather than face embarrassment when 
the government totally revises its original report. "History is 
being rewritten on a monthly basis," said Allen Sinai, chief 
economist of the Boston Co. "It makes it very hard for private- 
sector analysts and public policy makers to come to correct 

Bad data triggers more than bad government policy. 
A number of economists believe the Federal Reserve has 
been forced to keep interest rates higher this year because of 
a mistaken easing in credit last year resulting from a mistake 
in the monthly repxjrt on retail sales. The government first 
reported retail sales fell by 0.1 percent in May 1989 only to 
discover belatedly that the survey had overlooked $ 1 .4 billion 
in sales. This, a small decline turned into a sizable 0.8 percent 
increase. The initial erroneous report was picked up in the 
government's broadest measure of economic activity — the 
gross national product — which originally showed an anemic 
1 .7 percent growth rate during the spring. After the error in 
retail sales was caught, the GNP report was revised to show 
the economy growing at a much more respectable 2.5 per- 
cent. But the correction came too late to stop policy makers at 
the Federal Reserve from acting to cut interest rates for fear 
the economy was headed into recession. 

In studying government data, everyone from the National 
Academy of Sciences to the National Association of Business 
Economists has reached the same conclusion: there are seri- 
ous problems regarding the accuracy and usefulness of the 
statistics. ("Economists Question Accuracy and Value of U.S. 
Statistics," The Washington Post, July 5) 

July 1990 Officials of Richard Nixon's presidential library said the li- 

brary will pick and choose who can do research there and 
probably will keep out Pulitzer Prize-winning Watergate re- 
porter Bob Woodward. The library also will lack a full set 
of memos, letters, and other documents from Nixon's White 
House years when it opens later in July. The originals are 
in the custody of the government, and Nixon has chosen to 
copy only those he considers important to the library. The 
actions have irked some scholars who say they mistrust a 


July 1990 

library where documents will be screened. The library's di- 
rector, Hugh Hewitt, soys every document of any importance, 
including many relating to Watergate, will be in the library. 
But he acknowledged that Woodward probably would not be 
allowed to study them. "I don't think we'd ever open the doors 
to Bob Woodward, he's not a responsible journalist," Hewitt 

The Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library will be able to use 
its autonomy as a privately run facility to choose the scholars 
it allows to do research. Of the nation's other presidential 
libraries, only the Rutherford B. Hayes library is privately 
operated. Eight are run by the National Archives, which will 
also control the Ronald Reagan library in California. ("Nix on 
Library to Screen Visiting Researchers," The Washington Post, 
July 9) 

[Ed. note: A July 12 editorial in The Washington Post, 
"Access to the Nixon Library," said that after the preceding 
story appeared, inquiries came quickly from Nixon scholars 
and others, who pointed out that no reputable research li- 
brary screens access to researchers on the basis of possible 
disagreement with their conclusions. Library Director Hewitt 
then said he had been mistaken and that the library's not-yet- 
assembled archives would be open to all comers.] 

July 1 990 The Government Accountability Project filed suit against the 

Agriculture Department to obtain a report on its beef inspec- 
tion procedures. The suit is the latest flurry in a long-running 
battle pitting the USDA against consumer groups and dissi- 
dent federal food inspectors who charge that the USDA 
Streamlined Inspection System is putting dirtier and more 
dangerous beef in supermarkets. Partly in response to public 
criticism, the department last year contracted with the Nation- 
al Academy of Sciences to study the inspection system to 
ascertain whether it posed unacceptable food risks. The de- 
partment later gave the academy its own report on the pro- 
gram, but refused to make it public. This prompted GAP to 
file suit in U.S. District Court to obtain the report under the 
Freedom of Information Act. 

"We have very strong suspicion that the USDA defense of the 
Streamlined Inspection System is a bureaucratic bluff," said 
Thomas Devine, the project's legal director. "The reason they 


July 1990 

won't release it is that the assertions they make couldn't with- 
stand outside scrutiny." Agriculture Department spokesman 
David Schmidt said, however, that the agency had decided 
not to release its report until the academy had finished its 
study. The academy said publication was expected at the 
end of September. "Releasing the report would compromise 
and politicize the results of a scientific study" Schmidt said. 
"We don't feel we need to release it to a group that has no 
expertise in the subject." ("USDA Is Sued: Where's the Beef 
Report?" The Washin0on Post, July 10) 

July 1990 In a move that will provide more access to government infor- 

mation, Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sul- 
livan proposed a set of uniform definitions that would clarify 
and standardize the labels on virtually every food product 
sold in the United States. The 400-page proposal, which will 
be published in the Federal Register, updates and expands 
the list of what nutrients should and should not be listed on 
food labeling and defines precisely what is meant by previ- 
ously confusing terms such as "cholesterol-free" and "reduced 
cholesterol" that manufacturers have used at their own whim. 
Officials of the Food and Drug Administration said that in 
the coming months they will follow with two more-detailed 
proposals. The first will set precise standards for use of terms 
such as "high in fiber," "lite," and "fresh," and the second will 
set out guidelines for how food labels should be designed. 
Final rules are expected to be in place by this fall and full 
industry compliance is expected a year later. 

"American consumers should hove full access to information 
that will help them make informed choices about the food 
they eat," said Sullivan. Sullivan said the administration had 
not yet decided whether the federal rules would preempt 
states in food labeling. Both the Office of Management and 
Budget and senior White House officials apparently oppose 
the idea. ("Uniform Food Labels Proposed," The Washington 
Post, July 13) 

July 1990 In early July President Bush signed a classified order that 

revises National Security Decision Directive 145 and elimi- 
nates National Security Agency oversight of federal comput- 
ers containing sensitive but unclassified information. Duane 
Andrews, assistant defense secretary for Command, Control, 
Communications and Intelligence told about the Bush action 
at a hearing on government compliance with the Computer 


August 1990 

Security Act held by the House Science, Space, and Technol- 
ogy Subcommittee on TVansportation, Aviation, and Materials. 

The order revises NSDD 145 to clarify the computer security 
policy role of NSA and the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology and brings federal computer security regulations 
in line with the computer security legislation enacted more 
than three years ago, the official said. The changes to NSDD 
145 may resolve an ongoing turf battle between NSA and 
NIST, which share responsibility under the Computer Secu- 
rity Act for monitoring government computer security plans. 
Under the changes, NSA no longer will have responsibil- 
ity for computer systems handling sensitive but unclassified 
information. As stated in the act, that responsibility will be 
solely NISTS's. The new directive also removes any reference 
to federal authority over private-sector computer systems, 
Andrews said. ("Bush Revises NSDD 145," Federal Computer 
Week. July 16) 

July 1990 A substantial proportion of people who call the Social Se- 

curity "800" hotline and are told that a local Social Security 
office will call them back never receive the follow-up tele- 
phone call, the General Accounting Office reported. Critics 
have claimed that Social Security began the toll-free tele- 
phone line in an attempt to save money on personnel and, in 
effect, has reduced the amount of services available at local 
offices. The GAO findings showed that of callers who were 
instructed to exjDect a return call at a specific time, 89 percent 
reported getting the call and being pleased with the help they 
received. However, about 24 percent of those who expected 
to be called back to arrange for an application for benefits 
said they never received a call, the GAO reported. Of those 
receiving benefits who wanted to be called back to discuss 
problems, 42 percent said they never received a call. In all 
cases, the follow up did not occur until at least two to three 
weeks had passed from the date the person initially called 
1-800-234-5772. ("GAO Faults Social Security '800' Hotline," 
The Washington Post, July 18) 

August 1990 A test a decade ago revealed an apparent flaw in the main 

mirror of the blurry-eyed Hubble Space Telescope, but key 
officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administra- 
tion and outside experts charged with overseeing the project 
say they were never informed of the problem. Tests on the 
telescope's main mirror in 1981 uncovered a defect called 


August 1990 

spherical aberration, according to scientists investigating the 
problem and an optical expert who worked on the mirrors at 
Perkin-Elmer Corp., the company that designed, built, and 
tested the telescope's optical system. The test that detected the 
aberration was discounted because another testing device 
believed to be more sophisticated found no such flaw, accord- 
ing to a former Perkin-Elmer employee, who asked not to be 
identified. NASA officials said they knew of no one at the 
agency who was aware of the discrepancy in the test results. 
Former employees of Perkin-Elmer, on the other hand, said 
that NASA representatives were informed at the time. 

August 1990 

By discounting the results of one test, the engineers at Perkin- 
Elmer were, in essence, relying on a single test to assure the 
mirror was perfect. Optical experts say now that Perkin-Elmer 
and NASA should have challenged the mirror with at least 
two or three independent tests. Perkin-Elmer's bid for the 
project did not include independent tests, although a losing 
bid submitted by Eastman Kodak did. According to docu- 
ments obtained by the Associated Press, Perkin-Elmer was 
awarded the optics contract for $64 million against a Kodak 
bid of $100 million. Because of massive cost overruns, Perkin- 
Elmer was eventually paid $451 million. ("Hubble Flaw Was 
Found in '81," The Washington Post, August 6) 

Reporters and photographers who sought to cover the land- 
ing of American troops in Saudi Arabia were barred from ac- 
companying military personnel by the Pentagon, which said 
it was honoring a Saudi request to keep the media at bay. 
Thus, the beginnings of the largest U.S. military operation in 
the Middle East in three decades went unseen and unheard 
by the American public. 

The last time the Defense Department allowed repxDrters to 
accompany the military into combat was during the invasion 
of Panama in December. Even by the Pentagon's account, the 
"press pool" arrangement worked badly: journalists who had 
been given credentials to join front-line combat troops were 
kept far from the action by U.S. officials. The sequestering 
of reporters in Panama kept vital pieces of information from 
the public, such as the military's treatment of Panamanian 
citizens and the performance of U.S. personnel and weaponry. 
Recalling that fiasco and the total blackout of the media dur- 
ing the United States' 1983 invasion of Grenada, some jour- 
nalists suggested that the Bush administration had more to 


August 1990 

do with keeping the media out of Saudi Arabia than Cheney- 
let on. ("Media Shut Out at the Front Lines," The Washington 
Post, August 9) 

[Ed. note: In an August 1 1 editorial, "Getting Behind 'Desert 
Shield'," The New York Times said that in a wise change of 
course, the Bush administration has prevailed upon Saudi 
Arabia to permit firsthand coverage of the U.S. troop deploy- 
ment by American journalists. A pool of representative re- 
porters will be admitted.] 

August 1990 According to John Markoff in an August 19 New York Times 

article, "Washington Is Relaxing Its Stand on Guarding Com- 
puter Security," President Bush has ordered a quiet disman- 
tling of an aggressive Reagan administration effort to restrict 
sources of computerized information, including databases, 
collections of commercial satellite photographs, and infor- 
mation compiled by university researchers. The article gives 
the background of the controversy regarding the creation of 
a new security classification, "sensitive but classified infor- 
mation," which was aimed at reducing unauthorized uses of 
computerized information and at restricting authorized uses 
so that foreign countries could not piece together sensitive 
information to learn the nation's secrets. 

However, the Bush administration's move to revise the Rea- 
gan administration policy has caused some computer security 
experts to say that they are concerned that the Bush move 
goes too far in decentralizing oversight for computer security. 
A National Security Agency official warned that the United 
States was now in danger of losing its leadership in computer 
security to European countries that have been investing heav- 
ily in new technologies. 

August 1990 A lack of adequate computer security in the Department of 
Justice is endangering highly sensitive information, ranging 
from identities of confidential informants to undercover op- 
erators, the General Accounting Office has concluded in a 
report to be issued soon. Although the department moved its 
main data center last year to a new "state-of-the-art" facility, 
GAO said that unauthorized users still could enter and exit 
the system without being detected. "The threat of intrusion 
into these systems is serious, and there are criminals who 
could benefit immensely from such covert encroachments," 
Rep. Robert E. Wise Jr. (D-WV) said in a letter urging Attorney 


August 1990 

General Dick Thornburgh to "immediately correct" the secu- 
rity flaws. A department official who requested anonymity 
said he was dismayed that the GAO assessment failed to 
cite "a lot of corrective action already taken and more that is 
under way." ("Justice Data Security Faulted in GAO Report," 
The Washington Post, August 23) 

August 1990 In a three-page article, "Science, Technology, and Free 

Speech," in the Summer 1990 Issues in Science and Tech- 
nology, Allen M. Shinn Jr. observed that now that industrial- 
ization has spread technological and scientific capabilities 
around the globe, there is an increased need for American 
researchers to talk freely with colleagues in other nations. 
Yet the export laws — in particular, the Export Administration 
Act, the Arms Export Control Act, and the Invention Secrecy 
Act — may stand in their way. Ironically, what was intended 
to further national security may now actually hurt it. These 
laws frequently have been criticized on economic grounds. 
But there is another, largely unexplored avenue to their re- 
form: as applied to control information, the laws are probably 

Shinn says the export laws violate the First Amendment in 
three ways: (1) they impose controls through administrative 
licensing, a form of prior restraint that has been almost uni- 
formly rejected by the courts since the 18th century; (2) the 
definitions of controlled information are overboard; and (3) the 
laws are ineffective in protecting national security. He says 
that new regulations under the Export Administration Act 
have both defined and greatly relaxed controls on "funda- 
mental" research. The new regulations, final in 1989, remove 
constraints on technical data that are "publicly available," 
that result from fundamental research (essentially, research 
intended to be published), or that are "educational informa- 

Shinn believes that these changes establish a policy against 
using the export control laws against academic research. 
Although they represent real progress, the new rules still suf- 
fer from constitutional defects. He makes a case that when 
revised, the laws should make clear that the government can 
require, at most, notification of intent to export, with actual 
control dependent on its willingness to go into court and seek 
an injunction. Shinn says: "That is what the First Amendment 


September 1990 

September 1990 Writing in the September 1990 issue of NaiuTal History, Michele 
Stenehjem says that for 40 years scientists knew that radionu- 
clides from reactors along the Columbia River accumulated 
in body tissue. They decided to keep the information to them- 

In an eight-page article, "Indecent Exposure," Stenehjem de- 
scribes how the Hanford Engineer Works in Washington pro- 
duced the plutonium for the world's first atomic explosion. The 
secret project was created in early 1943 to produce plutonium 
for the first American atomic weapons. The enterprise, oper- 
ated on contract for the federal government, brought spectac- 
ular results and for 40 years after the war, the endeavor was 
praised by those involved or interested in atomic energy. 

In 1986, however, with the release of some 19,000 pages of 
environmental monitoring reports, engineering reports, office 
memoranda, and letters concerning Hanford's early history, 
the world learned that there had been a darker side to the 
vast undertaking. These documents, many previously clas- 
sified, and the 40,000 pages subsequently released, disclose 
that in the course of producing plutonium for World War 11 
and the cold war that followed, the Hanford Works released 
radioactive wastes totaling millions of curies. 

The facility released billions of gallons of liquids and billions 
of cubic meters of gases containing contaminants, including 
plutonium and other radionuclides, into the Columbia River 
and into the soil and air of the flat, wide Columbia Basin. 
Some of the releases were caused by leakage or faulty tech- 
nology; others were the result of deliberate policies set by 
scientists convinced of the acceptability of these emissions. In 
the years of peak discharges, 1944 to 1966, these scientists and 
policy makers never informed the residents of the region of 
the emissions or warned them of any potential or real dan- 
gers, even when the releases far exceeded the "tolerance 
levels" or "allowable limits" defined as safe at the time. In- 
stead, on many occasions they told the public that Hanford's 
op)erations were controlled and harmless. 

September 1 990 The Bush administration opposed a House Democratic leader- 
ship proposal to create a federal technology database that 
would help American companies compete against foreign 
rivals. The White House said such a program would be costly 


September 1990 

and unnecessary. The legislation is part of a Democratic pack- 
age intended to enhance the competitiveness of American 
companies and signals growing congressional concern over 
the problems American companies encounter in competing 
with foreign rivals. The proposed database would include all 
industrial technology (dealing with physics, chemistry, biol- 
ogy, communications, transportation, medicine, and other sci- 
ences) developed with the aid of federal- and state-financed 
research. The federal government spent $6 billion last year 
on university-sponsored research. But the administration said 
that the final project would duplicate existing government 
databases and that a $25 million pilot project would be too 

House Democratic leaders contend, however, that the govern- 
ment's approach has been piecemeal and that access to the 
current databases depends on knowledge of their existence 
and protocols — rules governing the communication and trans- 
fer of data between machines. They argue that technology 
transfer through databases provides the biggest return for 
the investment. Rep. John LaFalce (D-NY), chair of the House 
Small Business Committee, said that under existing programs 
a business in need of technical assistance had to know "10 
different protocols needed to access 10 different data bases." 
Joe Shuster of Teltech Inc., a Minneapolis information sys- 
tems company, said that "smart, world-class competitors are 
constantly looking for leverage, and nothing today provides 
more economic leverage than technical knowledge — nothing." 
("Democrats' Data Plan Is Opposed," The New York Times, 
September 6) 

September 1 990 After a century of serving as the public's eyes and ears about 
the weather, the National Weather Service is changing its 
mission. The agency has begun to close its phone lines and 
refer to private weather companies more and more ques- 
tions it formerly answered. In addition, these private com- 
panies have gradually acquired from the government the 
right to distribute readings from federal observation offices 
and pictures from its radar systems. Some people who rely on 
Weather Service data soy they worry that the government is 
abandoning a long-established duty and is forcing the public 
to pay for information it is used to getting for virtually nothing. 

"It's just ridiculous," said Albert Thompson, a cotton grower 
who was recently told by the Weather Service in Lubbock, 


September 1990 

Tex., that he would no longer be told the rainfall in West Texas 
cities. "We pay taxes, and there is no reason we should not 
get that information from a Government office." Weather Ser- 
vice officials say the changes are designed to get the govern- 
ment out of the business of distributing routine weather infor- 
mation, so it can concentrate on the difficult job of spotting 
and reporting dangerous weather conditions. Dr. Elbert W. 
Friday Jr., the director of the Weather Service, said he believes 
that the change — in effect, making private companies the 
middlemen between the public and its government — is going 
to provide greater access to the information and save the 
Weather Service money. 

Dave Powell, president of the National Weather Service Em- 
ployees Organization said: "The specialized services they 
are talking about really are things we have been providing 
since 1890. A lot of the people we serve are on a shoestring, 
farmers and contractors." 

Perhaps the clearest example of the changing Weather Ser- 
vice missions is the signing of 13 contracts with private com- 
panies in the South. In each case, the agency closed phone 
lines providing recorded weather information just as a private 
company opened its own lines, providing a similar message 
but preceded with advertisements. The private weather in- 
dustry has grown to include more than 100 companies that 
together make $200 million a year. 

In Atlanta, for example, the Weather Service is paying the 
Contel Corporation to electronically distribute national weather 
information. Contel can charge the public for the informa- 
tion. Contel classified the Associated Press, with thousands of 
clients, as a reseller and asked for $ 1 .6 million from the news 
agency for the right to transmit the information. The agency 
objected to any reseller fee and decided to use a service op- 
erated by the government. That service has no reseller fee 
but gives less information and is slower, said John Reid, vice 
president and director of communications and technology 
for the news agency. He said there hove been times when 
severe weather warnings arrived at the news agency after 
the warnings had expired. ("What's the Weather? Don't Ask 
the Service," The New York Times, September 10) 

[Ed. note: In a related story, people in Miami phoning to find 
out the time and temperature got something else: soft pornog- 


September 1990 

raphy. A voice welcomed them, saying, "She's all alone in the 
tub. Jump in. It's all wet." Then it gave a 976 telephone num- 
ber, told listeners that it would cost them $19.95 for a three- 
minute call, and finally gave the temperature and time. "We 
have received complaints relative to this ad," said Gary Ailing- 
ton, Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. By mid-morning 
the tape was replaced with an ad for a psychic. Southern Bell 
leases the time number to Ryder Communications of Coral 
Springs, Fla., which sells ad space on it. ("Soft-Porn Ad on 
Bell Firm's Tape Pulled," The Washington Post, December 13)] 

September 1 990 Citing budget constraints and agency policy, only news 

media, university libraries, heads of university departments, 
members of Congress, members of the diplomatic corps, and 
government officials can continue to receive the monthly pub- 
lication, Worid Agnculture Supply and Demand Estimate, free 
of charge. The announcement was made in a September 11 
letter to "Dear Reader" from Raymond Bridge, information 
officer for the Department of Agriculture Worid Agricultural 
Outlook Board. Others who want the publication were invited 
to subscribe for $20 a year. 

September 1990 New York City officials challenged preliminary 1990 census 
figures, charging that the count conducted this spring and 
summer missed 254,534 housing units in the city and, as a 
result, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The city said 
its records showed that the census overiooked at least five 
housing units on each of 1 1,957 blocks, or 43 percent of the 
city's blocks. New York City has been particulariy vigorous in 
challenging census findings, in part because federal fund- 
ing is tied to population totals. Officials estimate that the city 
receives about $150 annually for each of its residents. Also, 
preliminary census figures indicate that the state will lose 
three congressional seats, in part because of population shifts 
away from New York City. 

The city has participated in a lawsuit to force the Census Bu- 
reau to use a statistical adjustment to compensate for resi- 
dents missed by the census. Other cities also have challenged 
Census Bureau figures. Los Angeles officials said they found 
neariy 50,000 units not included on census lists, and Detroit 
officials said they found errors on almost all of the city's 13,000 
blocks. ("New York City Disputes 1990 Census," The New York 
Times, September 20) 


October 1990 

September 1990 The National Library of Medicine announced a new fee 
schedule effective February 1, 1991, for CD-ROM products 
containing MEDLARS data in the September-October 1990 
NLM Technical Bulletin. Among the categories of annual 
subscription fees: 

1. For a copy of the database on a stand-alone station, the 
charge to the vendor from NLM will be (and currently is) 

2. For the same subscription on a network of two to five 
stations, the charge is $1,000. 

3. For the same subscription on a network of five or more 
stations, librarians have estimated the charge to be be- 
tween $7,500 and $10,000, since the NLM newsletter gave 
a formula instead of a specific figure. 

These are the charges to the various Medline vendors; the 
vendors are likely to pass the fee changes on to their users. 
Concerns have been expressed in the library community that 
these NLM charges will discourage network access to CD- 

October 1990 Wdssily Leontief, awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sci- 
ence in 1973, decried the "sad state of the Federal statistical 
system" in an op-ed piece in The New York Times. He sold 
that while our system employs very dedicated, highly quali- 
fied individuals, the funds appropriated for their task fall far 
short of what is needed. Moreover, with a rapidly changing 
economy, the job has become more complex. Leontief said in 
his own field — the compilation of the input-output tables that 
describe the flow of goods and services between the different 
sectors of the U.S. economy in a given year — the situation is 
as bad as the current difficulties with the U.S. census. 

The federal input-output unit has been reduced to 22 people. 
There is a hiring freeze. "No wonder the input-output tables 
for 1972 have not yet come out. With the changes in our econ- 
omy, these figures, when published, will be only of historical 
interest." By contrast, in Japan the compilation of input-output 
tables is done by 200 economists and statisticians. A four- 
volume table for 1975 was published in March 1979. The 1985 
table has already been published. 


October 1990 

Leontief concluded: "Some proponents of privatization sug- 
gest that diminished support for Federal statistical services 
will eventually be compensated by private corporate data- 
gathering organizations. This solution seems about as effec- 
tive as replacing the klieg lights in a baseball stadium with 
player-held flashlights. As the U.S. struggles to maintain its 
competitive position in the world, we can ill afford further 
deterioration in the data base indispensable to the efficient 
conduct of all public and private business." ("Federal Statis- 
tics Are in Big Trouble," The New York Times, October 1) 

October 1990 

October 1990 

The government's special nutrition program for low-income 
women, infants, and children (WIG) sharply reduces later 
Medicaid health outlays for the mother and child, and also 
results in improved birthweights, according to a Agriculture 
Department study. The long-awaited study has special sig- 
nificance because of a protracted dispute over a study four 
years ago that came to the same basic conclusion: that WIG 
enhances the health of the mother and child. Despite its find- 
ings, and for reasons never made clear, the Agriculture De- 
partment altered the summary statement of the 1986 findings 
to play down the beneficial health effects. The new study, in 
contrast, was hailed by the current Secretary of Agriculture, 
Glayton Yeutter. ("Mothers' Nutrition Program Is Effective, U.S. 
Study Finds," The Washington Post, October 19) 

When Gongress passed the 1991 military spending bill in 
October, it imposed little-noticed but significant new restric- 
tions on the President's power to spend billions of dollars on 
classified programs. Legislators and administration officials 
struggled over a section of the bill requiring the administra- 
tion to use money earmarked for secret programs precisely 
as Gongress prescribes. At stake is control over a "black bud- 
get" of more than $35 billion hidden in the military spending 
bill for numerous secret weapons programs and intelligence 
activities. In the past, Gongress has attached classified re- 
ports to military appropriations saying how this secret money 
should be spent. But the administration has treated the in- 
structions in these classified "armexes" as mere expressions 
of congressional wishes rather than actual law. When Pres- 
ident Bush signed the 1990 military appropriations bill on 
November 21, 1989, he expressed concern about restrictions 
that Gongress tried to impose through a classified report on 
the bill. "Gongress cannot create legal obligations through 
report language," he insisted. But now, after a year marked 


October 1990 

by several disputes over the administration's refusal to comply 
with secret directives from congressional committees, Congress 
has given the classified annexes the force of law. ("Congress 
Changes Spending Rules on Secret Programs for Pentagon," 
The New York Times, October 30) 

October 1990 

The Army fired, handcuffed, and removed from office a vet- 
eran engineer for threatening to disclose that many troop- 
carrying helicopters primed for war in Saudi Arabia lack 
protection against Iraqi heat-seeking missiles. Calvin Weber, 
a 16-year Army civilian employee, was fired for seeking in- 
formation about the vulnerabilities of Army helicopters now 
in Saudi Arabia and "intimating" he would make it public, 
the Army said yesterday. "Information regarding equipment 
vulnerabilities, especially during the pendency [sic] of Opera- 
tion Desert Shield, is very sensitive, and its disclosure could 
be highly detrimental to the security of the United States," 
Col. Thomas Reinkober told Weber in a one-page memo or- 
dering him to leave his office at the Army Aviation Systems 
Command in St. Louis. 

October 1990 

The Army has about 300 Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi 
Arabia — more than any other type — to ferry troops to the 
front and to evacuate casualties from the battlefield. Weber 
estimates about 200 hundred of them lack suppressors which 
are muffler-like devices installed over the engines. They are 
designed to cool the exhaust before it leaves the engines and 
hide the turbine blades from heat-seeking missiles. A 1985 
Pentagon study concluded that 90 percent of the aircraft 
downed in combat in the previous 10 years were destroyed 
by heat-seeking missiles. Most of the losses were Soviet air- 
craft downed by Afghan rebels equipp>ed with portable, U.S.- 
made. Stinger heat-seeking missiles. ("Army Worker Fired 
Over Copter Data," The Washington Post. October 30) 

The New York Times editorialized that "Secrecy, which made 
the Iran-contra affair possible, is now a huge obstacle to its 
cleanup. Invoking national security. Attorney General Dick 
Thornburgh refused to allow classified information for the 
perjury trial of loseph Fernandez, a former C.I.A. operative 
at the Nicaraguan end of the illicit enterprise. That forced 
Lawrence Walsh, the independent counsel, to drop the case." 

After describing details of the case, the editorial went on to 
say: "There has always been a conflict between the Attorney 


October 1990 

General's role as investigator and as lawyer for the President. 
That's why it was necessary to appoint a special counsel in 
the Iran-contra cases. But the same conflict exists when Mr. 
Thornburgh makes a decision about classified information. He 
left open the suspicion he's protecting his boss, the President." 
("Iran-Contra: Secrecy's Victim," The New York Times, October 

October 1990 

The Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of regu- 
lations that prohibit federally funded family planning clinics 
from discussing abortion, with Justice David Souter express- 
ing concern that the rules stop doctors from giving women 
needed medical advice. Speaking for the Bush administration. 
Solicitor General Kenneth Staff defended the regulations, 
which bar physicians and other workers in federally funded 
clinics from giving women any information about abortion, 
even on request, or from stating if abortion is medically indi- 

During oral arguments in the case. Rust v. Sullivan, Harvard 
Low School Professor Laurence THbe told the court: "We de- 
pend on our doctors to tell us the whole truth, whoever is pay- 
ing the medical bill, the patient or the government, whether 
in a Title X clinic or in the Bethesda Naval Hospital," referring 
to the facility where the justices receive medical care. He said 
that under the regulations, "truthful information that may be 
relevant is being deliberately withheld from people who have 
every reason to expect it." ("Souter Questions Federal Defense 
of Abortion Counseling Limits," The Washington Post, October 

November 1990 "NewsweeJc has learned that there were three times more U.S. 
casualties from 'friendly fire' or accidents during last winter's 
Panama invasion than the Pentagon has previously admitted. 
What's more, according to a confidential Pentagon report 
obtained by Newsweek, the Joint Chiefs of Staff kept Defense 
Secretary Dick Cheney's aides in the dark about the losses. 


Last June, Newsweek reported as many as 60 percent of 
U.S. injuries and nine of the 23 deaths may have been due 
to friendly fire. The Pentagon denied the story. But the report 
reveals that the Pentagon failed to disclose that 72 of 312 ser- 
vicemen it counts among the wounded were actually injured 
in parachute jumps, not by enemy fire. The report also shows 

November 1990 

the U.S. military death toll was 26 not 23, and at least six may 
hove been the result of friendly fire. 

All told, the report concludes that 114 of the 338 U.S. casual- 
ties — 34 percent — were caused by friendly fire or accidents. 
Highly placed sources told Newsweek that even this percent- 
age was low. And, the report reveals, the staff of the Joint 
Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell tried to paint a rosier picture 
for Cheney. An April 4 memo to Cheney's top aides claimed 
no U.S. soldiers were killed by friendly fire. The Pentagon's 
only comment was to confirm the revised figures." 
("An Accident-Prone Army," Newsweek, November 5) 

November 1990 The federal appeals ruling during D.C. Mayor Marion Barry's 
trial that said federal judges may not bar an individual from 
a courtroom "merely because [that individual] advocates a 
particular political, legal or religious" view is about to be 
swept into legal oblivion. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Wash- 
ington, D.C, has refused to publish the ruling. It means that 
this important decision can never be cited by other lawyers in 
Washington, and many lawyers will never even know about 
it, unless they trot over to the courthouse and look up the case. 

The American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the 
original order barring two controversial men from the Barry 
trial, now is challenging the appeal jxinel's decision not to 
publish. "It smacks of a system of secret justice," said the 
ACLU's Arthur Spitzer. Spitzer argues that the appeals ruling — 
by a panel composed of Clarence Thomas, Douglas Gins- 
burg, and Laurence Silberman — could be crucial to individ- 
uals barred from future trials. He also argues that the court is 
flouting its own rules, which weigh in favor of publication. 
Spitzer is seeking a rehearing on the issue and calling for 
one before the full court. ("You Could Look It Up, but . . . ," 
"Washington Business," The Washingion Post, November 5) 

November 1990 "The government's end-of-the-year fiscal crunch gave an Ed- 
ucation Department employee a novel idea for promoting a 
new report. The cover letter sent to reporters announced that 
'A College Course Map,' which compiles statistics of what 
courses are taken by college students, has been published, 
but 'nobody has it. There are 5,500 copies of the book sitting 
in a warehouse,' the letter said. 'But until we hove a budget, 
there is no money to pay the mailing contractor.' This, the 
letter noted enticingly, means that reporters are being given 


November 1990 

data tempMDrarily unavailable to the public. The publicity- 
hungry writer even suggested which pxiges to read." (Edu- 
cation Week, November 7) 

November 1990 American University professor Philip Brenner has tried for 
three years in federal court to get classified documents from 
the State Department about the Cuban missile crisis. Last 
month, he even submitted affidavits from the authors of the 
papers — nine former high-ranking Kennedy administration 
officials — urging their release. 

Unlike many citizens who take on the federal government, 
Brenner may find that time is on his side. The reason: leg- 
islation passed by the Senate in the 101st Congress would 
require automatic declassification of State Department docu- 
ments 30 years after the events they chronicle. For researchers 
dealing with the crisis that brought the United States and 
the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war, the countdown 
would stop at October 1992. The proposed law would allow 
State Department documents to be kept secret after 30 years 
only if they fit one of three strict exemptions: if their publica- 
tion would compromise "weapons technology important to the 
national defense," reveal the names of informants still alive 
who would be harmed, or "demonstrably impede" current 
diplomatic relations. 

Congress adjourned before the House took up the measure, 
but Senate suppx^rters are confident of passage in the next 
session. Brenner and fellow researcher Scott Armstrong have 
filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit to get access to 4,000 
documents they say are being withheld by the State Depart- 
ment. ("Lifting the Cuban Missile Crisis Veil," The Washington 
Post, November 9) 

November 1990 Treatment with steroid hormones can halve the death rate 
from the pneumonia that is the leading killer of people with 
AIDS, a panel of experts has concluded. But it was five months 
before the government agency that had convened the experts 
notified AIDS doctors of the finding, in part because the ex- 
perts were concerned that early notification might jeopardize 
the publication of their conclusions in a prestigious medical 
journal. Even now, six months after the finding, many doctors 
who treat AIDS patients soy they have not been informed of 


November 1990 

The expert panel was convened by the National Institute of 
Allergy and Infectious Diseases last spring to determine 
whether steroids would be effective in treating the AIDS- 
related pneumonia. The panel reached its conclusion May 15 
after reviewing five studies of the treatment, some of whose 
authors were among the panel's members. But it delayed 
announcing its conclusion, said Dr. Paul Meier, the panel's 
vice-chairman, because the members could not agree on how 
to work their statement. And part of the reason they could 
not agree, he said, was that their papers had not yet been 
accepted at the prestigious medical journal, and they feared 
that an announcement of the finding would jeopardize pub- 
lication. Many medical journals have a policy against pub- 
lishing studies that have been previously described in the 
general-circulation press. 

The institute did not alert doctors to the findings until October 
10, when it mailed a letter to 2,500 practitioners on a list ob- 
tained from a pharmaceuticals company which makes a drug 
used to prevent the pneumonia. The delay has infuriated 
some advocates for people with AIDS. Dr. Jerome Goopman, 
an AIDS researcher at the New England Deaconess Hospi- 
tal in Boston, said the episode showed that it was time that 
researchers, administrators, and editors of medical journals 
together set ground rules for the dissemination of information 
that could save patients' lives. ("News of AIDS Therapy Gain 
Delayed 5 Months by Agency," The New York Times, Novem- 
ber 14) 

[Ed. note: Responding to criticism that it had delayed announc- 
ing a lifesaving treatment for people with AIDS, the federal 
government issued a defense in the form of an elaborate 
chronology of the events that occurred over a five-month 
period before letters were sent to doctors informing them of 
the treatment. ("U.S. Denies Any Delay in Announcing Treat- 
ment for AIDS Patients," The New York Times, November 16)] 

November 1990 Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and for- 
mer Secretary of State George Shultz made special arrange- 
ments to get thousands of pages of classified information to 
help them with their memoirs. The General Accounting Office 
says it found irregularities in the handling of the papers for 
both Reagan Cabinet officers. In a report to Sen. David Pryor 
(D-AR), the GAO auditors were especially critical of the ar- 
rangement for the Weinberger papers, which were deposited 


November 1990 

at the Library of Congress as though he owned them. "There 
appears to be an inverse relationship between the level one 
attains in the executive branch and one's obligation to comply 
with the law governing access to, and control of, classified 
information," Pryor charged in releasing the report. ("Special 
Privileges for Ex-Cabinet Members," The Washington Post, 
November 14) 

November 1990 A federal judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administra- 
tion to release more safety data on silicone breast implants, 
a move the Public Citizen Health Research Group said will 
allow patients more access to information about the safety 
and effectiveness of drugs and medical devices. The Federal 
District Court judge, Stanley Sporkin, ruled that the FDA has 
to release information voluntarily submitted by manufacturers. 
The ruling provides a long-sought goal of freeing up health 
data sought under the Freedom of Information Act. 

"It's a major, major victory," Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of the 
Washington-based group, said. "We've been attempting since 
1972 to get the courts to say that data on safety and effec- 
tiveness of drugs and medical devices should be public. If 
upheld on appeal . . . , we will use this precedent to get a lot 
of data that will help us oversee what the ED. A. is doing." 
The Dow Corning Corporation, the country's major maker 
of silicon breast implants, said it would appeal to prevent 
disclosure of what it considers information that could be used 
by its competitors. The FDA has denied some information act 
requests, saying certain data submitted voluntarily includes 
trade secrets or material that is company property. ("ED. A. Is 
Ordered to Release Data on the Safety of Breast Implants," 
The New York Times, November 29) 

November 1990 In memoirs scheduled for publication in February 1991, former 
senator lohn Tower says President Reagan and his top aides 
tried to mislead the Tower commission and cover up White 
House involvement in a key aspect of the Iran-contra affair. 
Tower said he was shocked when Reagan denied that the 
White House gave advance approval for an August 1985 ship- 
ment of missiles to Iran, in contradiction of an earlier state- 
ment by the former president. Portions of Tower's book. Con- 
sequences: A Personal and Political Memoir, were published 
in the November 29 Dallas Times Herald. Tower wrote that 
Reagan's about-face seemed part of a "deliberate effort" to 
cover up then-White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan's 


December 1990 

involvement in the affair. The Tower commission report had 
noted Reagan's shifting stories about the missile sale. But the 
book marks the first time a principal figure has suggested 
the changes were part of a cover up. ('Tower Book Accuses 
Reagan of Coverup," The Washington Post, November 30) 

December 1990 Rep. Jack Brooks (D-TX), Chair of the House Judiciary Commit- 
tee has accused the Justice Department of withholding docu- 
ments to frustrate his panel's probe of alleged improprieties 
in the department's dealings with Inslaw Inc., a Washington- 
based computer software company. The committee is con- 
sidering whether to subpoena the documents or to attempt 
in some other way to force the department to produce the 

The case involves Inslaw, which wrote a computer program 
that allows the Justice Department to keep track of a large 
number of court cases. Inslaw and its top executive, William 
A. Hamilton, have accused the department of conspiring to 
drive Inslaw out of business so that friends of high-ranking 
Reagan administration officials could get control of the pro- 
gram and market it profitably. Hamilton's testimony reasserted 
those claims. A federal bankruptcy judge concluded that the 
Justice Department "stole" Inslaw's proprietary software and 
did, in fact, try to drive the firm out of business. Those find- 
ings were upheld on appeal by a U.S. district judge, but the 
legal battle continues. ("Justice Department Accused of Keep- 
ing Inslaw Evidence," The Washington Post, December 6) 

December 1990 Acting on behalf of the nation's mayors. New York Mayor David 
Dinkins made a final plea to the Bush administration to ad- 
just 1990 census totals to compensate for people missed in 
the census. In a meeting with Commerce Secretary Robert 
Mosbacher, Dinkins reiterated his concern that the census 
had missed millions of Americans, many of them low-income 
minorities living in big cities. In his city alone, census work 
conducted over the past months has missed around 800,000 
residents, Dinkins said. Dinkins said that without an adjust- 
ment, which would add or subtract population based on a 
statistical model, "it could cost us a billion dollars over the 
next 10 years." Commerce officials, who oversee the Census 
Bureau, said they remain open to an adjustment, but a de- 
cision will not be made until next summer. ("Adjust Census, 
Mayors Urge Administration," The Washington Post, Decem- 
ber 13) 


December 1990 

December 1990 Four United States Senators have written President Mikhail 

Gorbachev requesting on humanitarian grounds that he help 
clear up remaining mysteries about the Korean airiiner shot 
down in 1983. Several days after the crash, Moscow acknowl- 
edged that the jumbo jet had been downed by a Soviet fighter. 
But it is not known in the Western worid whether the Soviet 
authorities ever found the main wreckage or remains of the 
victims. Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) wrote the Soviet President 
in August urging that the official findings of his country's in- 
quiries be made public. In November, a letter was sent to Gor- 
bachev by Sens. Sam Nunn (D-GA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and 
Edward Kennedy (D-MA), asking whether the Soviet Union 
had located the plane's wreckage or the passengers' remains. 
No answer to either letter has been received. 

The recent letters came after months of efforis by the sena- 
tors and several colleagues to try to get American authori- 
ties to help fill in the gaps in the story of Korean Air Lines 
Flight 007. Strong criticism has been directed at the Federal 
Aviation Administration and the State Department for taking 
months to reply to senatorial requests for information. An 
aide to Sen. Kennedy said that replies by the FAA to specific 
questions about communications with an air traffic control 
unit in Alaska the night of the incident were "nonresponsive 
and evasive." ("Senators Seek Soviet Answers on Flight 007," 
The New York Times, December 16) 

December 1990 Physicians and patients told a congressional panel of an ar- 
ray of health problems associated with silicone breast im- 
plants, and urged that Congress require safety testing and 
risk disclosure. The Food and Drug Administration has re- 
ceived 2,017 reports of adverse reactions from silicone im- 
plants, according to Walter Gundaker, acting director of the 
FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "We were 
misled, ill-informed and even sometimes misinformed by peo- 
ple we should have been able to trust," said Sybil Niden of 
Beverly Hills, Calif., who suffered severe complications from 
breast implants after a mastectomy. "What we needed, what 
is still needed, is more information," she told the House Gov- 
ernment Operations Subcommittee on Human Resources. 

Silicone breast implants have been used since the early 1960s. 
When 1976 amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act 
required regulations of medical devices, breast implants were 
"grandfathered" into the market, meaning they did not fall 


January 1991 

under the new regulation. In 1982, the FDA proposed that sili- 
cone implants be classified as high-risk devices. FDA officials 
said they expect a rule would be in force by March requiring 
manufacturers to submit safety data or remove their products 
from the market. ("Hill Told of Silicone Breast Implant Prob- 
lems/' The Washington Post, December 19) 

January 1991 Workers at a training complex in West Milton, N.Y., have ac- 
cused the Navy's nuclear reactor program of serious safety 
lapses and soy they were disciplined for raising safety con- 
cerns. Their allegations, denied by program officials, have 
contributed to pressure for wider scrutiny of the training and 
research centers, which make up the only branch of the gov- 
ernment's nuclear defense program with its secrecy mostly 

Federal officials and executives of General Electric, which 
runs several facilities for the Navy, said the program had an 
enviable safety record and no serious operating problems. 
But they acknowledge that this was impossible for an outsider 
to verify, because the records are classified. The classified 
records include virtually all the information on whether the 
program has suffered accidents, as four long-time workers 

Sen. John Glenn (D-OH), the chief legislative force behind re- 
vealing shortcomings of the nuclear weapons program, said: 
"If there's one thing we have found in the rest of the nuclear 
weapons facilities, it's that secrecy bred corner-cutting that got 
us into deep trouble, and has bred contempt for safety and for 
waste concerns." 

Navy officials contend: "A self-regulating organization, such 
as Naval Reactors, which demands technical excellence and 
high standards, and employs strict discipline and encourages 
self-criticisms, can do its job well." But critics — most promi- 
nently, long-time employees no longer at the plant — say that 
self-regulation has meant no regulation. 

The struggle over information has at times taken bizarre twists. 
Aided by the Government Accountability Project, workers 
sued General Electric over a "security newsletter" that threat- 
ened life-time imprisonment for disclosing information without 
prior approval. After the suit was filed, the lab issued a sec- 
ond newsletter diluting the first. In May 1990, it issued a third 


January 1991 

newsletter incorporating some of the same language as the 
first, and in June a fourth notice retracted the third, saying it 
had been distributed in error. 

Illustrating the degree to which security considerations per- 
vade discussions of safety, a G.E. official said that the reactor 
facility had been the subject of dozens of articles in The Sch- 
enectady Gazette In the last two years and that an adversary, 
by accumulating facts that were individually unrevealing, 
could piece together classified information. Asked if any clas- 
sified information had been thus revealed, he replied that the 
answer to that question was classified. ("Questions Raised 
About the Safety of Navy Reactors," The New York Times, 
January 1) 

January 1 99 1 The Pentagon was eager to announce how many tanks, troops, 
and airplanes it had arrayed against Iraq. The Pentagon spoke 
in less-specific, less-grand terms about how many U.S. sol- 
diers could die if war broke out in the Persian Gulf. But what 
the Pentagon would not say was how many body bags and 
coffins it had stockpiled in Saudi Arabia to handle those casu- 
alties. That information was "classified." ("Pentagon Classifies 
Talk of Body Bags," The Washington Post, January 2) 

January 1991 The Pentagon's release of guidelines for media coverage in 
the Persian Gulf, including a controversial requirement that 
journalists submit their war coverage to military review, sig- 
naled the beginning of what became the biggest government 
information-related story thus far in 1991. 

Gone from the rules as proposed the previous week was a 
provision that prohibited reporters from approaching mili- 
tary officials unannounced for spontaneous interviews. Also 
dropped was an outright ban on publication of photographs 
or video showing troops in agony or "severe shock." Instead, 
the Pentagon requested that such photographs or video not 
be released before next of kin have been notified. 


The security review would force journalists who cover the war 
from Pentagon combat press pools to submit their work for re- 
view by m.ilitary public affairs officers. The new language for 
this controversial process indicated that any material that did 
not pass review would be the subject of discussions between 
Pentagon spokesman Pete Williams and news executives. 
Williams stressed that such a procedure meant the review 


January 1991 

could not and would not become censorship. ("Rules Set for 
Media/' The Washington Post. January 4) 

January 1991 The U.S. Department of Agriculture has 7,000 federal inspec- 
tors who inspect meat and poultry products. But the program 
has become increasingly expensive and threats of inspector 
furloughs continually hang in the air. So do charges from 
consumer groups and others that the system is inadequate — 
inspectors cannot detect by sight or feel chemical residues or 
bacteria on meat and poultry that can make people sick. In 
the meantime, health authorities have become more vocal in 
their concern about the growing number of food poisoning 
outbreaks — and meat and poultry get a large share of the 

Officials at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the USDA 
agency responsible for meat and poultry inspjection, are cur- 
rently trying to modernize 80-year-old systems amid a barrage 
of criticisms about how they are going about it. The latest 
plan to upgrade insjDection is being heavily promoted by the 
agency, although many charge that FSIS is more interested in 
reducing its own costs and keeping the industry happy than 
in protecting public health. 

"USDA's approach to modernization is for fewer inspectors to 
spend less time looking at more food whizzing by at drasti- 
cally faster line speeds. That's a recipe for food poisoning," 
said Thomas Devine of the Government Accountability Project. 

FSIS has been conducting research in a poultry slaughter- 
ing plant in Puerto Rico for the past several years to find out 
where in the slaughtering process birds might be spreading 
harmful bacteria, but has so far refused to divulge the results. 
A former agency microbiolocrist, Gerald Kuester, publicly ac- 
cused FSIS last year of hiding the damaging news that nearly 
80 percent of the birds that left the plant were salmonella- 
contaminated. "You never release scientific data until it's been 
peer reviewed, and it will be," said Lester Crawford, admin- 
istrator of FSIS. Since the study was begun, however, its focus 
has shifted to finding ways to prevent the birds from coming 
into the plants contaminated, since it appears difficult with 
current slaughtering methods to keep contamination from 
spreading to other birds. ("Can USDA Inspectors Do More 
With Less?" The Washington Post, lanuary 9) 


January 1991 

January 1991 A six-page article, "Dr. Nogood," in the January 11 City Paper 
discussed the long-awcrited National Practitioner Data Bank, 
a computerized record of medical malpractice payments and 
disciplinary actions against physicians, dentists, psychothera- 
pists, and other medical professionals. Author Peter Blumberg 
pointed out: 

"As a repository of critical information about misdiagnoses, 
mistreatment, and professional misconduct, the Data Bank is 
supposed to provide a screening tool for hospitals and other 
institutions that hire doctors, and to expose bad doctors who 
shed their reputations by moving from state to state every 
time they get in trouble. The Data Bank makes finding the 
skeletons in . . . [a] closet as simple as dialing a toll-free line 
and paying a $2 fee." 

But there's a catch — the public is explicitly forbidden to tap 
into the Data Bank. The authorizing legislation, the Health 
Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986, makes the information 
available only to "authorized parties." The authorized parties 
include hospitals, health maintenance organizations, group 
practices, state licensing boards of medicine, and professional 
societies, all of which are required to query the Data Bank 
before granting any staff or membership privileges to a physi- 
cian. Any member of the general public who extracts informa- 
tion from the Data Bank is subject to a $10,000 civil fine. 

Why would Congress create an information clearinghouse 
to protect the public from bad doctors and then make it off- 
limits to the very people it seeks to protect? The short answer: 
Organized medicine pressured legislators to make Data Bank 
information confidential. The prevailing attitude of the med- 
ical community — then and now — is that if the records were 
open, people would make the wrong judgments about doctors 
for the wrong reason. 

Sidney Wolfe, head of the Public Citizen Health Research 
Group, says: "This idea that the public is too dumb and will 
misunderstand the information is just an incredible slap in the 
face of patients. This 'Don't you trust me?' attitude on the part 
of doctors is unacceptable in 1990. It should have been unac- 
ceptable in 1890, but it reflects several millennia of physicians 
believing they are above and beyond their patients." 


January 1991 

January 1991 The National Weather Service's $3 billion upgrading is so far 
behind schedule that the agency is forced to rely on deterio- 
rating equipment, a dependence that meteorologists in and 
out of government say could jeopardize the service's ability to 
warn of dangerous storms. 

One agency report said a new radar system that should have 
been installed beginning last year may not be ready until 
1997. Another report, written by an agency consultant, said 
that management problems have led to costly delays in the 
program, the most comprehensive retooling in the service's 
100-year history. Many weather experts who once viewed the 
program as the opening to a new age of modern meteorology 
now say that these problems could leave forecasters without 
the ability to gather much of the basic information they need 
to predict the weather. 

Most of the report on the new radar describes problems the 
government perceives with Unisys, the large computer man- 
ufacturer. Company executives said that its serious financial 
problems would not affect its ability to fulfill the contract. 

Staffing cuts present still more problems. Three hundred fewer 
employees are working in Weather Service offices around the 
country than there were 10 years ago, because the agency 
began to trim to a level appropriate for the new equipment 
even though it is not yet installed. Richard J. Him, the general 
counsel for the union of Weather Service employees, said the 
unfilled jobs hurt the service's ability to issue warnings. 

A flood in Shadyside, Ohio, that killed 26 people last summer 
is cited by the union and the Weather Service as an exam- 
ple of the risks the public faces because of problems at the 
agency. The Weather Service said the radar outside Akron, 
Ohio, was too weak to determine the extent of the storm, which 
could have led to warnings. The union said staffing cuts at 
the Akron office left meteorologists there unable to gather 
enough information to adequately warn the public. ("Costly 
Errors Setting Back Weather Service," The New York Times, 
January 13) 

January 1991 The Defense Department is facing a formidable enemy — 

multimillion-dollar computer systems that are so complex they 


January 1991 

January 1991 

threaten to immobilize weapons. Some of the Pentagon's big- 
ticket items are being held hostage to their computers. Accord- 
ing to two congressional investigations, the Army's Apache 
helicopter, the Air Force's B-IB and "stealth" B-2 bombers, the 
Navy's Los Angeles-class attack submarines, and the Trident 
U missile program all have suffered cost overruns and pro- 
duction delays because of the computer system they have in 
common — called embedded computer systems. 

Bugs and design changes in the BUSY 1 and 2 and the ALQ- 
161 embedded computer systems have left some of the newest 
weapons of war brainless. Government documents obtained 
by Jack Anderson's reporter Paul Parkinson show that it takes 
more than 800 software programmers to input 3.2 million lines 
of instructions in the BUSY 2 so the Navy's latest super subma- 
rine, the Seawolf, can be launched. ("U.S. Weapons at Mercy 
of Computers," The Washington Post, January 16) 

A strict information policy was imposed by the Bush adminis- 
tration on the war against Iraq, with few specific details made 
available to reporters and the public about the first day of the 
bombing against targets in Baghdad and Kuwait. 

In the first hours of the war, reporting pools were deployed 
to watch as fighter planes took off from Saudi Arabian bases 
and were allowed to speak with returning pilots. Both print 
and video reports were screened, and while there did not 
appear to be significant censorship of the eariiest dispatches, 
reporters said some deletions had been made by military 

January 1991 

The reporting regulations are the most restrictive since the 
Korean War and in some ways even more so, since reporters 
then were not confined to escorted pKX)ls. American reporters 
generally accepted censorship in both worid wars and Ko- 
rea, but there were few restrictions on reporting in Vietnam: 
reporters were free to make their way around combat areas 
and their reports were not screened. There is widespread 
agreement that the distrust of the press inherent in the Pen- 
tagon's rules for coverage of the gulf war is part of the legacy 
of Vietnam. ("Government's Strict Policy Limit Reports," The 
New York Times, January 18) 

Journalists covering the war against Iraq were not the only 
ones complaining about censorship by the Defense Depart- 


February 1991 

ment. Some of the troops complained too. American soldiers 
interviewed in remote camps in the Saudi desert said that 
the amount of news programming on Armed Forces Radio 
broadcast in Saudi Arabia had been sharply reduced since 
the war began the previous week. "It's the lack of news that 
gets people anxious," said Capt. Roger Wandell of Oriando, 
Fla. "You start to wonder what they are keeping from us." 
("Soldiers Fault Lack of News Since War Began/' The New 
York Times, January 22) 

January 1991 An appeals board will not give 1 15 fired Chicago air traf- 
fic controllers another chance at their old jobs, despite evi- 
dence that their agency falsified some of their employment 
records. The Merit Systems Protection Board said it did "not 
[emphasis in original] condone the undisclosed alteration of 
agency records submitted for inclusion in the official record." 
But controllers failed to persuade the board that those records 
were changed purposely to give the false appearance that 
the controllers had gone out on the illegal 1981 strike. Presi- 
dent Reagan fired all striking controllers. 

The controllers asked the board to take another look at their 
cases after a congressional oversight subcommittee reported 
the Federal Aviation Administration doctored records to justify 
the firing of the controllers. The appeals court upheld the 
decision of the MSPB: "Because of their reliance on a broad- 
side attack against the [FAA's] case," the court wrote, the con- 
trollers "failed to address or counter in any way the crucial 
findings ... on the accuracy and the reliability of the docu- 
ments." ("Despite Falsified Records, Fired Controllers Still Off 
the Job," Federal Times, January 31) 

February 1991 

In a three-page essay in Time, Lance Morrow asks, "Where 
was the truth?" as he describes the allies' struggle to control 
the flood of news as Saddam forced battered prisoners of war 
to tell lies on Iraqi television. Quoting Senator Hiram Johnson's 
1917 statement: "The first casualty when war comes is truth," 
Morrow then goes on to say: 

"But that is too simple a metaphor for what is happening in 
the first war of the age of global information. Truth and elab- 
orate lies, hard fact and hallucination, have become central 
motifs in the gulf. A war of words and images has taken up a 
life of its own, parallel to the one in the sand .... 


February 1991 

"The Pentagon and the Bush Administration have come close 
to achieving their goal of forcing journalists — and the public — 
to rely solely on the information supplied by briefers or gath- 
ered in pool interviews in the field. Doing away with inde- 
pendent reporting has been the Pentagon's goal ever since 
Vietnam. The military has set up a system of media pools to 
cover the initial stages of the operation, controlling reporters' 
movements and their access to sources. The system works 
brilliantly from the Pentagon's point of view, but it has sub- 
verted the coverage of the war and given it a dismal, canned 

"In the midst of all the spectacle, items of honest truth have 
died of manipulation and censorship. The drama in the gulf 
commands eerie and unprecedented high-tech global atten- 
tion, and yet the volume of real information about the conduct 
of the war is small. The public does not know how effective 
the allied strikes against Iraq have been, for example, or how 
heavy the civilian casualties may have been. Clausewitz's 
"fog of war" — a phrase endlessly repeated these days — has 
become a bright electrical cloud of unknowing." 

February 1991 

("The Fog of War," Time, February 4) 

A book by a former Iran-Contra prosecutor accused the Cen- 
tral Intelligence Agency of bribing officials in Costa Rica to 
allow the construction of an airstrip to resupply the Nicaraguan 
rebels. The book, by Jeffrey R. Toobin, also said the CIA ham- 
pered the subsequent criminal investigation into the pay- 
ments to Costa Rican officials. The CIA operation in Costa 
Rica, which would have violated federal law against aiding 
the rebels in Nicaragua, is one of several previously undis- 
closed incidents described in the book. Opening Arguments. 
The affair centered on efforts to provide military aid to rebels 
in part using profits of secret arms sales to Iran from 1984 to 
late 1986. The book provides the strongest evidence yet that 
the United States used its money and influence in Central 
America to persuade governments there to assist the Con- 
tras. President Bush has denied that any such quid pro quo 
agreements existed. Interviews by the prosecutors with CIA 
officials provided little help. "Our friends at the agency did 
not remember anything," Toobin wrote. "With a few coura- 
geous exceptions, most of our CIA witnesses suffered stunning 
memory lapses." The book has been at the center of a long 
prepublication legal battle. The book was filed under seal in 


February 1991 

court as part of the case, and in early February, Federal Dis- 
trict Judge John Keenan in Manhattan ruled that Penguin USA 
was free to publish it over the objections of Lawrence Walsh, 
the Iran-Contra independent prosecutor. ("Book Accuses the 
C.I.A. in a Contra Aid Scheme," The New York Times, Febru- 
ary 5) 

February 1991 Jack Anderson reported: "The Environmental Protection 

Agency's habit of keeping dirty secrets to itself could prove 
deadly in several communities across the nation." Govern- 
ment investigative reports he has obtained show widespread 
lapses in the EPA's handling of the banned herbicide Dinoseb. 
Huge stockpiles of the chemical are stored around the country 
waiting for EPA disposal. And some of those stockpiles are 
leaking, unbeknownst to the emergency planners in the cities 
and states where the chemical is stored. 

In Goldsboro, N.C., nearly 32,000 gallons of Dinoseb were 
temporarily stored at a warehouse near the river that is the 
source of drinking water for 70,000 people. In 1989, the EPA 
inspector general checked the site and found some containers 
were rusted and leaking, taking the risk of poisoning ground- 
water. City officials did not know it was there. Laboratory 
animals exposed to Dinoseb had offspring with serious birth 
defects. Researchers found increased incidence of sterility 
among farm workers using it. There is no evidence that the 
water in Goldsboro has been tainted by Dinoseb, but it ap- 
pears that the EPA is not interested in assuring that it will not 
be tainted in the future. 

The EPA inspector general team says it found leaking contain- 
ers there, and put that in writing last year. But an EPA spokes- 
woman in Washington says there were no leaks, only rust. 
And a regional EPA official said: "Our records don't indicate 
there was a leak, so there is not a reason for us to test that 
area." The inspector general also said local authorities were 
not notified about the Dinoseb as they should have been. 
However, EPA headquarters said it's not their job to tell the lo- 
cal authorities, nor is the EPA responsible for making sure the 
storage site is safe until the EPA officially takes over the site 
to handle disposal. But firefighters in Goldsboro, whose juris- 
diction covers the storage site, did not know the Dinoseb was 
there. ("EPA Secrets Seeping Through Cracks," The Washing- 
ton Post, February 8) 


February 1991 

February 1991 

Frustration grew among journalists who said the Pentagon 
was choking off coverage of the war by refusing to dispatch 
more than a handful of military-escorted pools with ground 
forces, and by barring those who ventured into the desert on 
their own. At stake, in the view of these critical journalists, 
is whether reporters will serve essentially as conveyor belts 
for the scanty information dispensed at official briefings and 
gleaned from the limited access afforded the pools. 

Defense officials offered three basic reasons for insisting that 
coverage be provided by small pools of journalists — representing 
newspapers, television, radio, magazines, and wire services — 
who must give their colleagues left behind written reports of 
what they see and hear. First, they say the pools are neces- 
sary for the reporters' physical safety. Second, military officers 
must review the pool reports to prevent the release of infor- 
mation that could jeopardize U.S. forces. Finally, officials say, 
it would be impractical to allow the more than 800 reporters 
now in Saudi Arabia to roam the desert battlefield at will. 

Questions about the pool system are "like asking whether 
a smoothly functioning dictatorship is working well," said 
Stanley Cloud, Time magazine's Washington bureau chief. 
"Yeah, it's working well, but we shouldn't have to put up with 
it. We're getting only the information the Pentagon wants us 
to get. This is an intolerable effort by the government to man- 
age and control the press," he said. "We have ourselves to 
blame every bit as much as the Pentagon. We never should 
have agreed to this system in the first place." The pool sys- 
tem was established by the Pentagon in 1984 in response to 
complaints that journalists had been excluded from the U.S. 
invasion of Grenada. ("Journalists Say 'Pools' Don't Work," The 
Washington Post, February 11) 

February 1991 

In his briefing on the Department of Energy fiscal 1992 bud- 
get, Secretary James Watkins disclosed the cost of cleaning up 
the nuclear and toxic wastes and restoring the environment 
at the department's 12-state nuclear weapons manufacturing 
complex. The costs of the cleanup vary according to which 
Energy Department activities are included, but by current 
calculations the price tag has risen from $2.3 billion in 1990 
to $3.5 billion in the current year to a projected $4.2 billion 
next year. The costs will approach $5 billion a year by 1996. 
The Energy Department has said the task will take 30 years 
and cost many tens of billions of dollars. 


February 1991 

In a report released on February 11, the congressional Office 
of Technology Assessment said bluntly that the Energy De- 
partment may not be the right agency to manage this huge 
task, partly because of its shortcomings and partly because 
the public does not trust it. The department's "stated goal — 
to clear up all weapons sites within 30 years — is unfounded 
because it is not based on meaningful estimates of the work 
to be done or the level of cleanup to be accomplished at the 
end of that time," the report said. It said the department lacks 
scientific evidence to support its contention that the factories 
present no imminent public health danger, adding that "the 
technical and institutional resources and processes to make 
and implement sound, publicly acceptable decisions" are not 
in place. ("Energy's 'Mountain Building Up'," The Washington 
Post, February 12) 

February 1991 U.S. officials partially relaxed their "blackout" on news of 

the ground invasion of Kuwait less than 12 hours after it was 
imposed, as some officials conceded the restrictions had gone 
too far and initial reports showed allied forces faring well. 
Although Defense Secretary Richard Cheney announced that 
briefings on the war would be suspended for an undeter- 
mined period of time, the administration moved quickly on 
February 24 to ensure that pxDsitive news filtered throughout 
the blackout. 

Howell Raines, Washington bureau chief of the New Yorl: 
Times, said Defense Department officials were using legiti- 
mate security concerns "as a means of imposing the blanket 
management of information of a sort we've never seen in 
this country. If they've loosened it today, it was because they 
had good news to report and it was in their interest to re- 
port it. What they've put in place is a mechanism to block out 
bad news and to keep good news in the forefront." But Army 
Col. Miguel Monteverde, the Pentagon's director of defense 
information, said officials simply realized that some of the 
restrictions were impractical. 

The U.S. blackout stood in sharp contrast to the 1944 D-Day 
invasion of Normandy, when 27 U.S. journalists accompanied 
allied forces and filed stories that day. Military historians say 
blackouts were not used during the Korean War and were 
briefly imposed only twice during the Vietnam War. ("U.S. Lets 
Some News Filter Through 'Blackout'," The Washington Post, 
February 25) 


March 1991 

March 1991 The Spring issue of Drug Abuse Update cited the following 

example as "the grossest misrepresentation that we have 
seen," of how "some for-profit organizations are marketing 
tax-produced publications outside the spirit of the law": 

"A publisher in New York, Business Research Publications, 
Inc., markets a monthly drug-abuse newsletter it publishes 
for an annual subscription of $189. Subscribers will receive 
a free report published by the U.S. Department of Labor en- 
titled What Works: Workplaces Without Drugs, that Business 
Research Publications has republished. The marketing piece 
fails to say that the report is free to ALL citizens, regardless of 
their decision to pay the hefty $189 annual subscription rate. 
Without a subscription request, the report is still available 
from this company for $71. You read it right — a free booklet 
developed and published by the United States Department 
of Labor is hawked for $71 by this New York firm. Another 
publication advertised by the same firm is Model for a Com- 
prehensive Drug-Free Workplace Program for $85. This report 
comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

"Material published by government agencies is in the public 
domain. It is reproducible for no charge. The government, in 
fact, encourages reproduction to increase circulation. Any 
organization or individual who reproduces a government 
publication can in turn charge for the expense incurred in the 
reproduction. The question is, do $71 and $85 fees constitute 
a fair-market value for a retyped, government-agency booklet 
bound by a plastic spiral? 

"We need truth in advertising, but more important, profiteers 
need to hear this message: Prevention dollars are too scarce 
for any of us to pay twice for drug-education publications. 
Human resource managers in the workplace need to hear this 
message: What Works: Workplaces Without Drugs and Model 
Plan for a Comprehensive Drug-Free Workplace Program 
may be ordered free of charge from the National Clearing- 
house for Alcohol and Drug Information, 1-800-729-6686. You 
can learn about other free materials by ordering a catalog 
of resources from the Clearinghouse at the same number." 
("Public-Domain Prevention Materials Sold for Big Bucks," 
Drug Abuse Update, Spring 1991) 

March 1991 Federal courts charge high prices for providing copies of ju- 

dicial documents to discourage requests. This practice is the 


March 1991 

subject of a General Accounting Office report requested by 
Rep. Bob Wise (D-WV), chair of the House Subcommittee on 
Government Information, Justice, and Agriculture. GAO found 
that the administrative office of the U.S. Courts does not hove 
a policy on how courts should handle requests for documents. 
As a result, federal district courts use widely differing proce- 
dures. Many federal courts charge 50 cents per page, a fee 
originally set in 1959. The high price was set to cut down on 
the workload of the courts. 

In releasing the report, Rep. Wise said: "GAO found consider- 
able variability in practice and procedure. Some courts are 
charging 50 cents a page for copies when some commer- 
cial, profit-making companies were only charging 3.5 cents 
a page. There is no reason why any federal office should use 
high prices for public information as a way of discouraging 
requests. Under the federal Freedom of Information Act, copy- 
ing charges may not exceed direct costs. The courts should be 
following the same policy." 

Copies of the GAO report. Information Requests: Courts Can 
Provide Documents in a More Cost-Effective Manner [report 
number GGD-91-30 (February 13, 1991)] can be requested 
from GAO at 202-275-6241. ("U.S. Courts Charge High Prices 
for Copies of Judicial Documents," News Release, House Com- 
mittee on Government Operations, March 1 1 ) 

March 1991 A General Accounting Office official, Howard Rhile, testified 

before the House Subcommittee on Government Informa- 
tion, Justice, and Agriculture that the Justice Department may 
hove compromised sensitive investigations and jeopardized 
the safety of some undercover agents, informants, and wit- 
nesses by inadvertently releasing computerized information. 
GAO said it uncovered "appxilling details" of the department's 
failure to protect its secret computer files. "Our investigation 
leads to the unmistakable conclusion that at present, one sim- 
ply cannot trust that sensitive data will be safely secured at 
the Depxirtment of Justice." 

The GAO's investigation followed press disclosures in Septem- 
ber 1 990 that the department had mistakenly traded away a 
federal prosecutor's highly sensitive computer files for $45. 
While auctioning off surplus equipment, the department sold 
computers from a U.S. attorney's office without first erasing 
electronic copies of sealed indictments and information about 


March 1991 

confidential informants and federally protected witnesses, ac- 
cording to court records. The department has sued the buyer, 
a Kentucky businessman, in an effort to retrieve its files. ("GAO 
Faults Release of Secret Data," The Washington Post, March 26) 

March 1991 Because of bureaucratic foot-dragging, complex directives 

from Congress and in some cases ideological hostility, the fed- 
eral government has failed to carry out major parts of health, 
environmental, and housing laws passed with much fanfare 
in recent years. The delays have left Congress stymied, con- 
sumer groups frustrated, and businesses sometimes paralyzed 
in the absence of prescribed regulations. Bush administra- 
tion officials acknowledge that they have missed many of 
the deadlines set by Congress for the new laws. But they say 
Congress is partly to blame because it writes laws of impene- 
trable complexity with countless mandates and gives federal 
agencies insufficient time to write needed regulations. 

For example, two decades after Congress ordered the Envi- 
ronmental Protection Agency to identify and regulate "haz- 
ardous air pollutants," the agency has issued emission stan- 
dards for only seven chemicals. Even when an agency is 
eager to carry out a new law, it must negotiate with the Office 
of Management and Budget, which often demands changes 
in proposed rules to reduce the cost or to minimize the bur- 
den on private industry. Congress itself may not provide the 
money needed to carry out or enforce a new law. 

Michael Horowitz, counsel to the director of the Office of Man- 
agement and Budget from 1981 to 1985, said Reagan admin- 
istration officials often viewed "nonenforcement of the law" 
as an easy way to deal with statutes and regulations they 
disliked. ("U.S. Laws Delayed by Complex Rules and Parti- 
sanship," The New York Times, March 31) 

April 1991 The operators of nearly half of the nation's underground coal 

mines have been systematically tampering with the dust sam- 
ples they send to federal safety inspectors who determine the 
risk of black lung to miners, according to Bush administra- 
tion sources. Labor Secretary Lynn Martin announced that 
the government will seek major civil penalties against the 
operators of more than 800 of the nation's approximately 2,000 
underground coal mines for tampering with dust samples. 


April 1991 

In recent months, federal mine safety officials said they have 
discovered more than 5,000 incidents of sampling fraud. In 
many cases, mine operators simply blew away or vacuumed 
some of the dust from government-approved sampling equip- 
ment before submitting it for inspection, officials said. ("Coal 
Mine Op>erators Altered Dust Samples," The Washington Post, 
April 4) 

April 1991 lack Pfeiffer, a retired CIA historian, sued the Central Intel- 

ligence Agency over rec^ulations he said have blocked him 
from publishing a declassified version of the organization's 
role in the ill-fated 1961 Boy of Pigs invasion in Cuba. The 
agency, citing its strict disclosure rules, has refused to declas- 
sify his work and a federal court has upheld its decision. 

On April 9, in a second lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, 
Pfeiffer sought to overturn the CIA's declassification and re- 
view procedures, contending they are "overbroad" and vio- 
late his free sp>eech rights. In addition, he argued, as he did 
in a previous lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Informa- 
tion Act, the agency does not want his papers made public 
because his findings might embarrass senior agency offi- 
cials. Public Citizen, an advocacy group, filed the lawsuit 
on Pfeiffer's behalf, accusing the CIA of balking at giving the 
historian complete copies of its disclosure regulations. ("CIA 
Ex-Historian Presses for a 30-Year-Old Tale," The Washington 
Post. April 10) 

April 1991 The Census Bureau held up release of detailed population 

data it gathered in the 1990 census while it negotiated with 
advocacy groups over the agency's count of the homeless. 
The advocates for the homeless, arguing that the bureau 
missed substantial segments of the homeless population in its 
1990 count, have threatened legal action unless the bureau 
issues a disclaimer noting the inaccuracy of the numbers. 
"The danger is this will become the number of homeless peo- 
ple and will be used" to make policy, said Maria Foscarinis, 
director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and 
Poverty. ("Holding Up the Homeless Tally," The Washington 
Post, April 11) 

April 1991 U.S. soldiers were pooriy trained and equipped to confront a 

chemical weapons attack in the months preceding the U.S. 
military buildup in the Persian Gulf region, GAG concluded 
in a report that was withheld from public release during the 


April 1991 

confrontation with Iraq. The GAO reF>ort, completed in Jan- 
uary, documents unrealistic Army training exercises, serious 
equipment shortages, weak planning, inadequate leadership 
and poor innovation in preparing a defense against possible 
poison gas attack. 

While commanders associated with Operation Desert Storm 
had declined to estimate how many soldiers would die in 
expected Iraqi chemical attacks, the GAO report stated that 
71 Army chemical specialists interviewed for the report had 
predicted that more than half of the exposed troops would be 
killed in a future gas attack due to inadequate training. 

Army officials said they had ordered increased training and 
provided adequate protective gear for the troops. Congres- 
sional sources said the Army nonetheless considered the re- 
port's conclusions so sensitive that it ordered the document 
be kept secret during the war. The Army also ordered the 
deletion of two tables in the report documenting wide-spread 
shortages of chemical decontamination and protective gear 
among U.S. forces routinely stationed in Europe, evidently 
including some deployed to the Middle East for the war. ("Re- 
port Withheld from Public Says GIs Were Poorly Equipped for 
Gas Attack," The Washington Post, April 13) 

April 1991 Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) secured an amendment to the bill 

reauthorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (S. 
207) to require publication of any dissenting, concurring, or 
separate opinion by any Commissioner. He explained that his 
amendment was prompted by an incident last year when the 
CFTC issued an important and controversial interpretation on 
the regulatory treatment of certain oil contracts. One CFTC 
Commissioner dissented and prepared a detailed statement of 
his reasons. But when the CFTC submitted its interpretation of 
the oil contract to the Federal Register for official publication, 
the dissent was omitted. 

Sen. Leahy said: "In this case, the results was [sic] especially 
unfair. High-priced lawyers with access to the Commission or 
to expensive private reporting services had no trouble getting 
their hands on the dissent. But members of the public who 
rely on official outlets like the Federal Register had no access 
to the document." {Congressional Record, April 17, p. S4601) 


April 1991 

April 1991 The National Practitioner Data Bank has another problem: 

missing data. The 1986 law creating the data bank requires 
hospitals and other medical licensing authorities to report 
adverse disciplinary actions against doctors. The law also 
requires any malpractice judgment or settlement on behalf 
of a physician to be reported. Hospital and medical licensing 
and disciplinary authorities in turn must check the data bank 
before giving doctors' working credentials. 

In practice, the data bank is being undermined by what 
amounts to a giant loophole: Doctors can ovoid being re- 
ported to the bank if their lawyers can get them removed 
from a suit before it is settled. Here's how these deals work: 
A hospital or some other entity — such as the doctor's profes- 
sional corporation — agrees to pay the plaintiff if the physician 
is dropped from the suit. 

Then, regardless of whether the rest of the suit is settled or 
goes to court, no doctor's name is left in the action to be en- 
tered into the data bank. Even doctors who are the central 
figures in suits can avoid the data bank this way. Plaintiffs 
and defense lawyers alike acknowledge that the time-honored 
litigation technique of getting a client dismissed from suits 
subverts the policy rationale behind the National Practitioner 
Data Bank. 

Nobody is sure just how many doctors have avoided the data 
bank in this manner, but it is not hard to find settled suits 
around the nation that have been structured to bypass the 
reporting requirements. Officials at the Department of Health 
and Human Services — which has a $15.8 million contract with 
the Unisys Corp. to run the data bank — say that as of March 
22, they had received more than 13,000 reports of malpractice 
settlements or judgments. More than 425,000 queries for infor- 
mation came in from hospitals and other medical institutions. 

Federal authorities have no way, however, of keeping track of 
malpractice settlements that are not reported because doctors 
were dismissed from the suits. Many settlement deals struck 
between plaintiffs and defense lawyers are secret. According 
to some medical and legal experts, the public-interest intent in 
creating a full record of physicians' malpractice-claims experi- 
ence is not being served. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, of Public Citizen's 
Health Research Group, soys the bank's backers never imag- 
ined that doctors would be able to avoid the system simply by 


April 1991 

getting their names dropped from suits before fined settlement. 
"It flies in the face of the law for clever lawyers to make these 
end runs," Wolfe declared. ("Data Bank Has a Deficit," Legal 
Times, Week of April 22) 

April 1991 The Environmental Protection Agency halted distribution of 

one of its popular consumer handbooks after industry com- 
plained that it recommended home measures, such as vine- 
gar and water to clean windows, that had not been assessed 
for their effect on the environment. The Environmental Con- 
sumer's Handbook, published in October 1990, was pulled 
from distribution in February after industry criticism that it 
was imbalanced, partly because of its suggestion that home- 
made cleaning solutions might be more environmentally be- 
nign than store-bought products. 

Industry critics also faulted the pamphlet's assertions that dis- 
posable products contribute to litter. "How do these items con- 
tribute to litter when it is the users who litter, not the items?" 
noted a critique by the Foodservice and Packaging Institute, a 
Washington-based trade association. 

The pamphlet was prepared by the EPAs Office of Solid Waste 
to encourage consumers to reduce, reuse and recycle items 
that might otherwise add to the burden of the nation's land- 
fills. It quickly became one of the office's most requested docu- 
ments, with more than 15,000 of 30,000 copies distributed. 

In late February, Don Clay, EPA assistant administrator, pro- 
mised to move ahead quickly on a revised version, saying 
it would be subject to a "more comprehensive review pro- 
cess" that would include "a cross section of interested par- 
ties." The revised version is expected to be available in 30 to 
60 days. According to documents provided to Environmental 
Action Inc. under the Freedom of Information Act, publication 
of the original pamphlet was followed by a series of memos 
and letters from industry critical of the document. "Clearly, 
EPAs action was in response not to the public, but in response 
to the large consumer product manufacturers," said Joanne 
Wirka, a solid waste expert for Environmental Action. "We 
didn't just do it because industry said you should change 
this," said Henry L. Longest 11, acting deputy assistant admin- 
istrator under Clay, "but because the opponents made good 
points." ("EPA Pulls Consumer Handbook," The Washington 
Post. April 23) 


April 1991 

April 1991 "Secrecy is expensive and the Pentagon has decided that it 

cannot afford as much of it as it used to buy. Sunday's sched- 
uled flight of a space shuttle, a mission devoted to experi- 
ments for the Strategic Defense Initiative, which in the past 
would have been classified, has been declassified. 

According to a Defense Department spokesman, who spoke 
on condition of anonymity, declassifying military shuttle flights 
probably will save taxpayers at least $80 million a year." ("Pen- 
tagon Pinching Pennies on Secrecy," The Washington Post, 
April 26) 

April 1991 Yielding to pressure from the meat and dairy industries, the 

Agriculture Department has abandoned its plans to turn the 
symbol of good nutrition from the "food wheel" showing the 
"Basic Food Groups" to an "Eating Right" pyramid that sought 
to de-emphasize the place of meat and dairy products in a 
healthful diet. 

The proposed change, hailed by many nutritionists as a long 
overdue improvement in the way the government encourages 
good eating habits, represented the basic groups as layers 
of a pyramid. By putting vegetables, fruits, and grains at the 
broad base and meat and dairy products in a narrow band 
at the top, government health experts had hoped to create a 
more effective visual image of the proper proportions each 
food group should have in a healthful diet. 

But in meetings with Agriculture officials earlier in April, rep- 
resentatives of the dairy and meat industries complained that 
the pyramid was misleading and "stigmatized" their products. 
The industry groups said they were unhappy not just with the 
suggestion that portions of meat and dairy products should be 
relatively small, but that their place in the pyramid was next 
to that of fats and sweets, the least healthful foods. 

"We told them we thought they were setting up good foods 
versus bad foods," said Alisa Harrison, director of information 
for the National Cattlemen's Association. Harrison said the 
group felt consumers would interpret the pyramid to mean 
they should "drastically cut down on their meat consump- 
tion." According to Marion Nestle, chairman of the nutrition 
department at New York University and the author of a his- 
tory of dietary guidelines, on several occasions over the past 
15 years the department has altered or canceled nutritional 


May 1991 

advice brochures in response to industry complaints. ("U.S. 
Drops New Food Chart/' The Washincfton Post, April 27) 

May 1991 In a three-page article, Holley Knaus describes "sharp restric- 

tions on citizen access to government information" as a result 
of an ideological assault on government activity, coupled with 
the rise of an "increasingly strong information industry lobby." 
As a result of "privatization," citizens or organizations seek- 
ing information from government agencies as varied as the 
Census Bureau and the Federal Maritime Commission must 
increasingly rely on data companies such as Knight-Ridder, 
Mead Data, McGraw Hill, and Martin Marietta Data Systems. 

She writes that information disseminated through the private 
sector is much more remote from the public, primarily be- 
cause it is often prohibitively expensive. Private information 
vendors, under no obligation to provide the public with low- 
cost access to government data, "charge exorbitant prices for 
their services and products." 

One example she cites concerns the Department of Com- 
merce National Trade Data Bank. According to the Taxpayer 
Assets Project, Commerce offers the NTDB, a database of more 
than 100,000 documents containing political, economic, and 
technical information relating to foreign trade from 16 federal 
agencies, on a CD-ROM disk for $35. 

However, Congress has prohibited Commerce from offering 
online access to the database. To receive the more timely 
online information, users are forced to turn to commercial 
vendors. These commercial vendors receive the data on mag- 
netic tape or CD-ROMs at low rates, and then program it so 
that it is available online to those with computers — "at ex- 
travagant rates." McGraw Hill's Data Resources, Inc. charges 
its users up to $80 per hour and $0.54 per number to receive 
this information. ("Facts for Sale," Multinational Monitor, May 

May 1991 The lustice Department has determined a strict set of condi- 

tions governing the access it has granted House ludiciary 
Committee investigators exploring the alleged government 
conspiracy against Washington, D.C., legal software devel- 
oper Inslaw Inc. The committee has spent close to a year track- 
ing the Inslaw case and its possible connection to Justice's 
award of a $212 million office automation contract to another 


May 1991 

company. Investigators have sought 200 department docu- 
ments related to litigation on the Inslaw case, as well as doc- 
uments about other companies or procurements. Justice has 
consistently denied the request, saying the papers would re- 
veal the litigation strategy involving its app)eal against Inslaw 
and so were being shielded from Congress. 

Access to the documents will be tightly controlled. For exam- 
ple, Justice officials will be present while committee investi- 
gators review the papers. The investigators will be p>ermitted 
only to take notes of the documents. Based on those notes, 
investigators will have to formally request copies. If additional 
hearings on the Inslaw case were conducted, the committee 
would need to give the department "the opportunity prior 
to the hearing or proceedings to present any reasons why 
the material or any portion thereof should not be publicly re- 
vealed." If no agreement could be reached, the matter would 
be referred to an executive session of the committee. ("Justice 
Screens Inslaw Document Release," Federal Computer Week, 
May 6) 

May 1991 "Most people who work at the White House treat an order 

from the President as holy writ. So everyone expected quick 
action when George Bush, embarrassed by news stories on 
the freeloading travels of chief of staff John Sununu, directed 
him to 'get it all out' and make 'full disclosure' of his expen- 
sive trips aboard Air Force executive jets to ski resorts in Col- 
orado and to his home in New Hampshire. 

Instead, Sununu stonewalled. At Bush's insistence, he issued a 
list of his White House travels, but it has proved to be incom- 
plete, inaccurate, and misleading. It conceals crucial informa- 
tion that Time has obtained concerning at least four family 
skiing vacations and a fifth trip to his New Hampshire home 
that were financed by corporate interests — in violation of fed- 
eral ethics laws. Sununu declined requests for interviews 
about his travels, smugly assuring associates that if he simply 
hunkered down and said nothing more, 'this whole thing will 
blow over'." ("Fly Free or Die," Time, May 13) 

May 1991 The Iraqi missile that slammed into an American military bar- 

racks in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf war, killing 28 
people, penetrated air defenses because a computer failure 
shut down the American missile system designed to counter 
it, two Army investigations have concluded. 


May 1991 

The Iraqi Scud missile hit the barracks on February 25, caus- 
ing the war's single worst casualty toll for Americans. The 
allied Central Command scdd the next day that no Patriot 
missile had been fired to intercept the Scud, adding that the 
Scud had broken into pieces as it descended and was not 
identified as a threat by the Patriot radar system. But further 
investigations determined that the Scud was intact when it 
hit the barracks, and was not detected because the Patriot's 
radar system was rendered inoperable by the computer fail- 

Army experts said in interviews that they knew within days 
that the Scud was intact when it hit, and that a technical flaw 
in the radar system was probably to blame. The Army in- 
vestigations raise questions why the Pentagon and Central 
Command perpetuated the explanation that the Scud broke 
up. Central Command officials denied that they were aware 
of the Army's initial findings of computer malfunction. "It was 
not something we had at all/' said Lieut. Col. Michael Gal- 
lagher, who was a Central Command spokesman in Riyadh. 

Family members of some of the victims of the attack have 
tried to get more information from the Army but say the Pen- 
tagon has refused to release any details. Fiita Bongiorni of 
Hickory, Pa., whose 20-year-old son, Joseph, was killed in the 
attack, said she had written the Secretary of the Army, Michael 
P.W. Stone, for an explanation, but had received only a form 
letter saying a comrade was at her son's side when he died. 
When Mrs. Bongiorni requested a detailed autopsy report, she 
said the cause of death was listed simply as "Scud attack." "I 
just want to know the truth, and I'm not sure we'll ever know," 
Mrs. Bongiorni said. "I don't feel the Army's been up front 
with us." ("Army Blames Patriot's Computer for Failure to Stop 
Dhahran Scud," The New York Times, May 20) 

May 1991 The head of a Pentagon intelligence unit assigned to account 

for United States servicemen missing in Vietnam has resigned, 
accusing Bush administration officials of seeking to discredit 
and perhaps even cover up reports of sightings of Ameri- 
cans in the country. The Army officer. Col. Millard A. Peck, 
left his job on March 28, stapling an unusual memorandum 
and farewell note to his office door that charged that his de- 
partment was being used as a " 'toxic waste dump' to buy the 
whole 'mess' out of sight and mind in a facility with limited 


May 1991 

access to public scrutiny." ("Bush Is Said to Ignore the Vietnam 
War's Missing/' The New York Times, May 22) 

May 1991 The Supreme Court ruled on May 23 that federally funded 

family planning clinics may be prohibited from giving any 
information about abortion. The court, splitting 5 to 4, upheld 
federal regulations that forbid some 4,000 such clinics that re- 
ceive federal money from counseling women about the avail- 
ability of abortion, even if the women ask for the information 
or if their doctors believe abortion is medically necessary. The 
decision in the case turned mostly on whether the regulation 
infringed on free speech. 

Opponents of the regulations, promulgated by the Reagan 
administration in 1988, vowed to press for congressional re- 
peal. A similar effort last year drew administration threats of 
a veto and died in the Senate. 

The decision in Rust v. Sullivan turned on the question of free 
speech and whether the regulations interfered with the doctor- 
patient relationship, or kept women from making informed 
medical decisions about abortion. Justice William H. Rehnquist 
said they did not. He said the government is entitled to decide 
what it wants to spend its money on, and that its decision 
to pay for family planning services but not for information 
about abortion did not violate freedom of sp)eech or any other 
constitutional right. 

All four dissenters said the court should have struck down 
the regulations on statutory grounds. Blackmun, Marshall, 
and Stevens, going on to the constitutional questions, said 
the ruling represented the first time the court had "upheld 
viewpoint-based suppression of speech simply because that 
suppression was a condition on the acceptance of public funds. 
In addition, they said, "Until today, the court has allowed to 
stand only those restrictions upon reproductive freedom that, 
while limiting the availability of abortion, have left intact a 
woman's ability to decide without coercion whether she will 
continue her pregnancy to term Today's decision aban- 
dons that principle, and with disastrous results." 

"This is worse than we could have imagined," said Rachael 
Pine of the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged 
the regulations on behalf of various clinics and doctors. "This 
opinion is close to giving the government the blank check it 


May 1991 

sought" in imposing conditions on federally funded programs, 
she said. "It's close to sanctioning really any kind of govern- 
ment manipulation of information so long as it's paid for by 
the government." ("Abortion-Advice Ban Upheld for Federally 
Funded Clinics," The Washington Post, May 24) 

May 1991 On May 28 the Supreme Court let stand a ruling that threat- 

ens the conviction of Oliver North in the Iran-Contra affair. 
It refused to review a 1990 ruling by a federal appeals court 
that requires prosecutors to re-examine the witnesses against 
him to determine if any of them had prejudiced the trial's 
outcome by hearing his earlier testimony before Congress. 
The Justices, who acted without comment, raised the possibil- 
ity that much of the evidence used to convict North could be 

The Supreme Court's action was a serious setback for Lawrence 
Walsh, the Iran-Contra prosecutor, because it means he must 
now meet the difficult standards set by the appeals court in 
its July 20, 1990, decision. North was convicted on May 4, 1989, 
of aiding and abetting in the obstruction of Congress, accept- 
ing an illegal gratuity in the form of a $13,800 home security 
system, and destroying government documents. The charge 
of destroying documents was voided outright by the appeals 
court. Walsh vowed to go back to the lower court and try to 
preserve the two remaining guilty verdicts. ("North Conviction 
in Doubt as Court Lets Ruling Stand," The New York Times, 
May 29) 

June 1991 The anticrime bill that President Bush has sent to Congress 

would permit the government to hold special tribunals in which 
foreigners accused of terrorism would not be allowed to rebut 
or even see some or all of the evidence against them. Justice 
Department officials say the tribunals, which would require 
the approval of a federal judge, would give the government 
a needed mechanism to deport alien terrorists without being 
forced to disclose evidence that would reveal the identity of 
confidential sources, make public the nature of investigative 
methods, or damage relationships with foreign countries. 

But some civil liberties experts say the proposal would violate 
fundamental principles of American law: that the govern- 
ment's evidence against a person must be public, and that the 
accused has a right to be informed of that evidence and rebut 
it. The provision has been largely overlooked until now in the 


June 1991 

public debate over the anticrime bill but is drawing increas- 
ing fire from civil libertarians as the larger measure nears 
Senate consideration in June. The Supreme Court has long 
held that aliens living in the United States who face deporta- 
tion are entitled to constitutional protections, including a pub- 
lic hearing in which the government is not entitled to keep 
evidence against them a secret. ("Crime Bill Would Establish 
Alien Deportation Tribunal," The New York Times, June 1) 

June 1991 The Defense Department has estimated that 100,000 Iraqi sol- 

diers were killed and 300,000 wounded during the Persian 
Gulf war, the first official attempt to fix the Iraqi death toll in 
which military officials said was a "tentative" exercise based 
on "limited information." Responding to a Freedom of Infor- 
mation Act request from the Natural Resources Defense Coun- 
cil, an environmental group, the Defense Intelligence Agency 
issued a heavily qualified estimate, which was immediately 

"UpxDn review, it has been determined that little information 
is available which would enable this agency to make an ac- 
curate assessment of Iraqi military casualties," said Robert 
Hardzog, chief of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act 
staff of the intelligence agency, in a letter dated May 22. "An 
analysis of very limited information leads D.I. A. to tentatively 
state the following" and then Hardzog noted parenthetically 
that the estimates carried an "error factor of 50 percent or 
higher." ("Iraq's War Toll Estimated by U.S.," The New York 
Times, June 5) 

June 1991 While the U.S. military has labored successfully in recent 

years — under the mandate of federal law — to overcome long- 
standing service rivalries and improve both wartime and 
peacetime coordination among the Army, Air Force, Navy 
and Marine Corps, the Persian Gulf War exposed continued 
shortcomings from war planning to intelligence-gathering. 
Senior military commander say cooperation among the ser- 
vices has improved. They say the services are now using 
the experiences of the gulf war to focus on deficiencies that 
slowed operations and could have resulted in serious prob- 
lems against a more aggressive enemy force. Among the 

• The Air Force could not transmit bombing target lists to 
Navy pilots aboard ships in the Red Sea and Persian 


June 1991 

Gulf beccaise of incompatible communications links. As 
a result, Navy officials had to hand-carry from Riyadh to 
ships at sea computer disks containing each day's list of 

• U.S. intelligence-gathering operations were so cumber- 
some and compxirtmentalized among agencies that com- 
manders in the field frequently could not obtain timely 
intelligence to prepare for war operations 

("War Exposed Rivalries, Weaknesses in Military," The Wash- 
ington Post, June 10) 

June 1991 A one and one-half page story in the Village Voice by James 

Ridgeway described issues and problems with the privatiza- 
tion of government information. "The result has been to slowly 
cripple the functions of government that we take for granted." 
Ridgeway pointed out that changes in the amount and type of 
statistical information collected may seem insignificant, and 
do not show up in a decline in actual statistical output for 
several years, but ultimately, they will help cloud not only the 
true effect of administration policies, but even future planning 
for economic growth. 

For example, probably the best single source of information 
on the U.S. economy is Japan. The Japanese have statistics 
on their own economy, and make their own informed esti- 
mates on how the U.S. operates. For data on cross-border 
trade with Canada, U.S. business now relies on Canadian 
statistics. Even the ability of elected representatives to un- 
derstand what is going on is affected. The Joint Economic 
Committee of Congress, which is supposed to keep up on eco- 
nomic trends, recently made a study of interest rates. Since 
the data was unavailable via computer from the TVeasury, the 
committee ended up buying it from a private company. 

The author says, "This vast subsidy to the information indus- 
try was made by . . . OMB rules, which basically say that if 
private industry can make money distributing info, then the 
government shouldn't be doing it." 

Ridgeway gives examples, including high costs, of the gov- 
ernment's reliance on private sources for knowledge it needs 
to govern, using examples from the State Department, the 


June 1991 

June 1991 

June 1991 

Department of Agriculture, and the National Weather Service. 
Additionally, he points out: 

"The privatization of information affects the most prosaic gov- 
ernmental services. Let's say you are a journalist or scholar 
or small businessman anxious to find out about the different 

civil rights bills now pending before Congress Congress 

maintains a bill-tracking service that lists all these pending 
bills and their sponsors by computer, but to get that infor- 
mation most people would end up using Legislate, a service 
provided by The Washington Post. A professor in Brooklyn 
inquired about the cost of that service recently: $9500 a year 
for an academic, and $14,500 for businesses." 

Ridgeway also mentions efforts in Congress to change the 
government's privatization of information that are supported 
by ALA, Public Citizen, and other groups that are pushing to 
create an inexpensive government system that would allow 
people to access online government databases through the 
Government Printing Office. ("Stormy Weather," Village Voice, 
June 11) 

U.S. Central Command chief Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf 
charged that battlefield damage assessments from national 
intelligence agencies during the Persian Gulf War were so 
hedged with qualifying remarks that they created serious con- 
fusion for commanders attempting to make wartime decisions. 
Schwarzkopf told the Senate Armed Services Committee on 
June 12 that battlefield damage assessment "was one of the 
major areas of confusion." 

He also echoed the complaint of many field commanders dur- 
ing the war that intelligence was not relayed to senior officers 
on the ground in a timely, useful form. He recommended that 
"the intelligence community should be asked to come up with 
a system that will, in fact, be capable of delivering a real- 
time product to a theater commander when he requests that." 
Such problems were compounded by the inability of U.S. 
military services, especially the Navy and Air Force, to share 
intelligence information because of incompxitible computer 
systems, Schwarzkopf said. ("Schwarzkopf: War Intelligence 
Flawed," The Washington Post, June 13) 

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Charles Stith, 
president of the National Community Reinvestment Network, 


June 1991 

urged defeat of two amendments in President Bush's bank- 
ing reform bill. Stith maintained that amendments added by 
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) would gut the Community Rein- 
vestment Act. The "amendments would exempt 80 percent 
of the nation's banks from following the law's requirements. 
The amendments would restrict community groups' rights 
to challenge banks for noncompliance with the act, as well 
as reduce the number of banks required to report the home 
mortgage data that would help identify discriminatory lend- 
ing patterns." Stith said that the Community Reinvestment Act 
"has been the only leverage poor communities and nonwhite 
communities possess to win a fair shake from banks .... En- 
forcement of the law is possible because banks are required 
to keep public records of their business." ("Killer Amendments 
In the Banking Bill," The New York Times, June 17) 

June 1991 Ron Pollack, of the Families USA Foundation, charged that 

more than half of the elderly Americans living in poverty are 
paying for Medicare benefits they are entitled to receive with- 
out charge. According to Pollack, eligible individuals must 
apply to state agencies to get benefits to help pay for medical 
services and millions have failed to do so because the state 
and federal governments fail to notify them adequately. 

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), principal author of the 1988 and 
1 990 provisions that entitled the poor to have Medicaid pay 
their Medicare bills, said, "It's clear that the Social Security 
Administration, Health Care Financing Administration and 
states are not doing their job to get this information out to 
the elderly who are entitled to this help. We're going to try 
to push the Social Security Administration to send out notices 
with the checks and figure out some way to get these people 
enrolled." ("Many Elderly Missing Out on Medicaid Benefits," 
The Washington Post, June 18) 

June 1991 The June 17 blast that killed six workers and injured 23 at a 

chemical plant in Charleston, S.C., was the latest in a series 
of fires, explosions and poison-gas leaks at refineries and 
chemical plants around the country. "Since October 1987, 
when a leak of hydrogen fluoride gas at a Marathon Oil re- 
finery forced the evacuation of thousands in Texas City, Tex., 
the American petrochemical industry has endured one of the 
deadliest periods in its history, one that has baffled Govern- 
ment experts and alarmed company executives. The 12 worst 


June 1991 

explosions have killed 79 people, injured 933 and caused 
roughly $2 billion in damage." 

Although some aspects of the explosion were reminiscent of 
previous accidents, there is no way to know if factors similar 
to the previous accidents could have contributed to the re- 
cent blast. "And there is not a Federal agency that compiles 
statistics and investigates every accident the way the Na- 
tional Transportation Safety Board does, for example, with air 
crashes. Although amendments to the Clean Air Act signed 
into low in 1990 established a Chemical Safety and Hazard 
Investigation Board, the White House has yet to appoint any 
members or provide funds." ("Petrochemical Disasters Raise 
Alarm in Industry," The New York Times, June 19) 

June 1991 The Northrop Corporation has agreed to pay $8 million to 

settle a lawsuit by two of its former employees who said the 
company falsified tests on parts for cruise missiles built for 
the Air Force. The settlement comes 16 months after Northrop 
pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in the case filed in 
1987 by Leo Barajas and Patricia Meyer, both employees at 
Northrop's plant in Pomona, Calif. They charged that Northrop 
and some of its executives had improperly tested guidance 
devices called flight data transmitters and had deliberately 
reported false results to the Air Force. ("Northrop Settles Work- 
ers' Suit on False Missile Tests for $8 Million," The New York 
Times, June 25) 

June 1991 The nation's next generation of badly needed weather satel- 

lites, designed by the National Aeronautics and Space Ad- 
ministration and built by aerospace contractors, are so riddled 
with defects that they may never be launched. According to 
federal weather officials, loss of coverage by these satellites 
could precipitate a national emergency, depriving forecast- 
ers of crucial coverage for tracking hurricanes, floods, and 
tornadoes. Only one U.S. weather satellite, the GOES-7, is 
positioned in geostationary orbit directly above the coun- 
try, and its five-year lifespan normally would end early next 
year. NASA planned to launch new weather satellites in 1989. 
Known as GOES-NEXT, the $1.1 billion program is $500 mil- 
lion over budget and more than two years behind schedule. 
Two of five planned GOES-NEXT satellites have been com- 


June 1991 

GOES-NEXT is so flawed that it may not be launched in time 
to replace the aging GOES-7, National Weather Service offi- 
cials said. John Knauss, head of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, which includes the National 
Weather Service, said he is so concerned he has ordered 
contingency plans to investigate building a simple satellite 
quickly or buying one from Japanese or European makers. In- 
stead of GOES-NEXT, he said, the weather service is facing a 
"NO-GOES" scenario. Moreover, Knauss said, he is prepared 
to ask the Europeans to move one of their orbiting satellites 
closer to the eastern United States, which still would leave 
half of the country without continuous coverage. ("Crucial 
Weather Satellites May Be Too Flawed to Use," The Washing- 
ton Post, June 28) 

June 1991 Recently librarians in federal depository libraries hove com- 

plained that the Office of Management and Budget Office is 
not making OMB circulars available through the Depository 
Library Program. OMB maintains that the circulars — which 
are key documents if the public is to understand federal regu- 
lations and requirements for public and private organizations- 
are for administrative purposes only, not subject to depository 
requirements. Now the public and libraries can get access to 
the circulars through an expensive electronic product avail- 
able from the National Technical Information Service. 

NTIS and Government Counselling Ltd., through a joint ven- 
ture, have produced a CD-ROM containing OMB circulars, 
the Federal Acquisition Regulations, Defense Federal Ac- 
quisition Regulations, General Accounting Office decision 
synopses, and full-text of the General Services Administration 
Board of Contract Appeals decisions. The disk also contains 
public laws, federal information processing standards publi- 
cations summaries, procurement and acquisition checklists, 
quarterly news bulletins, and a variety of commentaries to 
accompany the regulations. 

The CD-ROM is available from NTIS as either a quarterly sub- 
scription or as a single disk containing the most recent quar- 
ter only. The subscription costs $1,495. The most recent quarter 
only costs $995. In the future, Government Counselling, Ltd. 
will incorporate agency-sp^ecific information acquired by NTIS 
with its proprietary product to create a series of custom CD- 
ROMs. ("New CD-ROM Makes Government- Wide Procurement 
Regs Easy to Find," NTIS Newsline, Summer 1991) 


July 1991 

July 1991 Publishers and executives of 17 news organizations, still con- 

cerned about press restrictions during the Persian Gulf War, 
told Defense Secretary Richard Cheney that independent 
reporting should be "the principal means of coverage" for all 
future U.S. military operations. In a late June letter, the news 
organizations said that combat pools — groups of reporters 
who are escorted by the military and share their dispatches 
with colleagues — should be used only for the first 24 to 36 
hours of any deployment. In Saudi Arabia, military officials 
frequently detained reporters who attempted to operate out- 
side such pools. 

The media executives also sent Cheney a report providing 
fresh details of how military officials suppressed news, con- 
trolled interviews, limited press access, and delayed trans- 
mission of stories. Such restrictions "made it impossible for 
reporters and photographers to tell the public the full story 
of the war in a timely fashion," the letter said. "Moreover, we 
believe it is imperative that the gulf war not serve as a model 
for future coverage." 

"We welcome these proposals," said Pentagon spokesman 
Pete Williams. He said Cheney "is eager to sit down and talk 
with members of this group .... Nobody should get the im- 
pression that because we did it one way during the Persian 
Gulf War that it's going to be that way forever and ever." 
Williams said there were good reasons for the press restric- 
tions in the gulf, but that "some things worked well and some 

Among the items in the report were: 1) the Pentagon attempted 
"to use the press to disseminate disinformation," such as re- 
leasing plans for an amphibious assault against Iraq that 
was a ruse to mislead the Iraqis; 2) a Newsweek contributor, 
retired Army Col. David Hackworth, said that on one occa- 
sion "U.S. troops fixed bayonets and charged us;" and 3) two 
reporters were barred from a Marine unit after their escorts 
complained that they had asked questions forbidden by mil- 
itary guidelines. ("News Media Ask Freer Hand in Future 
Conflicts," The Washington Post, July 1) 

July 1991 Columnists Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta reported that 

congressional investigators are conducting an enormous probe 
into allegations that the pro-Iraqi tilt of the Reagan and Bush 
administrations allowed Iraq to buy technology that it later 


July 1991 

used in weapons turned against U.S. troops. In one case they 
examined, the reporters said it app>ears "the Bush administra- 
tion not only winked at the export of sensitive technology to 
Iraq but may have stopped legitimate law enforcement efforts 
to interdict the trade." 

Central to the case is Bob Bickel, an engineering consultant 
and petroleum expert, who worked for about 20 years as an 
undercover informant for the U.S. Customs Service. In the 
course of Bickel's engineering work, he would keep Customs 
informed about what he thought were suspicious orders filled 
for foreign buyers. Bickel said he was hired in 1989 by a Hous- 
ton firm to give advice to a foreign buyer on oil-related tech- 
nology. The buyer turned out to be an Iraqi, and the technol- 
ogy Bickel was asked to buy included a phased-ray antenna 
system that could potentially be used in a missile tracking 
and guidance system. Bickel alerted the Customs contact with 
whom he had always worked. 

A Customs investigation did not get very far. The Customs 
team sent inquiries to Washington, and Bickel let the Houston 
broker who had hired him know an investigation was un- 
derway into the Iraqi client. The broker's response was unex- 
pected; he allegedly told Bickel and the Customs investigators 
that he was connected to the U.S. intelligence community. 

It was not long before Bickel heard that Customs canceled the 
investigation. Bickel's contact in Customs called Washington 
and was told the State and Commerce departments were be- 
hind the decision. Some very important people did not want 
anyone nosing around the technology deal. 

Anderson soys congressional investigators believe the Iraqi 
buyer was working for Ishan Barbouti, an Iraqi arms dealer. 
Barbouti is suspected by U.S. intelligence agencies of hav- 
ing been a major player in the construction of a chemical 
weapons plant in Libya. He bankrolled at least four busi- 
nesses in the United States that were producing materials 
that may have been sent secretly to Iraq for weapons use. 
Barbouti died mysteriously in London last July. ("How the U.S. 
Winked at Exports to Iraq," The Washington Post, July 8) 

July 1991 Census Bureau Director Barbara Everitt Bryant disagreed 

with Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher on virtually ev- 
ery element of his decision not to adjust the 1990 census to 


July 1991 

compensate for an undercount. In a document citing strong 
evidence that the population of the United States is 5.3 mil- 
lion more than the 248 million counted in the census, Bryant 
wrote: "In my opinion, not adjusting would be denying that 
these 5 million persons exist. That denial would be a greater 
inaccuracy than any inaccuracies that adjustment may intro- 

On average, the accuracy of the census would be improved 
by a statistical adjustment, Bryant wrote in her advisory opin- 
ion, which was released by the Commerce Department along 
with other expert recommendations that went to Mosbacher 
in the weeks before his decision. Mosbacher announced he 
would rely on the results of the initial headcount, rather than 
figures drawn from a sample survey of more than 170,000 
housing units, as the basis for redrawing political boundaries 
and distributing billions of federal dollars. 

Mosbacher was criticized for his decision by Del. Eleanor 
Holmes Norton (D-DC), who said, "The decision is particularly 
harsh, even cruel, because it comes after more than 10 years 
of huge declines in federal support to cities." District officials 
have estimated that the city will lose millions of dollars in aid 
over the decade. They and others concede, however, that 
it is impossible to calculate accurately the fiscal impact of 
the decision, because many federal programs are capped 
and rely to different degrees on population data. ("Census 
Bureau Chief Disagreed With Mosbacher on Adjustments," 
The Washington Post, July 17) 

[Ed. note: The Washington Post editorialized that Secretary 
of Commerce Mosbacher "was right to decide to stick to the 
actual number of people counted last year." The editorial said 
this intricate quarrel will now move back into the courtroom, 
where a judge will listen to the statisticians debate their dif- 
ferences. "If the country wants a more accurate census in 
the year 2000, the way to get it is not to embark on statistical 
massaging of disputed figures but to spend more money to 
collect better data in the first place." ("Census Accuracy," The 
Washington Post, July 17)] 

July 1991 The former head of the CIA's Central American task force ad- 

mitted in court he and other senior CIA officials were aware 
of the secret diversion of funds to the Contra rebels in Nica- 
ragua for months before the scandal broke in the fall of 1986. 


July 1991 

Alan Fiers acknowledged the agency's complicity in attempts 
to cover up the affair as he pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court 
in Washington to two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully with- 
holding information from Congress. His pleas came as part 
of an agreement to cooperate fully with independent counsel 
Lawrence Walsh, who has been investigating the Iran-Contra 
scandal for 4 1/2 years. 

Fiers said he willfully withheld information from Congress in 
the fall of 1986 both about the diversion of funds and about 
the secret Contra resupply operation that was being run out 
of the Reagan White House. As a result of those admissions 
and the prospect he will say more, other officials being in- 
vestigated by Walsh for possible perjury charges may come 
under increasing pressure to disclose more than they have to 

At the same time, investigators probing the unfolding investi- 
gation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International told 
Time that the Iran-Contra affair is linked to the burgeoning 
bank scandal. Former government officials and other sources 
confirm that the CIA stashed money in a number of B.C.C.I. 
accounts that were used to finance covert operations; some 
of these funds went to the Contras. Investigators also say an 
intelligence unit of the U.S. defense establishment has used 
the bank to maintain a secret slush fund, possibly for financ- 
ing unauthorized covert operations. ("The Cover-Up Begins to 
Crack," Time, July 22) 

July 1991 House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks (D-TX) moved 

to subpoena Justice Department records to investigate allega- 
tions that the agency stole computer software from a private 
company, Inslaw Inc. The announcement came nearly a week 
after Attorney General Dick Thornburgh refused to testify be- 
fore the Judiciary Committee. After Brooks' announcement, a 
Justice official said the department would provide the docu- 
ments the committee sought for its investigation of the com- 
puter software allegations. 

A bankruptcy judge in proceedings involving Inslaw Inc. found 
there was a conspiracy among Justice Department officials 
during the Reagan administration to steal the software from 
Inslaw, which went into bankruptcy protection after the agency 
withheld payments on its government contract. The software 
was a case-management system used by federal prosecutors. 


August 1991 

The Judiciary Committee announcement also said Brooks planned 
to seek authority to subpoena a 1989 Justice legal opinion that 
gives the Federal Bureau of Investigation authority to seize 
fugitives overseas without permission of foreign governments. 
("Brooks to Seek Justice Data," The Washington Post. July 25) 

[Ed. note: See August 14 entry on same subject.] 

August 1991 The General Accounting Office evaluated the quality of Envi- 

ronmental Protection Agency data that will be used to deter- 
mine the need for mandatory hazardous waste minimization 
requirements. All the data quality problems GAO identified 
in its February 1990 report (PEMD-90-3) as likely to occur did 
occur These problems included the system's inability to in- 
tegrate data, uncertain data validity based on inappropriate 
measurement, and uncertain data reliability based on inade- 
quate data collection methods. Some of these problems were 
so severe that EPA had to abandon all of the central analyses 
of waste minimization progress that the agency had originally 
planned to give to Congress. 

Problems such as the extent of missing data were of special 
importance in negatively affecting the assessment of progress 
on hazardous waste minimization. These findings suggest that 
the information EPA presents to Congress will not be help- 
ful in understanding the extent and determinants of waste 
minimization or in determining whether mandatory or other 
requirements may need to be included in the reauthorization 
of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. ("Waste Min- 
imization: EPA Data Are Severely Flawed," GAO/PEMD-91-21, 
August 5, 9 pp.) 

August 1991 An article by Spencer Rich stated that one of the most con- 
fusing incidents in the debate over the Medicare catastrophic 
benefits act of 1988, subsequently repealed, was the dispute 
over the cost of prescription drug benefits. The Congressional 
Budget Office originally projected the drug benefit would cost 
the government $6 billion from 1990 to 1994 and require the 
elderly to pay $8 billion in insurance. But revised estimates 
later put the figures at $12 billion for the government and $9 
billion for the elderly. 

A new study from a National Research Council panel headed 
by Eric Hanushek of the University of Rochester explains the 
reason for the huge jumps in both figures: The only available 


August 1991 

estimates on prescription drug use at the time the bill was 
passed were ten years old. The CBO initially had to rely on 
drug-use figures from 1977-80. A subsequent 1987 survey 
showed that prescription drug use had grown much faster 
than the earlier figures had suggested. 

This example is one of a number cited in the study, which 
concluded that bad statistics and inadequate information have 
led to major miscalculations in the formulation of federal f>o1- 
icy. The study notes that the government has been cutting 
funds for developing the statistics that would enable Congress 
and the White House to understand better what impact new 
legislation is likely to hove on spending and tax policy. 

The article cites other examples of poor data about Individ- 
ual Retirement Accounts, the Consumer Price Index, and the 
Current Population Survey. For example, during the late 1970s 
and 1980s, the report says "the consumer price index over- 
stated the rise in the cost of living by some 1-2 percent a year, 
with serious consequences for wage escalation and overad- 
justment of Social Security and other federal entitlements." At 
least 80 million people were affected, and every one percent 
error cost the government at least $4.6 billion a year in extra 
payments or lost tax revenue. ("Bad Statistics Cited in Policy 
Miscalculations," The Washington Post, August 6) 

August 1991 After Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) met with two officials of the Cen- 

tral Intelligence Agency, the CIA said it will include a consul- 
tant's reasons against moving as many as 3,000 employees to 
West Virginia in a report that previously had been censored. 
The agency agreed to return some of the information to a 
version of the report prejxired for public release. Wolf is one 
of several Washington, D.C., area legislators trying to thwart 
an attempt by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) to transfer thousands 
of CIA employees from offices in Northern Virginia to lefferson 
County, W.Va. 

Wolf complained that the CIA was not making public the rea- 
sons against moving to West Virginia. The reasons were con- 
tained in a report released to the House Intelligence Commit- 
tee, but were edited from the version made available to the 
public. How much information the agency will put back in is 
unclear "It is our view that to release the study in its entirety 
would jeopardize the government in its negotiations," said 


August 1991 

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield. Mansfield said the infor- 
mation withheld from the report contained analyses of the 
advantages and disadvantages of each parcel at four sites 
that the agency is considering. The edited information also 
contains estimates of the land costs to the government and 
financial analyses of the cost to develop the sites. 

Wolf said parts of the report stated that West Virginia should 
be eliminated as a site because of a lack of highways in the 
area, because commutes would be too long for workers now 
living in the Washington, D.C., area, and because the move 
would cause some key employees to resign. Wolf questioned 
the need for secrecy, noting, "This is not a covert operation. 
They are not talking about mining the harbors of Nicaragua. 
They are talking about purchasing land for a building." ("CIA 
Will Disclose More on WVd. Site," The Washington Post, Au- 
gust 14) 

August 1991 After the confrontation between House Judiciary Commit- 

tee Chairman Jack Brooks (D-TX) and the Justice Department 
about a controversial 1989 Justice Department opinion about 
U.S. authority to act overseas, Justice officials sought to ne- 
gotiate a compromise that would include permitting some 
members of the Judiciary Committee to review the opinion 
without publicly releasing a copy. However, a copy of the 
opinion was obtained by the Washington Post. 

The opinion concluded that "serious threats" to U.S. domestic 
security from "international terrorist groups and narcotics traf- 
fickers" would justify the President to violate international law 
by ordering abduction of fugitives overseas. It asserts that the 
President and Attorney General have "inherent constitutional 
power" to order a wide range of law enforcement actions in 
foreign countries without the consent of foreign governments, 
even if they violate international treaties. It also argues that 
"as a matter of domestic law, the executive has the power to 
authorize actions inconsistent" with United Nations charter 
provisions barring use of force against member nations. Such 
decisions "are fundamentally political questions," the opinion 
states, and therefore do not constrain the chief executive in 
fulfilling his law enforcement responsibilities. 

The opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, written by then- 
Assistant and now Attorney General William P. Barr, has been 
at the center of controversy for nearly two years. Along with 


August 1991 

a later opinion concluding that the U.S. military could make 
arrests overseas, it was relied on by Bush administration offi- 
cials in launching the December 1989 invasion of Panama. 
But critics have charged that it amounts to a dangerous ex- 
pansion of Justice Department authority overseas in violation 
of international low. 

August 1991 

Justice Department officials have consistently refused to re- 
lease the June 21, 1989, opinion, contending that its public 
dissemination would inhibit department lawyers writing in- 
ternal opinions. They said it also had the potential to harm 
the government's position in pending cases, including the trial 
of ex-Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, by 
giving defense lawyers ideas about possible weaknesses in 
the government's arguments. ("U.S. 'Power' on Abductions 
Detailed," The Washington Post, August 14) 

Two examples of less government information being made 
available to the American people were contained in a letter 
to the editor of the New York Times. Ernest B. Dane of Great 
Falls, Va„ cited the annual report to Congress of the Secretary 
of Defense, which for many years served as a virtual public 
encyclopedia of data about the defense establishment, and 
its equipment and cost to the taxpayer. However, for the last 
two years the report has been revised to exclude most details 
needed for real understanding of national security issues. 

August 1991 

Dane cited a second example of the Office of Management 
and Budget midsession review of the budget, issued annu- 
ally on July 15. "This year, the review omitted data showing 
interest on the public debt. The amount of that interest, now 
estimated at more than $327 billion for 1993, might seem em- 
barrassing, but it should nevertheless be published." ("Using 
Cost-Cutting to Limit Public Data," The New York Times, Au- 
gust 14) 

President Bush signed a bill on covert operations intended 
to close a loophole blamed for the Iran-Contra scandal. But 
he made it clear that he would use his own discretion on 
whether to follow the law's tighter requirements on notifying 
Congress about secret intelligence operations abroad. Bush 
protested the inclusion of the first legal definition of "covert 
action," which he said was unnecessary and infringed on 
the constitutional powers of the Presidency. The legislation 
requires the President to provide written approval of covert 


August 1991 

activities conducted by any federal agency and bans retroac- 
tive approval of such operations by the President. 

During the Iran-Contra affair, former President Ronald Rea- 
gan skirted the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980, which re- 
quires the President to give "prior notice" of all covert activ- 
ities to the two congressional intelligence committees or to 
give notice "in a timely fashion" if emergency actions are 
necessary. He also signed an order that retroactively autho- 
rized arms sales to Iran, and he did not inform Congress of 
the two actions for a year. ("Coveri-Disclosure Bill Is Signed 
by President," The New York Times, August 16) 

August 1991 The General Accounting Office looked into the removal of 

government documents during the Reagan administration 
by the last two agency heads at the Departments of Defense, 
Justice, State, and Treasury. It discovered that records of de- 
parting agency heads were not controlled by the National 
Archives and Records Administration, as is done for depart- 
ing presidents. All eight of the former agency heads removed 
documents when they left office, and two of the four agencies 
did not know if records had been removed. Agencies were 
unaware of classified material in two removed collections 
and failed to ensure that required security restrictions were 
followed for a significant amount of classified material in a 
third collection removed to a private business. 

Additionally, at least half of the collections contained original 
documents agencies did not know had been removed. As a 
result, GAO believes official records possibly also were re- 
moved. Once documents are moved, the government's access 
to them is not ensured — as evidenced by GAO's being de- 
nied access to three of the eight collections. GAO concluded 
that current internal controls do not adequately ensure that 
government records and information are properly protected 
because no independent review of documents is made be- 
fore they are removed. GAO believes the National Archives 
and Records Administration should oversee plans by agency 
heads to remove documents and determine whether their 
relinquishment and removal are consistent with federal laws 
and regulations. ("Federal Records: Document Removal by 
Agency Heads Needs Independent Oversight," GAO/GGD-91- 
117, August 30, 35 pp.) 


September 1991 


[Ed. note: The Washington Post included a story about this 
GAO report in a September 24 article, "Leaving Town With 
the Records." The article mentions that the three who would 
not allow GAO investigators access to records they had taken 
were former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former 
Secretary of State Alexander Haig, and former Secretary of 
the Treasury Donald Regan.] 

September 1991 Government studies of the health risks from hazardous wastes 
at nearly 1,000 Superfund cleanup sites were "seriously de- 
ficient," the General Accounting Office reported. The health 
assessments, which the Agency for Toxic Substances and 
Disease Registry was required by law to perform under a 
tight deadline, "generally have not been useful" to the En- 
vironmental Protection Agency and others supervising the 
cleanups, the GAO said in a repxDrt to Congress. "Because 
ATSDR health assessments have not fully evaluated the health 
risks of many Superfund sites, communities have not been 
adequately informed about possible health effects," the GAO 

The Superfund program was established to identify the na- 
tion's worst hazardous waste problems and make sure they 
were cleaned up. Superfund amendments in 1986 gave ATSDR 
responsibility for looking into the dangers to human health 
at each site on the national priority list. The agency, which 
reports to the Department of Health and Human Services, 
was so rushed that for 165 Superfund sites, it simply found 
documents already prepared for other reasons and called 
them health assessments. 

For example, the agency took a 1984 review by the Centers 
for Disease Control of a Massachusetts Health Department 
cancer mortality study and called it a health assessment of 
a site at New Bedford, Mass., even though the site was not 
mentioned. For more recent assessments, the agency has 
improved its work by visiting all the sites and contacting state 
or local health officials, the GAO report said. (" 'Superfund' 
Studies Called Deficient," The Washington Post, September 4) 

September 1991 According to Jack Anderson, the Nuclear Regulatory Commis- 
sion has proposed regulations that would permit radioactive 
wastes to be recycled into consumer goods such as toys, belt 
buckles, cosmetics, shotgun shells, fishing lures and frying 
pans. Anderson said: "Consumers will not find a surgeon 


September 1991 

general's warning on these products. That's because the NRC 
has no plans to mandate labeling." 

The policy was put on hold after creating a firestorm, but if 
ultimately implemented, the United States would allow levels 
of radiation that are ten times those suggested by interna- 
tional standards. An NRC spokesperson said: "We do not take 
actions that do not protect public health and safety." But an 
internal briefing paper from the Environmental Protection 
Agency painted a different picture: "We believe this is . . . not 
protective of the public health." 

The nuclear power industry clamored for this change and, 
by some estimates, stands to save up to $100 million each 
year from this cheaper form of waste disposal. The Nuclear 
Information and Resource Service, a public interest group, es- 
timates the savings would be $ 1 per year per utility customer. 

The NRC adopted the controversial policy in June 1990 when 
it raised the level of certain less dangerous forms of radia- 
tion to which humans could be subjected, abdicating any 
regulatory oversight for lower levels. Under the policy, about 
30 percent of the nation's low-level radioactive waste could be 
disposed of in a variety of common outlets, including sewer 
systems, incinerators, and ordinary landfills where it could 
seep into drinking water sources. Radioactive waste also, 
for the first time, would be allowed as recycled material in 
consumer products. ("No Child's Play in Recycled Waste," The 
Washington Post, September 9) 

September 1991 The U.S. Geological Survey's Water Resources Scientific In- 
formation Center announced that monthly issues of Selected 
Water Resources Abstracts (SWRA) will cease with the Decem- 
ber 1991 issue. The 1991 annual indexes will not be printed at 
all. The Geological Survey cited budget exigencies and the 
wide range of commercial sources which provide access to 
SWRA as reasons for discontinuing the printed publication. 
Magnetic tapes can be leased from the National Technical 
Information Service. The SWRA database of 235,000 abstracts 
is available online via DIALOG and the European Space 
Agency Information Retrieval Services. 

A CD-ROM version of the SWRA is available from several 
vendors: the National Information Services Corporation charges 


September 1991 

$595 a year; the OCLC version costs $750 a year to nonmem- 
bers, $700 for members. Since no government agency is pro- 
ducing the CD-ROM version of the SWRA, it will no longer 
be available to federal depository libraries where the public 
would have no-fee access to it. ("Selected Water Resources 
Abstracts Will Cease Publication/' Administrative Notes, U.S. 
Government Printing Office, September 15) 

September 1991 An article by Barry Meier highlighted criticism of the Con- 
sumer Product Safety Commission in its role as watchdog of 
the safety of all consumer products other than cars, boats, 
drugs, and food. One of the agency's most contentious issues 
concerns how it discloses information involving hazards. Un- 
der its rules, the agency must give a manufacturer a chance 
to review and dispute any data about a product. The Con- 
sumer Product Safety Commission is the only safety agency 
that operates under such restrictions. Congress, in 1981, also 
prohibited the agency from releasing any data about prod- 
uct hazards that manufacturers are obliged to report to the 
commission. As a result, preliminary determinations about « 
product hazards are no longer placed in a public reading M 

room at the agency, said Alan Schoem, a commission lawyer. 

Thus, it may be years before the public hears of suspect prod- 
ucts. In November 1989, the Consumer Product Safety Com- 
mission determined that a popular portable heater might pose 
a fire risk. But it did not alert the public until August 1991, 
after the manufacturer agreed to fix 3.6 million units. In those 
21 months, while the agency and company investigated and 
negotiated, eight people died in two fires that may have been 
started by faulty wiring in the heaters, said David Fonvielle, a 
lawyer in Tallahassee, Fla., for plaintiffs in some of the cases. 
The manufacturer said the units caused no fires. 

Several other issues, including proposals that disposable lighters 
should be made childproof and ride-on lawn mowers made 
less liable to tip, have been unresolved for six years or more. 
Some CPSC problems appear traceable to its limited resources 
and slow processes. The FY 1991 agency budget was $37 
million, down from $43.9 million in 1979. The agency's success 
in reducing product-related injuries has slowed. The rate of 
injuries per 100,000 Americans declined by 24 percent from 
1978 to 1982, but between 1982 and 1988 that decline was 
only nine percent, commission data show. ("Product Safety 


September 1991 

Commission Is Criticized as Too Slow to Act," The New York 
Times, September 21) 

September 1991 At the insistence of former President Ronald Reagan, 6.3 mil- 
lion pages of White House documents will be made public 
shortly after the opening of his presidential library on Novem- 
ber 4. Stung by earlier press repx)rts about a planned three- 
year restriction on release of all documents, Reagan urged 
his staff to do everything possible to make some documents 
available at the library opening, his aides said. 

In a letter to National Archivist Donald Wilson, Reagan waived 
a 12-year delay on the release of 1.5 million pages of selected 
presidential records covering routine position papers and 
offering factual information on issues ranging from agricul- 
ture to highways and bridges. Reagan also asked that the 
archives open up an estimated 4.8 million pages of get- well 
cards, birihday greetings, and other unsolicited letters. 

The remainder of the library's storehouse of 55 million pages 
of presidential documents — including all Iran-Contra docu- 
ments — will remain shielded from public view for a decade or 
more by a variety of restrictions to protect national security, 
foreign policy, and confidentiality. ("Reagan Library Set to 
Release Private Papers," The Washington Post, September 25) 

September 1991 A lobbying disclosure law is so riddled with exemptions that 
six big military contractors which spent $5.7 million lobby- 
ing the executive branch and Congress last year only re- 
ported $3,547, according to investigators for the Senate sub- 
committee on oversight of government management. Sen. 
Carl Levin (D-MI) chairs the subcommittee which held a hear- 
ing on September 25 to discuss the weaknesses of the lobby- 
ing disclosure laws, such as the 1989 Byrd Amendment that 
requires disclosure by contractors. 

In a statement. Sen. Levin said: "Disclosure under the Byrd 
Amendment is almost non-existent, and it's not because there's 
so little lobbying. Instead, there's a real problem with the way 
this law has been interpreted, applied and also studiously 
avoided." A Pentagon inspector general's survey found that 
lobbying by 100-plus consultants was not disclosed because 
of the way contractors interpreted the Byrd Amendment. Their 
reading of the law was backed by the Defense Department 
and the Office of Management and Budget. ("Senate Panel 


September 1991 

Looks at Military Lobbying Low," The New York Times, Septem- 
ber 26) 

September 1991 PropxDsals by the Food and Drug Administration to improve 
nutrition labeling on food and drink have been overruled 
and weakened by the Office of Management and Budget, a 
consumer-advocacy group alleged. The Center for Science in 
the Public Interest released documents it obtained showing 
that some FDA proposals to implement the Nutrition Labeling 
and Education Act of 1990 were "substantially changed" by 
OMB. In the opinion of CSPI, the changes favor the interests 
of manufacturers and retailers. 

However, an FDA spokesman said the changes were not sig- 
nificant and that the consumer group had exaggerated the 
issue. An OMB spokesman said nothing was forced on the 
FDA, which had agreed to the changes. According to CSPI, 
the changes would reduce by about 7,000 the number of gro- 
cery stores required to post nutrition information for fresh pro- 
duce and seafood. "The net effect is that the consumer is less 
likely to see nutritional information than they would under 
FDA proposals," said Bruce Silverglade, CSPI director of legal 

The FDA had also proposed that the manufacturers of di- 
luted "fruit drinks" use a standard procedure to determine 
the percentage of real juice in their product — a figure given 
on the label. This test will be used by the FDA in any enforce- 
ment actions, but the OMB would allow manufacturers to use 
any test they want. "This leaves juice manufacturers free to 
use whatever test gives them the highest number for juice 
content," Silverglade said. In addition, the consumer group 
claims, citing FDA sources, that OMB is delaying approval of 
a study to test new nutrition labeling formats intended to help 
consumers better understand what is in their food. 

In a separate move. Rep. lohn Conyers (D-MI), chairman of 
the House Government Operations Committee, wrote to the 
director of OMB demanding information on the OMB review 
of the FDA proposals. Conyers said OMB's revision "appears 
to subvert congressional intent as expressed in laws to pro- 
tect public health and safety." Conyers said the OMB has, in 
the past, "forced the FDA" to weaken regulations governing 
health claims on some food. ("OMB Accused of Weakening 


October 1991 

Food-Labeling Proposals," The Washington Post, September 

[Ed. note: See November 6 entry for follow-up article.] 

September 1991 Judge Harold Greene ruled that a confidentiality clause in 

federal health research contracts, which bars private research- 
ers from publishing their preliminary findings, violates the 
First Amendment. The ruling comes in the same controversial 
area of the law that the Supreme Court addressed last May 
when it upheld a ban on federal funding for public clinics 
that give abortion counseling. At issue in that case. Rust v. 
Sullivan, and in the current case involving Stanford Univer- 
sity was the same question: How much can government limit 
speech it is paying for? 

Greene distinguished his ruling from Rust, saying the earlier 
case involved the government's right to see that public money 
is spent the way Congress intended. But in the case involving 
Stanford University, he ruled that the government was directly 
limiting the rights of scientists to talk about their work. "Few 
large-scale endeavors are today not supported, directly or 
indirectly, by government funds," Green wrote. "If [Rust v. 
Sullivan] were to be given the scope and breadth defendants 
advocate in this case, the result would be an invitation to 
government censorship wherever public funds flow." 

At issue was a dispute between Stanford and the National 
Institutes for Health over a $1.5 million contract to do research 
on an artificial heart device known as the left ventricular assist 
device. The NIH contract included a clause in the contract bar- 
ring Stanford scientists from discussing "preliminary" research 
results or data that had "the possibility of adverse effects on 
the public." Stanford objected, saying the clause violated its 
First Amendment rights, as well as the tradition of academic 
freedom among scientists to discuss their work. Such confi- 
dentiality clauses have become common in NIH contracts 
in the past 15 years and usually are invoked in research in- 
volving clinical trials going on simultaneously at different uni- 
versities. ("Federal Judge Rules NIH Research Confidentiality 
Clause Invalid," The Washington Post, September 27) 

October 1991 A former top Central Intelligence Agency official testified 
in Senate confirmation hearings that in the 1980s, the CIA 
was a politicized cauldron in which estimates were slanted 


October 1991 

and false information was presented to the White House to 
match the policy objectives of the agency's director, William 
Casey. The testimony was presented by Melvin Goodman, a 
professor at the National War College who worked as a Soviet 
affairs specialist at the CIA for 24 years, to the Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence, which was considering the nom- 
ination of Gates to direct the CIA. According to Goodman, 
Gates was Casey's chief agent inside the CIA intimidating 
analysts into producing slanted reports — especially on Iran, 
Nicaragua and Afghanistan. However, another former top 
CIA official, Graham Fuller, told the senators that Goodman 
had presented "serious distortions." 

The Senate committee made public the testimony by another 
CIA veteran, Harold Ford, who said Gates failed to take se- 
riously the decline of communism and had offered memory 
lapses to the Senate committee that were "clever." Ford cited 
a key analysis he said overstated the depth of Soviet influ- 
ence in Iran at a time when U.S. arms sales were being justi- 
fied as a counterbalance to Moscow's influence with Tehran. 
("Ex- Aide Calls CIA Under Casey and Gates Corrupt and 
Slanted," International Herald Tribune, October 2) 

[Ed. note: See following entry.] 

October 1991 Robert Gates vigorously denied he had exerted pressure on 

agency analysts to distort Central Intelligence Agency reports. 
He acknowledged that in a "rough and tumble" CIA atmo- 
sphere during the 1980s, embittered and inflexible analysts 
perceived such political pressure. "I never distorted intelli- 
gence to support policy or please a policy-maker," Gates said 
in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was 
considering his nomination to direct the CIA. Gates drew on 
freshly declassified CIA memos to present a counterattack 
against damaging charges by current and former CIA offi- 
cials that he slanted CIA analyses to suit White House policy 
objectives and those of William Casey, then the agency's di- 
rector. ("Gates Tells Panel He Didn't Order Data to Be Slanted," 
International Herald Tribune, October 4) 

October 1991 During the debate on the conference report on HR 1415, the 
Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 
1993, Sen. lesse Helms (R-NC), ranking minority member of 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed classifi- 
cation of government information. He observed: "One of the 


October 1991 

handiest tools used by executive branch agencies to keep 
Concp-ess in the dark . . . , is needless classification of docu- 
ments. Proper classification of matter relating to vital national 
security concerns of the United States have my full support. 
But classification that covers up information that might merely 
prove to be an embarrassment is inexcusable." (October 4 
Congressional Record, p. SI 4439) 

October 1991 The owner and publisher of the Santa Fe New Mexican, Robert 
McKinney, fired its managing editor and criticized a series 
of articles detailing safety and environmental hazards at Los 
Alamos National Laboratory the largest employer in the Santa 
Fe area. The series contained 32 articles published during 
six days in February 1991. The series, based in part on doc- 
uments obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, stated 
that cleaning up 1 ,800 sites of possible contamination near 
Los Alamos would cost $2 billion over a 20-year period. The 
articles further stated that the lab releases large amounts of 
chemical and radioactive contamination into the environment 
daily although the risk to public health is slight to nonexistent. 

Lab officials did not cite inaccuracies in the series or ask for 
corrections. But the New Mexican published critical opinion 
pieces by Siegfried Hecker, director of Los Alamos, and former 
director Harold Agnew. "Any activity creates wastes," Agnew 

wrote. "Making a dinner salad, baking a pie Nuclear 

wastes are no more dangerous than many other wastes." In 
late August, Los Alamos released a 308-page internal eval- 
uation highly critical of its failure to comply with safety and 
environmental regulations, essentially confirming much of 
what had been in the paper's February series. ("After Nuclear 
Series, Paper Melts Down," The Washincfton Post, October 5) 

October 1991 In 1985, at the midway point of the worldwide campaign to 
raise childhood immunization rates fourfold to 80 percent, 
public health officials in the United States stopped counting. 
As a result, the United States is the only country in the world 
that has no official figures on immunization rates of 1- or 2- 
year-olds. The official explanation was that data collection 
was costly and the methodology was suspect, but critics con- 
tended that the Reagan administration was embarrassed by 
the contrast between improving immunization rates through- 
out the Third World and five consecutive years of decline in 
the United States. Even without comprehensive data, prob- 
lems are evident. Nearly 28,000 cases of measles were re- 


October 1991 

ported in 1990 — more than 18 times the number reported in 
1983, when the disease reached an all-time low, and more 
than 50 times the goal of 500 cases per year that the U.S. sur- 
geon general had set for 1990. Nearly half the measles pa- 
tients were under age five. In the wake of the measles out- 
break, the government has begun to collect immunization 
data again. 

The measles epidemic, along with outbreaks of rubella and 
whooping cough, has sparked a debate about whether supply 
or demand is the problem. The supply-siders hold that federal 
and state funding has not kept pace with a thirteenfold rise in 
the cost of the vaccines during the past decade. According to 
a survey last year by the Children's Defense Fund and the 
National Association of Community Health Clinics, 72 per- 
cent of public health clinics experienced spot shortages of 
vaccines. The demand-side holds that, while there are ac- 
cess problems, the real barrier is a mix of complacency and 
poverty. To combat the problem, the administration has called 
for a $40 million increase in immunization funding for this 
year; Congress is considering a $60 million to $80 million in- 
crease. ("U.S. Immunization Rates Uncertain," The Washington 
Post. October 9) 

October 1991 The fight to gain release of the adjusted 1990 census figures 
has expanded to include states and the House of Representa- 
tives, with Rep. Thomas Sawyer (D-OH) saying he will seek a 
subpoena of the count from the Commerce Department if nec- 
essary. At least five state legislatures have filed Freedom of 
Information Act requests, arguing that they need to see the 
adjusted count to determine which set of figures — the offi- 
cial census number of those adjusted to compensate for an 
undercount — should be used to redraw political boundaries. 
Sawyer maintains that public access to the data is a matter of 
fairness: "The American people ought to be able to see and 
evaluate those numbers. They belong to the American tax- 
payer, who paid about $35 million to generate those numbers." 

Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher has refused all re- 
quests to make public the adjusted figures, saying the num- 
bers were flawed and their release could disrupt the redis- 
tricting process going on across the country. Sawyer said Mos- 
bacher's refusal to adjust the census or even make public the 
adjusted counts "has left state legislatures all over the country 


October 1991 

struggling with large and demonstrably disproportionate un- 
dercounts of minorities." ("Adjusted Census Figures Subject of 
Wider Fight," The Washingfion Post, October 17) 

October 1991 The White House Council on Competitiveness, a regulatory 
review panel chaired by Vice President Dan Quayle, has 
refused to turn over documents to several congressional com- 
mittees seeking to determine the council's role in federal rule- 
making. Critics of the Vice President's council assert that it has 
become a "super-regulatory" agency beholden to business 
interests, revising regulations after they are written by the 
designated agencies. The White House maintains that the 
council is simply an arm of the President's executive office 
and as such has all the power to review and suggest regu- 
lations that the President gives it. The council has claimed 
executive privilege to fend off requests for information on its 

Sen. John Glenn (D-OH), chair of the Senate Governmental 
Affairs Committee, commented that presidential regulatory 
review is a "process cloaked by mystery and secrecy and 
encourages the representation of interests that may unfairly 
influence agency rule making." ("Questions on Role of Quayle 
Council," The New York Times, October 19) 

October 1991 The National Research Council reported that the nation's mam- 
moth program to clear up toxic waste was hampered by the 
inability to tell the difference between dumps F>osing a real 
threat to human health and those that do not. The research 
council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, said 
that because not enough money was spent on developing a 
sound scientific system for setting priorities, the nation faced 
the prospect of wasting billions of dollars on dumps that posed 
little or no risk and ignoring dumps that were a true threat to 
the environment and public health. 

In addition to criticizing weaknesses in the management of 
the Superfund program, the report's recommendations are 
equally applicable to even more expensive cleanup programs 
managed and paid for by the Department of Energy and the 
Department of Defense. The two departments are spending 
more than $6 billion this fiscal year on cleaning up toxic chem- 
ical and radioactive waste sites. "We shouldn't be making de- 
cisions on spending billions of dollars out of ignorance," said 
Dr. Thomas Chalmers of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 


November 1991 

Boston, Mass., a member of the committee that prepared the 
report. "We need much more data to determine which sites 
ought to be pursued and we need to set up a better system of 
evaluating risks." ("U.S. Said to Lack Data on Threat Posed by 
Hazardous Waste Sites," The New York Times, October 22) 

November 1991 House Democrats accused Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan 
Jr. of manipulating the conclusions of a report to Congress 
that favored development of a geothermal energy plant near 
Yellowstone National Park, by failing to tell them that the Na- 
tional Park Service had dissented vigorously. Yellowstone's 
geysers are powered by a vast reservoir of underground heat, 
a resource develop>ers would like to tap. 

The report, compiled primarily by the U.S. Geological Sur- 
vey, concluded that small-scale geothermal development, 
such as that planned just outside Yellowstone's border by the 
Church Universal and TViumphant, would pose little risk to 
the geysers and hot springs that have made Yellowstone a 
worldwide attraction. However, Lujan did not give Congress 
a companion report by the Park Service which argued that 
any such development could threaten the park. ("Manipula- 
tion Charged on Yellowstone Report," The Washington Post, 
November 1) 

November 1991 

Janet Norwood, commissioner of the Bureau of Lxibor Statis- 
tics, testified before the Joint Economic Committee that the 
Bush administration is studying new jobs data some economists 
said could mean the government has underestimated the 
depth of the recession and prospects for recovery. Norwood's 
comments appeared to provide the first official federal back- 
ing for concerns expressed recently by economists from some 
state governments that the BLS estimates earlier this year of 
employment and payroll figures were far too optimistic. 

Norwood told the committee that the BLS is studying the states' 
data, and the result could be a lowering of first quarter 1991 
employment ficpires and payroll estimates. Payroll data col- 
lected by state governments show a far weaker job market 
than the BLS estimate, and, if the states' counts hold up, they 
could lower the BLS estimates of employed people by at least 
650,000, she said. The BLS numbers are given to the Depart- 
ment of Commerce, where they are plugged into the gov- 
ernment's national economic accounts. While a decline in 
the pxiyroll numbers does not necessarily mean a decline in 


November 1991 

the gross national product, it means that "the GNP has been 
a whole lot weaker than anyone thought," according to a 
senior congressional economist. ("Federal Jobs Data Called 
Too Optimistic," The Washington Post, November 2) 

November 1991 There was a pattern of delay or denial affecting nearly every 
family that lost a serviceman to "friendly fire" in the Persian 
Gulf War, according to an investigation by the Washincfton 
Post. The Army, in particular, broke its own rules by conceal- 
ing basic facts for months from the next of kin, and its efforts 
to postpone disclosure often led it to stretch the truth. Some 
families never suspected. Others found out through news 
reports or enlisted friends of the dead men. Some heard only 
rumors and begged for details. Still others, including all the 
Marine families, learned informally that a "friendly fire" in- 
vestigation was underway. All had to wait months for the 
final word. 

Senior officers, in interviews, denied that any family had been 
deceived. They said the delay in informing families was for 
the families' own good, in order to verify all the facts and syn- 
chronize public release of the findings. The families, almost 
unanimously, replied they were entitled to the truth — as much 
as the services knew, as soon as they knew it. 

Military documents obtained through the Freedom of Informa- 
tion Act, together with interviews with Defense Department 
officials and the families of 21 "friendly fire" casualties, indi- 
cated that local commanders had clear evidence of "friendly 
fire" in 33 of the 35 cases by the end of March, but an inter- 
service agreement withheld that information from the families 
until August. Of 148 U.S. battle deaths in the war, 35 were in- 
flicted inadvertently by U.S. troops. The article contains many 
specifics about the experience of several families. (" 'Friendly 
Fire' Reports: A Pattern of Delay, Denial," The Washington 
Post, November 5) 

[Ed. note: In a November 5 hearing before the Senate Select 
Committee on POW-MIA Affairs, Secretary of Defense Richard 
Cheney defended the delays in information about "friendly 
fire" deaths as "just a normal, natural part of the process." 
("Casualty Report Delay Called 'Normal'," The Washington 
Post, November 6)1 


November 1991 

November 1991 In a move likely to provide more access to information, the 
Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Depart- 
ment proposed the most sweeping set of new food labeling 
regulations in U.S. history. The proposed guidelines will ex- 
tend nutrition labeling to all processed foods, force a far more 
complete listing of ingredients, and standardize what pre- 
viously had been a byzantine set of regulations on health 
claims by food manufacturers. The rules, which are open 
for comment and will be finalized at the end of 1992, are in- 
tended to make it easier for consumers to cut through what 
Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan has 
called the "Tower of Babel" in supermarkets and identify the 
most healthful foods. ("Food Label Reforms to Be Unveiled," 
The Washington Post, November 6) 

November 1991 Former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams pleaded 
guilty in federal court to two charges of illegally withhold- 
ing information from Congress about covert U.S. support for 
the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The only State Department 
official to face criminal charges thus far for covering up key 
aspects of the Iran-Contra affair, Abrams admitted testifying 
untruthfully before two congressional committees in Octo- 
ber 1986, within a fortnight of the crash of a Contra resupply 
plane in Nicaragua. 

Among the details he held back, Abrams said, was that he 
had solicited a $10 million contribution from the Sultan of 
Brunei and had been informed by State Department cable 
that the money was on its way to a Swiss bank account. In 
entering the misdemeanor pleas, Abrams averted the threat 
of felony charges and agreed to cooperate with indep>endent 
counsel Lawrence Walsh in the final stages of Walsh's investi- 
gation of the Iran-Contra scandal. ("Abrams Pleads Guilty in 
Iran-Contra Affair," The Washington Post, November 8) 

November 1991 In late October, James McCormell, Securities and Exchange 
Commission executive director, stopped distribution of the 
September/October edition of SEC Employee News, which 
had already been printed. McConnell believed an article 
critical about "tension around race and gender" within the 
agency was based on insufficient research and thus was un- 
fair, according to Jessica Kole, sp>ecial counsel to the executive 
director. Sexual harassment issues emerged as a major prob- 
lem for the agency three years ago. 



November 1991 

McConnell's decision disturbed some SEC employees, sources 
said, because recent events indicated to them that serious 
problems at the agency persist. The agency has been un- 
der court order to stop sexual harassment and discrimina- 
tion since 1988, when it lost a sexual harassment case in- 
volving employees in its now-defunct Washington, D.C., re- 
gional office. The newsletter article, by SEC equal employ- 
ment opportunity sp)eclalist Janis Belk, said there were numer- 
ous concerns in the SEC's regional offices about the handling 
of racial and gender issues. ("SEC Blocks Newsletter Contain- 
ing Article on Gender, Racial Issues," The Washington Post, 
November 8) 

November 1991 An advisory panel told the Food and Drug Administration 

that silicone-gel breast implants should continue to be avail- 
able for all women, despite an "appalling" lack of information 
on the safety of the devices and their effects on long-term 
health. The panel voted against approving silicone implants 
made by four manufacturers, but agreed the devices should 
stay on the market under the same status they have always 
had while the manufacturers conduct additional research on 
women who hove the devices. The panel also said the FDA 
should see that women contemplating implant surgery are 
given more detailed information about the risks and benefits. 

Panel members prodded the FDA to demand that the man- 
ufacturers quickly produce more detailed studies of the rate 
of rupture, the amount of silicone — a synthetic polymer — that 
leaks from the devices, and the long-term effects of chronic 
seepage, which some have suggested could cause cancer or 
other illnesses. Breast implants have been on the market for 
more than 30 years, and more than two million women have 
them. But because the devices came on the market before the 
FDA gained authority to regulate medical devices, the agency 
has never evaluated their safety or effectiveness. 

FDA Commissioner David Kessler said the "FDA will make 
sure the data is collected, and collected expeditiously." Sev- 
eral panel members, however, said they had been disap- 
pointed in the past, when FDA failed in 1982 and 1988 to push 
the manufacturers to produce more detailed studies. The com- 
panies that sought approval for their implants were Dow Corn- 
ing Wright, Mentor Corp., McGhan Medical Corp., and Bio- 
plasty Inc. Several other manufacturers had been asked to 
submit safety data to the panel; but rather than comply, they 


November 1991 

dropped out of the business. "Companies can't say these de- 
vices are perfectly safe any more because we now see there 
isn't enough evidence to establish that," said Sidney Wolfe, 
director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group. ("Breast 
Implants Allowed," The Washington Post, November 15) 

November 1991 Acting outside the Constitution in the early 1980s, a secret fed- 
eral agency established a line of succession to the Presidency 
to assure continued government in the event of a devastating 
nuclear attack, current and former United States officials said. 
The officials refused to discuss details of the plan, the exis- 
tence of which was disclosed in a television program on the 
Cable News Network. The CNN report said that if all 17 legal 
successors to the President were incapacitated, nonelected 
officials would assume office in extreme emergencies. 

The secret agency, the National Program Office, was created 
by former President Ronald Reagan in 1982 to expand the list 
of successors and a network of bunkers, aircraft, and mobile 
command centers to ensure that the government continued to 
function in a nuclear war and afterward. Oliver North, then 
a Marine lieutenant colonel and an aide on the National Se- 
curity Council, was a central figure in establishing the secret 
program, CNN said. 

The CNN report also said the United States had spent more 
than $8 billion on the National Program Office since 1982, 
much of the money on advanced communications equipment 
designed to survive a nuclear blast. The communications 
systems were technically flawed, however, and prevented the 
State Department, Defense Department, Central Intelligence 
Agency, and Federal Emergency Management Agency from 
being able to "talk to each other," according to CNN. 

Administration officials refused to discuss the secret succes- 
sion plan or the National Program Office. A leading consti- 
tutional scholar who appeared on the CNN broadcast, Prof. 
William Van Alstyne of Duke University, said the very secrecy 
surrounding the plan could undermine its credibility if it ever 
had to be put into effect. Who, he asked, would believe an 
obscure figure claiming to be President under a top-secret 
plan no one had ever heard of? ("Presidents' Plan to Name 
Successors Skirted Law," The New York Times, November 18) 


December 1991 

December 1991 In June 1989, the FBI raided the Energy Department Rocky 

Flats plutonlum plant to check reports that workers were burn- 
ing hazardous waste in an illegal incinerator and violating 
other environmental lows. Prosecutors, the FBI, and Rocky 
Flats managers have said little about the progress of the in- 
vestigation, and no one has been indicted. Most of what is 
known about the case is coming from Karen Pitts and Jacque- 
line Brever, who have charged in a lawsuit that Rocky Flats 
officials and supervisors often disregarded safety rules and 
harassed the two women for talking to federal investigators. 

Pitts and Brever left Rocky Flats in April 1991. Officially they 
resigned, but they charge in their lawsuit that 19 individuals 
mistreated and harassed them. Also named as defendants 
are EG&G Inc., the Energy Department's principal Rocky Flats 
contractor, and its predecessor, Rockwell International Corp. 
The Energy Department is not a defendant. 

The two women, key witnesses in the 2 1/2-year investigation 
into alleged illegal activities at Rocky Flats, are telling their 
stories at public meetings and on radio talk shows, in news- 
paper and network interviews. They tell of routine safety vio- 
lations, management indifference to potential disasters, and 
intimidation of workers who raised questions, and they have 
become the focus of public debate about the long-running 
investigation at the troubled plant. ("2 Women at Rocky Flats 
Plant Tell of Intimidation, Safety Violations," The Washington 
Post, December 28) 

December 1991 In a switch on the problem of less access to government infor- 
mation, a Tampa firm is claiming "instant access" to a wide 
range of "confidential" computer data, including government 
data. For fees ranging from $5 to $175, Nationwide Electronic 
Tracking, or NET, promised it could provide customers with 
data on virtually anyone in the country — private credit re- 
ports, business histories, driver's license records, even per- 
sonal Social Security records and criminal history background. 

NET may seem like a boon to companies trying to check out 
job applicants or even homeowners suspicious of their new 
neighbor. But some federal officials say it also was evidence 
of a growing computer-age menace — the fledgling "informa- 
tion broker" industry that some experts fear may pose one of 
the most serious threats to individual privacy in decades. 


December 1991 

Law enforcement officlcds say that as the demand for per- 
sonal data grows, information brokers are increasingly turn- 
ing to illegal methods. In mid-December, NET was identified 
by the FBI as one player in a nationwide network of brokers 
and private investigators who allegedly were pilfering confi- 
dential personal data from U.S. government computers and 
then selling them for a fee to lawyers, insurance companies, 
private employers, and other customers. 

The information-broker investigation involved what officials 
soy was the largest case ever involving the theft of federal 
computer data and was all the more striking because it was 
essentially a series of inside jobs. Among the 16 people ar- 
rested by the FBI in ten states were three current or former 
Social Security Administration employees (in Illinois, New 
York and Arizona) charged with selling personal records con- 
tained in SSA computers. In effect, law enforcement officials 
said, information brokers such as NET were bribing the gov- 
ernment employees to run computer checks on individuals 
for as little as $50 each. Computer checks were being run 
"on thousands of people," said Jim Cottos, regional inspector 
general in Atlanta for the Department of Health and Human 
Services, whose office launched the investigation. ("Theft of 
U.S. Data Seen as Growing Threat to Privacy," The Washing- 
ton Post, December 28) 

December 1991 In an editorial titled, "Say Merry Christmas, America," Gov- 
ernment Technology editor Al Simmons urged readers to ask 
their legislators to support two pending House bills that would 
increase public access to government information. The bills 
are: HR 2772 introduced by Rep. Chariie Rose (D-NC) and HR 
3459 introduced by Rep. Major Owens (D-NY). Simmons called 
the two legislators "a couple of feariess gents from the old 
school of representative government who are ready to take 
on the bureaucracy and the private sector lobby as well." 

HR 2772 proposes a WINDO (Wide Information Network for 
Data Online) to be managed by the Government Printing Of- 
fice which would act either as a gateway to dozens of federal 
databases or to provide a GPO online system for direct access 
to tax-payer supported databases. Simmons wrote, "Further, 
Rose not only thinks WINDO should be affordable to citizen 
users, he wants WINDO access without charge to the nation's 
1 ,400 federal depository libraries as a computer extension of 


December 1991 

the depository library system established more than 130 years 
ago " 

The Improvement of Information Access Act, HR 3459, would 
require federal agencies to store and disseminate information 
products and services through computer networks, and set the 
price of information products and services at the incremental 
cost of dissemination. 

Simmons took issue with government agencies such as the 
Bureau of the Census that charge as much as $250 for a CD- 
ROM, even though the actual cost is about two dollars. He 
also pointed out there are "the private sector data vendors 
who spend a lot of money trying to discourage the idea that 
government information should be accessible by citizens di- 
rectly from the government." ("Say Merry Christmas, Amer- 
ica," Government Technology, December) 



Abortion 67, 106, 134-135, 154, 183- 

Abrams, Elliott 212 
Academic freedom 26-27 
"Academic Libraries Must Oppxjse 
Federal Surveillance of Their 
Users" 10 
Access to information 56-57, 122-123, 

abortion 106, 134, 154 

academic scholarship 37 

Agent Orange 57, 76, 85, 136-137 

Agricultural Foreign Investment 
Disclosure Act of 1978 49 

AE)S 67, 88, 15&-157 

aviation safety 13-14 

breast implants 158, 213-214 

Bush administration 118 

censorship 106 

Cocom list 136 

economic 137 

education 1, 96-97 

employment 4, 5 

environmental 11 

federal budget books 1 14 

fees 36-37, 48, 56-57, 61, 62, 172- 
173, 201 

food labels 45-46, 93, 142, 203-204, 

foreign technology 121 

government information 72 

hazardous consumer products 202 

hazardous waste 79, 81, 200 

health issues 116, 125 

herbicide 169 

HR 2772 216 

Improvement of Information Ac- 
cess Act, HR 3459 216-217 

inequal access 54, 63, 117-118 

INPO records 123-124 

international trade 33 

Iran-Contra documents 17, 74, 85- 

journalists 50, 100, 118 
libraries 18-19 

medical malpractice 164, 177-178 
Medicare reimbursement reports 

monopolies 66 
Nationwide Electronic TVacking 

Nixon papers 16, 39 
nutrition 93 

Office of Public Affairs 72 
OMB Circular A- 130 (Manage- 
ment of Federal Information 

Resources) 24, 30, 31, 54 
Panama, invasion of 112-113, 120, 

13S-136, 137-138, 154 
Persian Gulf 166, 167-168, 175-176, 

182, 185 
publications 111-112 
radiation exposure 41-42, 46-47, 

87-88, 100, 10^110, 146-147 
Reagan administration 118 
restrictions 180 
safety75, 91, 9^100, 104, 118 
science and technology 5-6, 8-9, 

12-13, 68-69, 84 
SEC documents 29, 40-41, 54-55, 

security clearances 59 
toxic chemicals 44, 51, 69, 75 
unclassified documents 9 
USD A food inspection system 141- 

Watergate papers 43 
weather 6-7, 165 
"Access to the Nixon Library" 141 
Acid rain 1 1 
Adams, Gordon 24 
AdminisiTaiive Notes 12 



Agency for Toxic Substances and 

Disease Registry 200 
Agent Orange 57, 76, 85, 136-137 
Agnew, Harold 207 
Agricultural Foreign Investment 

Disclosure Act of 1978 49 
Agriculture, Department of 49, 58, 82, 
electronic dissemination of infor- 
mation 82 
food inspection 163 
food labels 212 

Food Safety and Inspection Ser- 
vice 163 
healthy diet, symbol of 179 
Streamlined Inspection System 

WIC 113-114 

World Agricultural Outlook Board 
AIDS 67, 88, 156-157 
"Airline Deregulation: Economic 

Boom or Safety Bust?" 14 
Albright, David 92 
Alexander, Bill 64-65 
Allington, Gary 150 
American Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science 98 
American Civil Liberties Union 33, 
55, 155 
Cointelpro domestic surveillance 

program 73 
espionage laws 138-139 
family planning clinics 183-184 
American Economic Association 35 
American Federation of Govern- 
ment Employees 22 
American Foreign Service Associa- 
tion V. Garfinkel 42 
American Library Association 118, 
Government Documents Round 
Table 132 

government information, access to 

Library Awareness Program 10-11, 
14, 20-21, 22, 25, 33-34, 97, 98, 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric 

Administration library 14 
Office for Intellectual Freedom 20 
OMB Circular A- 130 (Manage- 
ment of Federal Information 
Resources) 31 
American Paper Institute 64 
American Physical Society 33-34, 

Anderson, lack 27, 43, 52, 70, 88, 91, 
113, 130, 165-166, 169, 191-192, 
Andrews, Duane 142 
Annual Report to the President FY 

1988 68 J 

Armed Forces Radio 166-167 1 

Arms Export Control Act 146 
Armstrong, Scott 55, 83, 156 
Arpanet computer network 48 
Asbestos 19 
Aspin, Les 98 
Associated Press 144, 149 
Association of American Universities 

Atomic Energy Act 1 1 9 
Atomic Energy Commission 109-110 j 
Automated Datatron, Inc. 35 
Automated Inventory Control Sys- 
tem 123 
Aviation safety 13-14, 45 

Bailar, Barbara 4 
Baker, lames A., IE 63 
Baltimore Sun 35 

Bank of Credit and Commerce Inter- 
national 194 
Barajas, Leo 189 
Barbouti, Ishan 192 
Barr, William R 197 
Barry, Marion 155 



Bass, Gary 64 

Bechtel Group Inc. 40 

Bechtel Information Services 29 

Beilenson, Anthony 83 

Beirut Agreement 30 

Belk, Janis 213 

Bellows, Randy 103 

Bender, David 25 

Berger, Daniel 47 

Berger, Patricia Wilson 118 

Beringer, Barry C. 8 

Berman, Howard L. 33 

Beverly Enterprises 3 

Bickel, Bob 191-192 

Bioplasty Inc. 213 

Blanton, Tom 97, 133 

Bloch, Felix 101 

Blumberg, Peter 164 

Boehlert, Sherwood L. 5-6 

Boeing Co. 103 

Bongiorni, Joe 182 

Bongiorni, Rita 182 

Boren, David 97 

Boskovich, Barry 129 

Boston Co. 140 

Bosfon Giobe 114, 118 

Bowsher, Charles A. 44 

Boxer, Barbara 133 

Bradley Bill 160 

Bray John 103 

Breaux, John B. 75 

Brenner, Philip 156 

Brever, Jacqueline 215 

Bridge, Raymond 150 

Brooks, Jack 159, 194, 197 

Brussel, Karl 124 

Bryan, Albert V., Jn 37 

Bryant, Barbara Everitt 192-193 

Bryant, John 49 

Bulletin No. 8915 (Report on Obliga- 
tions for Government Informa- 
tion Dissemination Products and 
Services) 90 

Bunyard, Jerry M. 19 

Burnham, David 28 

Bush, George 44, 51, 63, 68-69, 77, 
85, 97, 98, 105, 106-107 
anticrime bill 184 
budget problems 133 
classified spending 152-153 
Community Reinvestment Act 188 
computer security 145 
covert operations 198-199 
global warming 128-129 
Iran-Contra affair 74, 132-133 
National Security Decision Direc- 
tives 83, 142-143 

Bush administration 59, 95-96, 98, 
115, 191-192 
coal mines 174-175 
deregulation 117 
economic news 137 
employment indicators 210 
espionage laws 138-139 
Iran-Contra affair 99 
laws, implementation of 174 
Library Awareness Program 125 
MIA servicemen 182-183 
Persian Gulf 166, 167-168 
press access 144, 167-168 
press restrictions 118 
secrecy pledges 108-109, 125 
technology database 147-148 
U.S. overseas authority 197-198 

Business Conditions Digest 116 

Business Cycle Developments 115- 

Business Research Publications, Inc. 

Byrd, Robert 

Byrd Amendment 203 

Cable News Network 214 
Cady John 93 
Carpenter, Thomas 1 1 9 
Casey William 206 
Celeste, Richard 42 
Censorship 21, 30, 50, 106, 124 

Persian Gulf 166-167 
Census 21, 36, 129-130, 150 



adjustments 192-193 
criticism 130 
Census, Bureau of 10, 30, 129-130, 
adjustments 192-193, 208-209 
census adjustments 159 
census inaccuracies 4-5 
ethnic categories 16-17, 56 
homeless population 175 
housing questions 21 
work-force statistics 109 
Census of Housing 21 
Center for Devices and Radiological 

Health 160 
Center for Food Safety and Applied 

Nutrition 46 
Center for Science in the Public 

Interest 94, 204 
Centers for Disease Control 57, 76, 

85, 106, 200 
Central Intelligence Agency 2, 32, 
34, 37-38, 59-60, 86, 99, 196-197, 
Bay of Pigs documentation 175 
Central America 193-194 
covert actions 126 
Gates, Robert 206 
Iran-Contra affair 90-91, 106-107, 

Iran-Contra documents 128 
Panama, invasion of 112-113, 120, 

135-136, 137-138, 144, 154 
secrecy pledges 7-8 
Wdldheim document 101 
Chalmers, Thomas 209 
Chambers, John 99 
Chemical New York Corporation 63 
Chemical Safety and Hazard Investi- 
gation Board 189 
Cheney Richard 120, 138, 145, 154, 

Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Sta- 
tion 52-53 
Children's Defense Fund 208 
Christian, Richard 76 

Chronicle of Higher Education 10 

Circular A- 130 (Management of Fed- 
eral Information Resources) 24, 
30, 31, 54 

City Paper 164 

Classification decisions 15, 68, 126, 
127, 206-207 

Classified information 39, 52, 66, 86, 

Classified Information Nondisclosure 
Agreement 15, 38, 39, 108-109 

Classified Information Procedures 
Act 86 

Clay, Don 178 

Clean Air Act 189 

Coal mines 174-175 

Coast Guard 50 

Cocom. See Coordinating Com- 
mittee for Multilateral Export 

Cohen, William 97 

Cohn, Victor 23 

Colorado Plateau 110 

Commerce, Department of 2, 8, 31, 
47, 49, 65 
Business Cycle Developments 115- 

census 5 
International Trade Administration 

National Technical Information 

Service 5-6 
National TVade Data Bank 180 

Commercial vendors. See Privatiza- 

Corrmiission on Federal Ethics Law 
Reform 63 

Committee on Government Opera- 
tions 125 

Commodity Futures Training Com- 
mission 176 

Community Reinvestment Act 1 88 

Computer Professionals for Social 
Responsibility 66 

Computer Security Act 39, 142-143 



Computer systems 70, 112 

defense communications system 

embedded computer systems 165- 

penetration 48 

PROFS systems 55 

proprietary software 159 

security 39, 142-143, 145 

software copyrights 117-118 
Congressional Budget Office 52, 

Consequences: A Personal and Polit- 
ical Memoir 158 
Consumer Price Index 22-23, 96, 196 
Consumer Product Safety Commis- 
sion 202 
Consumer protection 93 
Contel Corporation 149 
Conyers, John 109, 125, 130-131, 204 
Cooke, Eileen 3 1 

Coordinating Committee for Multilat- 
eral Export Controls 136-137 
Courtney, Robert 49 
Cottos, Jim 216 
Crawford, Lester 163 
Criminal Investigation Division 113 
Critical Mass Energy Project 123-124 
Cuban missile crisis 156 
Cummings, Frank 105 
Current Population Survey 196 

D'Aleo, Richard 91-92 

Dane, Ernest B. 198 

Darman, Richard 47, 95, 107-108, 

111-112, 114, 133 
Das, Tony 132 
Data collection 196. See aiso Census 

Agent Orange 57 

AIDS 156-157 

economic 115-116 

education 1, 45, 96-97 

employment 4, 5 

environmental 11, 42—43 

falsification 127-128, 189 

Food and Drug Administration 76 

foreign technology 121-122 

global warming 128-129 

health issues 67, 125 

homeless population 175 

housing 21 

Medicare reimbursement reports 

reductions 5, 96 

safety 99-100 

satellite systems 65, 189-190 

sexuality 88 

waste minimization requirements 

water quality 18 

weather 6-7, 165 
"Database Supplier Terms and Con- 
ditions" 58 
Databases 82 


federal technology database 147- 

First Amendment protection 69 

Health and Human Services, De- 
partment of 28-29 

infiltration 48 

NASA RECON service 26-27 

National Practitioner Data Bank 
164, 177-178 

National Trade Data Bank 180 

Nationwide Electronic Tracking 

security 49 

TVade Opportunities Program leads 
Datta, Lois-ellin 96 
David, Peter 108 
Defense, Department of 34, 52-53 

computer penetration 48 

computer systems 165-166 

contractors 60, 67, 94, 95 

Data Item Descriptions 20 

destruction of documents 26 

Environmental Support Group 76 

faulty equipment 19-20 



FOIA exemptions 70 

media guidelines 162, 170, 171 

MIA servicemen 182-183 

military spending 105 

Navy training deaths, report on 

Office of Federal Procurement 
Policy 80 

Panama, invasion of 112-113, 138, 

Persian Gulf 162, 166-167, 185 

press access 144 

privatization 89 

procurement scandal 24, 32-33, 37, 
78, 80, 103 

safety 161 

satellite systems 1 

secrecy 120 

security clearance 66 

service rivalries 185-186 

Strategic Defense Initiative 179 

weapons tests 29 
Defense Budget Project 24 
Defense Contract Audit Agency 106 
Deland, Michael 21 
Dennis, Edward S. G., Ir. 72 
Depository Library Program 34-35, 

58, 90, 101, 190 
Deregulation 96, 117, 130 

aviation 14, 45 
Devine, Thomas 141, 163 
DIALOG Information Services, Inc. 

12, 58, 82 
Dingell, lohn 32-33, 83 
Dinkins, David 159 
Dinoseb 169 

Dioxin 76, 85. See also Agent Or- 
Distant Early Warning system (DEW 

Line) 89 
Dockmaster computer network 48 
Document Sales Service 99 

altering 73 

classification 68, 126, 156 

declassification 2, 156 

destruction of 6, 26 

distribution 3 

falsification 67, 127-128 

fees 172-173 

Iran-Contra affair 78 
Documents Pricing Task Force 99 
Donahue, Jim 71 
Dow Corning Corporation 158 
Dow Corning Wright 213 
"Dr. Nogood" 164 
Drug Abuse Update 172 
Drug Enforcement Administration 

Duncan, Hallet 18 
Dymally, Mervyn R. 21 

Earth Observation Satellite Com- 

pxiny 65 
Eastman Kodak 144 
Economic Analysis, Bureau of 30, 

Education 96-97 

Education, Department of 155-156 
Educational films 30 
Edwards, Don 25, 28-29, 59 
Eglin (Fla.) Air Force Base 56 
Electronic Bulletin Board 
Tirade Opportunities Program leads 
Electronic dissemination of informa- 
tion 23-24, 54, 56, 71-72 
Commerce, Department of 31 
copyrights 117-118 
EDI database 82 
fees 61, 82 

Medicare beneficiaries 28-29 
National Practitioner Data Bank 

164, 177-178 
National TVade Data Bank 
Nationwide Electronic Tracking 

TVade Opportunities Program leads 
Electronic technology 31 



Elkins, Charles 44 
Emergency Planning and Commu- 
nity Right-to-Know Act of 1986 
Energy, Department of 41-42, 46, 51, 
79,85,92, 100, 104, 114, 116, 119, 

hazardous waste 81 

nuclear waste 170-171 

Office of Scientific and Technical 
Information 9-10 

privatization 110-111 

radiation exposure 87-88 

Rocky Flats (Colo.) 79, 81, 215 

secrecy 83 
English, Glenn 29 
Ennis. Bruce 124 
Environmental Action Inc. 178 
Environmental Consumer's Hand- 
book 178 
Environmental Protection Agency 11, 
42-43, 71 

asbestos 19 

consumer handbooks 178 

contractors 68 

dioxin 64 

laws, implementation of 174 

National Streams Survey 1 1 

Office of Solid Waste 178 

Office of Toxic Substances 44 

privatization 110-111 

radioactive waste 201 

secrecy 169 

threshold reporting quantity 75 

toxic chemicals 21 

water testing 18 
Environmental Support Group 76 
Equal Employment Opportunity 

Essential Information 71 
European Space Agency Informa- 
tion Retrieval Services 201 
Executive Order 12356 87 
Executive Order 12667 85-86 
Export Administration Act 146 

Fairness Doctrine 70-71 
Fallon, Bill 11 
False Claims Act 67 
Families USA Foundation 188 
Family plarming clinics 134, 154, 

Federal Aviation Administration 13- 
air traffic controllers 167 
Korean Air Lines Flight 007 15, 160 
National Air TVansportation In- 
spection report 14 
Federal Bureau of Investigation 37, 
63-64, 74, 79, 81, 88, 101 
Cointelpro domestic surveillance 

program 73 
Library Awareness Program 10-11, 
14, 20-21, 22, 25, 33-34, 97, 125 
Rocky Flats (Colo.) 215 
Federal Communications Commis- 
sion 70-71 
Federal Home Loan Bank Board 52 
Federal Housing Administration 92- 

Federal Library and Information 

Center Committee 8 
Federal Maritime Commission 66 
Automated Tariff Filing and Infor- 
mation system 23-24 
Federal Register 11, 20, 31, 39, 48, 54, 
61, 75, 81, 85, 142 
dissenting opinions 176 
Federal Reserve 36, 140 
Federation of American Scientists 92 
Fein, Bruce 73 

Fernandez, loseph F. 86, 99, 153 
Fiers, Alan 194 
Financial disclosure 63 
First Amendment 33, 205 
expxDrt laws 146 
family planning clinics 134, 183- 

Library Awareness Program 98 
obscenity laws 124 
Fish and Wildlife Service 7 1 



Fish and Wildlife Service Office of 

Information TVansfer 76 
Fitzwater, Marlin 32, 52, 132 
Foerstel, Herbert 25 
Fonvielle, David 202 
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act 160 
Food and Drug Administration 62 
Center for Devices and Radiologi- 
cal Health 160 
Center for Food Safety and Ap- 
plied Nutrition 46 
data collection 76 
deregulation 93-94 
enforcement 89-90 
food labels 45-46, 142, 204, 212 
silicone breast implants 158, 160- 

161, 213-214 
tampon labels 91 
Food labels 45-46, 93, 142, 203-204, 

Food Safety and Inspection Service 

Food stamps 3 
Foodservice and Packaging Institute 

Ford, Harold 206 
Ford, Wendell 99 
Foreign investors 49 
Foreign Relations Authorization Act 

Foreign Relations of the United States 

Foscarinis, Maria 175 
Fowler, Richard Lee 103-104 
Freedom of Information Act 46-47, 
69, 71, 92, 141, 175 
1986 amendment 36-37 
Agent Orange 57 
breast implants 158 
census figures 208 
Cocom list 136 
Cuban missile crisis 156 
dioxin 64 

EPA consumer handbook 178 
exemptions 106 

fees 48, 61, 122, 173 

Food and Drug Administration 

Library Awareness Program 98 
Medicare reimbursement reports 

National Air Transportation In- 
spection report 14 
National Security Archive 133 
National Streams Survey 1 1 
OSn documents 9-10 
Persian Gulf "friendly fire" 21 1 
Persian Gulf statistics 185 
radiation exposure 88 
request processing time 53 
secrecy pledges 92 

Freedom of Information Act amend- 
ments 13 

Friday Elbert W, Ir. 149 

Fultz, Keith 117-118 

fusion 84 

Gallagher, Michael 182 
Gardner, Stephen 93 
Garfinkel, Steven 8, 31, 38, 108-109 
Gasch, Oliver 31, 38 
Gates, Robert 206 
Geer, James J. 25, 73 
Gejdenson, Samuel 17 
General Accounting Office 1 , 23, 25- 
26, 39, 50, 52, 53, 58, 64-65, 66, 
68,77,78,80,92-93,94, 117-118, 
123, 157 
computer security 145-146 
court documents 172-173 
education 45 
EPA data evaluation 194 
Noriega investigation 32 
Persian Gulf 175-176 
privatization 110-111 
Program Evaluation in Human 

Services Area 96-97 
Reagan administration 44 
Reagan administration documents 



Social Security hotline 142 
superfund cleanup sites 200 
Veterans Administration compen- 
sation 57 
weapons tests 29 
WIC study 113-114 
General Electric 161 
General Oversight and Investiga- 
tions Subcommittee 17 
General Services Administration 8 
Information Security Oversight 
Office 31, 38, 39, 68, 108-109, 
Geo/Resource Consultants, Inc. 1 1 1 
Gesell, Gerhard A. 17 
Ginsburg, Douglas H. 73, 155 
Glenn, lohn 41, 161, 209 
Gligor, Virgil 49 

Global Securities Information Inc. 40 
Goldman, Patti 22, 91 
Goodard Institute for Space Studies 

Goodman, Melvin 206 
Goopman, lerome 157 
Gorbachev, Mikhail 15, 160 
Gore, Albert 11 

Government Accountability Act 1 1 8 
Government Accountability Project 

38, 161, 163 
GovemmenX Computer News 112 
Government contracting 24 
Government Counselling Ltd. 190 
Government Documents Round Ta- 
ble 132 
"Government Information Control: 
Implications for Scholarship, 
Science, and Technology" 12-13 
Government Operations Committee 

Government Operations Human Re- 
sources and Intergovernmental 
Subcommittee 85 
Government Printing Office 35, 82, 
Administrative Notes 12 

Depository Library Program 101 

Document Sales Service 99 

Documents Pricing Task Force 99 

fees 99 

government information 187 

Library Programs Service 3, 34-35, 
90, 101, 190 

microfiche services 58 

OMB federal budget books 107- 

WINDO (Wide Information Net- 
work for Data Online) 216 
Government publications 

privatization 172 
Government Technology 216 
Governmental Accountability Project 

Grace, W. R., and Company 21 
Gray, C. Boyden 131 
Greene, Harold 103, 136, 205 
Greenpeace 64 
Grenada, invasion of 170 
Grigg, Bill 90 
Griswold, Erwin N. 60 
Gronvall, John A. 39-40, 11 
Gross National Product 96 
Grumman Corporation 106 
GuUer, Graham 206 

Haas, Ellen 3 
Haig, Alexander 43, 200 
Halperin, Morton H. 33, 139 
Hamilton, Lee H. 74, 83, 109 
Hamilton, William A. 159 
Hanford Engineer Works 147 
Hansen, James 77 
Hanushek, Eric 195 
Hardzog, Robert 185 
Harrison, Alisa 179 
Harrison, Richard 40 
Hatch, Orrin 110 
Hays, Louis 28 
Hazardous chemicals 21, 51 
Hazardous waste 209-210 



Health and Human Services, Depart- 
ment of 3^, 87, 125, 127, 142 
Agency for Toxic Substances and 

Disease Registry 200 
database 28-29 

Health Care Financing Adminis- 
tration 4, 25, 28 
Library and Information Center 

National Practitioner Data Bank 
164, 177-178 
Health Care Financing Administra- 
tion 4, 28, 188 
Health Care Quality Improvement 

Act of 1986 164 
Hecker, Siegfried 207 
Heintz, Ed 79 
Helms, Jesse 206-207 
Henderson, Thelton E. 76 
Heritage Foundation 89 
Hewitt, Hugh 141 
Higher Education Act 58 
Hilton, Claude 99 
Hirn, Richard J. 165 
History Associates, Inc. 116 
Hodsoll, Frank 131 
Hollings, Ernest 17 
Horowitz, Michael 174 
House Appropriations Committee 88 
House Armed Services Committee 
Subcommittee on Investigations 78 
House Budget Committee 133 
House Energy and Commerce Com- 
Subcommittee on Oversight and 
Investigations 19, 83 
House Government Operations Com- 
mittee 32, 108, 112, 204 
Subcommittee on Human Resources 
and Intergovernmental Rela- 
tions 106, 137, 160 
House Intelligence Committee 196 
House Interior and Insular Affairs 
Subcommittee 123-124 

House Judiciary Committee 159, 180- 
Subcommittee on Civil and Con- 
stitutional Rights 25 
Subcommittee on Criminal Justice 
House of Representatives 5 
House Small Business Committee 

House Subcommittee on Govern- 
ment Information, Justice, and 
Agriculture 173 
House Subcommittee on Population 

and Census 21 
House Subcommittee on Transporta- 
tion 39 
Housing and Urban Development 89 
Federal Housing Administration 
HR 2772 216 
HR 3459 216-217 

Hubble Space Telescope 143-144 j 

Hudson, Henry E. 26 
Hutt, Peter Barton 94 
Hyde, Henry 51 

"I Spy" 20 

lason, Larry 55 

IBM 48 

Improvement of Information Access 

Act, HR 3459 216-217 
"Indecent Exposure" 147 
Individual Retirement Accounts 196 

AIDS 156-157 

classification 39, 52, 66, 69, 86, 87, 
103, 116 

declassification 68, 116, 175, 179 

dissemination 90, 120-123, 127 

export laws 146 

military 153 

safety 75 

security clearances 59 

sensitive but unclassified 142 

unequal access 54 



Information Security Oversight Of- 
fice 31, 38, 39, 68, 108-109, 127 
Annual Report to the President 15 
Inouye, Daniel 75 
Inslawlnc. 159, 180-181, 194-195 
Institute of Nuclear Power Opera- 
tions (INPO) 123-124 
Intelligence Agency 86 
Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980 

Interior and Insular Affairs 

General Oversight and Investiga- 
tions Subcommittee 17 
Interior Department 17, 71, 133 
Internal Revenue Service 61 
Automated Inventory Control Sys- 
tem 123 
Tax System Modernization pro- 
gram 123 
International Emergency Economic 

Powers Act 33 
International Trade Administration 

Invention Secrecy Act 146 
Iran-Contra affair 2, 6, 17, 60-61, 73, 
86, 90-91, 99, 107, 128, 136, 153- 
154, 198 
Abrams, Elliott 212 
Bank of Credit and Commerce 

International 194 
Bush, George 74, 132-133 
Central Intelligence Agency in- 
volvement 168 
Fiers, Alan 193-194 
House and Senate committees 6 
Reagan documents 85-86, 103, 203 
Iran-Contra committees 52, 75 

Jaruzelski, Wojciech 28 
Johnson, Hiram 167 
Johnson, Myrtle 55 
Joint Committee on Printing 35, 99 
Joint Committee on Taxation 52 
Joint Economic Committee 10, 35, 
109, 186-187, 210 

Jones, Gregory 98 

Jorling, Thomas F. 69 

Journal of the American Medical 
Association 57 

Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and 
Constitutional Rights 59 

Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil 
Rights 28 

Justice, Department of 2, 16, 32, 37, 
64, 72, 73, 79, 86, 124 
Bureau of Prisons 100, 101 
computer security 145-146 
espionage laws 138-139 
Inslawlnc. 180-181, 194-195 
Office of Policy Development 139 
Panama, invasion of 135-136 
press leaks 100-101 
secrecy pledges 38 
security clearance 66 
sensitive data compromised 173 
U.S. overseas authority 197-198 

KanjorsH, Paul 188 

Kask, Stan 95 

Kaufman, Paula 25 

Keane, John 16-17 

Kearse, Amalya L. 135 

Keenan, John 169 

"Keeping Secrets: How to Protect 

Information" 91 
Keker, John W. 73 
Kennedy, Bruce 131 
Kennedy, Edward 160 
Kennedy, Joseph B. 38 
Kennickell, Ralph E., Jr. 35 
Kerry, John E 32, 86 
Kessler, David 213-214 
Kessler, Ronald 60 
KGB 34 
"KGB and the Library Target 1962- 

Present" 20 
Kimmitt, Robert M. 51 
Kinsey Alfred 88 
Kirtley Jane 119 
Kissinger, Henry 43 



Knapp, Sara D. 30 

Knaus, Holley 180 

Knauss, John 190 

Kole, Jessica 212 

Kommunist 34 

Koop, C. Everett 67 

Korean Air Lines Flight 007 15, 160 

Kranich, Nancy 82 

Kropp, Arthur J. 22 

Krug, Judith 25 

Kuester, Gerald 163 

Kuniholm, Bruce 126 

Kuwait, invasion of 171 

Labeling 45-46, 93, 142, 204, 212 
Labor Department 117 

Labor Statistics, Bureau of 5, 30 

Statistical Division 4 
Labor Statistics, Bureau of 5, 30, 96, 

109, 210 
LaFalce, John 148 
Landsat satellite system 1, 65 
Lawrence, Sally 71 
Lawrence Livermore National Labo- 
ratory 84 
Leahy Patrick 20, 36-37, 176 
Legislate (information service) 187 
Leontief, Wassily 151-152 
Levin, Carl 160, 203 
Levine, Mel 71 
Levinson, Anne 98 
LEXIS online service 70 

Depository Library Program 34-35, 
90, 101 

Federal surveillance 10-11, 20-21, 
22-23, 25, 33-34, 97, 125 

fees 62 

funding 57-58 

NASA RECON service 26-27 

National Library of Medicine 150- 

SEC libraries 55 
Library Awareness Program 10-11, 
20-21, 22, 25, 33-34, 97, 125 

Library Journal 82 
Library of Congress 158 

Federal Library and Information 
Center Committee 8 

Library Awareness Program 20-21 
Library Programs Service 3 
Lie detector tests. See Polygraph 

Lloyd's of London 38 
Lockwood Greene Inc. 104 
Longest, Henry L., 11 178 
Lujan, Manuel, Jr. 134, 210 
Lutz, William D. 45 

Maccabbee, Paul 37 

MacHaffie, Inc. 128 

Magnuson, Ed 41 

"Management of Federal Informa- 
tion Resources" 24, 30, 31, 54 

Mansfield, Mark 197 

Mansfield, Stephen 128 

Markoff, John 145 

Marshall, Thurgood 106 

Martin, David 113 

Martin, Kate 55, 73 

Martin, Lynn 174 

Martin Marietta Data Systems 60, 82, 

Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. 

Matsui, Robert T. 16-17, 56 

Matuszeski, William 14 

McArtor, T. Allen 13 

McConnell, James 212-213 

McDermott, Patrice 20 

McDonald, Jack 3 

McFarland, Robert C. 6, 73 

McGeachy, John A. 3 

McGhan Medical Corp. 213 

McKinney Robert 207 

McMenimen, Mary 67 

Mead Data Central 70 

Medicaid 4 

Medicare 4, 23, 28, 188 
catastrophic benefits 195 



Meese, Edwin, EI 2 
Meier, Barry 202 
Meier, Paul 157 
Mentor Corp. 213 

Merit Systems Protection Board 167 
Merrell, Paul 64 
Methylprednisolone 127 
Meyer, Patricia 189 
Milford, Lewis 76 
Miller, Page Putnam 37, 126 
Milnet computer network 48 
Mineta, Norman 16-17 
Mitchell, George J. 75 
Model for a Comprehensive Drug- 
Free Workplace Program 172 
Molinari, Guy V. 13-14 
Monsanto 44 
Monteverde, Miguel 171 
Monthly Catalog 3 
Moore, Calvin 26 
Morison, Samuel Loring 138-139 
Morrison, David 87 
Morrow, Lance 167-168 
Mosbacher, Robert 159, 192-193, 208 
Moscow Station 59-60 
Moynihan, Patrick 69 
Murphy, Joseph 97 
Musaddiq, Muhammad 126 

Nader, Ralph 35, 123-124 
NASA RECON service 26-27 
Nation 11 

National Academy of Public Admin- 
istration 6, 31 
National Academy of Sciences 88, 

140, 141, 209 
National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration 77, 95 

data storage 121-122 

FOIA exemptions 70 

Hubble Space Telescope 143-144 

libraries 95 

NASA Technical Briefs 105 

RECON service 26-27 

weather satellites 189 

National Affairs, Bureau of 50 

National Air TVansportation Inspec- 
tion report 14 

National Archives 16, 39, 88, 116, 128, 

National Archives and Records Ad- 
ministration 31, 199 

National Association of Business 
Economists 35, 140 

National Association of Community 
Health Clinics 208 

National Cattlemen's Association 179 

National Community Reinvestment 
Network 187-188 

National Computer Security Center 

National Coordinating Committee 
for the Promotion of History 37, 

National Council of Teachers of En- 
glish 45 

National Economic Commission 50 

National Endowment for Democracy 

National Food Processors Associa- 
tion 93 

National Institute of Allergy and 
Infectious Diseases 157 

National Institute of Standards and 
Technology 143 

National Law Center on Homeless- 
ness and Poverty 175 

National Library of Medicine 151 
NLM Technical Bulletin 151 

National Obscenity Enforcement 
Unit 124 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
library 14 
privatization 14 
weather satellites 189-190 

National Park Service 210 

National Practitioner Data Bank 164, 

National Program Office 214 



National Research Council 84, 195, 

National Security Agency 48, 59-60, 

142, 145 
National Security Archive 9, 22, 55, 

83, 97, 122, 133 
National Security Council 2, 32, 52, 

62, 67, 78, 83, 86 
drug trafficking 64-65 
PROFS systems 55 
National Security Decision Directives 

2, 27, 83, 142-143 
National Space Council 65 
National Streams Survey 1 1 
National Technical Information Ser- 
vice S-6, 8-9, 111, 190, 201 
Electronic Bulletin Board subscrip- 
tions 12 
National Trade Data Bank 180 
National Transportation Safety Board 

National War College 206 
National Weather Service 6-7, 148- 

150, 165 

Employees Organization 149 
weather satellites 189-190 

Nationwide Electronic T^-acking 216 

Natural History 147 

Natural Resources Defense Council 
11, 185 

Naval Investigative Service 92 

NBC News 38 

Neal, James 37 

Nelson, Anna 37 

Nestel, Paul 104 

Nestle, Marion 179 

Netherlands Antilles 49 

New Mexican 207 

New Mexico Tumor Registry 1 1 

New York State Department of Envi- 
ronmental Conservation 69 

New York Times 82, 105-106, 138, 145, 

151, 153, 171, 187-188, 198 
Newsday 26 

Newsweek 154 

NEXIS online service 70 
Niden, Sybil 160 
Nields, John W, Jr. 74 
Nixon, Richard M. 16, 88, 140 
Nixon Administration 39, 60 
Nixon Library 140-141 
Nixon PajDers Act 16 
Nixon Review Board 88 
Non-disclosure agreements 2, 7-8, 

22, 30-31, 38-39, 42, 66, 91-92, 

108-109, 125 
Nordlinger, Stephen E. 35 
Noriega, Manuel 32, 113, 136, 198 
Norris, Peter 65 
North, Oliver L. 6, 52, 61, 67, 73, 74, 

78, 86, 132, 184, 214 
Northrop Corporation 67, 189 
Norton, Eleanor Holmes 193 
Norwood, Janet 96, 210 
Nuclear Information and Resource 

Service 201 
Nuclear Regulation Committee 75 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 123 

radioactive waste 200-201 
Nuclear weapons plants 
pollution 51 
safety 104 
Nurm, Sam 160 
Nursing home industry 3 
Nutrition Labeling and Education 

Act of 1990 204 

Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration 62, 64, 110 

Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis- 
tration 71 

O'Connell, Joseph 104-105 

O'Connor, David 68 

Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs 47, 72, 131 

Office of Legal Counsel 197 

Office of Management and Budget 
7, 17, 18, 23-24, 25, 30, 56-57, 61- 
62, 72, 81, 88, 93, 95 
asbestos 19 



census questionnaires 10, 16-17, 

Circular A-76 120 
Circular A- 130 (Management of 
Federal Information Resources) 
24, 30, 31, 54 
Depository Library Program 190 
deregulation 117, 130 
federal budget books 107-108, 

food labels 45-46, 142, 203-204 
laws, implementation of 174 
Office of Information and Regula- 
tory Affairs 47, 72 
Paperwork Reduction Act 64, 111- 

112, 117, 118, 131 
prior review of statistics 30 
privatization 89, 186-187 
publications 112 
"Report on Obligations for Gov- 
ernment Information Dissemi- 
nation Products and Services" 
SIC revisions 1 1 5 
water quality testing 18 
Office of Public Affairs 72 
Office of Scientific and Technical 

Information (OSTI) 9-10 
Office of Solid Waste 178 
Office of Technology Assessment 6, 

62, 171 
OMB Circular A- 130 (Management 
of Federal Information Resources) 
24, 30, 31, 54 
OMB Watch 18, 64 
"On the Air" 70 

Online access. See Electronic dis- 
semination of information 
Opening Arguments 168 
Operation Desert Shield 153. See 

aiso Persian Gulf; Saudi Arabia 
Operation Desert Storm 176 
Operation 111 Wind 78 
Operation Just Cause. See Panama, 
invasion of 

Organization of American Historians 

OSTI. See Office of Scientific and 

Technical Information 
Overseas Private Investment Corp. 2 
Owens, Major 1, 216 
Owens, Wayne 110 

Packard commission 32 
Pak Ventures, Inc. 124 
Panama, invasion of 120, 135-136, 
138, 144 

"friendly fire" 154-155 
Panetta, Leon 133 
Panner, Owen M. 64 
Paperwork Reduction Act 13, 64, 

111-112, 117, 131 
Park, Robert L. 33-34, 69 
Parker, Barrington 91 
Parkinson, Paul 165-166 
Paul, Richard S. 69 
Peck, Millard A. 182-183 
Pell, Claiborne 83 
Pell, Eve 83 
Pendleton, John 100 
PenquinUSA 169 
Pentagon. See Defense, Department 

"Pentagon Papers" 60 
People for the American Way 22, 27 
Perkin-Elmer Corp. 144 
Persian Gulf 162, 181-182, 187 

censorship 166-167 

chemical attack, preparation for 

"friendly fire" 211 

ground invasion of Kuwait 171 

information policy 166 

media coverage 162, 167-168, 170, 

news "blackout" 171 
Pfeiffer, Jack 175 
Phalanx Close-in Weapon Systems 

Pierce, Samuel R., Jr. 88 



Pillari, George 102 

Pine, Rachael 183-184 

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. 

Pitts, Karen 215 
PL 100-235 39 
PL 100-418 33 
Plager, lay S. 72 
Plesser, Ron 24 
Poindexter, lohn 103, 107, 136 
Polizzi, Lorenzo 75 
Pollack, Ron 188 
Pollard, Robert 123 
Polygraph testing 2, 17-18, 66 
Poole, Cecil F. 21 
Postal Service 48, 61 
Powell, Colin L. 51, 155 
Powell, Dove 149 
Powell, Joe 4 

Presidential Recordings and Mate- 
rials Preservation Act of 1974 
Presidential Records Act 55 
Price Water house 93 
Prior constraint 70-71 
Prisons, Bureau of 100, 101 
Privacy 28 
Privatization 66, 89, 180, 186-187, 190 

consumer protection 93 

declassification of records 116-117 

Department of Agriculture data 58, 

Department of Human Health 
and Services Library and 
Information Center 18-19 

HUD 88 

military contracts 103, 127-128 

NASA 95 

NASA Technical Briefs 105 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration 14 

National Parks 133-134 

National Technical Information 
Service 6, 8-9 

National Trade Data Bank 180 

National Weather Service 6-7, 148 

satellite systems 1-2, 65 

SEC documents 40 

security 95 

Voice of America publication 104- 

weapons contracts 41 
PROFS systems 55 
Program Evaluation in Human Ser- 
vices Area 96-97 
Prudential-Bache Securities 107 
Pryor, David 80, 111, 116, 157-158 
Public Citizen Health Research Group 

90, 91, 127, 158, 164, 177-178, 214 
Public Citizen Litigation Group 8, 22, 

175, 187 
Public Health Service 88, 106, 110 
Public Voice for Food and Health 

Policy 3 
"Putting a Price on Information" 122 

Ouayle, Dan 65, 209 

Radiation exposure 41, 87, 100, 109- 

Raines, Howell 171 
Rank, Richard 46 
Reagan, Ronald 15, 32, 67, 158-159 

air traffic controllers 167 

census questions 43-44 

Executive Order 12356 87 

Executive Order 12667 85 

Iran-Contra affair 73, 74, 77-78, 
103, 198 

Notional Program Office 214 

National Security Decision Direc- 
tives 27, 83 

Paperwork Reduction Act 131 

Reagan documents 203 

succession, secret line of 214 
Reagan administration 6, 8, 14, 44, 
45, 47, 71, 76, 87 

classified information 157-158 

computer security 145 

deregulation 95-96, 117 

destruction of PROFS tapes 55 



Environmental Protection Agency 

family planning clinics 183-184 
Freedom of Information Act amend- 
ments 13 
HUD losses 92-93 
immunization 207-208 
Inslaw Inc. 159 
Iran-Contra affair 2, 97, 107 
Iran-Contra documents 75 
labor statistics 4 
laws, implementation of 174 
Library Services and Construction 

Act 57-58 
Office of Management and Budget 

privatization 6-7, 65, 108 
secrecy pledges 22 
secrecy policies 51 
WIC 113-114 
Reagan library 77-78 
Real estate 49 
Reclamation, Bureau of 17 
Reference Lihrarian 30 
Regan, Donald 158, 200 
Reger, Brenda S. 78 
Rehnquist, William H. 183-184 
Reid, John 149 
Renn, Steven 102 

"Report on Obligations for Govern- 
ment Information Dissemination 
Products and Services" 90 
Reporters Committee for Freedom of 

the Press 118 
Republic Research Committee 130 
Resource Conservation and Recov- 
ery Act 195 
"Restricting Information: A Danger- 
ous Game" 33-34 
Rhile, Howard 173 
Rich, Spencer 195 
Richard M. Nixon presidential li- 
brary 140-141 
Richmond, Charles 118 
Ridgeway, James 186-187 

Rise of the Computer State 28 

Roberts, Markley 30 

Robins, Natalie 1 1 

Rockwell International Corporation 

79, 215 
Rocky Flats (Colo.) nuclear weapons 

plant 79, 81, 215 
Homer, Roy 79, 81 
Ronald Reagan Library 141 
Rose, Charlie 216 
Rosenn, Max 73 
Rosenthal, Joseph 26-27 
Rotenberg, Marc 66 
Roth, Toby 53 
Rubanov, Vladimir A. 34 
Rudman, Warren B. 75 
Rush, David 113-114 
Russ, Robert D. 138 
Rust V. Sullivan 154, 183, 205 
Rutherford B. Hayes Library 141 
Ryder Communications 150 

Safety 75, 123-124 

coal mines 174-175 

Navy nuclear reactor program 161 

radiation exposure 109-110 

Vessel TVaffic Service 50 
Salmonella 163 
Sanford, Bruce 100 
Sarbanes, Paul S. 10 
Sasser, Jim 107-108 
Satellite systems 

spy satellites 7 
Saudi Arabia 145 
Sawyer, Thomas 208 
"Say Merry Christmas, America" 216 
Scalia, Antonin 106 
Schafer, Jacqueline 43 
Schenectady Gazette 162 
Schmidt, C. James 25 
Schmidt, David 142 
Schnapper, M. B. 8S-86 
Schoem, Alan 202 
Schultz, William B. 19 
Schwarzkopf, H. Norman 187 



"Science, Technology, and Free 
Speech" 146 

Scientific American 84 

Seabrook nuclear power plant 123- 

SEC Employee News 2 1 2 

Secrecy 51, 73 
Defense, Department of 179 
deterrent to scholarship 34 
Energy, Department of 83, 169 
Persian Gulf 175-176 
safety implications 161 
science 84 

"Secrecy" 112 

Secrecy pledges 2, 7-8, 22, 30-31, 
38-39, 42, 66, 91-92, 108-109, 125 

"Secrets Not Worth Keeping" 60 

Securities and Exchange Commis- 
sion 29, 40, 54-55, 80 
electronic filing system 70 
SEC Employee News 212 

Security clearances 59, 66 

Selected Water Resources Abstracts 

Senate Appropriations Subcommit- 
tee on Commerce, Justice, State, 
and the Judiciary 17 

Senate Armed Services Committee 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
86, 206-207 

Senate Governmental Affairs Com- 
mittee 92, 112, 118, 209 

Senate Intelligence Committee 206 

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on 
Technology and the Law 36-37 

Senate Select Committee on Intelli- 
gence 206 

Senate Subcommittee on Nuclear 
Regulation 75 

Senate Subcommittee on Govern- 
ment Information and Regula- 
tion 96-97 

Senate Subcommittee on Oversight 
of Government Management 203 

Senate Subcommittee on Science, 
Technology, and Space 77 

Sessions, William 1 1 , 20 

Severo, Richard 76 

"Shaky Data: The Numbers We Live 
By" 35 

Shales, Tom 70 

Shattuck, John 12, 51 

Shea, Quinlan 9 

Sheiman, Deborah 1 1 

Shields, Gerald 10 

Shinn, Allen, Jr. 146 

Shultz, George P. 15, 157 
polygraph testing 17-18 

Shuster, Joe 148 

Shute, Richard E. 31 

Siebert, Bryan 1 1 7 

Silberman, Laurence 155 

Silicone breast implants 158, 160- 
161, 213-214 

Silverglade, Bruce 94, 204 

Simmons, Al 216 

Sinai, Allen 139-140 

Skaggs, David E. 79 

Social Security 36, 95-96, 142 

Social Security Administration 188 

Society of Professional Journalists 50, 

Solidarity 27-28 

Souter, David 154 

Soviet Union 34, 59-60 

Speakes, Larry 15-16 

Speaking Out 15-16 

Spear, Joseph 43 

Sjjecial Supplemental Food Pro- 
gram for Women, Infants, and 
Children (WIC) 113-114, 152 

Spence, Muriel Morisey 12 

Spitzer, Arthur 155 

Sporkin, Stanley 158 

Staff, Kenneth 154 

Standard Form 4355 108-109 

Standard Form 189 (Classified In- 
formation Nondisclosure Agree- 
ment) 15,22,31,38, 108-109 



Standard Form 312 (Classified In- 
formation Nondisclosure Agree- 
ment) 38, 39, 108-109 
Standard Form 4193 (secrecy pledge) 

Standard industrial classification 

(SIC) 115 
Stars and Stripes 50 
State, Department of 2, 125-126, 131, 

FOIA request processing time 53 

polygraph testing 17-18 

State Department Bulletin 131 
State Department 2 
State Department Bulletin 131-132 
Statistics 196 

altering 39-40 

aviation 13-14 

census figures 4-5, 10, 150 

confusion 23 

decline in output 186-187 

deterioration of statistical base 35- 

economic 95-96, 139-140 

education 1 

environmental 42--43 

funding shortfall 151-152 

hazardous waste 209-210 

labor 4, 5, 109 

manufacturing 47 

Panama, invasion of 154 

Persian Gulf 185 

prior review by OMB 30 

reductions 5 

weather 6-7 
Stellman, Jeanne 57 
Stellman, Steven 57 
Stenehjem, Michelle 147 
Steroid hormones 156 
Stith, Charles 187-188 
Stokes, Louis 83 
Strategic Defense Initiative 179 
Subcommittee on Human Resources 
and Intergovernmental Rela- 
tions 32, 106 

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nar- 
cotics and International Com- 
munications 32 
Sugarman, Carole 99 
Sullivan, Louis W. 127, 142, 212 
Sununu, John 181 
Superfund 68, 200, 209 
Supreme Court 42, 60, 118-119 
constitutional protections 185 
deregulation 117 
family planning clinics 134, 154, 

Freedom of Information Act ex- 
emptions 106 
Iran-Contra affair 184 
Paperwork Reduction Act 1 17 
Survey of Current Business 116 

Tactical Air Command 138 

Tactical Air Warfare Center 56 

Tax System Modernization program 

Taxpayer Assets Project 180 

Technology Review 12 

Teltech, Inc. 148 

Terrorism 184 

"The F.B.I.'s Invasion of Libraries" 1 1 

Thomas, Clarence 155 

Thomas, Lee 43 

Thomas, William M. 130 

Thompson, Albert 148-150 

Thompson, James 95 

Thornburgh, Richard 99, 100, 146, 
153-154, 194 

Three Mile Island Public Health Fund 

Threshold reporting quantity 75 

Time Magazine 41, 167-168, 181, 194 

Toobin, Jeffrey R. 168 

TOP. See Trade Opportunities Pro- 

TOP Bulletin 12 

TOP Notice 12 

Topfer, Klaus 129 

Tower, John 63-64, 158 



Tower commission 158-159 

Toxic shock 91 

Toxic Substances, Office of 44 

Trade Opportunities 12 

Trade Opportunities Program (TOP) 

Trading with the Enemy Act 33 
Transax Data Corporation 24 
Transportation Department 44 
Transportation Quarterly 14 
Tribe, Laurence 154 
TVilis, Susan 132 
TV Guides 71 

Unclassified documents, restricted 

access 9 
"Uncle Sam Is Watching You" 125 
Union of Concerned Scientists 123 
Unisys 165, 177-178 
U.S. Customs Service 191-192 
U.S. Geological Survey 1, 201-202, 

Water Resources Scientific Infor- 
mation Center 201-202 
U.S. Information Agency 21, 30 
U.S. Landsat satellite system 1, 65 
USA Today 131-132 
U.S.S. Vincennes 45 

Van Alstyne, William 214 

Van Atta, Dale 27, 88, 91, 113, 130, 

Van Strum, Carol 64 

Vox computer network 48 

Vessel Traffic Service 50 

Veterans Administration. See Veter- 
ans Affairs, Department of 

Veterans Affairs, Department of 32, 
70, 76, 129 
Agent Orange 136-137 
disability compensation 57 
hospital mortality rates 39-40 
veterans hospitals 77 

Vietnam Veterans of America 76 

Village Voice 186-187 

Vladeck, David C. 19 

Voice 104-105 

Voice of America 104-105 

Von Stackelberg, Peter 64 

Wages of War 76 

Walcott, John 51 

Waldheim, Kurt 101-102 

Wall, Danny 52 

Wallach, E. Bob 2 

Walsh, Lawrence 6, 85, 86, 99, 107, 
128, 169, 193-194, 212 

Wandell, Roger 167 

Warsh, David 114-115 

Washington, George 130 

Washington Post 2, 42, 50, 59, 60, 63- 
64, 65, 104, 105-106, 122, 125, 141, 
197, 200 
census adjustments 193 
Legislate (information service) 187 
Persian Gulf "friendly fire" 211 

Water Resources Scientific Informa- 
tion Center 201-202 

Watergate 43 

Watkins, James 87-88, 100, 104, 111, 
116, 125 

Waxman, Henry 188 

Weber, Calvin 153 

Webster, Duane 25 

Webster, William H. 7-8 

Weinberger, Caspar 157, 200 

Weiss, Ted 25, 32, 85 

What Works: Workplaces Without 
Drugs 172 

"Where was the truth?" 167-168 

Whistle-Blower Protection Act of 
1989 119 

White House Council on Competi- 
tiveness 209 

"White Wash: The Dioxin Cover Up" 

Wick, Charles Z. 30 

Will, George R 54 

Willard, Richard K. 2 

Williams, Pete 162 

Wilson, Donald 203 



WINDO (Wide Information Network 
for Data Online) 216 

Winter, Ralph 134 

Wirth, Timothy 87 

Wise, Robert E., Jr. 145, 173 

Wolf, Frank 196 

Wolfe, Sidney 158, 164, 177-178, 214 

Wood, Fred B. 62 

Woodward, Bob 39, 140-141 

"Work-force Statistics: Do We Know 
What We Think We Know-And 
What Should We Know?" 109 

World Agriculture Supply and De- 
mand Estimate 150 
World Jewish Congress 101 

Xerox 69 

Yellowstone National Park 210 
Yosemite National Park 133-134 
Young, Allan 115-116 
Young, Jay 99 

Zakharov, Gennadi 20 
Zumwalt, Elmo R., Jr. 137 


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