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Full text of "Less access to less information by and about the U.S. government"

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LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XV 

A 1990 Chronology: June - December 






JAN ^^ 1991 

}■ Scter.ce .-tno Tecnnoiogy 



Prepared by the 

Amencan Library AssociatioQ 

Washington Office 

December 1990 



INTRODUCTION 

Dunng the past nine years, this ongoing chronology has documented 
administration efforts to rcstnct and privatize government information. 
A combination of specific policy decisions, the administration's 
interpretations and implementations of the 1980 Paperwork Reduction 
Act (PL 96-511, as amended by PL 99-500). implementation of the 
Grace Commission recommendations, and agency budget cuts have 
significantly limited access to public documents and statistics. 

The pending reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act should 
provide an opportunity to limit OMB's role in controlling information 
collected, created, and disseminated by the federal government. 
However, the bills that were considered in the 101st Congress, but did 
not become law, would have accelerated the current trend to 
commercialize and privatize government information. 

Since 1982, one of every four of the governments 16,000 publications 
has been ehminated. Since 1985, the Office of Management and Budget 
has consolidated its government information control powers, particularly 
through Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information 
Resources. This circular requires cost-benefit analysis of government 
information activities, maximum reliance on the pnvate sector for the 
dissemination of government information, and cost recovery through 
user charges. OMB has announced plans to revise this controversial 
circular in 1991. 

Another development, with major implications for public access, is the 
growing tendency of federal agencies to utilize computer and telecom- 
munications technologies for data collection, storage, retneval, and 
dissemination. This trend has resulted in the increased emergence of 
contractual arrangements with commercial firms to dissemmatemforma- 
tion collected at taxpayer expense, higher user charges for government 
information, and the prohferation of government information available 
in electronic format only. While automation clearly offers promises of 
savings, will public access to government information be further 
restricted for people who cannot afford computers or pay for computer 
time? Now that electronic products have begun to be distributed to 
federal depository libraries, public access to government information 
will be increased. 

During 1990. at a time when the American economy never has been 
more complex, increasing numbers of news articles showed that federal 
statisticians are losing the ability to track the changes. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open government is 
vital to a democracy in a resolution passed by Council in January 1984 




UBBABY 



which stated that "there should be equal and'rcady access lo data 
collected, compiled, proijuced, and published in any fomiat, by ilic 
government of the United ^taies." In lanuaryl'985Tt?ouncil established 
an Ad Hoc Committee to Form a Coalition on Government Information. 
The CoaUtion's objectives are to focus national attention on all efforts 
which hmit access to government information and to develop support 
for improvements in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members should be 
concerned about this series of actions which creates a climate in which 
government information activities are suspect. Previous chronologies 
were compiled in an ALA Washington Office publication. Less Access 
to Less Information By and About the US. Government: A 1981-1987 
Chronology . The following chronology continues two updates published 
in 1988, two m 1989, and one m 1990. 

CHRONOLOGY 

JUNE - For more than four decades, the United Slates and its allies 
kept a secret list of computers, machine tools, telecommunications 
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 Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export 
Controls, known as Cocom. With the Cold War winding down. East 
Bloc turning capitalist and Cocom making more advanced technologies 
available to Moscow, all that has changed. In May. the State Depart- 
ment bowed to a Freedom of Information Act request and made the 
Cocom hst public. It acted 11 years after Congress said the list should 
be readily available. ("High-Tech List Comes Out of Cold," The 
Washington Post, June 22) 

JUNE - 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 ailments 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 Intergovernmental Relations, Zumwalt noted that 
he had suspected that his son, a former naval officer, died of cancers 



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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 evidi .ice linking ccrlam cancers 
and other illnesses with Agent Orange, but that government and 
industry officials credited with examining such linkage mtentionally 
manipulated or withheld compelling information of the adverse health 
effects...." (Ex-Admiral Zumwalt Claims Manipulation on Agent 
Orange," The Washington Post. June 27) 

JULY - "TTie federal government has come up with a novel approach 
for handling bad economic news: it has decided to stop reporting 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 says 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 - A top Air Force general knew that the Stealth fighter plane had 
missed its targets in its first combat mission, but he did not tell his 
superiors at the Pentagon, a classified report says. The lapse left De- 
fense 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 Command, 
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 problems m 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 responsi- 
ble 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,(XX)-pound bomb with "pinpomt accuracy," 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 - TTie Bush administration is seeking a change in the federal 
computer espionage law that would open the door to prosecution and 
conviction of whistle-blowers and journalists as well as spies. TTie 
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 
penalties 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 imprisoned 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-N'Y), 
chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. 



Another part of the Justice Department package that drew cnticism was 
a provision that would define information in a computer, as well as 
computer processmg lime, as "property." "The thrust of that is to say 
that if you lake information, that's property and you can be accused of 
stealing," Schumer said. "I think that's very dangerous. 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 prosecu- 
tion 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 
contended that the sections of espionage law used in the case were 
meant to apply only m 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 applicable to government "information" 
would give the executive branch unbridled discretion to control what the 
pubhc 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 embarrassing. That is a much broader 
category than documents "relating to the national defense." 

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

JULY - 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 penod 
of unsurpassed prosperity — a peacetime record of I'/i years without a 
recession. But private economists 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 govern- 
ment 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 conclusions." 

Bad data triggers more than bad government pohcy. 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 report 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. 
TTie 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. 



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After Ihc error in retail sales was caught, the GNP report was revised 
to show the economy growing at a much more respectable 2.5 percent. 
But the correction came too late to stop pohcy makers at the Federal 
Reserve from actmg to cut interest rates for fear the economy was 
headed into recession. 

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

JULY - Officials of Richard Nixon's presidential hbrary said the library 
will pick and choose who can do rese-arch there and probably will keep 
out Pulitzer Prize-winning Watergate reporter 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 
onginals 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 library where 
documents will be screened. The library's director, Hugh Hewitt, says 
every document of any importance, including many relating to 
Watergate, will be m 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 said. 

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 libranes, only the 
Rutherford B. Hayes library is pnvately 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 editonal 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 library 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 - The Government AccountabiUly Project filed suit against the 
Agriculture Department to obtam a report on its beef inspection 
procedures. The suit is the latest flurry in a long-running battle pitting 
the USDA against consumer groups and dissident federal food inspec- 
tors who charge that the USDA Streamlined Inspection System is 
putting dirtier and more dangerous beef in supermarkets. Partly in 
response to pubUc criticism, the department last year contracted with 
the National Academy of Sciences to study the inspection system to 
ascertain whether it posed unacceptable food risks. The department later 
gave the academy its own report on the program, 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 Stream- 
lined Inspection System is a bureaucratic bluff," said Thomas Devine, 
the project's legal director. "The reason they won't release it is that the 
assertions they make couldn't withstand 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 pohticize 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 Washington Post. July 10) 

JULY - In a move that will provide more access to government 
information. Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan 
proposed a set of uniform defmitions that would clarify and standardize 
the labels on virtually every food product sold in the United States. The 
4C)0-page proposal, which will be published m the Federal Register, 
updates and expands the hst of what nutnents should and should not be 
listed on food labeling and defines precisely what is meant by previous- 
ly 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. 

"Amencan consumers should have full access to information that will 
help them make informed choices about the food they eat," said 
SuUivan. 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 - In early July, President Bush signed a classified order that 
revises National Security Decision Directive 145 and eliminates 
National Security Agency oversight of federal computers 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 Security Act held by the House Science, Space, and 
Technology Subcommittee on Transportation, Aviation, and Materials. 

The order revises NSDD 145 to clarify the computer security pohcy 
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 underthe Computer Security 
Act for monitoring government computer security plans. Under the 
changes, NSA no longer will have responsibility for computer systems 
handling sensitive but unclassified information. As stated in the act, that 
responsibihty 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 - A substantial proportion of people who call the Social Security 
"800" hotline and are told that a local Social Security office will call 
them back never receive the follow-up telephone call, the General 
Accounting Office reported. Critics have claimed that Social Security 
began the toll-free telephone line in an attempt to save money on 
personnel and, in effect, has reduced the amount of services available 
at local offices. 



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The GAO findings showed that of callers who were instructed to expect 
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 
Sccunty '800' HotUne," The Washington Post. July 18) 

AUGUST - A test a decade ago revealed an apparent flaw in the main 
mirror of the blurry-eyed Hubble Space Telescof)e, but key officials of 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 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 sphencal 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 sophisti- 
cated found no such (law, according 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 
lest results. Former employees of Perkin-Elmer, on the other hand, said 
that NASA representatives were mformed at the time. 

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 
documents oblamed by the Associated F*ress, Perkin-Elmer was awarded 
the optics contract for $64 milhon against a Kodak bid of $100 million. 
Because of massive cost overruns, Perkin-Elmer was eventually paid 
$451 million. ("Hubble Raw Was Found in '81 ," The Washington Post, 
August 6) 

AUGUST - Reporters and photographers who sought to cover the 
landing of American troops m Saudi Arabia were barred from accompa- 
nying 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 ui three decades went 
unseen and unheard by the American public. 

The last time the Defense Department allowed reporters to accompany 
the military into combat was during the invasion of Panama in 
December. Even by the Pentagon's account, the "press pool" arrange- 
ment 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 during the United States' 
1983 invasion of Grenada, some journalists suggested that the Bush 
administration had more to 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 11 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 
coverageof the U.S. troop deployment by Amencan journalists. A pool 
of representative reporters will be admitted.) 

AUGUST - According to John Markoff in an August 19 New York 
Times article, "Washington is Relaxing Its Stand on Guarding Computer 
Security," President Bush has ordered a quiet dismantling of an aggres- 
sive Reagan administration effort to restrict sources of computerized 
information, including databases, collections of commercial satellite 
photographs, and information compiled by university researchers. The 
article gives the background of the controversy regarding the creation 
of a new security classification, "sensitive but classified information," 
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 move to revise the Reagan 
administration poUcy has caused some computer security experts to say 
that they are concerned that the Bush move goes too far in decentraliz- 
ing oversight for computer security. A National Security Agency 
official warned that the United Slates was now in danger of losing its 
leadership in computer security to European countries that have been 
investing heavily in new technologies. 

AUGUST - A lack of adequate computer security in the Department of 
Justice is endangering highly sensitive information, ranging from 
identities of confidential informants to undercover operators, 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 
mtrusion 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 General Dick 
Thomburgh to "immediately correct" the security 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 - In a three-page article, "Science, Technology, and Free 
Speech," in the Summer 1990 Issues in Science and Technology, Allen 
M. Shinn Jr. observed that now that industrialization has spread techno- 
logical 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 unex- 
plored avenue to their reform: as applied to control information, the 
laws arc probably unconstitutional. 

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 uniformly rejected by the courts 
since the 18th century; (2) the defmitions of controlled information arc 
overbroad; and (3) the laws are ineffective in protecting national 
security. He says that new regulations under the Export Administration 



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Act have both defined and greatly relaxed controls on "fundamental" 
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 infonmation." 

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

SEPTEMBER - Writing in the September 1990 issue of Natural 
History. Michele Stenehjem says that for 40 years scientists knew that 
radionuclides from reactors along the Columbia River accumulated in 
body tissue. They decided to keep the information to themselves 

In an eight-page article, "Indecent Exposure," Stenehjem describes how 
the Hanford Engineer Works m Washington produced the plutonium for 
the world's first atomic explosion. The secret project was created m 
early 1943 to produce plutonium for the first Amencan atomic 
weapons. The enterprise, operated on contract for the federal govern- 
ment, brought spectacular results and for 40 years afler the war, the 
endeavor was praised by those involved or interested m atomic energy 

In 1986, however, with the release of some 19,000 pages of environ- 
mental 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 classified, 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 totahng millions of cunes. 

The facility released billions of gallons of liquids and billions of cubic 
meters of gases containing contaminants, mcluding 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 technology; 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 dangers, even 
when the releases far exceeded the "tolerance levels" or "allowable 
limits" defined as safe at the time. Instead, on many occasions they told 
the public that Hanford's operations were controlled and harmless. 

SEPTEMBER - The Bush administration opposed a House Democratic 
leadership 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 and unnecessary. The 
legislation is part of a Democratic package intended to enhance the 
competitiveness of American companies and signals growing congres- 
sional concern over the problems American companies encounter in 
competing with foreign rivals. The proposed database would include all 
industrial technology (dealing with physics, chemistry, biology, 
communications, transportation, medicine, and other sciences) 
developed with the aid of federal- and state-fmanced 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 miUion pilot 
project would be too costly. 

House Democratic leaders contend, however, that the government'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 transfer of data between machines. They argue 
that technology transfer through databases provides the biggest return 
for the mvestment. 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 systems 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 - After a century of serving as the public's eyes and 
ears about the weather, the National Weather Service is changmg its 
mission. The agency has begun to close its phone lines and refer to 
pnvate weather companies more and more questions it formerly 
answered. In addition, these pnvate companies have gradually acquired 
from the government the nght to distribute readings from federal 
observation offices and pictures from its radar systems. Some people 
who rely on Weather Service data say they worry that the government 
is abandoning a long-estabhshed duty and is forcing the public to pay 
for infonmation it is used to getting for virtually nothing. 

"It's just ridiculous," said Albert TTiompson, a cotton grower who was 
recently told by the Weather Service in Lubock, 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 Govern- 
ment office." Weather Service officials say the changes are designed to 
get the government out of the business of distributing routine weather 
information, 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 Employees 
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 Service missions 
is the signing of 13 contracts with private companies 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 industry 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 information. 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 



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June - December 1990 



informalion. The agency objected to any reseller fee and decided to use 
a service operated 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 have been times when sever- weather warnings arrived 
at the news agency after the wammgs had expired. ("What's the 
Weather.' Don't Ask the Service," The New York Tunes. September 10) 

(Ed. note: In a related story, people in Miami phoning to find out the 
time and temperature got somelhmg else: soft pornography. A voice 
welcomed them, saying, "She's all alone m the tub. Jump in. It's all 
wet. " Then it gave a 976 telephone number, told listeners that it would 
cost them $19.95 for a three-minute call, and finally gave the tempera- 
ture and time. "We have received complamts relative to this ad," said 
Gary AUington, Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. By 
mid-moming 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-Pom Ad on Bell Firm's 
Tape Pulled," The Washington Post. December 13)] 

SEPTEMBER - 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 publication. World Agriculture 
Supply and Demand Estimate, free of charge. TTie announcement was 
made in a September 1 1 letter to "Dear Reader" from Raymond Bridge, 
information officer for the Department of Agnculture World Agncul- 
lural Outlook Board. Others who want the publication were invited to 
subscnbe for $20 a year. 

SEPTEMBER - New York City officials challenged preliminary 1990 
census figures, charging that the count conducted this spring and 
summer missed 254,534 housmg units in the city and, as a result, 
hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The city said its records 
showed that the census overlooked at least five housmg units on each 
of 11,957 blocks, or 43 percent of the city's blocks. New York City has 
been particularly vigorous in challenging census findings, in part 
because federal funding 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 slate will lose three 
congressional seats, in part because of population shifts away from New 
York City. 

The city has participated m a lawsuit to force the Census Bureau to use 
a statistical adjustment to compensate for residents missed by the 
census. Other cities also have challenged Census Bureau figures. Los 
Angeles officials said they found nearly 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 Tunes, September 20) 

SEPTEMBER - TTie National Library of Medicine announced a new 
fee schedule effective February 1, 1991, for CD-ROM products 
containing MEDLARS dau in the September-October 1990 NLM 
Technical Bulletin. Among the categories of annual subscnption 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) $100. 

2) For the same subscription on a network of two to five stations, the 
charge is $1000. 



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

These are the charges to the vanous 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-ROM MEDLINE. 

OCTOBER - Wassily Leontief, awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic 
Science in 1973, decried the "sad state of the Federal statistical system" 
in an op-ed piece in The New York Times. He said that while our 
system employs very dedicated, highly quahfied 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 descnbe 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 economy, 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 m March 
1979. The 1985 table has already been published. 

Leontief concluded: "Some proponents of privatization suggest that 
diminished support for Federal statistical services will eventually be 
compensated by private corporate dala-gathenng organizations. This 
solution seems about as effective 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 pnvate business." ("Federal Statistics Are in Big 
Trouble," The New York Tunes, October 1) 

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

OCTOBER - When Congress passed the 1991 military spending bill in 
October, it imposed little-noticed but significant new restrictions 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 administration to use money earmarked for secret 
programs precisely as Congress prescribes. At stake is control over a 
"black budget" of more than $35 billion hidden in the military spending 
bill for numerous secret weapons programs and intelligence activities. 



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June - December 1990 



In the past, Congress has attached classified reports to military 
appropriations saying how this secret money should be spent. But the 
admmistration has treated the mstructions in these classified "annexes" 
as mere expressions of congressional wishes rather than actual law. 
When President Bush signed the 1990 mililary appropriations bill on 
November 21, 1989. he expressed concern about restrictions that 
Congress tned to impose through a classified report on the bill. "Con- 
gress cannot create legal obligations through report language," he 
insisted. But now, after a year marked by several disputes over the 
administration's refusal to comply with secret directives from congres- 
sional committees. Congress has given the classified annexes the force 
of law. ("Congress Changes Spenduig Rules on Secret Programs for 
Pentagon," The New York Times, October 30) 

OCTOBER - The Army fired, handcuffed, and removed from office 
a veteran engineer for threatening to disclose that many troop-carrying 
helicopters pnmed for war m Saudi Arabia lack protection against Iraqi 
hcat-secking missiles. Calvin Weber, a 16-year Army civilian employ- 
ee, was fired for seeking information 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 dunng the pendency (sic| of Operation 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 ordering him to leave his office at the 
Army Aviation Systems Command in St Louis. 

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 
Ihem lack suppressors which are muffier-like devices installed over the 
engmes. TTiey are designed to cool the exhaust before it leaves the 
engines and hide the turbine blades from heat-secking missiles. A 1985 
Pentagon study concluded that 90 percent of the aircraft downed in 
combat in the previous 10 years were destroyed by heat-secking 
missiles. Most of the losses were Soviet aircraft downed by Afghan 
rebels equipped with portable, U.S. -made, Stinger heat-seeking 
missiles. ("Army Worker Fired Over Copter Data," The Washingion 
Post. October 30) 

OCTOBER - 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 Thomburgh 
refused to allow classified information for the perjury trial of Joseph 
Fernandez, a former C.l.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 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. Thomburgh 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 30) 

OCTOBER - TTie Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of 
regulations that prohibit federally funded family planning clinics from 
discussing abortion, with Justice David Souter expressing 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 
indicated. 

During oral arguments in the case, RusI v. Sullivan, Harvard Law 
School Professor Laurence Tribe told the court: "We depend on our 
doctors to tell us the whole truth, whoever is paying the medical bill, 
the patient or the government, whether m 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 Washingion Post. October 
31) 

NOVEMBER - "Newsweek 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 servicemen it counts among the 
wounded were actually injured in parachute jumps, not by enemy fire. 
The report also shows the U.S. military death toll was 26 not 23, and 
at least six may have been the result of friendly fire. 

All told, the report concludes that 114 of the 338 U.S. casualties— 34 
percent — were caused by friendly fire or accidents. Highly placed 
sources told Newsweek that even this percentage 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. TTie 
Pentagon's only comment was to confirm the revised figures." ("An 
Accident-Prone Army," Newsweek, November 5) 

NOVEMBER - The federal appeals ruling during D.C. Mayor Marion 
Barry's tnal 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 Washington, 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 panel's decision not to publish. "It smacks of a 
system of secret justice," said the ACLU's Arthur Spitzer. Spitzcr 
argues that the appeals ruling — by a panel composed of Clarence 
Thomas, Douglas Ginsburg, and Laurence Silberman — could be crucial 
to individuals 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 



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June - December 1990 



Washington Post. November 5) 

NOVEMBER - "The government's end-of-the-year fiscal crunch gave 
an Education 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 \n a warehouse.' the letter said. 'But 
until we have a budget, there is no money to pay the mailmg contrac- 
tor.' This, the letter noted enticingly, means that reporters are bemg 
given data temporarily unavailable to the public. The publicity-hungry 
writer even suggested which pages to read." (Education Week. 
November 7) 

NOVEMBER - American University professor Philip Brenner has tned 
for three years in fe<leral court to get classified documents from the 
Slate Department about the Cuban missile cnsis. 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 lake on the federal government, Brenner may 
find that lime is on his side. The reason: legislation passed by the 
Senate in the 101st Congress would require automatic declassification 
of Slate Department documents 30 years after the events they chronicle. 
For researchers dealing with the cnsis that brought ihe United Slates 
and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. the countdown would 
stop at October 1992. The proposed law would allow Slate Department 
documents to be kept secret after 30 years only if they fit one of three 
stnct exemptions: if their publication would compromise "weapons 
technology important to the national defense," reveal the names of 
informants still ahve who would be harmed, or "demonstrably impede" 
current diplomatic relations. 

Congress adjourned before the House took up the measure, but Senate 
supporters are confident of passage m 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 Slate Department. ("Lifting the Cuban Missile Crisis Veil," The 
Washington Post, November 9) 

NOVEMBER - 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 experts 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 say they have not been informed 
of it. 

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. TTie 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 Ihc 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 fmding 
would jeopardize publication. Many medical journals have a policy 



against publishing 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 obtained from a 
pharmaceuticals company which makes a drug used to prevent Ihe 
pneumonia. The delay has infuriated some advocates for people with 
AIDS. Dr. Jerome Goopman, an AIDS researcher at the New England 
Deaconess Hospital 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 mformation that could save 
patients' fives. ("News of AIDS TTierapy Gain Delayed 5 Months by 
Agency, The New York Times, November 14) 

[Ed. note: Responding to criticism that it had delayed announcing a 
Ufesavmg 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. ("US. Denies Any Delay in 
Announcing Treatment for AIDS Patients." The New York Tunes, 
November 16)] 

NOVEMBER - Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and 
former Secretary of State George Shullz made special arrangements to 
get thousands of pages of classified mformation to help them wilh their 
memoirs. The General Accounting Office says it found irregulanties 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 cntical 
of the arrangement for the Weinberger papers, which were deposited at 
the Library of Congress as though he owned them. "There appears to 
be an mverse relationship between the level one attams in the executive 
branch and one's obhgation 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 - A federal judge has ordered the Food and Drug 
Admmistration to release more safety data on silicon breast implants, 
a move the Public Citizen Health Research Group said will allow 
patients more access to mformation 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 aUemptmg since 1972 to 
get the courts to say that data on safety and effectiveness 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 
F.D.A. is doing." The Dow Coming 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. TTie FDA has denied some information act requests, saying 
certain data submitted voluntarily includes trade secrets or material that 
is company property. ("F.D.A. Is Ordered to Release Data on the 
Safety of Breast Implants." The New York Tunes, November 29) 

NOVEMBER - In memoirs scheduled for publication in February 
1991. former senator John Tower says President Reagan and his top 



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June - December 1990 



jidcs Incd to mislead the Tower commission and cover up White House 
involvement in a kcv aspect ol the Iran-contra allair Tower said he was 
shocked when Reagan denied that the White House j;avc advance 
approval for an Auj;ust 1985 shipment ol missiles to Iran, in contra- 
diction of an earlier statement by the fop.ier president Portions of 
Tower s book. Consequences A Personal ami Political Memoir, were 
published in the November 29 Dallas Tunes Herald Tower wrote that 
Reagan's about-face seemed part of a "deliberate effort" to cover up 
then-White House Chief of Suff Donald Regan's involvement m the 
affair. The Tower commission report had noted Reagan s shifting 
stones about the missile sale. But the book marks the first time a 
pnncipal figure has suggested the changes were part of a cover up. 
I Tower Book Accuses Reagan of Coverup. ' The Washini^ion Post. 
November 30) 



Edward Kennedy (D-MA), asking whether the Soviet Union had located 
ihe plane's wreckage or the passengers' remains No answer to cither 
letter has been received 

The recent letters came after months of efforts bv the senators and 
several colleagues to try to gel American authonties to help fill in the 
j;aps in the story of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 Strong cnticism has 
been directed at the Federal Aviation Administration and the State 
Department for taking months to reply to senatonal 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 " 
t "Senators Seek Soviet Answers on Flight 007." The New York Tunes. 
December 16) 



DECEMBER - Rep Jack Brooks (DTX). Chairoflhe House Judiciary 
Committee has accused the Justice Department ol withholding docu- 
ments to frustrate his panels probe of alleged impropnelies m the 
departments dealings with Inslaw Inc . a Washmgton-bascd computer 
software company The committee is considenng whether to subpoena 
the documents or to attempt in some other way to lorce the department 
lo produce the documents 

The case involves Inslaw. which wrote a computer program that allows 
the Justice Department lo keep track of a large number of court cases 
Inslaw and iLs top executive. William A Hamilton, have accused the 
department of conspiring to dnve Inslaw out of business so that fnends 
of high ranking Reagan administration officials could get control of the 
program and market it profitably Hamilton's testimony reasserted those 
claims A federal bankruptcy judge concluded that the Justice Depart- 
ment "stole" Inslaws propnetary software and did. in fact, try lo dnve 
the firm out of business. Those findings were upheld on appeal by a 
US. distnct judge, but the legal bailie continues ( "Justice Department 
AccusedofKeepmg Inslaw Evidence. ' 77i^ Washington Post. December 
6) 

DECEMBER - Actmg on behalf of the nation's mayors. New York 
Mayor David Dmkins made a final plea to the Bush administration to 
adjust 1990 census totals to compensate for people missed in the census. 
In a meeting with Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher. Dinkins 
reiterated his concern that ihe census had missed millions of Amencans, 
many of ihem low-incomc minonties hvmg m big cities. In his city 
alone, census work conducted over the past months has missed around 
800,000 residents, DiiJans 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 nexi 10 years." 
Commerce officials, who oversee the Census Bureau, said they remam 
open lo an adjusUnenl, but a decision will not be made until next 
summer. ("Adjust Census, Mayors Urge Admmistralion," 77i* 
Washington Post, December 13) 

DECEMBER - Four United States Senators have written President 
Mikhail Gorbachev requesting on humanitarian grounds that he help 
clear up remaining mystenes about the Korean airliner shot dowTi m 
1983. Several days after the crash, Moscow acknowledged thai the 
jumbo jet had been downed by a Soviet fighter. But it is not known m 
the Western world whether the Soviet authonties ever found ihe mam 
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 inquiries be made public. In November, a letter was sent to 
Gorbachev by Sens. Sam Nunn (D-GA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and 



DECEMBER - Physicians and patients told a congressional panel of an 
array ol health problems associated with silicone breast implants, and 
urged that Congress require safely testing and nsk disclosure. The Food 
and Drug Administration has received 2,017 reports of adverse 
reactions from silicone implants, according to Walter Gundaker, acting 
director of ihe FDA Center lor Devices and Radiological Health "We 
were misled, ill Informed and even sometimes misinformed by people 
we should have been able lo trust." said Sybil Niden of Beverly Hills. 
Calif., who sulferexJ severe complications from breast implants alter a 
mastectomy "What we needed, what is still needed, is more mforma- 
lion," she lold the House Government 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 under the new regulation In 
1 982. the FDA proposed that silicone implants be classified as high-nsk 
devices FDA officials said they expect a rule would be in force by 
March requiring manufacturers lo submit safely data or remove thcu- 
products from the market. ("Hill Told of Silicone Breasl Implant Prob- 
lems," The Washington Post. December 19) 



Earlier chronologies of this publication were combined inlo 
an indexed version covering the penod April 1981 -December 
1987. Updates are prepared at six-month intervals. Less 
Access... updates (from the January-June 1988 issue lo the 
present publication) are available for $1.00; the indexed 
version is $7.00; the complete set is $13.00. Orders must be 
prepaid and include a self-addressed mailing label. All 
orders must be obtained from the Amencan Library Associa- 
tion Washington Office, 110 Maryland Ave. NE. #101, 
Washmgton, DC 20002-5675; tel. no. 202-547-4440, fax no. 
202-547-7363. 



Page 9 







DEC ^^' 199^ 




ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1 10 Maryland Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel. 202-547-4440; Fax 202-547-7363; ALANET ALA0025 

June 1991 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XVI 

A 1991 Chronology: January - June 
INTRODUCTION 



During the past ten years, this ongoing chronology has docu- 
mented administration efforts to restrict and privatize govern- 
ment information. A combination of specific policy decisions, 
the administration's interpretations and implementations 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. 

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

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 Circular 
A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources. This 
circular requires cost-benefit analysis of government informa- 
tion 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 1991, but a draft revision is not 
yet available. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to utilize 
computer and telecommunications technologies for data 
collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend 
has resulted in the increased emergence of contractual 
information collected at taxpayer expense, higher user 



arrangements with commercial firms to disseminate charges 
for government information, and the proliferation of govern- 
ment information available in electronic format only. While 
automation clearly offers promises of savings, will public 
access to government information be further restricted for 
people who catmot afford computers or pay for computer 
time? Now that electronic products and services have begun 
to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public access 
to government information will be increased. 

The restrictive and controversial information policy imposed 
by the administration during the Persian Gulf War was the 
most prominent government information issue of the first half 
of 1991. 

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

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions which creates 
a climate in which government information activities are 
suspect. Previous chronologies were compiled in an ALA 
Washington Office publication. Less Access to Less Informa- 
tion By and About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 
Chronology. The following chronology continues semiannual 
updates published in 1988, 1989, and 1990. 



Less Access.. 



January - June 1991 



CHRONOLOGY 



JANUARY - Workers at a training complex in West Milton, 
N.Y., have accused the Navy's nuclear reactor program of 
serious safety lapses and say they were disciplined for raising 
safety concerns. 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 
government's nuclear defense program with its secrecy mostly 
intact. 

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 assert. 

Sen. John Glenn (D-OH), the chief legislative force behind 
revealing 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 comer-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 prominently, 
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 
threatened life-time imprisonment for disclosing information 
without prior approval. After the suit was filed, the lab issued a 
second newsletter diluting the first. In May 1990, it issued a 
third 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 
pervade discussions of safety, a G.E. official said that the 
reactor facility had been the subject of dozens of articles in The 
Schenectady 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 classified 
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 - The Pentagon was eager to aimounce 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. soldiers 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 casualties. That information was "classified." ("Pentagon 
Classifies Talk of Body Bags, " The Washington Post, January 2) 

JANUARY - The Pentagon's release of guidelines for media 
coverage in the Persian Gulf, including a controversial require- 
ment that journalists submit their war coverage to military 
review, signaled 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 military 
officials unaimounced 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 
review by military 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 could 
not and would not become censorship. ("Rules Set for Media," 
The Washington Post, January 4) 

JANUARY - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has 7,(XX) 
federal inspectors 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 inade- 
quate—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 out- 
breaks — and meat and poultry get a large share of the blame. 

Officials at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the 
USDA agency responsible for meat and poultry inspection, are 
currently trying to modernize 80-year-old systems amid a 
barrage of criticisms about how they are going about it. The 
latest plan to upgrade inspection 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 drastical- 
ly faster line speeds. That's a recipe for food {K)isoning," said 
Thomas Devine of the Government Accountability Project. 

FSIS has been conducting research in a poultry slaughtering 
plant in Puerto Rico for the past several years to find out where 
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bacteria, but has so far refused to divulge the results. A former 
agency microbiologist, Gerald Kuester, publicly accused 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, administrator 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 USD A 
Inspectors Do More With Less?" The Washington Post, January 
9) 

JANUARY - A six-page article, "Dr. Nogood," in the January 
1 1 City Paper discussed the long-awaited National Practitioner 
Data Bank, a computerized record of medical malpractice 
payments and disciplinary actions against physicians, dentists, 
psychotherapists, and other medical professionals. Author Peter 
Blumberg {X)inted out: 

As a repository of critical information about misdiag- 
noses, 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 fme. 

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 medical 
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 1 890, but it reflects several millennia of physicians 
believing they are above and beyond their patients. " 



JANUARY - The National Weather Service's $3 billion 
upgrading is so far behind schedule that the agency is forced to 
rely on deteriorating equipment, a dependence that meteorolo- 
gists in and out of government say could jeopardize the service's 
ability to warn of dangerous storms. 

One agency report said a new radar systems 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 modem 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 manufac- 
turer. Company executives said that its serious financial prob- 
lems would not affect its ability to fulflll 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 
example 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 staffmg 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 - The Defense Department is facing a formidable 
enemy — multimillion-dollar computer systems that are so 
complex they threaten to immobilize weapons. Some of the 
Pentagon's big-ticket items are being held hostage to their 
computers. According 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 II missile program all have suffered cost 
ovemms and production 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. Govemment 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 submarine, the Seawolf, can be launched. ("U.S. Weapons 



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at Mercy of Computers," The Washington Post, January 16) 

JANUARY - A strict information policy was imposed by the 
Bush administration 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 earliest dispatches, reporters said 
some deletions had been made by military officers. 

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 pools. American reporters 
generally accepted censorship in both world wars and Korea, 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 Pentagon'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) 

JANUARY - Journalists covering the war against Iraq were not 
the only ones complaining about censorship by the Defense 
Department. 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 Orlando, 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 - An appeals board will not give 115 fired Chicago 
air traffic controllers another chance at their old jobs, despite 
evidence 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 p>ersuade the board that those records 
were changed purposely to give the false appearance that the 
controllers had gone out on the illegal 1981 strike. President 
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 broadside attack 
against the [FAA's] case," the court wrote, the controllers 
"failed to address or counter in any way the crucial findings... on 
the accuracy and the reliability of the documents." ("Despite 



Falsified Records, Fired Controllers Still Off the Job," Federal 
Times, January 31) 

FEBRUARY - 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 happen- 
ing in the first war of the age of global information. 
Truth and elaborate 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. . . . 

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 gathered in pool interviews in the field. Doing 
away with independent reporting has been the Pentagon's 
goal ever since Vietnam. The military has set up a system 
of media p>ools to cover the initial stages of the operation, 
controlling reporters' movements and their access to 
sources. The system works brilliantly from the Penta- 
gon's point of view, but it has subverted the coverage of 
the war and given it a dismal, canned quality. 

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 attention, 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. 

("The Fog of War," Time, February 4) 

FEBRUARY - A book by a former Iran-Contra prosecutor 
accused the Central 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 hampered the subsequent criminal investigation into 
the payments 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 undisclosed 
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 
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denied that any such quid pro quo agreements existed. Interviews 
by the prosecutors with CIA officials provided little help. "Our 
iiriends at the agency did not remember anything," Toobin 
wrote. "With a few courageous 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 court as part of the case, and in early 
February, Federal District 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, February 5) 

FEBRUARY - 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 appears 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 
containers there, and put that in writing last year. But an EPA 
spokeswoman 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 
local 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 jurisdiction 
covers the storage site, did not know the Dinoseb was there. 
("EPA Secrets Seeping Through Cracks," The Washington Post, 
February 8) 

FEBRUARY - Frustration grew among journalists who said the 
Pentagon was choking off coverage of the war by refiising 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 serv- 
ices—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 informa- 
tion 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 manage 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 system was established by 
the Pentagon in 1984 in response to complaints that journalists 
had been excluded from the U.S. invasion of Grenada. ("Jour- 
nalists Say 'Pools' Don't Work," The Washington Post, 
February 11) 

FEBRUARY - In his briefing on the Department of Energy 
fiscal 1992 budget. 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. 

In a report released on February 1 1 , the congressional Office 
of Technology Assessment said bluntly that the Energy Depart- 
ment 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 - U.S. officials partially relaxed their "blackout" 



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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 positive news filtered throughout the 
blackout. 

Howell Raines, Washington bureau chief of the New York 
Times, said Defense Department officials were using legitimate 
security concerns "as a means of imposing the blanket manage- 
ment 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 repwrt and it was in their interest to report 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 
imp>osed only twice during the Vietnam War. ("U.S. Lets Some 
News Filter Through 'Blackout'," The Washington Post, 
February 25) 

MARCH - 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 Publica- 
tions, 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. Depart- 
ment of Labor entitled What Works: Workplaces Without 
Drugs, that Business Research Publications has repub- 
lished. 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 Comprehensive 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 reproduc- 
es 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 Com- 
prehensive Drug-Free Workplace Program may be 
ordered free of charge from the National Clearinghouse 
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 - Federal courts charge high prices for providing 
copies of judicial documents to discourage requests. This 
practice is the subject of a General Accounting Office report 
requested by Rep. Bob Wise (D-WV), chair of the House 
Subcommittee on Government Information, Justice, and Agricul- 
ture. GAO found that the administrative office of the U.S. 
Courts does not have a p)olicy on how courts should handle 
requests for documents. As a result, federal district courts use 
widely differing procedures. 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 
considerable variability in practice and procedure. Some courts 
are charging 50 cents a page for copies when some commercial, 
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, copying 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 (Febrtiary 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 Commit- 
tee on Government Operations, March 11) 

MARCH - A General Accounting Office official, Howard Rhile, 
testified before the House Subcommittee on Government 
Information, Justice, and Agriculture that the Justice Department 
may have compromised sensitive investigations and jeoftardized 
the safety of some undercover agents, informants, and witnesses 
by inadvertently releasing computerized information. GAO said 
it uncovered "appalling details" of the department's failure to 
protect its secret computer files. "Our investigation leads to the 
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that sensitive data will be safely secured at the Department of 
Justice. " 

The GAO's investigation followed press disclosures in 
September 1990 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 
confidential informants and federally protected witnesses, 
according 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 - Because of bureaucratic foot-dragging, complex 
directives from Congress and in some cases ideological hostility, 
the federal 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, 
consumer groups frustrated, and businesses sometimes paralyzed 
in the absence of prescribed regulations. Bush administration 
officials acknowledge that they have missed many of the dead- 
lines set by Congress for the new laws. But they say Congress 
is partly to blame because it writes laws of impenetrable 
complexity with countless mandates and gives federal agencies 
insufficient time to write needed regulations. 

For example, two decades after Congress ordered the 
Environmental Protection Agency to identify and regulate 
"hazardous air pollutants," the agency has issued emission 
standards 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 burden 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 
Management and Budget from 1981 to 1985, said Reagan 
administration 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 Partisan- 
ship," The New York Times, March 31) 

APRIL - The operators of nearly half of the nation's under- 
ground coal mines have been systematically tampering with the 
dust samples they send to federal safety inspectors who deter- 
mine the risk of black lung to miners, according to Bush 
administration 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. 

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 equipment 
before submitting it for inspection, officials said. ("Coal Mine 



Operators Altered Dust Samples," The Washington Post, April 
4) 

APRIL - Jack Pfeiffer, a retired CIA historian, sued the Central 
Intelligence Agency over regulations he said have blocked him 
from publishing a declassified version of the organization's role 
in the ill-fated 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. The agency, 
citing its strict disclosure rules, has refused to declassify 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 review 
procedures, contending they are "overbroad" and violate his free 
speech rights. In addition, he argued, as he did in a previous 
lawsuit filed imder the Freedom of Information Act, the agency 
does not want his papers made public because his findings might 
embarrass senior agency officials. 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 disclo- 
sure regulations. ("CIA Ex -Historian Presses for a 30- Year-Old 
Tale," The Washington Post, April 10) 

APRIL - The Census Bureau held up release of detailed f>opula- 
tion 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 people 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 - U.S. soldiers were poorly trained and equipped to 
confront a chemical weapons attack in the months preceding the 
U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf region, GAO conclud- 
ed in a re[K>rt that was withheld from public release during the 
confrontation with Iraq, llie GAO re]x>rt, completed in January, 
documents imrealistic Army training exercises, serious equip- 
ment 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 fiiture gas attack due to inadequate training. 

Army officials said they had ordered increased training and 
provided adequate protective gear for the troops. Congressional 
sources said the Army nonetheless considered the report'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 



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chemical decontamination and protective gear among U.S. forces 
routinely stationed in Europe, evidently including some deployed 
to the Middle East for the war. ("Report Withheld from Public 
Says GIs Were Poorly Equipped for Gas Attack," The Washing- 
ton Post, April 13) 

APRIL - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) secured an amendment to 
the bill reauthorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commis- 
sion (S. 207) to require publication of any dissenting, concur- 
ring, 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 - 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 avoid being reported 
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 professional corpora- 
tion—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 entered 
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 r^Mrting 
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 information 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, says the bank's backers never imagined 
that doctors would be able to avoid the system simply by getting 
their names dropped from suits before final 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 - The Environmental Protection Agaicy halted 
distribution of one of its popular consumer handbooks after 
industry complained that it recommended home measures, such 
as vinegar and water to clean windows, that had not been 
assessed for their effect on the environment. The Environmental 
Consumer'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 homemade 
cleaning solutions might be more environmentally benign than 
store-bought products. 

Industry critics also faulted the pamphlet's assertions that 
disposable products contribute to litter. "How do these items 
contribute 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 EPA's Office of Solid 
Waste to encourage consumers to reduce, reuse and recycle 
items that might otherwise add to the burden of the nation's 
landfills. It quickly became one of the office's most requested 
documents, with more than 15,000 of 30,000 copies distributed. 

In late February, E>on Clay, EPA assistant administrator, 
promised to move ahead quickly on a revised version, saying it 
would be subject to a "more comprehensive review process" that 
would include "a cross section of interested parties." 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, EPA's action 
was in response not to the public, but in response to the large 
consumer product nunufacturers, " 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 administrator under Clay, 
"but because the opponents made good points." ("EPA Pulls 
Consumer HandbocA," The Washington Post, April 23) 

APRIL - "Secrecy is expensive and the Pentagon has decided 
that it cannot afford as much of it as it used to buy. Sunday's 



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scheduled 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." 
("Pentagon Pinching Pennies on Secrecy, " The Washington Post, 
April 26) 

APRIL - Yielding to pressure from the meat and dairy indus- 
tries, 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, 
representatives 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 consumption." 
According to Marion Nestle, chairman of the nutrition depart- 
ment at New York University and the author of a history of 
dietary guidelines, on several occasions over the past IS years 
the department has altered or canceled nutritional advice 
brochures in response to industry complaints. ("U.S. Drops New 
Food Chart," The Washington Post, April 27) 

MAY - In a three-page article, Holley Knaus describes "sharp 
restrictions 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 
seeking information from govemmoit 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 because 
it is often prohibitively expensive. Private information vendors, 



imder 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 magnetic tape or 
CD-ROMs at low rates, and then program it so that it is 
available online to those with computers — "at extravagant rates. " 
McGraw Hill's Data Resources, Inc. charges its users up to $80 
per hour and $0.54 per number to receive this infomution. 
("Facts for Sale," Multinational Monitor, May 1991) 

MAY - The Justice Department has determined a strict set of 
conditions governing the access it has granted House Judiciary 
Committee investigators exploring the alleged government 
conspiracy against Washington, D.C., legal software developer 
Inslaw Inc. The committee has spent close to a year tracking the 
Inslaw case and its possible connection to Justice's award of a 
$212 million office automation contract to another company. 
Investigators have sought 200 department documents related to 
litigation on the Inslaw case, as well as documents about other 
companies or procurements. Justice has consistently denied the 
request, saying the papers would reveal the litigation strategy 
involving its appeal against Inslaw and so were being shielded 
from Congress. 

Access to the documents will be tightly controlled. For 
example. Justice officials will be present while committee 
investigators review the papers. The investigators will be 
permitted 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 
revealed." 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 - "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 expensive 
trips aboard Air Force executive jets to ski resorts in Colorado 
and to his home in New Hampshire. 

Instead, Sununu stonewalled. At Bush's insistence, he issued 



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a list of his White House travels, but it has proved to be 
incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading. It conceals crucial 
information 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 
federal ethics laws. Sunimu 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 - The Iraqi missile that slammed into an American 
military barracks 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. 

The Iraqi Scud missile hit the barracks on February 25, 
causing the war's single worst casualty toll for Americans. The 
allied Central Command said 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 failure. 

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 investiga- 
tions 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 Gallagher, 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 Penta- 
gon has refused to release any details. Rita Bongiomi 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. Bongiomi 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. Bongiomi 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 - 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 
Americans in the country. The Army officer. Col. Millard A. 
Peck, left his job on March 28, stapling an unusual memoran- 
dum and farewell note to his office door that charged that his 



department was being used as a "'toxic waste dump' to buy the 
whole 'mess' out of sight and mind in a facility with limited 
access to public scrutiny." ("Bush Is Said to Ignore the Vietnam 
War's Missing," The New York Times, May 22) 

MAY - The Supreme Court mled on May 23 that federally 
fiinded family planning clinics may be prohibited from giving 
any information about abortion. The court, splitting S to 4, 
upheld federal regulations that forbid some 4,000 such clinics 
that receive federal nooney from counseling women about the 
availability of abortion, even if the women ask for the informa- 
tion 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 repeal. 
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 govenmient 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 informa- 
tion about abortion did not violate freedom of speech or any 
other constitutional right. 

All four dissenters said the court should have stmck down 
the regulations on statutory grounds. Blackmun, Marshall, and 
Stevens, going on to the constitutional questions, said the mling 
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 abandons 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 
sought" in imposing conditions on federally fiinded programs, 
she said. "It's close to sanctioning really any kind of government 
manipulation of information so long as it's paid for by the 
government." ("Abortion- Ad vice Ban Upheld for Federally 
Funded Clinics," The Washington Post, May 24) 

MAY - On May 28 the Supreme Court let stand a mling that 
threatens the conviction of Oliver North in the Iran-Contra 
affair. It refused to review a 1990 mling 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 



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outcome by hearing his earlier testimony before Congress. The 
Justices, who acted without comment, raised the possibility that 
much of the evidence used to convict North could be invalidated. 
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, 
accepting 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) 

JXJNE - 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 govern- 
ment 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 pro]X)sal would 
violate fundamental principles of American law: that the 
government'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 
public debate over the anticrime bill but is drawing increasing 
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 deportation are 
mtitled to constitutional protections, including a public 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 - The Defense Department has estimated that 100,000 
Iraqi soldiers were killed and 300,000 wounded during the 
Persian Gulf war, the first official atten^t to fix the Iraqi death 
toll in which military officials said was a "tentative" exercise 
based on "limited information." Responding to a Freedom of 
Information Act request from the Natural Resources Defense 
Council, an environmental group, the Defense Intelligence 
Agency issued a heavily qualified estimate, which was immedi- 
ately challenged. 

"Upon review, it has been determined that little information 
is available which would enable this agency to make an accurate 
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 SO perc^it or higher." 
("Iraq's War Toll Estimated by U.S.," The New York Times, 
June 5) 

JUNE - 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 short- 
comings from war planning to intelligence-gathering. Senior 
military commanders say cooperation among the services 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 problems against a more 
aggressive enemy force. Among the deficiencies: 

• The Air Force could not transmit bombing target 
lists to Navy pilots aboard ships in the Red Sea 
and Persian Gulf because of incompatible commu- 
nications links. As a result. Navy officials had to 
hand-carry from Riyadh to ships at sea computer 
disks containing each day's list of targets. 

• U.S. intelligence-gathering operations were so 
cumbersome and compartmentalized among agen- 
cies that commanders in the field frequently could 
not obtain timely intelligence to prepare for war 
operations.... 

("War Exposed Rivalries, Weaknesses in Military," The Wash- 
ington Post, Jime 10) 

JUNE - A one and one-half page story in the Village Voice by 
James Ridgeway described issues and problems with the privat- 
ization 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 estimates 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 understand what is going 
on is affected. The Joint Economic Committee of Congress, 
which is supposed to keep up on economic trends, recently made 
a study of interest rates. Since the data was unavailable via 
computer firom the Treasury, the committee ended up buying it 



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from a private company. 

The author says "This vast subsidy to the information 
industry was made by...OMB rules, which basically say that if 
private industry can make money distributing info, then the 
govenmient shouldn't be doing it." 

Ridgeway gives examples, including high costs, of the 
government's reliance on private sources for knowledge it needs 
to govern, using examples from the State Department, the 
Department of Agriculture, and the National Weather Service. 
Additionally, he points out: 

The privatization of information affects the most 
prosaic governmental 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 information 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) 

JUNE - 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 
confusion for commanders attempting to make wartime deci- 
sions. Schwarzkopf told the Senate Armed Services Committee 
on Jime 12 that battlefield damage assessment "was one of the 
major areas of confusion. " 

He also echoed the complaint of many field commanders 
during 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 incompatible computer systems, 
Schwarzkopf said. ("Schwarzkopf: War Intelligence Flawed," 
The Washington Post, June 13) 

JUNE - In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Charles 
Stith, president of the National Community Reinvestment 
Network, urged defeat of two amendments in President Bush's 
banking reform bill. Stith maintained that amendments added by 



Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) would gut the Community Reinvest- 
ment 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 chal- 
lenge 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 lending 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.... Enforcement of the law is 
possible because banks are required to keep public records of 
their business." ("Killer Amendmoits In the Banking Bill," The 
New York Times, June 17) 

JUNE - 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 
without 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. 

Rq). Henry Waxman (D-CA), principal author of the 1988 
and 1990 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 - 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 p>oison-gas leaks at refineries and 
chemical plants around the country. "Since October 1987, when 
a leak of hydrogen fluoride gas at a Marathon Oil refinery 
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 Govenmient 
experts and alarmed company executives. The 12 worst explo- 
sions 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 recent blast. 
"And there is not a Federal agency that compiles statistics and 
investigates every accident the way the National Transportation 
Safety Board does, for example, with air crashes. Although 
amendments to the Clean Air Act signed into law 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 
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ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

110 tVlaryland Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel. 202-547-4440; Fax 202-547-7363; ALANET ALA0025 

December 1991 




LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XVI^^ 

A 1991 Chronology: June - December 
INTRODUCTION 



During the past ten years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented administration efforts to restrict and privatize 
government information. A combination of specific policy 
decisions, the administration's interpretations and implemen- 
tations 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. 

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

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 Circular 
A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources. This 
circular requires cost-benefit analysis of government informa- 
tion 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 early in 1992, but a draft revision 
is not yet available. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to utilize 
computer and telecommunications technologies for data 
collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend 
has resulted in the increased emergence of contractual 
information collected at taxpayer expense, higher user 
arrangements with commercial firms to disseminate charges 



for government information, and the proliferation of govern- 
ment information available in electronic format only. While 
automation clearly offers promises of savings, 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 have begun 
to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public access 
to government information will be increased. 

In the second half of 1991, numerous articles reported poor 
statistics and inadequate information have led to major mis- 
calculations in the formulation of federal policy. Examples 
included problems with federal data about early childhood 
immunizations, prescription drug use, the consumer price 
index, the 1990 census, and the hazardous waste cleanup. 

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

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions which creates 
a climate in which government information activities are 
suspect. Previous chronologies were compiled in an ALA 
Washington Office publication. Less Access to Less Informa- 
tion By and About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 
Chronology. The following chronology continues semiannual 
updates published from 1988 to 1991. 



Less Access., 



June - December 1991 



JUNE - 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 
Workers' Suit on False Missile Tests for $8 Million," The New 
York Times, June 25, 1991) 

JUNE - The nation's next generation of badly needed weather 
satellites, designed by the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration 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 forecasters 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 country, 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 million over budget and more 
than two years behind schedule. Two of five plaimed GOES- 
NEXT satellites have been completed. 

GOES-NEXT is so flawed that it may not be launched in 
time to replace the aging GOES-7, National Weather Service 
officials 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. 
Instead 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 Washington Post, 
June 28, 1991) 

JUNE - Recently librarians in federal depository libraries have 
complained 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 regulations 
and requirements for public and private organizations— are for 
administrative purposes only, not subject to depository require- 
ments. Now the public and libraries can get access to the 
circulars through an expensive electronic product available from 



the National Technical Information Service. 

NTIS and Government Counselling Ltd., through a joint 
venture, have produced a CD-ROM containing OMB circulars, 
the Federal Acquisition Regulations, Defense Federal Acquisition 
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 publications 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 
subscription or as a single disk containing the most recent 
quarter only. The subscription costs $1,495. The most recent 
quarter only costs $995. In the future, Government Counselling, 
Ltd. will incorporate agency-specific information acquired by 
NTIS with its proprietary product to create a series of custom 
CD-ROMs. ("New CD-ROM Makes Government-Wide Procure- 
ment Regs Easy to Find," NTIS New'sLine, Summer 1991) 

JULY - Ihiblishers and executives of 17 news organizations, still 
concerned 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 
hiture 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 ref)orters who attempted to operate outside 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 transmission 
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 impression 

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 restrictions in the gulf, but that 
"some things worked well and some didn't." 

Among the items in the report were: 1) the Pentagon 
attempted "to use the press to disseminate disinformation," such 
as releasing 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 occasion "U.S. 
troops fixed bayonets and charged us;" and 3) two reporters 
were barred from a Marine unit after their escorts complained 



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that they had asked questions forbidden by military guidelines. 
("News Media Ask Freer Hand in Future Conflicts," The 
Washington Post, July 1) 

JULY - 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 
used in weapons turned against U.S. troops. In one case they 
examined, the reporters said it appears "the Bush administration 
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 Houston 
firm to give advice to a foreign buyer on oil-related technology. 
The buyer turned out to be an Iraqi, and the technology 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 underway 
into the Iraqi client. The broker's response was unexpected; he 
allegedly told Bickel and the Customs investigators that he was 
cormected 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 behind 
the decision. Some very important people did not want anyone 
nosing around the technology deal. 

Anderson says congressional investigators believe the Iraqi 
buyer was working for Ishan Barbouti, an Iraqi arms dealer. 
Barbouti is suspected by U.S. intelligence agencies of having 
been a major player in the construction of a chemical weapons 
plant in Libya. He bankrolled at least four businesses 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 - Census Bureau Director Barbara Everitt Bryant dis- 
agreed with Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher on virtually 
every element of his decision not to adjust the 1990 census to 
compensate for an undercount. In a document citing strong 
evidence that the population of the United States is 5.3 million 
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 introduce." 

On average, the accuracy of the census would be improved 
by a statistical adjustment, Bryant wrote in her advisory opinion, 
which was released by the Coimnerce Department along with 
other expert recommendations that went to Mosbacher in the 
weeks before his decision. Mosbacher aimounced 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 differences. "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 - The former head of the CIA's Central American task 
force admitted in court he and other senior CIA officials were 
aware of the secret diversion of funds to the Contra rebels in 
Nicaragua for months before the scandal broke in the fall of 
1986. 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 withholding 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'A 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 investigated by 
Walsh for possible perjury charges may come under increasing 
pressure to disclose more than they have to date. 

At the same time, investigators probing the unfolding 
investigation 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 



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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 financing 
unauthorized covert operations. ("The Cover-Up Begins to 
Crack," Time, July 22) 

JULY - House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks 
(D-TX) moved to subpoena Justice Department records to 
investigate allegations that the agency stole computer software 
from a private company, Inslaw Inc. TTie announcement came 
nearly a week after Attorney General Dick Thomburgh refused 
to testify before the Judiciary Committee. After Brooks' 
announcement, a Justice official said the department would 
provide the documents the committee sought for its investigation 
of the computer 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. 

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 - The General Accounting Office evaluated the quality 
of Environmental Protection Agency data that will be used to 
determine 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 integrate data, 
uncertain data validity based on inappropriate measurement, and 
uncertain data reliability based on inadequate 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 helpful 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 
Con.servation and Recovery Act. ("Waste Minimization: EPA 
Data Are Severely Flawed," GAO/PEMD-91-21, August 5, 9 
PP) 



AUGUST - An article by Spencer Rich stated that one of the 
most confusing 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 Congres- 
sional 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 
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 policy. 
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 have on spending and tax f)olicy. 

The article cites other examples of poor data about Individual 
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 overstated 
the rise in the cost of living by some 1-2 percent a year, with 
serious consequences for wage escalation and overadjustment 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 Miscalcula- 
tions," The Washington Post, August 6) 

AUGUST - After Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) met with two 
officials of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA said it will 
include a consultant'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 prepared 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 Jefferson County, W.Va. 

Wolf complained that the CIA was not making public the 
reasons against moving to West Virginia. The reasons were 
contained 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 CIA 
spokesman Mark Mansfield. Mansfield said the information 



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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 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 W.Va. Site," The Washington Post, August 14) 

AUGUST - After the confrontation between House Judiciary 
Committee 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 negotiate 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. 

TTie opinion concluded that "serious threats" to U.S. 
domestic security from "international terrorist groups and 
narcotics traffickers" 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 a later opinion concluding that the U.S. military could make 
arrests overseas, it was relied on by Bush administration officials 
in launching the December 1989 invasion of Panama. But critics 
have charged that it amounts to a dangerous expansion of Justice 
Department authority overseas in violation of international law. 

Justice Department officials have consistently refused to 
release the June 21, 1989, opinion, contending that its public 
dissemination would inhibit department lawyers writing internal 
opinions. They said it also had the potential to harm the govern- 
ment'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 govern- 
ment's arguments. ("U.S. 'Power' on Abductions Detailed," The 
Washington Post, August 14) 



AUGUST - Two examples of less govenmient 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. 

Dane cited a second example of the Office of Management 
and Budget midsession review of the budget, issued annually 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 embarrassing, but 
it should nevertheless be published." ("Using Cost-Cutting to 
Limit Public Data," The New York Times, August 14) 

AUGUST - 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 activities 
conducted by any federal agency and bans retroactive approval 
of such operations by the President. 

During the Iran-Contra affair, former President Ronald 
Reagan skirted the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980, which 
requires the President to give "prior notice" of all covert 
activities 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 authorized 
arms sales to Iran, and he did not inform Congress of the two 
actions for a year. ("Covert-Disclosure Bill Is Signed by 
President," The New York Times, August 16) 

AUGUST - The General Accounting Office looked into the 
removal of government documents during the Reagan adminis- 
tration by the last two agency heads at the Departments of 
Defense, Justice, State, and Treasury. It discovered that records 
of departing agency heads were not controlled by the National 
Archives and Records Administration, as is done for departing 
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 collec- 
tion 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- 



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moved. Once documents are moved, the government's access to 
them is not ensured — as evidenced by GAO's being denied 
access to three of the eight collections. GAO concluded that 
current internal controls do not adequately ensure that govern- 
ment records and information are properly protected because no 
independent review of documents is made before 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-91-1 17, August 30, 35 pp.) 

[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 - Government studies of the health risks from 
hazardous wastes at nearly 1 ,000 Superfiind cleanup sites were 
"seriously deficient," 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 Environ- 
mental Protection Agency and others supervising the cleanups, 
the GAO said in a report 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 said. 

The Superfund program was established to identify the 
nation'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 - According to Jack Anderson, the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission 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 general's warning on these products. That's because 
the NRC has no plans to mandate labeling." 

The f)olicy 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 international 
standards. An NRC spokesperson said: "We do not take actions 
that do not protect public health and safety." But an internal 
briefing pajjer 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 Informa- 
tion and Resource Service, a public interest group, estimates the 
savings would be $ 1 per year per utility customer. 

The NRC adopted the controversial ptolicy in June 1990 when 
it raised the level of certain less dangerous forms of radiation 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, incinera- 
tors, 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 - The U.S. Geological Survey's Water Resources 
Scientific Information Center announced that monthly issues of 
Selected Water Resources Abstracts (SWRA) will cease with the 
December 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 
$595 a year; the OCLC version costs $750 a year to nonmem- 
bers, $700 for members. Since no government agency is 
producing 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 - An article by Barry Meier highlighted criticism 
of the Consumer 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. 
Under its rules, the agency must give a manufacturer a chance 



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to review and dispute any data about a product. The Consumer 
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 product 
hazards that manufacturers are obliged to report to the commis- 
sion. As a result, preliminary determinations about product 
hazards are no longer placed in a public reading room at the 
agency, said Alan Schoem, a commission lawyer. 

Thus, it may be years before the public hears of suspect 
products. In November 1989, the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission 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 Commis- 
sion Is Criticized as Too Slow to Act," "Die New York Times, 
September 21) 

SEPTEMBER - At the insistence of former President Ronald 
Reagan, 6.3 million pages of White House documents will be 
made public shortly after the opening of his presidential library 
on November 4. Stung by earlier press reports 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 agriculture 
to highways and bridges. Reagan also asked that the archives 
open up an estimated 4.8 million pages of get-well cards, 
birthday 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 - A lobbying disclosure law is so riddled with 
exemptions that six big military contractors which spent $5.7 



million lobbying the executive branch and Congress last year 
only reported $3,547, according to investigators for the Senate 
subcommittee on oversight of government management. Sen. 
Carl Levin (D-MI) chairs the subcommittee which held a hearing 
on September 25 to discuss the weaknesses of the lobbying 
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 Looks at 
Military Lobbying Law," The New York Times, September 26) 

SEPTEMBER - Proposals 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 
significant 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 grocery 
stores required to post nutrition information for fresh produce 
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 
affairs. 

The FDA had also proposed that the manufacturers of diluted 
"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 enforcement 
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. John 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 protect 
public health and safety." Conyers said the OMB has, in the 



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past, "forced the FDA" to weaken regulations governing health 
claims on some food. ("OMB Accused of Weakening Food- 
Labeling Proposals," The Washington Post, September 26) 

[Ed. note: See November 6 entry for follow-up article.] 

SEPTEMBER - Judge Harold Greene ruled that a confidentiality 
clause in federal health research contracts, which bars private 
researchers from publishing their preliminary findings violates 
the First Amendment. The ruling comes in the same controver- 
sial 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 University 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 govenmient 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 
barring 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 
confidentiality clauses have become common in NIH contracts 
in the past 15 years and usually are invoked in research involv- 
ing clinical trials going on simultaneously at different universi- 
ties. ("Federal Judge Rules NIH Research Confidentiality Clause 
Invalid," The Washington Post, September 27) 

OCTOBER - 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 
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 Commit- 
tee on Intelligence, which was considering the nomination 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 
seriously 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 influence in 
Iran at a time when U.S. arms sales were being justified 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 - 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 atmosphere during the 1980s, embittered and inflexible 
analysts perceived such political pressure. "I never distorted 
intelligence to support policy or please a jX)licy-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 officials 
that he slanted CIA analyses to suit White House policy objec- 
tives and those of William Casey, then the agency's director. 
("Gates Tells Panel He Didn't Order Data to Be Slanted," 
International Herald Tribune, October 4) 

OCTOBER - During the debate on the conference report on HR 
1415, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 
1992 and 1993, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), ranking minority 
member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed 
classification of government information. He observed: 
One of the handiest tools used by executive branch 
agencies to keep Congress in the dark..., is needless 
classification of documents. 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 provide to be an 
embarrassment is inexcusable. 
(October 4 Congressional Record, p. S 14439) 

OCTOBER - 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 employ- 
er in the Santa Fe area. The series contained 32 articles pub- 
lished during six days in February 1991. The series, based in 
part on documents 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 



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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 evaluation 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 Washington Post, October 5) 

OCTOBER - 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 contended 
that the Reagan administration was embarrassed by the contrast 
between improving immunization rates throughout the Third 
World and five consecutive years of decline in the United States. 

Even without comprehensive data, problems are evident. 
Nearly 28,000 cases of measles were reported 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. surgeon general had set for 1990. 
Nearly half the measles patients were under age five. In the 
wake of the measles outbreak, 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 percent of public 
health clinics experienced spot shortages of vaccines. The 
demand-side holds that, while there are access 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 increase. ("U.S. Immunization 
Rates Uncertain," The Washington Post, October 9) 

OCTOBER - The fight to gain release of the adjusted 1990 
census figures has expanded to include states and the House of 
Representatives, with Rep. Thomas Sawyer (D-OH) saying he 
will seek a subpoena of the count from the Conmierce Depart- 
ment if necessary. 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 
official census number of those adjusted to compensate for an 



undercount — should be used to redraw political boundaries. 
Sawyer maintains that pubic 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 taxpayer, 
who paid about $35 million to generate those numbers." 

Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher has refused all 
requests to make public the adjusted figures, saying the numbers 
were flawed and their release could disrupt the redistricting 
process going on across the country. Sawyer said Mosbacher's 
refusal to adjust the census or even make public the adjusted 
counts "has left state legislatures all over the country struggling 
with large and demonstrably disproportionate undercounts of 
minorities." ("Adjusted Census Figures Subject of Wider Fight," 
The Washington Post, October 17) 

OCTOBER - TTie White House Council on Competitiveness, a 
regulatory review panel chaired by Vice President Dan Quayle, 
has refused to turn over documents to several congressional 
committees seeking to determine the council's role in federal 
rulemaking. 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 regulations that the 
President gives it. The council has claimed executive privilege 
to fend off requests for information on its deliberations. 

Sen. John Glenn (D-OH), chair of the Senate Governmental 
Affairs Committee, commented that presidential regulatory 
review is "process cloaked by mystery and secrecy and encour- 
ages the representation of interests that may unfairly influence 
agency rule making." ("Questions on Role of Quayle Council," 
The New York Times, October 19) 

OCTOBER - The National Research Council reported that the 
nation's mammoth program to clear up toxic waste was ham- 
pered by the inability to tell the difference between dumps 
posing 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 pubic 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 chemical and 
radioactive waste sites. "We shouldn't be making decisions on 
spending billions of dollars out of ignorance," said Dr. Thomas 
Chalmers of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Boston, 
Mass., a member of the committee that prepared the report. 



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"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 - 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 
National Park Service had dissented vigorously. Yellowstone's 
geysers are powered by a vast reservoir of underground heat, a 
resource developers would like to tap. 

The report, compiled primarily by the U.S. Geological 
Survey, concluded that small-scale geothermal development, 
such as that planned just outside Yellowstone's border by the 
Church Universal and Triumphant, 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 develop- 
ment could threaten the park. ("Manipulation Charged on 
Yellowstone Report," The Washington Post, November 1) 

NOVEMBER - Janet Norwood, commissioner of the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics, 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 backing 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 figures and payroll estimates. Payroll data 
collected 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 govern- 
ment's national economic accounts. While a decline in the 
payroll numbers does not necessarily mean a decline in the gross 
national product, it means that "the GNP has been a whole lot 
weaker than anyone thought," according to a senior congressio- 
nal economist. ("Federal Jobs Data Called Too Optimistic," The 
Washington Post, November 2) 

NOVEMBER - 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 
Washington Post. The Army, in particular, broke its own rules 
by concealing 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" 
investigation was underway. All had to wait months for the final 
word. 

Senior officers, in interviews, denied that any family had 
been deceived. TTiey said the delay in informing families was for 
the families' own good, in order to verify all the facts and 
synchronize 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 
Information Act, together with interviews with Defense Depart- 
ment officials and the families of 21 "friendly fire" casualties, 
indicated 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 
inflicted 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, Novem- 
ber 6)] 

NOVEMBER - In a move likely to provide more access to 
information, the Food and Drug Administration and the Agricul- 
ture Department proposed the most sweeping set of new food 
labeling regulations in U.S. history. The proposed guidelines 
will extend nutrition labeling to all processed foods, force a far 
more complete listing of ingredients, and standardize what 
previously 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 intended 
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 - Former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott 
Abrams pleaded guilty in federal court to two charges of 
illegally withholding 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 a.spects of the Iran-Contra affair, Abrams 
admitted testifying untruthfully before two congressional 
committees in October 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 



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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 independent counsel Lawrence 
Walsh in the final stages of Walsh's investigation of the Iran- 
Contra scandal. ("Abrams Pleads Guilty in Iran-Contra Affair," 
The Washington Post, November 8) 

NOVEMBER - In late October, James McConnell, Securities 
and Exchange Commission executive director, stopped distribu- 
tion 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 unfair, 
according to Jessica Kole, special counsel to the executive 
director. Sexual harassment issues emerged as a major problem 
for the agency three years ago. 

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 under court 
order to stop sexual harassment and discrimination since 1988, 
when it lost a sexual harassment case involving employees in its 
now-defunct Washington, D.C., regional office. The newsletter 
article, by SEC equal employment opportunity specialist Janis 
Belk, said there were numerous concerns in the SEC's regional 
offices about the handling of racial and gender issues. ("SEC 
Blocks Newsletter Containing Article on Gender, Racial Issues," 
The Washington Post, November 8) 

NOVEMBER - An advisory panel told the Food and Drug 
Administration that silicone-gel breast implants should continue 
to be available 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 have 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 
manufacturers 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." Several 
panel members, however, said they had been disappointed in the 



past, when FDA failed in 1982 and 1988 to push the manufac- 
turers to produce more detailed studies. The companies that 
sought approval for their implants were Dow Coming Wright, 
Mentor Corp., McGhan Medical Corp., and Bioplasty Inc. 
Several other manufacturers had been asked to submit safety data 
to the panel; but rather than comply, they dropped out of the 
business. "Companies can't say these devices 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 - Acting outside the Constitution in the early 
1980s, a secret federal 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 existence 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 Security 
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 Depart- 
ment, 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 constitution- 
al scholar who appeared on the CNN broadcast. Prof. William 
Van Alstyne of Duke University, said the very secrecy surround- 
ing 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 - In June 1989, the FBI raided the Energy 
Department Rocky Flats plutonium plant to check reports that 
workers were burning hazardous waste in an illegal incinerator 
and violating other environmental laws. Prosecutors, the FBI, 
and Rocky Flats managers have said little about the progress of 
the investigation, and no one has been indicted. Most of what is 
known about the case is coming from Karen Pitts and Jacqueline 



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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'/^-year investigation 
into alleged illegal activities at Rocky Flats, are telling their 
stories at public meetings and on radio talk shows, in newspaper 
and network interviews. They tell of routine safety violations, 
management indifference to jxjtential disasters, and intimidation 
of workers who raised questions, and they have become the 
focus of public debate about the long-ruiming investigation at the 
troubled plant. ("2 Women at Rocky Flats Plant Tell of Intimida- 
tion, Safety Violations," The Washington Post, December 28) 

DECEMBER - In a switch on the problem of less access to 
government information, 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 coun- 
try—private credit reports, business histories, driver's license 
records, even personal 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 "information 
broker" industry that some experts fear may pose one of the 
most serious threats to individual privacy in decades. 

Law enforcement officials say that as the demand for 
personal data grows, information brokers are increasingly 
turning to illegal methods. In mid-December, NET was identi- 
fied by the FBI as one player in a nationwide network of brokers 
and private investigators who allegedly were pilfering confiden- 
tial 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 
say 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 arrested 
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 contained in SSA 
computers. In effect, law enforcement officials said, information 
brokers such as NET were bribing the government 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 Depart- 



ment of Health and Human Services, whose office launched the 
investigation. ("Theft of U.S. Data Seen as Growing Threat to 
Privacy," The Washington Post, December 28) 

DECEMBER - In an editorial titled, "Say Merry Christmas, 
America," Government Technology editor Al Simmons urged 
readers to ask their legislators to support two pending House 
bills that would increase public access to government informa- 
tion. The bills are: HR 2772 introduced by Rep. Charlie Rose 
(D-NC) and HR 3459 introduced by Rep. Major Owens (D-NY). 
Simmons called the two legislators "a couple of fearless 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 Office 
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 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 informa- 
tion 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 directly from the 
government." ("Say Merry Christmas, America," Government 
Technology, December) 



Earlier chronologies of this publication were combined 
into an indexed version covering the period April 1982- 
December 1987. Updates are prepared at six-month 
intervals. Less Access... updates (from the January-June 
1988 issue to the present publication) are available for 
$1 .00; the indexed version is $7.00; the complete set is 
$15.00. A new compilation is expected in early 1992. 
Orders must be prepaid and include a self-addressed 
mailing label. All orders must be obtained from the 
American Library Association Washington Office, 110 
Maryland Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002-5675; tel. 
no. 202-547-4440, fax no. 202-547-7363. 



ALA Washington OfTice 



12 



December 1991 







ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1 10 Marylarxj Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 2CXX}2-5675 

Tel: 202-547-4440 Fax: 202-547-7363 Bitnet: nu_alawash@cu^ 

Jun« 1992 



'€%. 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XVIII V 

A 1992 Chronology: January - June 
INTRODUCTION 



Dunng the past eleven years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented administration efforts to restrict and privatize 
government information. A combination of specific policy 
decisions, the administration's interpretations and implemen- 
tations of the 1980 Paperwork Reduction Act (PL 96-51 1 , as 
amended by PL 99-500) and agency budget cuts have 
significantly limited access to public documents and statistics. 

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

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 
intormation control powers, particularly through Circular 
A- 130, Management of Federal Information Resources. 0MB 
issued its proposed revision of the circular in the April 29 
Federal Register. Particularly troubling is OMB's theory that 
the U.S. Code's definition of a "government publication " 
excludes electronic publications. Agencies would be unlikely 
to provide electronic products voluntarily to depository 
libranes — resulting in the technological sunset of the Deposi- 
tory Library Program, a primary channel for public access to 
government information. 

.Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to utilize 
computer and telecommunications technologies for data 



collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend 
has resulted in the increased emergence of contractual 
arrangements with commercial firms to disseminate informa- 
tion collected at taxpayer expense, higher user charges for 
government information, and the proliferation of government 
information available in electronic format only. While 
automation clearly offers promises of savings, 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 have begun 
to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public access 
;o government information should be increased. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open 
government is vital to a democracy. .A January 1984 resolu- 
tion passed by Council stated that "there should be equal and 
ready access to data collected, compiled, produced, and pub- 
lished in any format by the government of the United Slates." 
In 1986, ALA initialed a Coalition on Government Informa- 
tion. The Coalition's objectives are to focus national attention 
un all efforts that limit access to government information, and 
to develop support for improvements in access to government 
intormation. 

With access to information a major ALA prionty, members 
should be concerned about this senes of actions which creates 
a climate in which government information activities are 
susp>ect. Previous chronologies were compiled in two ALA 
Washington Office indexed publications. Less Access to Less 
I nfonmition By and About the U.S. Government: A 19SI-1987 

Chronology, and Less Access 4 1988-1991 Chronology. 

The following chronology continues the tradition of a semi- 
annual update. 



Less Access.. 



January - Jube 1992 



CHRONOLOGY 



JA>fUARY - The Army's Strategic Defense Command is taking 
steps to dismiss a veteran physicist who says he is bemg 
punished for his complaints about gross waste and mismanage- 
ment m the multibillion-dollar Strategic Defense Initiative. In an 
affidavit submitted to lawyers for the Government Accountability 
Project, Aldnc Saucier, a civilian scientist at the Pentagon with 
more than 25 years of government service, said he had an 
"unblemished record until [he] started challenging 'Star Wars' 
abuses." 

"Star Wars," he said in the affidavit, "has been a high-nsk, 
space age, national secunty pork barrel for contractors and top 
government managers." 

House Government Operations Committee Chairman John 
Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said his subcommittee on legislation and 
national secunty is investigating many of Saucier's allegations. 
A Conyers aide said the mquiry is just getting started but that at 
least one of Saucier's charges — about unauthonzed destruction 
of thousands of scientific reports costing millions of dollars— has 
been corroborated. 

The embattled scientist said he repeatedly blew the whistle on 
examples of waste and mismanagement, such as an unauthonzed 
destruction of 3,000 studies and reports at an SDC-contractor 
library in Huntsville, Ala. ("Scientist Says Army Seeks to Fire 
Him for Criticizing SDI," The Washington Post, January 10) 

JANUARY - Rep. Thomas Sawyer (D-Ohio), chairman of the 
subcommittee on census and p>opulation, and the Commerce 
Department came to an agreement over the release of "adjusted" 
census figures, ending a dispute that had prompted the panel to 
subpoena the data. Commerce agreed to turn over half of ihe 
fxjpulation t'lgures. which have been statistically weighted to 
compensate for persons missed in the 1990 census. Sawyer said 
the subcommittee needs the data to assess the quality of the 
census and determine what changes should be made for the 2000 
census. 

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher, 
Sawyer chided him for balking at the request for information. 
Mosbacher. who resigned his fxjst in rrud-January to manage 
President Bush's re-election campaign, had ignored the subpoena 
and sent a representative to inform the subcommittee that the 
department would turn over only half of the numbers. 

Ctimmerce Department officials have argued that it would be 
irresponsible to turn over the adjusted census figures because 
they are Hawed and their release could disrupt redistncting 
efforts underway across the country. However, New York City 
and other jurisdictions have sued to overturn that decision, 
arguing that the adjusted figures are a fairer representation ot the 
nation'spopulationdistnbution. {"Accord Reached on 'Adjusted' 
Census Figures," The Washini^ion Post. January 10) 

JANUARY - A Central Intelligence Agency panel, the Openness 



Task Force, established by Director Robert Gates to explore 
ways to lift the agency's veil of secrecy, has recommended 
declassifying vast quantities of older documents and making 
agency officials more accessible to the public. Intelligence 
officials say the internal panel has sent Gates a list of options 
that also includes more on-the-record interviews, public sf)eech- 
es, and public testimony to Congress by semor agency officials, 
as well as the release of new matenal to complement the current 
publication of maps, world fact books, and economic reports. 

The internal soul-searching stems from the pragmatic concern 
that in a world where the histonc enemy has disappeared, the 
intelligence community must justify its billion-dollar satellites 
and thousands of analysts and spies. Under the openness panel's 
most sweepmg recommendations, the CIA would declassify 
millions of pages of documents, some of them dating to World 
War I, making them available to the public, perhaps in a 
computer information bank. ("C.I. A. Study Panel Suggests 
Openness on Agency Records." The Sew York Times. January 
12) 

I Ed. note: In May, dunng congressional testimony, CIA 
Director Robert Gates expressed detemunation to release "every 
relevant scrap of paper m CIA's possession" about the assassi- 
nation of President John Kennedy to dispel the notion that the 
intelligence agency or other elements of the government were 
involved in the murder. ("CIA to Release Some JFK Docu- 
ments," The Washington Post, May 13) 

JANUARY - Communities made up of minonties— black, 
Hispanic, and Amencan Indian— exp>enence "greater than 
average" exposure to some environmental poLsons according to 
the draft rejwrt of an Environmental Protection Agency task 
torce. The repwrt, "Environmental Equity," says the environ- 
mental poisons include lead, air pollutants, toxic waste, and 
tainted fish. But, the authors said, race is not as significant a 
factor as fHDverty in determining which communities face the 
highest nsk. 

,\ task force of EPA staff members combed government and 
scholarly reports to determine the extent and s<iurce of nsk to 
minonty areas, said Robert Wolcott, who heads EPA's water 
and agnculture policy division. Although there are clear 
ditferences in death and disea.se rates among ethnic groups, the 
task force was unable to d(K'ument how much environmental 
factors contnbuted to that rale. .Nor were data available that 
categonzed people by race suffenng from environmentally 
caused disease. The one exception was childhotxl lead pois*)ning. 

The task force recommended the development ot new data 
systems to assess nsk by race and income, improve procedures 
tor identifying highly polluted areas, to kx)k \ox ways to reduce 
risk in hard-hit communities, and to review permits and entorce- 
iiient practices to assure that all communities are treated fairly. 



ALA WasbinKtOD OfTice 



June IWi 



Less Access.. 



January - June 1992 



("Minonties" Pollution Risk Is Debated," The Washington Post, 
January 16) 

JANUARY - The Food and Drug Administration told the 
leading manufacturer of silicone gel breast implants to agree to 
allow the government to make public the confidential new 
information that contributed to the FDA's voluntary moratonum 
on the sale and use of implants. A top FDA official said the 
agency had detenmned that 90 key studies and memoranda 
"should be made publicly available" and was prepared to take 
unspecified steps to allow their release if the company did not 
cooperate. Normally some of the documents would be treated as 
confidential commercial information. ("FDA Presses for 
Disclosure on Implants," The Washington Post, January 20) 

JANUARY - President Bush's senior advisers have recommend- 
ed that he stop ail government agencies from issuing new rules 
tor three months as part of a broad campaign to revive the 
economy by reducing the burden of federal regulation. "What 
we envision is a moratonum on proposing new regulations, 
across the board in every agency, except those rules required by 
statute or those tfiat stimulate economic growth," a White House 
official said. The moratonum would affect most of the 4,800 
regulations being developed by federal agencies. 

White House officials listed seven broad areas in which they 
now hope to reduce federal regulation on entrepreneurs and 
business: environmental protection (including fuel economy 
standards for automobiles); energy (natural gas, electncity); 
transportation (trucking, ocean shipping, airlines); exports; 
communications (cellular telephones, cable television); biotech- 
nology, and "access to capital." 

Rep. Jofui Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Sen. John Glenn 
(D-Ohio) have charged that the White House improperly inter- 
tered in the rulemaking of federal agencies. ("In Move to Spur 
Economy. Bush is Urged to Order 90-Day Ban on New Federal 
Rules," The New York Times, January 21) 

JANUARY - Senate intelligence committee Chairman David 
Boren (D-Okla.) declared that all government papers on Presi- 
dent John Kennedy's assassination should be opened to clear the 
air on whether federal agencies were involved in the incident. 
Boren said all government documents, including those now 
cla.ssified, should be open to legitimate histonans. "I have no 
intormation or knowledge which would lead me to believe that 
our government agencies were involved in any kind of plot in 
relation to the death of President Kennedy." Boren said in a 
statement. The National Archives has said about 2 percent of the 
documents collected by the official Warren Commission investi- 
gation in 1964 remain classified. ("Boren Seeks Opening ot 
.Assassination Papers." The Washington Post. January 22) 

JANUARY - New policy guidance from Gen. Carl Mundy lo 
Manne generals and commanding officers told them that family 
memf>ers of fnendly fire casualties are "nghtfully entitled" to 



"all details" of fatal accidents, even when the facts "may 
embarrass the Marine Corps or reflect negatively on your 
command." But Mimdy, the Marme commandant, stopped short 
of establishing a deadline for disclosure. Mundy said his 
guidance responded to news articles about the handling of 
friendly fire casualties in the Persian Gulf War. Since the war, 
many families have complained that the Army and Manne Corps 
withheld the truth for months about how their relatives died. 

Mimdy, who requested a meetmg with a Post reporter m 
November 1991, said then he was surpnsed to learn that family 
members would want to know that their loved ones died tmder 
fnendly fire. He said that if either of his sons were to pensh at 
the hands of Amencan troops, he would want to know only "that 
they died fighting the enemy." But he said he mtended to honor 
the wishes of families for "accurate and timely information." 

The Army, subject to far harsher cnticism from families of 
its 21 friendly-fire fatalities in the gulf war, has issued no 
similar guidance. The Army has not disclosed results of an 
internal investigation mto alleged deception of several soldiers' 
families. In rmd-January, Maj. Gen. Peter Boylan, acting 
inspector general, denied a Freedom of Information Act request 
filed by The Post for a copy of the investigation. ("Mannes 
Ordered to Reveal Friendly Fire Death Details," The Washin(;ion 
Post, January 23) 

JANUARY - The Amencan trade deficit is probably $10 billion 
to $20 billion a year smaller than is officially reported because 
the nation's exp>orts are systematically undercounted, according 
to a study released yesterday by a panel of business leaders, 
bankers and academics. According to the 30-monlh study, 
performed for the congressionally chartered National Research 
Council, the true competitive position of U.S. companies is 
being misrepresented not only by the impreci.se trade data, hut 
also by many analysts' failure to take account ot the foreign 
inanufactunng operations of U.S. firms. 

The report could provide comfort for the White House, 
which IS under fire from Democrats for its handling of trade 
relations, esf>ecially with Japan. Robert Baldwin, a University ot 
Wisconsin econormcs professor who was chairman of the panel, 
said U.S. experts to Japan. Germany, and Bntain were routinely 
underrepKirted by about 7 p)ercent dunng the 1980s. The group 
called for steps to assure than U.S. exporters promptly repK)rt 
their foreign sales and for increased automation of reporting and 
tabulating of the numbers. U.S. official said that they have 
already made many of the changes recommended by the repH)rt. 
but some of the panel's suggestions would require ma)or 
-.pending. ("U.S. Trade Deficit Overstated, Report Says," The 
Wcishmi^ion Post, January 29) 

JANUARY - Thirteen former counsel and staff members ot the 
Warren Commission urged all government agencies, including 
the FBI and the CIA, to make public all records compiled in 
investigating the 1963 assassination of President John Kennedy. 
In a joint statement they said the reasons for secrecy had 



ALA WasbioRton Office 



June 1992 



Less Access... 



Jaouarr - June 1992 



dissipated after 28 yean and officials should be guided by a bias 
in favor of public disclosure. The 13 delivered a letter to the 
Archivist of the United States, Don Wilson, asking his help in 
releasing the remaining 2 percent of Warren Commission 
evidence that is still under seal. 

Washington lawyer Howard Willens, a spokesman for the 
group, said they want to dispel charges of a governmental 
coverup following the assassination and are confident that public 
disclosure would bear them out on that point, even though debate 
over what happened in Dallas Nov. 22, 1963, probably will 
never end. ("Ex-Warren Suffers Urge JFK DaU Release," The 
Washington Post, January 31) 

JANUARY - Rep. Gerry Sikorski (D-Minn.) and other members 
of a House post office and civil service subcommittee said they 
were "shocked" by a former special agent's testimony that the 
Forest Service logged national forests illegally and retaliated 
against agency whistleblowers. John McCormick, who retired 
earlier in January, said the agency violated environmental laws, 
manipulated scientific evidence to benefit the timber industry, 
and punished workers who raised objections. In sworn testimo- 
ny, McCormick said the Forest Service covered up internal 
evidence of misconduct and denied public requests under the 
Freedom of Information Act, falsely claiming the requested 
documents did not exist. Sikorski said he will ask the Justice 
Department to mvestigate the allegations. ("Panel Chairman to 
Seek Probe of Forest Service," The Washington Post, January 
31) 

FEBRUARY - Marshall Turner of the Bureau of the Census, 
informed recipients of bureau press releases that "due to 
budgetary constraints, we will henceforth be able to provide 
copies of Census Bureau press releases only to members of the 
press." Other sources for press releases or information of the 
type provided in press releases were identified in Turner's letter: 
iwo commercial information vendors. He also pointed out that 
Mime State Data Centers may also provide copies of the press 
releases. (Letter dated February 1992, from Marshall L. Turner 
Jr., Chief. Data User Services Division, Bureau of the Census, 
to Press Release Users) 

FEBRUARY - A task force commissioned by CIA Director 
Robert Gates has recommended creation of what would be the 
world's most exclusive electronic news network, teatunng 
-■upersecret intelligence reports and the latest information from 
satellites in space and espionage agents around the globe. The 
proposed CIA network would be a multimillion-dollar proposi- 
tion, otlenng news bulletins six days a week to an elite audience 
.omposed initially ot fewer than ItX) key government officials. 
"This will be the only news network where the producers are 
trying to lirmt their audience," an administration official said. 

Gates has favored an instant intelligence news network for 
years, though an agency official said the director has not yet 
given the go-ahead to the system. Dunng his confirmation 



heanngs as CIA director, Gates said such a network was one of 
the early innovations he had in imnd for the agency as a way to 
put into perspective the instantaneous coverage of the Cable 
News Network that policymakers now all seem to watch. 
Lawmakers, however, probably would not be among the early 
recipients of the proposed system, and it is uncertain whether the 
network would ever expand to Capitol Hill. ("Clearance Sought 
for New CIA Network," The Washington Post, February 5) 

FEBRUARY - Thirty years after the first silicone-filled breast 
prosthesis was implanted in an American woman, a special 
committee of the Food and Drug Admmistration will meet to ask 
whether the devices are safe enough to remain on the market. 
They will not get a satisfactory answer. In three days of 
heanngs, no one will present defiiutive long-term studies on the 
questions that interest the FDA most: How often does the gel 
mside these implants leak into the body and what happens when 
It does.' These studies have never been done. 

Manufacturers said they did their own inhouse testing of 
silicone in the 1960s and 1970s and did not think any broader 
study was necessary. The FDA, given the power to regulate 
implants in 1976, did not even ask companies to submit safety 
data on them until two years ago. "The reason we are still 
resolving this issue 30 years later is that there are a lot of vested 
interests," said FDA Commissioner David Kessler. "There are 
people who think it is safe and people who think it isn't safe. 
There is tremendous belief on both sides. But there isn't the 
data. We have gotten to this point without the data. TTiat's why 
we are in this difficult situation." ("FDA Set to Begin Heanngs 
on Silicone Breast Implants," The Washington Post. February 
17) 

FEBRUARY - In 1978, a U.S. hank examiner gave federal 
authonties extraordinary examples of the Bank ot Credit and 
Corrmierce International's troubled loans, normnee shareholders 
and other problems that would eventually derail the foreign 
bank. That report and memos Irom the Central Intelligence 
.Agency were used at a Senate foreign relations subcommittee 
hearing as fresh examples in a growing body ot evidence that 
officials in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the 
Treasury, and the Central Intelligence Agency knew about the 
penis ot BCCl years earlier than previously reported, but took 
no action to inform law enlorcement otficials or other bank 
regulators. 

Both the l<'78 memo from an OCC examiner and a 1985 
memo from the CIA that was hand-camed to the Treasury 
Department are now "lost," according to the testimony of OCC 
and CI.A officials. Before the congressional heanng, the earliest 
acknowledged government awareness of BCCI's troubles was 
1986. The OCC document, prepared by bank examiner Joseph 
Vaez, apparently disappeared from the OCC's files. Last 
.August. Vaez found his personal copy of the memo in a file in 
his garage and sent it to the OCC. When Sen. John Kerry 
(D-Mass.) requested a copy from the OCC, the agency refused 



ALA Washington OfHce 



June 1992 



Less Access... 



January - June 1992 



and the subcommittee he chairs subpoenaed the document. "It 
makes one wonder whether the OCC believes it has something 
to hide," Kerry said at the hearing. ("U.S. Warned About BCCI 
m 1978, Panel Told," The Washington Post, February 20) 

FEBRUARY - In a two-part senes in the Los Angeles Times, 
Murray Wans and Douglas Frantz, wrote a special report 
documentmg the aid provided to Iraq by the Reagan and Bush 
admuustrations. According to the report, m the fall of 1989. at 
a time when Iraq's mvasion of Kuwait was only nme months 
away and Saddam Hussein was desperate for money to buy 
arms. President Bush signed a top-secret National Secunty 
Decision Directive ordering closer ties with Baghdad and 
opening the way for $1 billion m new aid, according to classified 
documents and mterviews. 

The $1 billion commitment, in the form of loan guarantees 
for the purchase of U.S. farm commodities, enabled Hussein to 
buy needed foodstuffs on credit and to spend his scarce reserves 
of hard currency on the massive arms buildup that brought war 
to the Persian Gulf. Gettmg new aid from Washmgton was 
cntical for Iraq in the wanmg months of 1989 and the early 
months of 1990 because mtemational bankers had cut off 
virtually all loans to Baghdad. 

Bush's efforts reflected a pattern of personal intervention and 
support for aid to Iraq that extended from his early years as vice 
president in the Reagan administration through the first year of 
his own presidency and almost to the eve of the Persian Gulf 
War. ("Secret Effort by Bush m '89 Helped Hussem Build Iraq's 
War Machme," February 24; and "U.S. Loans Indirectly 
Financed Iraq Military," February 25, m the Washington 
Edition/Los Angeles Times) 

FEBRUARY - Durmg a review of the controversial program to 
develop a space nuclear reactor, the House Investigations 
Subcommittee on Science. Space and Technology uncovered a 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration "how-to manual" 
on circumventing the Freedom of Information Act. The outraged 
chair of the subcomnuttee, Howard Wolf)e (D-Mich.), descnbed 
the document as an attempt by NASA to subvert not only the 
FOIA, but the right of Congress to review agency decision- 
making. Indeed, the manual calls for destruction of documents, 
which Wolpe points out is a violation of federal law. Dunng the 
Reagan years. NASA regularly sought an exclusion to the FOIA. 
but Congress refused. ("NASA Accused of Attempting to 
Withhold Information on SP-lOO!" What's New, February 28) 

(Ed. note: NASA Admmistrator Richard Truly ordered an 
investigation ot the agency's FOIA procedures following charges 
that NASA had told workers how to avoid disclosing controver- 
sial information. "NASA is strongly comrmtted to full compli- 
ance with the law, and we repudiate the portions of this docu- 
ment that are inconsistent with our policy," Truly said. He said 
he was countermandmg the document and was circulating to all 
senior managers a letter to "renund them that NASA places the 



utmost value on openness and honesty m government." ("NASA 
Chief Says Policy is 'Openness, Honesty'," The Washington 
Post, February 29)1 

FEBRUARY - The Inspector General of the Environmental 
Protection Agency said that mismanagement had enabled the 
agency's largest contractor to gain control of virtually all of its 
computenzed information systems and may have led to millions 
of dollars in improper payments to the company. In a 20S-page 
report, John Martin, the Inspector General, said the contractor, 
the Computer Sciences Corporation, a Califonua computer 
services company, functioned as a pnvate government within 
EPA by developmg and operatmg its most sensitive computer- 
ized information and data retneval systems without supervision. 

The report said that the company, which began working for 
EPA in the early 1970s, had been so carelessly managed that the 
company was reviewmg and paying its own bills, double billing 
for its work, chargmg full-time wages for employees who 
worked part time, and charging the government for work that 
was never approved by the agency. The Inspector General said 
the company may have improperly gamed $13 imllion ot the 
$67.9 million it earned last year from EPA. 

Computer Sciences is the largest of more than 700 contrac- 
tors domg work for the agency, and none has more sensitive 
responsibilities. The company mamtains and controls the most 
highly sensitive data the agency possess, the Inspector General 
said, but EPA was not maintaimng any program of oversight to 
make sure that data were secure from unauthonzed access or 
manipulation. The company also had no completed background 
checks of employees who managed the data, which included 
sensitive mformation about cases agamst polluters, new policies 
for controlling pollutants, tracking legal .ses and agency 
payrolls. 

The government will spend $87 billion this year on service 
contracts, according to the General Accounting Office, an 
investigative arm of Congress. In 1980, the government spent 
S25 billion on service contracts. ("E.P.A. Is Called Lax with 
Contractor," The New York Times, February 29) 

FEBRUARY - The Government Pnntmg Office announced that 
the decisions of the U.S. Ment Systems Protection Board are no 
longer published by the board, but are now published pnvately 
by West Publishing Co. under the new title USMSPB Reporter. 
("Whatever Happened To....'" Administrative Notes, Febriiary 

:9) 

MARCH - The PenUgon has its answer to the Cable News 
.Network— the Defense Intelligence Network or DIN. For almost 
12 hours a day, five days a week, the Defense Intelligence 
.Agency has for the past year been broadcastmg top secret reports 
over the most secure TV news network m the world to a select 
audience of about 1,000 defense intelligence and operations 
officers at the Pentagon and 19 other imlitary commands in the 
United Sutes. One big reason for the urgency of this recent 



ALA WashinKtOD OfTice 



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JanuaiT - June 1992 



electronic effort to speed up the delivery of intelligence is that 
U.S. intelligence agencies have been finding their printed reports 
going unread by policymakers who have already watched events 
unfold on CNN. 

Still evolving, DIN's encrypted broadcasts can be beamed 
only to TV sets and special computers in the shielded, compart- 
mentalized quarters where intelligence and operations officers 
spend their workdays. The system, which so far has cost about 
$10 million, did not receive its first formal infusion of money 
until October 1991, officials said. ("On This Network, All the 
News Is Top Secret." The Washington Post, March 3) 

MARCH - A Census Bureau demographer who was assigned to 
update the government's population estimate for Iraq and 
released her findings to a reporter in January has been told she 
IS to be fired. The information Beth Osborne Daponte gave to 
Robert Bums, an Associated Press reporter, would have been 
available to anyone who came to her office and asked for the 
Iraqi folder for the "World Population 1992" handbook. Daponte 
said the file disappeared from her desk shortly after Bums' story 
appeared in The Washington Post and is still missing. 

Daponte had no access to classified information in prepanng 
her study. She based it instead on a review of literature un 
casualty modeling and on the gulf war. Her estimates— a total of 
158,000 Iraqi dead, including 40,000 direct miliUry deaths. 
13,000 immediate civilian deaths, 35,000 postwar deaths in the 
Shiite and Kurdish rebellions, and 70,000 deaths due to the 
public health consequences of wartime damage to electricity and 
sewage treatments plants— fall generally within the middle range 
of other expert calculations. 

Two of Daponte's supervisors later rewrote and released 
Daponle's report, reducing the number of direct, wartime 
civilian deaths from 13,000 to 5,000 and eliminating a Daponte 
chart breaking down the figures for men, women, and children. 
Daponte had estimated that 86.194 men, 39.612 women, and 
32,195 children died at the hands of the Amencan-led coalition 
forces, dunng the domestic rebellions that followed, and from 
postwar depnvation. "I think it's rather scary that if an employ- 
ee releases public information to the public, they can get fired 
tor It," Dap>onte said. "My salary had been paid by tax dollars. 
I thought the public was entitled to know what we had come up 
with." ("Census Worker Who Calculated '91 Iraqi Death Toll Is 
Told She Will Be Fired." The Washington Post. March 6) 

I Ed. note: A related article, "Move to Dismiss Census Staffer 
Scares Colleagues Into Silence," Federal Times, March 23, 
(Jescnbes how the attempt to fire Daponte is having a chilling 
effect on agency employees who deal with the public. Docu- 
ments obtained by Federal Times show that in the last two 
months. Census Bureau officials have circulated memoranda 
outlining restrictions on contact with the media. An April 12 
article in The Washington Post, "Census Bureau Retracts Finng 
of Researcher," said that the Census Bureau has backed down 
and said Daponte could keep her job.) 



MARCH - A group of 19 noted historians, political scientists, 
and scientists have sent a letter to Energy Secretary James 
Watkins, protesting Energy's handling of historical documents. 
According to the scholars, the department's "unabated enthusi- 
asm for withholding records" is making it difficult to answer 
some of the most important histoncal, scientific, and public- 
health questions about nuclear energy that have ansen over the 
last 50 years. 

The scholars contend that the Energy Department has made 
It difficult to evaluate such issues as the development of nuclear 
weapons and commercial nuclear power, the course of cold-war 
diplomacy, and scientific claims rangmg from the feasibility of 
the Strategic Defense Initiative to the safety of nuclear stock- 
piles. The problem, they say, stems from provisions of the 
Atomic Energy Act, passed in 1946 and amended in 1954, which 
treat all information about nuclear weapons as classified. 

The scholars maintain that access to DOE records is ham- 
pered by two key problems: The department lacks an overall 
program to declassify archival documents routinely, and it does 
not comply with a federal requirement that govemment agencies 
transfer custody of documents more than 30 years old to the 
National Archives and Records Administration. In addition, the 
letter said that many Energy Department records were held by 
pnvate contractors who work for the agency, and that pnvileged 
access to documents was given to histonans wnlmg the official 
history of the federal govemment's atomic-energy programs. 

Bryan Siebert, director of the Energy Department's office of 
classification and technology policy, says information relating to 
nuclear weapons is "bom classified," and that specific requests 
tor documents must be reviewed according to cntena in 800 
department declassification guides. In a wntten reply to the 
scholars, Gerald Chapp>el. acting director ot the otfice ot 
information resources management, said that timetables to 
declassify records were being developed and should be in place 
by 1996. 

To some extent, the problems that scholars tace at the 
Energy Department are part of broader problems with access to 
federal records. Unlike many other countnes, the United Slates 
until recently has not mandated schedules (or the relea.sc of 
otficial documents, but has let individual presidents set records 
policies. When Congress passed a law last year requmng the 
Department of Slate to open all but iLs most sensitive records 
over 30 years old, "we eot the beginning of a corrective to the 
closed fxilicy ana secrecy about recorus that evolved during the 
Reagan-Bush years," says Page Putnam Miller, director of the 
National Coordinating Comnuttee tor die Promotion ot History, 
an alliance of history and archival groups. ("Scholars Protest 
Agency's Handling of Histoncal and Scientific Papers." The 
Chronicle of Higher Education. March II) 

MARCH - NASA has decided that next year it will shut down 
the Magellan spacecraft, which is currently mapping Venus, 
although It will still be gathering e,ssential information. The 
decision to shut Magellan down was made in a bargaining 



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session between NASA and the Office of Management and 
Budget. The amount of money for planetary science m the 
administration's budget for fiscal year 1993 is so small that 
NASA has concluded that Magellan has to be sacnficed on 
behalf of other missions. 

Magellan, which waa launched in 1989, has now mapped 
Venus twice, and has just begun its third mapping cycle. Many 
questions that geophysicists ask about Earth may be answered on 
Venus. Given the cost of building Magellan and getting it to 
Venus— about half a billion dollars— most of the NASA scientists 
think that to turn it off prematurely is penny-wise and pound- 
toolish. ("The Talk of the Town," The New Yorker. March 16) 

MARCH - In its latest attack on federal environmental regula- 
tions. 0MB blocked a major health proposal for workers, saying 
that carrying it out could be so expensive it could force compa- 
nies to cut wages and jobs, thereby making workers' health 
worse. The proposed regulation is a major environmental 
initiative by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
involving standards tor air contaminants in agncuiture and 
industry, including construction and mantime work. OMB's 
decision to suspend consideration of the proposal blocks its 
adoption because a 1981 presidential order required regulations 
to be approved by the OMB before going into effect. 

OMB's action came at almost the same time as the Bush 
administration said automobile manufactures would not be 
required to install (xsllution-control devices on new cars to 
capture gasoline fumes released into the atmosphere by fueling. 
Instead, the government will require gasoline stations to control 
tumes through special pumps and hoses. The action comes 
dunng a 90-day moratonum on new regulations, but proposals 
related to health and safety are generally exempted. 

OMB's letter blocking the proposed regulations, wntten by 
James MacRae. acting administrator ot the Office ot Information 
and Regulatory Atfairs, "a little noticed but extremely powerful 
iiifice inside the nudget otfice,' said the analysis conducted bv 
ihe satetv administration neglected an "important question' on 
the permissible exposure limits. The question, MacRae said. 
•vas, "How will comnliance with the proposed P.E.L. rule atfect 
vvorkers' employment, wages and iheretore, health?" MacRae 
arL'ued that less protection mav save more lives than addinu 
•eguiatory costs to employers. 

Representatives ot organized labor resp<inded indignantly to 
MacRae's contention. Sen. Edward Kermedy (D-Mass.), chair 
ot the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, said 
OMB "is saying that healthy working conditions are bad tor 
workers' health." adding, "OMB should stop kowtowing to 
business, and the Labor Department should get on with its 
statutory responsibility of issumg these important health stan- 
dards." ("Citing Cost, Budget Office Blocks Workplace Health 
I'roposal." The NeH' York Times, March 16) 

lEd. note: See a related article, "OMB's Logic: Less Protection 
Saves Lives," The Washington Post. March 17] 



MARCH - The U.S. Information Agency has lost yet another 
round in its long-mnning battle over control of film exports. A 
group of independent filmmakers has been battling the agency 
since I98S, accusing it of actmg as a political censor, refiising 
to grant tax-free export status to documentary films that USIA 
reviewers consider "propaganda." Since film taxes in some 
countnes can be heavy, the USIA's power is tantamount to 
killing some films, the filmmakers alleged. USIA has argued that 
under an mtemational agreement for the exchange of educational 
matenals, it must review any films before they can qiudify for 
exemption from export duties. 

The Center for Constitutional Rights, an advocacy group that 
represented several small film producers, said the 9th U.S. 
Circuit Court of Appeals had agreed that legislation Congress 
passed last October "has effectively invalidated the USIA's 
cntena for grantmg educational certificates to documentary 
tllms. " Most of the rejected films were cntical of U.S. govern- 
ment policy, the filmmakers had said. David Cole, a lawyer with 
the center, estimated that the court case has cost taxpayers 
between $300,000 and $400,000. Tne filmmakers contend that 
the USIA's review rules violated their First Amendment free 
speech nghts, and most court rulings over the issue have 
supfjorted their view. ("Court Pans USIA's Case on Rating Film 
ExpHDrts," The Washington Post. March 17) 

MARCH - Citing mdustry savmgs of $210 million, the E>epait- 
ment of Agnculture announced that it was delaying the deadline 
for mandatory nutrition labeling for more than 1 million 
processed meat and poultry products. In November 1991, 
Agnculture proposed that the labels of all processed meats, from 
hot dogs to chicken pot pies, list information about the amount 
of calones, fat, cholesterol, and other nutrients. The postpone- 
ment will give manufacturers an additional year to comply with 
;he regulations, so consumers will not see new labels in super- 
:Tiarkets until May 1994. 

The measure, part of the Bush aumimstration's 90-day 
regulatory moratonum, could also delay manufacturers' compli- 
ance with the Food and Drug Administration's long-awaited 
nutntion labeling law. That would require mandatory nutntion 
information on labels for all other tood products aside from meat 
md p<3ultry. Ellen Haas, executive director of Public Voice for 
: \)oU and Health Policy, a consumer advocacy group, called the 
jecision "a campaign present to the fixxi industry at the expense 
ol consumer health." 

Agnculture Secretary Edward Madigan said the agency also 
vill proptjse allowing meat and poultry processors to use 
nutntion information from computer databases instead of having 
laboratones chemically analyze their products. Tlie department 
estimated the savings in lab costs at $650 million. ("Nutntion 
Labels Delayed on Processed Meat," The Washington Post. 
.March 20) 

MARCH - The once-secret tapes of the Nixon While House are 
valuable histoncal records that the public has the nght to hear. 



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according to a lawsuit filed seeking to force the government to 
release the tapes. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court said 
the National Archives has taken long enough to catalog the 4,000 
hours of tapes, including 200 to 400 hours related to the 
Watergate break-m June 1972 and the coverup that led to 
Nixon's 1974 resignation. The Archives has released only 60 
hours of Nixon Watergate tapes despite a 1974 law that required 
them to be opened to public access at the "earliest reasonable 
date," the lawsuit said. 

John Fawcett, assistant archivist for presidential libraries, 
said in a January letter to Public Citizen's attorney that "seven- 
teen years is not an unreasonable time for public access to 
sensitive presidential materials. " "Let's have the whole record 
out," said University of Wisconsin Professor Stanley Kutler. 
who filed the suit along with Ralph Nader's Public Citizen. 
("Suit Seeks Quick Release of All Nixon Tapes," The Washing- 
;on Post, March 20) 

MARCH - Almost every Monday for the past several months. 
Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Tex.), chairman of the House Banking 
Committee, has been settmg the Bush admimstration's teeth on 
edge with fiery expose about its courtship of Iraq before the 
invasions of Kuwait m August 1990. Gonzalez's "special orders" 
are delivered to a virtually empty floor. But they are full of 
excruciating detail— much of it classified "secret" and "confiden- 
tial." Gonzalez's charges are simple and direct: Senior Bush 
administration officials went to great lengths to continue 
supF>orting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his unreliable 
regime long after it was prudent to do so. 

Among the accusations leveled at administration officials is 
that they kept sharing mtelligence information with Baghdad until 
a few weeks before Iraq's mvasion of Kuwait. TTien, in the wake 
of the gulf war when Congress began demanding more inforrru- 
lion about the prewar conduct of U.S. fwlicv toward Iraq, 
administration officials tned to hide their embarrassment under 
a cioak ot national secunty and created what Gonzalez nas called 
J "cover-up mechamsm" to keep mvestigators at bay. Adnunis- 
:ration officials strenuously contest the accusations of impropn- 
-tv and illegality, but they plainly would rather not talk about 
ihem at all. ("Gonzalez's Iraq Expose." The Washington Post. 
March 22) 

MARCH - Here are lust a tew ot the ihines tne t'ovemment 
Aon t tell about the nank and savings and loan failures that are 
osting taxpayers billions of dollars: 

■ SVhat Hillary Clinton s law firm got paid for representing an 
Arkansas S&L before a state commissioner. 

■ What presidential son Neil Bush paid to settle the govern- 
ment s case against officials of Colorado-based Silverado Savings 
.ind Lt^an A.ssociation. 

■ Details of how insiders at the Distnct's Madison National 
Bank defaulted on tens of millions of dollars in loans. 

"What are they hiding.' That's what we're trying to lind 
lut." said Sen. Timothy Wirth (D-Colo.), who is pushing for 



greater federal disclosure of mformation about failed institutions. 
Pending legislation in the Senate Bankmg Committee requires 
regulators to make public five years of examination reports by 
bank regulators on mstitutions that fail and use taxpayer funds to 
cover losses. Advocates of the legislation cite the public's right 
to know because of the billions of dollars m taxpayer money 
involved in the S&L cleanup. Regulators say they are not hiding 
anything. They say the confidentiality is needed so that bankers 
can be honest with regulators and do not try to conceal problems 
that could become public if the institution fails. ("Shedding Light 
on S&L Failures," The Washint^ton Post, March 24) 

MARCH - In a three-page article, Alyson Reed writes of the 
continuing battle over the 1990 census: "People have been 
brawling over the accuracy of the figures since before the 
national head count was conducted, and the fights most likely 
will contmue well into next year. On the surface, the struggle 
over the census is about numbers. How many Amencans were 
missed by the census? How manv were counted more than once.' 
^Vhich populations were overrepresented or underrepresented in 
(he tinal census count.'" 

In reality, however, the contmumg struggle over the census 
numbers is about political power and money. Among other 
practical applications, census figures are used to distnbute 
political representation at the federal, state, and community 
levels. The numbers also determine the amoimt of federal aid to 
which each state and/or political Junsdiction is entitled. More- 
over, because minonties were missed in far greater numbers 
than white non-Hispaiucs, the struggle over the data concerns 
voting and civil nghts issues as well. 

No matter how much finetuning is applied to the census 
process, many observers argue that as long as political appoint- 
ees control It, achieving the most accurate count will remain 
econdarv to enhancmg the political power of the survey's 
overseers. ("Wrong Number: The Continuing Saga of the 1990 
Census. ■ The National Voter. .March/ Apnl) 

APRIL - Scientists at the Department of Energy's Argonne 
National Laboratory knowingly published questionable data about 
the metallurgy ot an expenmental nuclear reactor, then forced 
out a colleague who cnticized their actions, according to an 
mtemal investigation made public. .Xrgorme officials strongly 
■lected the report. 

The investigation grew out ot a dispute between Argonne 
scientists over a report and chart published in an internal 
nonthly magazine about the temperature at which the fuel rods 
might melt. According to James Srruth. a rrtetallurgist at the 
laboratory, his colleagues rebuffed his attempts to correct their 
Jata. circled the wagons when he pressed his case and eventually 
forced him to resign. According to Argonne officials. Smith was 
jn undisciplined and truculent scientist who was so busy cn- 
icizinL' his colleagues that he could not get his own work done. 

in large measure, the investigation upheld Smith. Its 122- 
page report said the evidence "tends to substantiate" Smith's 



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charge that the iab "placed a higher value on observing social 
niceties and maintaming harmony among its personnel than it did 
on achieving scientific accuracy." The report also validated 
Smith's charge that the lab "published or presented work that 
contained errors, unqualified conclusions, or that was of 
questionable validity" and refused to print corrections when the 
errors were discovered. ("Argoime Scientists Criticized for 
Errors, Treatment of Whistle-Blower," The Washington Post, 
April 3) 

APRIL - A "Topics of the Times" piece in The New York 

Times, said: 

Since making a great show of announcing his new policy 
of openness, Robert Gates, the Director of Central Intelli- 
gence, has regrettably said nothing about the overall size of 
intelligence budgets, past and present. Nor has he revealed 
the names and functions of all U.S. intelligence agencies, 
including a few whose very existence is not known to must 
members of Congress or the public. This information would 
allow Congress to exercise more informed judgment in 
allocating the $30 billion believed to be spent on vanous 
intelligence activities by various agencies. 

Mr. Gates did promise a welcome new approach to 
declassifying the documents m its voluminous files. The 
C.l. A. would, of course, contmue to excise any reference to 
sources and methods of mtelligence-gatherug. But he 
strongly impled that the agency would no longer withhold 
bushels of documents only tangentially related to national 
secunty. 

So It was reasonable to expect that all or most of ihe 
study by the C.I. A. Openness Task Force, which served as 
the basis for Mr. Gates' new policy, would be made avail- 
able to Congress and the public. But the C.I.A.'s Informa- 
tion and Pnvacy Coordinator refused, saying the report 
"must be withheld m its entirety." Even openness remains a 
secret at the C.I. A. 

("The C.I. A., Open and Shut," The /Veu' York Times, Apnl 6) 

APRIL - The Army acknowledged that its glowing claims ot 
success last year for the Patnot missile's performance during the 
Persian Gulf War were based on faulty data and indicated it is 
now certain the missile "lulled" roughly 10 Iraqi Scud warheads 
out of more than 80 fired at Israel and Saudi Arabia. A senior 
.Army olficial said a new study shows the Patnot may have 
knocked out approximately 24 Scuds. But the study expresses "a 
high degree of confidence" in only about 10 of those "warhe^id 
kills," which were defmed as causing an enemy warhead to 
explode, bum in the air, or become a harmless dud. 

Dunng the gulf war, U.S. officials gave the impression that 
Patnots had destroyed or weakened most of the Scuds target- 
ed—an impression bolstered by live television images. Since 
then, the Patnot's f)erformance has become an increasingly 
controversial issue, in part as a symbol in the debate over the 
future of the mullibillion-dollar Strategic Defense Initiative and 



in part because its effectiveness could be an important compo- 
nent of future war-fighting plans. ("Army Cuts Claims of Patnot 
Success," The Washington Post, Apnl 8) 

APRIL - The Defense Department released its long-delayed 
official history of the Persian Gulf War. The intncate, 1,300- 
page report titled, "Conduct of the Persian Gulf War," pamted 
a farmliar Pentagon portrait of the victory over Iraq. But the 
study contamed no direct cnticism of any policy or operatioiul 
decision, and it evaded many of the central controversies of the 
war. There was little or no mention, for example, of the 
Western role in arming Iraq, the failure of diplomacy to prevent 
or reverse that country's invasion of Kuwait, the civilian and 
military death toll, the dispute over the number of Iraqi soldiers 
who were in Kuwait, the tiimng of the cease-fire, or the war's 
role m prompting bloody and imsuccessful uprisings by Kurds 
and Shiites against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. 

The study was delayed nearly three months past its January 
1 5 deadline by hundreds of interservice and interagency disputes 
over the way the war was fought and the meanings to be 
extracted from its outcome. Most disputes, according to officials 
involved in the drafting, led to neutral compromise language or 
the deletion of any mention of the disputed subject. Among the 
casualties of that process was a chapter circulating last winter 
that discussed the death toll among Iraqis. The report did not 
even mention a military death toll, and its passing reference to 
"the apparently low number" of civilian deaths is unsupported 
by any estimate or evidence. ("Gulf War Failures Cited," The 
Washing(on Post, Apnl II) 

APRIL - The Energy Department's senior intelligence official 
in 1989 turned aside an early alarm about Iraq's advance effort 
10 develop nuclear weapons on grounds that it did not warrant 
urgent, high-level Bush adimnistration attention, according to 
government documents. The alarm was raised by mid-level 
iilficials within the department who wanted to hnet Energy 
Secretary James Watkins so he could alert Secretary of State 
James Baker and other semor policymakers to a problem that 
niany officials now acknowledge was not fully appreciated at that 
time. 

But ihe propo.sal for high-level bnefings was challenged at 
the time by deputy assistant secretary of energy for intelligence. 
Robert Walsh, who testified at a closed congressional hearing in 
April 1991 that he had considered the evidence put forward b\ 
the otficials "overstated" and senior policymakers already 
adequately informed. In fact, the dcKuments released indicated 
that neither Watkins nor Undersecretary of Energy John Ruck, 
who was responsible for overseeing weafx)ns-related issues 
within the department, were made aware ot all the evidence 
behind the alarm until nearly a year later. ("DOE Official 
Discounted '89 Warning on Iraq's Nuclear Program," Tht 
WiLshiii^ion Post. .Apnl 21) 

APRIL - Vice President Dan Quayle and other senior adminis- 



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tration officials remained deadlocked with the Environinenul 
Protection Agency over a bitterly contested EPA proposal that 
the public be notified when companies with pollution permits 
seek to raise permissible emissions. At stake are not only what 
the White House says is billions of dollars in potential costs to 
thousands of American companies but the political consequences 
of havmg to rule against the interest of either the busmess or 
environmental communities. 

In carrying out amendments to the Clean Air Act, the agency 
contends that the process by which compames seek relaxation of 
their pollution liimts should be open and should include require- 
ments for public notice and comment. "There's a continued 
disagreement of the issue of public review in the permits 
process," an administration official said after a White House 
meeting attended by the principal parties to the months-long 
dispute. The session included William Reilly, the EPA Adminis- 
trator, and Vice President Quayle, leader of the Bush administra- 
tion's aggressive deregulatory program and head of its Council 
on Competitiveness. ("Quayle and E.P.A. Split on Emissions," 
The New York Times, Apnl 23) 

APRIL - President Bush will issue an executive order soon 
making it easier for state and local officials to sell public assets 
like airports, roads, bndges, and sewage treatment plants to 
private busmesses. White House officials say. Plans for the 
order are the latest move in a campaign of deregulation and 
pnvatization dnven in part by the administration's ideology but 
also aimed at showing a President coping with domestic issues 
in an election year. In mid-Apnl, the administration announced 
new steps in a continumg effort to lighten regulation of financial 
institutions. At the same time. White House officials said 
President Bush was expected to announce an extension, into the 
summer, of the 90-day government regulatory moratonum he 
ordered in January as one step to fight the recession. ("Bush to 
.Make It Easier to Sell Public Property," The New York Times. 
Apnl 26) 

MAY - In a five-page article, Arthur Rowse documents the 
results of the deregulatory activities of the Council on Competi- 
tiveness headed by Vice President Dan Quayle, and the secrecy 
surrounding the council. 

Rowse says that when President Bush ran a similar office 
dunng the Reagan years called the Presidential Task Force for 
Regulatory Relief, there was some doubt about whether it needed 
to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, since it was in 
the White House complex of executive privilege. That doubt was 
erased in September 1991, when a federal judge ruled that 
disclosure was required because of its regulatory activities. The 
Administrative Procedures Act also requires that the public be 
informed at all stages of rulemaking. But the Quayle council 
continues to hide essential details about its op>erations from 
Congress, the public, and the press. 

The author documents the long delays in implementing laws 
that affect human life and health. Rowse says one reason for 



such delays is the secrecy that enshrouds them much of the time. 
Secrecy is standard operating procedure for the Quayle council. 
Little of its regulation-bashing would be possible in the glare of 
publicity. All anyone knows about their activities comes from 
occasional leads from aggrieved agencies and from efforts of 
congressional committees to force the information out by holding 
heanngs and issuing reports. Leading that effort has been Rep. 
Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who heads a subcommittee on health 
and environment. ("Deregulatory Creep," The Progressive, 
May) 

MAY - H. Jack Greiger, an epidemiologist at the City Universi- 
ty of New York, and David Rush of Tufts University have 
conducted a comprehensive review of all published studies about 
the health of workers exposed to low levels of radioactivity at 
the Energy Department's nuclear weapons factones. They said 
the 124 studies from scientific journals— representing most of 
what IS publicly known about the health histones of more than 
600,000 people who have worked in bomb factones over the last 
half century — are marred by flawed data, inconsistent measunng 
techniques, and suppression of unwanted fmdings. 

As a result, they said, independent scientists lack the 
information they need to assess the health nsks of exposure to 
low levels of radiation and to set appropnate exposure liimts. 
They did not say that bomb-factory workers are m grave 
jeopardy, but argued that the Energy Department's refusal to 
release health data on most of the workers, coupled with 
inconsistencies in measunng techniques and arbitrary "correc- 
tions" of radiation measurements, have made independent nsk 
evaluation impossible. 

Presenting the results of a study sponsored by Physicians for 
Social Resp>onsibility, Geiger and Rush reopened a long-standing 
argument. For 40 years the Energy Department and its predeces- 
sor agencies restncted access to much health data on national 
secunty grounds. Under pressure from Congress, Energy 
Secretary James Watkins sought to defuse this issue three years 
ago by announcing the records would be made available to 
mdep)endent scientists. He also agreed to let the Health and 
Human Services Department take over responsibility for 
sup)ervismg research projects. But Geiger said that the agreement 
with HHS IS "like a basketball game plan drawn up by a mad 
coach" because it still leaves the Energy Department responsible 
kn deciding which pro|ects will he funded. ("Secrecy Said to 
Impede Research on Radiation Hazards," The Washini^ion Post. 
May 8) 

MAY - The Office of Management and Budget issued its 
[proposed revision to OMB Circular A- 130. Management of 
Federal Information Resources, in the Apnl 29 Federal Rei^isier 
(57 FR 18296-18306). 

Public comments are due by August 27. The current 
circular's heavy emphasis on the use of the pnvate sector to 
dissermnate government information has been of concern to 
public interest groups and libranans. Tlie proposed circular 



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appears to soften OMB's stance on the pnvatization of govern- 
ment information. 

However, the library community is likely to find problems 
with the revision's treatment of the Depository Library Program. 
0MB asserts that the statutory definition of a "government 
publication" does not include electronic information products. 
On the other hand, the Government Printmg Office, which 
adnunisters the program, has a legal finding that it does. Under 
Title 44 use federal agencies are mandated to supply the GPO 
with copies of all "government publications" which are then 
distnbuted to the nation's 1,400 depository libraries free of 
charge. What is disturbing to libranans is that an increasing 
amount of government information can now only be found m 
electronic formats. Under the provision of the revised circular, 
federal agencies would not be required to supply copies of this 
electronic matenal to GPO for the Depository Library Program. 
("ALA Will Study Document Carefully," Elearonic Public 
Information Newsletter, May 8) 

I Ed. note: An editonal, "A Document by Any Other Name...," 
in the May 18 Federal Computer Week, stated "a recently 
released policy directive by the Office of Management and 
Budget regarding electronic information doesn't make sense to 
us." The editonal contmued: "OMB's theory is that the U.S. 
Code's definition of a 'government publication' excludes 
electromc publications. They've decided this because the defini- 
tion refers to 'individual documents.' OMB doesn't see how 
electronic files can be called individual documents. It seems to 
us that OMB is missing the p>oint. The government's obligation 
IS to make information available to the public. It doesn't matter 
how the information is formatted.") 

MAY' - Basic mformation on birth control— removed from a 
popular health book on order from the administration— will be 
mailed to federal workers who received the censored version, 
according to congressional sources. The reversal comes a month 
after members of Congress cnticized the decision to cut the 
chapter from all copies of "Taking Care of Your Child," a best- 
selling health book sent free to 275,000 families m the Blue 
Cross-Blue Shield federal employee program. ("That's One Less 
State Secret." The Washinf^ton Post, May 8) 

MAY - A federal judge declared unconstitutional a rule requiring 
that AIDS education matenals funded with federal money avoid 
anything that could be considered offensive. U.S. Distnct Judge 
Shirley VV'ohl Kram said the Centers for Disease Control 
overstepped iLs authonty in creating the rule, which was 
unconstitutionally vague. The decision was hailed by the attorney 
tor several AIDS groups that, along with New York state, hud 
sued the federal government over the rule. "Federally funded 
AIDS education will be much more effective reaching the 
audience it needs to reach," .said David Cole of the Center tor 
Constitutional Rights. ("AIDS Education Rule Struck Down, " 
The Washini^ion Post, May 12) 



MAY - Reportera calling the Census Bureau for mformation now 
must determine in advance whether they are playing in the major 
or nunor leagues. According to an April 27 memo, any journal- 
ist deemed to be part of the "major media" will be referred to 
the bureau's public information office, no matter how innocuous 
the inquiry. "We cannot even give out simple niunbere, such as 
the number of housmg units m the U.S. in 1990, nor can we 
even tell a reporter where to find certain information," says the 
directive from Darnel Weinberg, chief of the Housing and 
Household Economic Statistics Division. But if the callera are 
from the "minor media," Census employees can provide 
numbers for them. 

The article by Howard Kurtz observes: "The press restric- 
tions seem somewhat out of character for an agency whose very 
purpose is to collect and dissetmnate information about the 
nation. For much of its history, the agency has been viewed as 
a quiet, noncontroversial and apolitical institution of number 
crunchers. But in recent years, there have been growing 
questions about whether the bureau and its work could be 
politicized." Discussing the charges of p>oliticalization of the 
Census Bureau, Kurtz cites the battle about the adjustment of 
1990 census figures, and the attempt to fire a Census demogra- 
pher who released her estimate of Iraqi deaths in the Persian 
Gulf War. ("A 'Major' Difference in Census Access, The 
Washington Post, May 12) 

MAY - The Census Bureau released a report showing that the 
percentage of full-time workers who earn less than $12,195 
annually grew sharply in the last decade, despite the economic 
expansion that brought increased prospenty to the affluent. The 
report was quietly made public after bureau officials fought for 
more than five months over how much attention to draw to the 
finding. Dated March 1992, the report was officially released in 
mid-May only because government pnnters had begun ia.st week 
to distnbute it through the mails. 

Daniel Weinberg, chief of the bureau's division ot housing 
and household statistics, said he fought unsuccessfully to have 
the report issued with a news release, highlighting iLs findings. 
Asked why there was a sensitivity to its findings, and the 
resulting several-month delay, Weinberg said: "This is not good 
economic news. .Any adnunistration would be sensitive about 
economic news." But Karen Wlieeless. chief of the bureau's 
public information office, said political considerations played no 
role \n her decision about v. hen or how to make the report 
public. She said she decided that its findings were tixi similar to 
a report issued in February to ment its own news release. 

The dispute over the report. "Workers with Low Earnings: 
1964 to 1990,"— however it was caused— will probably mean 
that It will receive more attention than it otherwise would have. 
The report found that the percentage of full-time workers with 
low earnings declined in the 1960s, was stable in the 70s and 
ro.se sharply in the 80s. The findings come at a time of sharp 
partisan debate over questions of income inequality. ("Report. 
Delayed Months, Says Lowest Income Group Grew," The Nevi 



ALA Washington OfTice 



June 1992 



Less Access.. 



January - Jua* 1992 



York Times, May 12) 

MAY - Bereaved parents of some of the nine British soldiers 
killed by friendly fire from Amencan warplanes dunng the 
Persian Gulf War got sympathy but no promises from U.S. 
Ambassador Raymond Seitz in their quest to determine why their 
sons died. The parents are seeking to obtain direct testimony 
from two American pilots who fired on a column of British 
armored personnel carrieis with air-to-ground-missiles when they 
mistook the vehicles for Iraqi tanks. 

The relatives say they want to clear up discrepancies between 
the official British account of the incident and the version 
supplied by the two iinnamrd pilots and other American sources 
in wntten sutements. In effect, each country has blamed the 
other for the error, and the British families believe they are 
being misled, possibly by both sides, in an attempt to pull an 
official curtain over an embarrassing incident. ("Britons Con- 
front U.S. Envoy Over Gulf War Friendly Fire Deaths," The 
Washington Post, May 13) 

MAY - llie Bush administration and the chairman of the House 
Banking Committee appeared headed for a confrontation over 
access to classified documents about the government's prewar 
courtship of Iraq. Attorney General William Barr threatened not 
to provide any more classified records unless Rep. Henry 
Gonzalez (D-Tex.) promised to protect them from "unauthonzed 
disclosure" and stopped puttmg choice selections into the 
Congressional Record. 

Gonzalez responded with an indignant speech on the House 
floor, accusing the Justice Department of trying to obstruct a 
legitimate congressional mquiry and attempting to cover up the 
details 1)1 the failed pwlicy it pursued toward Iraq. Gonzalez 
maintained that all of the documents and excerpts that he has put 
in the Record involve past policies, not ongoing operations, and 
he said "none of them compromise, in any fashion whatsoever, 
the national secunt y of the United States. " I le has also asked the 
Judii-iary Comrmttee to consider requesting appointment of an 
independent counsel to investigate the actions of administration 
ottlcials on Iraq under provisions of the Ethics of Government 
Act. ("Gonzalez, Barr At Odds Over Iraq-U.S. DaU," Vie 
Washtm^ton Post, May 19) 

MA^' - For Albert Casey and Timothy Ryan, the two men in 
charge of the cleanup of the nation's costly savings and loan 
crisis, the end is in sight. If Congress keeps the funds commi.', 
they say, there will not be any more tailed S&Ls landing on 
government shelves after the end of the year. Ryan is head ut 
the Office of Thnft Supervision, which decides when a weak 
S&.L needs to be taken over by the government. Casey, head of 
the Resolution Trust Corporation, has decided to cut in half the 
work force of his agency, which takes charge after the OTS does 
Us work. 

Some members of Congress and many inside the RTC take 
a different view, however, arguing that the downsizing and a 



"fire sale" of RTC assets, along with a slowdown in thnft 
closings, are timed to suggest dunng an election year that the 
politically embarrassing cleanup is close to being completed. 
Once the election is over, they say, the issue will re-emerge with 
new force. The RTC has imposed stnct prohibitions on employ- 
ees talking with reporters, and many of those interviewed said 
they believe they would be fired if quoted by name. ("Rosy 
Forecasts About Cleanup of S&Ls Come Under Attack," The 
Washington Post, May 18) 

MAY - Military officials and major news organizations an- 
nounced agreement on a set of guidelines for future war 
coverage that media executives hope will lift many of the 
restrictions that hampered them dunng the Persian Gulf War. 
After eight months of negotiations, the Defense Department, key 
press associations, and top officials from 20 news organizations 
agreed that "open and independent reporting" will be the 
"pnncipal means" of coverage dunng future U.S. wars. 

News organizations were frustrated dunng the war at the 
military's insistence that combat coverage be linuted to small 
pools of reporters whose movements were controlled by the 
Pentagon. The nonbinding guidelines say pools will be disbanded 
"when possible" 24 to 36 hours after a military conflict begins, 
but can still be used for "specific events." 

In a setback for the press, however, the Pentagon refused to 
drop Its insistence on reviewing all stones from the battlefield 
before they are published. In the war against Iraq, a number of 
journalists charged that reports embarrassing or unfiattenng to 
the Pentagon were changed or delayed for reasons unrelated to 
military secunty. Pentagon sp)okesman Pete Williams said, "The 
military believes it must retain the option to review news 
material to avoid the inadvertent inclusion in news reports of 
mtorination that would endanger troop safety or the success of 
a military mission. Any review system would be imposed only 
\vhen operational secunty was a consideration." ("Wartime 
News Coverage Guidelines Set," The W<tshin^ion Post, May 22) 

ILd.nute: .^n item in the May 24 Parade Mai^azine. "Still 
Secret information": "The Pentagon was so successful at 
managing news dunng the Persian Gulf war, it continues some 
practices tcxiay — more than a year later. For example, the anti- 
Amencan cart(X)ns that ran in Iraqi newspapers during the war 
siill are treated as classified information, reports Jack Anderson. 
PdraJe's VVa.shinglon bureau chief. The canoons are not only 
clamped SECRET but also NOFORN— which means they cannot 
c\.en be shared with our allies."] 

MAY - Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, the federal 
L'ovemment is still placing gag orders on nearly 6,000 inventions 
that It believes could threaten national secunty, according to 
recent data obtained by the Federation ol Amencan Scientists. 
a public interest group. The secrecy orders, impo.sed by the 
Patent and Trademark Office under a 1951 law called the 
Invention Secrecy Act. block patents from being issued and in 



ALA Washinxtoa OfTice 



June 1W2 



Less A<cess... 



Jaouary - Juoe 1992 



many cases prohibit the investors from selling or licensing their 
technology to anybody except the government— regardless of 
whether the technology was developed with pnvate or govern- 
ment money. 

The biggest growth in secrecy orders has not been those 
imposed on miliUry secrets, like the bluepnnts for making 
nuclear weapons, but from "dual use" technologies that can be 
used for both commercial and nuliUry purposes. These can 
range from certain kinds of computer hardware to advanced 
ceramic materials, laser systems, semiconductor manufacturing 
technologies, and automated process control systems. The newly 
available data from the Patent Offlces, obtained under the 
Freedom of Information Act, show that the number of new 
secrecy orders increased steadily from 290 in 1979 to 774 in 
1991 and that some of the biggest increases took place in the last 
three years. The total number of secrecy orders in effect has 
grown steadily in the last decade, from 3,600 in 1979 to 5,893 
in 1991. 

No complaints have been heard from companies that have 
received secrecy orders, which still amount to less than 1 percent 
of the patents issued each year. But the new numbers surpnsed 
and disturbed some patent experts. Steven Aftergood, head of 
the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of Amen- 
can Scientists, said the nse m secrecy orders was at odds with 
national interests in the 1990s. "It makes no sense," he said. "At 
a time when the military threat is receding and the economic 
threat is on the nse, it is anomalous at best that restnctions on 
new inventions should be skyrocketing." 

Robert Garrett, director of the office that oversees secrecy 
orders at the Patent and Trademark Office, acknowledged that 
the restnctions were unusual in that they could block the 
publication of information developed entirely by pnvate individu- 
als. The only comparable law is the one that prohibits people 
from publishing information about building atomic weapons. But 
Garrett argued that patents represented a unique source of how- 
to inlormation, in part because inventors are required by law 
fully to disclose the details necessary for others to reproduce the 
invention. He also noted that the collapse of Communism in the 
Soviet Union and East Europe had not put an end to secunty 
threats from counlnes like Iraq and Libya or from terronsts. 
("Cold War Secrecy Still Shrouds Inventions," The New York 
Times, May 23) 

MAY - A tederal judge block a Bush administration plan that 
perrruts only d(Ktors to give abortion counseling at federally 
subsidized family plaiming clinics. U.S. Distnct Judge Charles 
Richey declared that the administration's approach is tantamount 
to amending a 1988 federal regulation and must therefore go 
through a public comment penod before it can take effect. The 
administration said in March that physicians at 4.000 family- 
planning clinics receiving federal funds were allowed to discuss 
abortion with pregnant women. But the adrmnistration said it 
would prohibit nurses at the clinics from doing so. Richey found 
that nurses histoncally have provided abortion counseling 



services at the clinics and that bamng them from doing so 
amoimts to a rule change. The clinics serve 200,000 pregiumt 
women a year. 

The Department of Healdi and Human Services has begim 
enforcing the administration's policy, but in light of Richey's 
ruling "we will refrain from doing so," said Michael Astrue, 
general counsel at HHS. He added that the administration would 
likely take the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals. He said a 
judge in a similar challenge m Colorado ruled that the admmis- 
tration's interpretation does not amount to amending the 
regulations. 

The National Farmly Planning and Reproductive Health 
Association sued HHS SecreUry Louis Sullivan in Apnl, seeking 
to have the matter made a subject of public comment. Judith 
DeSamo, an association spokeswoman, said the ruling will 
"assure that m the short term, poor women are gomg to have 
information they need to make informed choices about their 
lives." ("Judge Halls White House Plan to Limit Abortion 
Counseling," The Washington Post, May 29) 

JUNE - In three reports issued in December and January, the 
General Accounting Office said that government agencies are not 
ensunng the safety of the nation's food supply: 

■ USDA. The U.S. Department of Agnculture "is not provid- 
ing pesticide residue daU need to make key regulatory decisions 
to help ensure food safety," the GAG said. It added that the daU 
so far collected by the USDA "are not sUtistically reliable... and 
will therefore be of litmted use...m making decisions on 
pesticide safety in food products. " 

■ EPA. In deciding how to regulate pesticide use, the Environ- 
menul Protection Agency is supposed to balance the nsks posed 
by pesticides against their benefits. But, says the GAO, the 
EPA's estimates of pesticides' benefits are "generally impre- 
cise... potentially misleading... and incomplete." 

■ FDA. The Food and Drug Admmistration samples importefl 
toods for illegal pesticide residues. It is supposed to use comput- 
t;rs to decide how many of which batches of which foods to 
sample. But the agency "operates at least six different computer 
systems... that are not integrated with each other, resulting in 
data gaps, duplicate data entry, and an mability to share inlorma- 
tion nationally on a timely basis," the GAO aid. "Often." n 
added, "FDA suff rely on memory and expenence in making 
monitonng decisions...." ("My, GAO, My," Nutniion Aaion 
Healihleiier, June) 

JUNE - The Energy Department inspector general collaboratet) 
with a pnvate company to defraud state and federal govern- 
ments, a whistleblower told the Senate Govemmenul Affairf 
Comrmttee at a heanng called to investigate the effectiveness ol 
IGs throughout government. Sonja 1. Anderson revised hei 
testimony to include allegations of collusion. Committer 
chairman Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) and Paul Misso, Energy '^ 
assistant inspector general, were surpnsed by Anderson's strong' 
charges. Misso denied the allegations of collaboration between 



ALA Washington Office 



June 1992 



Less Access... 



Janiury - Jua> Iy92 



agency IGs and the firm, Wesdnghouse Hanford Company in 
Washington state. Glenn granted Misso additional time to 
respond in writing to each charge of corruption by Anderson, 
now an engineer for Kaiser Engineering, also in Washington. 

When Anderson worked for Westinghouse Hantord, she said 
she reported to the inspector general Westinghouse 's deliberate 
attempts to alter or eliminate appraisal findings at Westing- 
house's plutonium reprocessing plant in Hanford. Anderson also 
said she reported deliberate attempts to falsify envtronmenul 
discharge records and to tone down the extent of leakage of 
radioactive water and mineral waste. Westinghouse, she charged, 
repeatedly put the public and its employees in jeopardy. 

"The [IG's office] has omitted and ignored relevant evidence, 
withheld documents from this committee, failed to investigate 
potential contractor misconduct, and otherwise conducted its 
mvestigations in a manner designed to shield the contractor from 
liability under state and federal law," Anderson said. When 
Washington state demanded access to the file on the leaking 
tank, "Hanford purged the file system," Anderson said. Ander- 
son said she was harassed by management and forced to leave 
her job, and that mformation she gave to the IG was altered 
when given to the Govemmenul Affairs Committee for an 
earlier heanng. 

Another witness, Marsha Allen, former chief of the housing 
management division of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 
testified that she was retaliated against when she refused to 'take 
illegal actions, falsify documents, operate [her] division contrary 
to regulatory guidance, and misappropnate funds." ("Inspectors 
General Slammed for Breaching Confidentiality, "Ffd^ra/ Times, 
June 1) 

JlJ>fE - The Labor Department said that 2.2 million payroll jobs 
were lost in the last recession, a figure that is one-third higher 
than the government's previous job-loss estimate. Officials said 
they are still at a loss to totally explain how such a huge error 
could have been made, but William Barron, acting commissioner 
of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said that there was "absolutely 
nothmg that would support" a charge that politics influenced the 
government's statistics-gathenng process. 

Private economists said the announcement went a long way 
toward answenng last year's puzzle of why confidence surveys 
showed Amencans so fearful about the future when the govern- 
ment's economic statistics were depicting a mild recession. 
("Recession job Losses Higher TTian Reported," The Washin^ioii 
Pox I. June 4) 

JUNE - Air Force officials were close-mouthed about the 
classified launch of a Titan II rocket from Vandenberg .^ir Force 
Base in California on Apnl 25. But the veil of secrecy was not 
as impregnable as the Air Force might have hoped. In fact, 
information on both the launch and its payload had been publicly 
disclosed three days previously by a most unlikely source: Tass 
Radio, an English-language news service in Moscow. Tass's 
scoop was descnbed in this month's issue of "Secrecy & 



Government Bulletin," a newsletter put out by the Federation of 
American Scientists, which has been campaigning for greater 
openness in government programs. 

Maj. Dave Thurston, an Air Force spokesman, said that 
norwithstandingTass's reporting efforts, the secrecy surrounding 
the Vandenberg launch was justified and remains so today. The 
Tass scoop probably came from a reliable source: The Russian 
government itself, which is routinely notified in advance of U.S. 
satellite launches as a precaution against nuclear war. ("The 
Shroud of Secrecy— Tom," The Washington Post, June 5) 

JUNE - Iran-contra prosecutors, investigating former Defense 
Secretary Caspar Weinberger's possible role in the scandal, 
began presenting evidence before a new grand jury, a day after 
the House voted to turn over key documents. The prosecutors 
went before a federal grant jury that had been heanng other 
cnminal cases. The case results from disclosures that tiwney 
paid by Iran for secret purchases of U.S. arms was funneled to 
Nicaragua to finance the U.S. -backed rebellion by contra forces. 
The prosecutors won a victory on June 4 when the House voted 
to turn over details of the deposition Weinberger gave June 17. 
1987, to the special House committee that investigated the Iran- 
Contra scandal. 

Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), chair of the committee, told the 
House that the prosecutors said in a letter they were mvestigating 
whether Weinberger made false sutements under oath and 
deliberately withheld information from the panel. Weinbergers 
attorney, Robert Bennett, has released a polygraph test that 
Weinberger recently took in which it was determined that he 
answered truthfully m denying that he had engaged in a coverup 
to protect then President Reagan, that he had lied, and that he 
had withheld information from investigators. ("New Grand Jury 
Hears Evidence on Weinberger." The Washington Post, June 6) 

JUNE - The U.S. government knew that some notonous 
;..rronst groups were operating treely from Iraq dunng 1982 to 
1990 when Washington officials said publicly that Iraq was not 
providing a haven for such groups, according to newly declassi- 
fied State Department documents given to Congress. The 
documents, evidently based on U.S. intelligence reports, state 
that the Abu Nidal. .^bul Abbas, and May 15 terrorist organiza- 
tions were allowed to operate from Iraq or to mainlam headquar- 
ters there despite repeated protests bv the Reagan and Bush 
adrmnistrations. 

Until 1982, Iraq had been included on a U.S. government list 
>>t nations supporting terronsm; the list was established as a 
means of prohibiting certain high-technology exptms to such 
.ountnes. But the Reagan administration removed Iraq from the 
list pnncipally because, utficials said at the time, the .Aibu Nidal 
. rganization had been exf>elled by Baghdad. In the documents, 
provided by a U.S. official to The Washinifion Post, the Reagan 
jjid Bush admimstrations subsequently took note of Iraq's 
extensive and continuing terronst ties and sent several secret 
demarches to Baghdad but opposed congressional calls to put 



ALA Washington OrTicc 



June 1992 



Less Access... 



January - June 1992 



Iraq back on the list of countnes supporting terronst acts. To do 
so would have uitemipted several billion dollars in U.S. -Iraqi 
economjc trade. 

Not until September 1. 1990, following a policy review 
prompted by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait a month earlier, did 
UndersecreUry of Sute Lawrence Eagleburger declare that "Iraq 
IS a country which has repeatedly provided support for acts of 
international terronsm." By then, U.S. trade with Iraq had been 
halted by a presidential order and a U.N. -backed mteniational 
embargo designed to force Iraq's withdrawal. ("U.S. Aware of 
Iraqi Terronsm," The Washington Post, June 6) 



ScmJ-annuii updt— of thte p u M ca dow h«v« 
complad in two indoxMl votumoa oo w rtng tfM portods 
April 1981-Doconibf 19a7«ndJ«iu«rYl>tt Docwnbor 
1 99 1 . lost >lecw«... updalM ar« ovaliM* for # 1 .00: tiM 
1981-1987 vokmo la «7.00: ttM 198t-1tt1 vohmM !• 
• 10.00. To ontar. contact tho Amortoan Ubrary AMOOt*- 
tlon WMhIngton Offico, 110 Marytantf Avo.. NE. 
Washington, DC 20002-6875; tai. no. 202-647-4440, 
fax no. 202-647-7383. Al ordon muat bo prapaid and 
mutt induda a aalf-addraasad maHng labaL 



/VLA Wasbingtoo iKTice 



June 1992 







ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

110 Maryland Avenue, fME 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel. 202 547-4440 Fax 202-547-7363 Email nu_alawash@cua 

December 1992 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XIX 

A 1992 Chronology: June - December 
INTRODUCTION 



During the past 12 years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented administration efforts to restrict and privatize 
government information. A combination of specific policy 
decisions, the administration's interpretations and implemen- 
tations of the 1980 Paperwork Reduction Act (P.L. 96-511, 
as amended by P.L. 99-500) and agency budget cuts have 
significantly limited access to public documents and statistics. 

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

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 Circular 
A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources. 0MB 
issued its proposed revision of the circular in the April 29 
Federal Register. Particularly troubling is OMB's theory that 
the U.S. Code's definition of a "government publication" 
excludes electronic publications. Agencies would be unlikely 
to provide electronic products voluntarily to depository 
libraries— resulting in the technological sunset of the Deposi- 
tory Library Program, a primary channel for public access to 
government information. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to utilize 
computer and telecommunications technologies for data 



collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend 
has resulted in the increased emergence of contractual 
arrangements with commercial firms to disseminate informa- 
tion collected at taxpayer expense, higher user charges for 
government information, and the proliferation of government 
information available in electronic format only. While 
automation clearly offers promises of savings, 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 have begun 
to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public access 
to government information should be increased. 

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

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions which creates 
a climate in which government information activities are 
suspect. Previous chronologies were compiled in two ALA 
Washington Office indexed publications, Less Access to Less 
Information By and About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 
Chronology, and Less Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. 
The following chronology continues the tradition of a semi- 
annual update. 



Less Access. 



June - December 1992 



CHRONOLOGY 



JUNE - Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger was 
indicted on June 16 on charges that he lied repeatedly about his 
knowledge of the Iran-contra affair and obstructed investigators 
by concealing existence of extensive notes he had taken at crucial 
points in the scandal. A federal grand jury returned five felony 
counts against Weinberger, making him the highest-ranking 
Reagan Administration official to be indicted in the 5 '/4 -year 
investigation conducted by independent counsel Lawrence Walsh. 

In a bitter sutement to reporters, Weinberger said, "I am 
deeply troubled and angry at this unfair and unjust indictment.... 
I vigorously opposed the transfer and sale of arms to Iran and 
fought it at every turn inside the administration." Walsh's top 
prosecutor, deputy independent counsel Craig Gillen, said that 
the indictment was not about what side Weinberger took on the 
1985-86 shipments of arms to Iran in return for the release of 
American hostages held by pro-Iranian militants in Lebanon. 
Rather, he said, it dealt with Weinberger's alleged concealment 
of a huge amount of information, including more than 1,700 
pages of p>ersonal diary notes, when investigators most needed 
them. 

The Iran-contra scandal involved the Reagan Administration's 
covert arms-for-hostages sales to Iran, its secret military supply 
line to the contra rebels in Nicaragua and its diversion of profits 
from the Iranian arms sales to the contra cause. According to the 
indictment, Weinberger's notes, discovered in the Library of 
Congress by prosecutors in the fall of 1991, depict former 
President Ronald Reagan as repeatedly being warned in Decem- 
ber 1985 that an arms shipment to Iran he had approved the 
previous month was illegal. Reagan has always maintained in 
official testimony that he was not aware of the shipment until 
early the next year. The Weinberger papers, as descnbed in the 
indictment, provide new details about high-level Iran-contra 
meetings that included not only Reagan but Secretary of State 
George Shultz, and then-Vice President Bush. 

Gillen declined to tell when he first located Weinberger's 
notes in the Library of Congress. Weinberger had placed them 
there after he resigned to facilitate the writing of his memoirs. 
Under an "agreement of deposit" with the library, he was to 
have control over access to the records. ("Weinberger Indicted 
on 5 Counts," The Washington Post, June 17) 

JUNE - A study, For Their Eyes Only, released by the Center 
For Public Integrity detailed how retired public officials squirrel 
documents and records away from public scrutiny. Among them: 
former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger who controls 
public access to 13,000 documents from his Pentagon files at the 
Library of Congress. Former Secretary of State George Shultz, 
leaving office in 1989, had 60,000 classified documents trans- 
ferred to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where 
they are out of reach to indef)endent researchers. Former Nixon 
Administration Secretary of State Henry Kissinger turned over 



his files to the Library of Congress, but keeps iron-clad control 
over them. 

The control these and other former officials exercise over 
once-classified documents was sanctioned by a 1982 executive 
order, signed by then-President Ronald Reagan. Although legal, 
the control raises questions about how much the public should be 
allowed to know about the lives and records of public officials, 
said Steve Weinberg, an author, investigative reporter and editor 
who wrote the report. "What these cases tell me," said Wein- 
berg, "is that our view of officials as being public has been 
turned on its head. The way these men keep their papers away 
from the public indicates that they don't consider them public at 
all. They think they own history." 

The report also shows how other retired public officials, 
including former Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford, 
arranged to keep their files out of the hands of researchers. 
Weinberg asserted that the actions of Shultz, Kissinger, and 
Weinberger are egregious because all three signed lucrative 
contracts to write memoirs in which they used the matenal 
denied to other researchers. As a result, said Weinberg, the 
three former Administration officials are controlling how history 
will be recorded. They are preventing others from checking the 
accuracy of what they wnte, he said. ("Ex-Officials Often Shield 
Their Files," The Washington Post, June 18) 

JUNE - Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
have struck an unusual agreement to hold closed-door hearings 
into allegations that the Reagan campaign in 1980 conspired with 
the Iranian government to delay release of 52 Americans held 
hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran. Sources familiar 
with the investigation said the decision to hold closed hearings 
on the "October surpnse" was an attempt to address two major 
concerns: the Democrats' desire for a full ainng of the affair, 
and the Republicans' fear that public heanngs would be trans- 
formed into an election-year "witch himt" unfairly smeanng the 
Bush and Reagan Admmistrations. ("Senators Agree to Close 
'October Surpnse' Heanngs," The Washington Post, June 24) 

JUNE - The Bush Administration abruptly ordered researcher 
Robert Gallo to cancel his first public discussion of the contro- 
versy surrounding his laboratory's role in the discovery of the 
AIDS virus. Gallo, a semor researcher at the National Cancer 
Institute, was to answer questions about the longstanding dispute 
between France and the United States over who first identified 
the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The 
dispute between French and U.S. researchers over who discov- 
ered the AIDS virus dates from 1984, and Gallo had refused to 
comment publicly on accusations about taking credit for the 
work of a French scientist, Luc Montagnier. At stake are 
millions of dollars in royalties both sides share from sales of a 
blood test to detect the virus. 



ALA Washington OfTice 



December 1992 



Less Access. 



June - December 1992 



An Administration source said the National Cancer Advisory 
Board, which was sponsoring the discussion, was told it should 
have delayed holding a public discussion until a final report on 
the investigation of Gallo's laboratory is completed in a few 
months. Last year, Gallo acknowledged that the virus he used in 
1983 to develop a blood test for AIDS was likely one sent to 
him by France's Pasteur Institute where Montagnier worked, and 
said it must have contaminated other virus cultures used in his 
lab. Currently, the United States and France divide the royalties 
equally, but the Pasteur Institute has said it is entitled to all of 
the estimated $50 million that may result from sales of an AIDS 
blood test developed using the virus. ("HHS Blocks Comment by 
AIDS Scientist," The Washington Post, June 24) 



warships in the region had been fighting a "secret war" agamst 
Iran that went well beyond their publicly acknowledged mission 
of protecting neutral shipping from attacks by Iranian gimboats. 
Crowe subsequently approved an elaborate "pastiche of omis- 
sions, half-truths and outnght deceptions" to mask the true 
circumstances of the downing, Newsweek said. Crowe heatedly 
denied that. "I just reject and am offended by the idea that this 
was an orchestrated coverup," Crowe said. "Granted, we were 
feeling our way. Granted, we made some mistakes. But to leap 
from that to an orchestrated coverup to deceive the American 
people— It simply isn't true." ("Adm. Crowe Denies Coverup in 
1988 Downing of Iranian Airliner," The Washington Post, July 
7) 



[Ed. note: The fmal report of the Department of Health and 
Human Services found AIDS researcher Robert Gallo committed 
"scientific misconduct" in connection with one sentence he wrote 
in a scholarly paper published eight years ago. His attorney said 
he will appeal the fmdings. ("New HHS Report Faults AIDS 
Researcher," The Washington Post, December 31)) 

JUNE - Commerce Department documents released June 23 
raised questions about whether aides to former Secretary Robert 
Mosbacher knew that department employees improperly altered 
records on U.S. sales to Iraq before they sent the records to 
Congress in late 1990. The documents appear to challenge the 
department's contention that no official higher than a now- 
departed undersecretary, Dennis Kloske, knew workers were 
changing documents to disguise the shipment of militanly useful 
equipment and technology to Iraq before it invaded Kuwait. 

The disclosures are likely to lead to intensified demands for 
appointment of an indef)endent counsel to investigate whether 
Administration officials broke laws against misleading Congress. 
The Justice Department is already conducting a cnminal 
investigation, but a number of Democrats on the House Judiciary 
Committee argue an independent counsel is necessary because 
the inquiry could lead to Mosbacher, now serving as general 
chairman of President Bush's re-election campaign. ("New Data 
at Odds With Commerce Dept. Stand on Sales to Iraq," The 
Washington Post, June 24) 

JULY - Retired Admiral William Crowe labeled as "absolutely 
outrageous" news media reports that accuse the former chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of covering up the truth behind the 
downing of an Iranian airliner by a U.S. warship four years ago. 
Recent reports on the ABC News program "Nightline" and in 
the July 13 issue of Newsweek magazine assert that the USS 
Vincennes had been operating illegally in Iranian territorial 
waters when it fired two anti-aircraft missiles at the unarmed 
civilian airplane in July 1988, killing 290 jjeople. 

The rejwrt portrayed the captain of the Vincennes, Capt. Will 
Rogers III, contnbutmg to a series of blunders that led the crew 
to its mistaken conclusion that the ship was under attack. Tlie 
news investigation said that the Vincennes and other U.S. 



[Ed. note: The July 13 Newsweek article, "The Inside Story of 
How an American Naval Vessel Blundered into an Attack on 
Iran Air Flight 655 at the Height of Tensions Dunng the Iran- 
Iraq War — and How the Pentagon Tried to Cover Its Tracks 
after 290 Innocent Civilians Died," concludes: 

The Navy might have gotten away with all these decep- 
tions had It not been for the slow gnnding of international 
law. A lawsuit by the Iranian government has now forced 
Washington to admit, grudgingly, that the Vincennes was 
actually in Iranian waters— although Justice Department 
pleadings still claim the cruiser was forced there in self- 
defense. The admission is contained in fine pnnt in legal 
briefs; it has never received public attention until Crowe, 
confronted with the evidence, conceded the truth last week 
on "Nightline." Crowe denies any cover-up; if mistakes were 
made he told Newsweek, they were "below my pay grade." 
Rogers continues to insist that his ship was in international 
waters. 

Additionally, Admiral Crowe, testifying before the House 
Armed Services Committee on July 21, delivered a 27-page 
point-by-point response to reports that the military had precipitat- 
ed the incident in which the Vincennes shot down the airliner 
and then lied about cntical details. ("Cover-Up Denied in 
Downing of Iranian Passenger Jet in '88," The Washington Post. 
July 22)] 

JULY - Senior Navy officials tned to alter the language of a 
report concerning the assault of 26 women last year, apparently 
to make the incidents seem less offensive. Pentagon officials say. 
The office of the Naval Inspector General prevailed in keeping 
most of the original wording in the report, but only after 
contentious debates with superiors. Navy officials said. The 
inquiry was one of two by Navy agencies into the events and 
subsequent cover-up at last year's convention in Las Vegas of 
the Tailhook Association, a group of active-duty and retired 
naval aviators. ("Officials Say Navy tned to Soften Report," The 
New York Times, July 8) 

JULY - Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Texas), who has been highly 
cntical of the Bush Administration's friendly relations with Iraq 



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before the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, said that a White House 
official in late 1989 discussed the criminal investigation of an 
Atlanta bank's loans to Iraq with the federal prosecutor supervis- 
ing the case, possibly intervening improperly in the inquiry. 
Gonzalez charged that the telephone call from someone in the 
White House to Gail McKenzie, an assistant United States 
attorney in Atlanta, was part of a pattern by the White House to 
prevent the disclosure of information that would draw attention 
to the Administration's conciliatory policy toward Iraq before its 
August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. 

Gonzalez also revealed the existence of a previously undis- 
closed Central Intelligence Agency report circulated to Adminis- 
tration officials on November 6, 1989, two days before the 
Administration approved $500 million in Agriculture Department 
loan guarantees for Iraq. The report indicated that Banca 
Nazionale del Lavoro, the primary lender to Iraq under the 
United States credit program, had paid for Baghdad's weapons 
programs. "The report indicates that several of the B.N.L.- 
fmanced front companies in the network were secretly procuring 
technology for Iraq's missile programs and nuclear, biological 
and chemical weapons programs," Gonzalez said. ("White 
House Knew of Possible Fraud," The New York Times, July 8) 

JULY - U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth accused Bush 
Administration officials of trying to "thwart" the prosecution of 
former CIA clandestine services chief Clair George by ignoring 
court deadlines for declassifying information needed for trial. 
The judge's ire was directed at members of the Interagency 
Review Group, a Bush Administration panel of intelligence 
specialists whose job is to censor or clear documents that the 
government or defense wants to use at trial. Lamberth said the 
IRG was trying at the last minute to reclassify details that had 
already been cleared for use in the George trial. George, 
formerly the CIA's deputy director for operations, faces trial on 
nine counts of perjury, false statements, and obstruction of 
congressional and grand jury inquiries into the Iran-contra affair. 
("Assailing Delay, Judge Sees Effort to 'Thwart' CIA Ex-Aide's 
Trial," The Washington Post, July 14) 

JULY - In a new twist to a battle between the Energy Depart- 
ment and physicist Dr. P. Leonardo Mascheroni, FBI agents 
seized from him several copies of a report that absolves him of 
mishandling state secrets. The federal report, made public eight 
months ago, belatedly has been deemed secret. Private experts 
say the case is one of a growing number in which federal 
secrecy rules, meant to protect national security, have been 
misused for what seem to be political ends. "It's an abuse of 
classification to stifle debate," said Steven Aftergood, editor of 
the Secrecy and Government Bulletin, published monthly by the 
Federation of American Scientists. 

Mascheroni, dismissed from the Los Alamos National 
Laboratory in 1988 amid a dispute over how to advance laser 
fusion, says he was dismissed because he criticized the laser 
fusion program and advocated an unorthodox plan. In November 



1991, the top security official in Los Alamos for the Department 
of Energy, William Risley, came to Mascheroni's defense. 
Risley reported that Mascheroni had been treated unfairly and 
that the scientist's claims were generally correct. The labora- 
tory's charges of security violations were "trumped up," Risley 
wrote, identifying officials who "put false information into the 
security system." Risley gave Mascheroni a copy of the report, 
but on June 22, FBI agents came to Mascheroni's home and 
seized copies of the report, saying it had been classified secret. 
("U.S. Invokes Secrecy in Fight With Rebel Scientist," The New 
York Times, July 19) 

JULY - During most of the negotiations on a free trade agree- 
ment that would bind the economies of the United States, 
Canada, and Mexico together into a regional trading bloc, the 
Bush Administration has classified all negotiating texts in an 
effort to forestall public debate until the agreement is complete. 
But information is leaking out from many people involved 
directly and indirectly in the negotiations. Trade negotiators from 
the three countries have struck thousands of compromises during 
the past year. These deals, typically made with little or no public 
debate, will affect scores of industries throughout the continent. 
During most of the negotiations, these deals stayed secret 
because all three countries classified thousands of pages of 
negotiating documents and conducted their talks with the secrecy 
and security once reserved for wartime military op>erations. With 
the trade talks entering their final weeks, the broad outlines of 
the secret arrangements— and the remaining squabbles— are 
begirming to leak out. United States trade representative Carla 
Hills and her office's North American affairs section have 
imposed strict secrecy on the free-trade talks for fear that public 
debate would limit the ability of each country to compromise and 
strike the best possible deal. Only a handful of copies of the 
incomplete agreement have been given to Congress, and those 
are being kept in special, high-security reading rooms and in the 
safes of several congressional aides with the necessary secunty 
clearances. Even other government departments involved in the 
negotiations have been given information only about their 
sections of the free-trade accord and not about the overall 
agreement. ("Trade Pact Details Are Emerging," The New York 
Times, July 20) 

JULY - The United States and Saudi Arabia, which have long 
rejected the widespread belief that they work together to 
influence the world oil market, have in fact cooperated exten- 
sively on oil issues for many years. State Department documents 
and government legal papers confirm. During the Reagan and 
Bush Administrations, the documents show, the Saudis some- 
times informed the United States in advance of key moves they 
planned to make at meetings of the Organization of Petroleum 
Exporting Countnes and consulted U.S. officials about market- 
ing initiatives. 

U.S. officials have often discussed the price of oil with the 
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not asking for any particular price but emphasizing the negative 
consequences if prices were to move outside a certain range. 
This appears to contradict repeated assertions by the Reagan and 
Bush Administrations that they never express views about the 
price of oil because they believe it should be determined solely 
by market forces. According to the State Department documents, 
the U.S. government has commented extensively on the price of 
oil in private conversations with Saudi officials. U.S. and Saudi 
officials have discussed the implications of oil prices for a broad 
range of interests, including the stability of Texas banks and the 
level of Saudi support for U.S. -backed rebels in Afghanistan. 

The documents were obtained under Freedom of Information 
Act proceedings by Edwin Rothschild, energy policy director of 
the consumer group Citizen Action, a longtime critic of the 
U.S. -Saudi relationship. According to Rothschild, this evidence 
of U.S. diplomatic efforts to influence oil prices in the 1980s 
shows that the Administration's free-market rhetoric is "non- 
sense." He said the Reagan Administration— with then- Vice 
President Bush as its point man — manipulated the world oil 
market to keep prices higher than they should have been in the 
late 1980s, at a "cost [to] Amencan consumers of billions of 
dollars in higher gasoline and heating oil bills." ("U.S. Tries to 
Influence Oil Prices, Papers Show," The Washington Post, July 
21) 

JULY - Iran-contra prosecutors disclosed the belated discovery 
of two boxes of covert CIA records under the desk of the 
custodian of documents for the agency's directorate of opera- 
tions. It was not clear how many of the 2,000 pages that were 
found may be relevant to the Iran-contra scandal, but at least 
some of the information, according to prosecutors, is relevant to 
the trial of Clair George, former chief of the CIA's clandestine 
service. Prosecutors learned of the existence of the documents 
July 10 while conducting an interview of the official custodian 
of documents for the CIA's director of operations. ("More CIA 
Papers Found Before Trial of George," The Washington Post, 
July 22) 

JULY - Lawyers for John Demjanjuk accused the Justice 
Department of withholding crucial evidence showing that 
Demjanjuk was not the savage executioner "Ivan the Terrible" 
at the Nazis' Treblinka death camp in Poland. Demjanjuk's 
lawyers maintained that the department had for years withheld 
evidence that would have cleared their client, showing that he 
was the victim of mistaken identity. TTie lawyers said that while 
the prosecutors were seeking the deportation of Demjanjuk they 
had improperly failed to disclose the existence of testimony of 
guards at Treblinka indicating that another man, Ivan Marchen- 
ko, was Ivan the Terrible. Marchenko was last seen alive in 
1944, and his fate is unknown. Demjanjuk was stripped of his 
American citizenship in 1981 and deported to Israel in 1986 to 
stand trial as a war criminal. In 1988 he was sentenced to death, 
and is now awaiting the results of an appeal to the Israeli 



Supreme Court. ("U.S. Accused of Concealing Evidence on 
'Ivan,'" The New York Times, July 28) 

JULY - Former CIA official Alan Fiers admitted under cross- 
examination that he lied rejjeatedly about the Iran-contra affair, 
then last year made a deal with special prosecutors to avoid 
facing felony charges. Fiers, the chief prosecution witness at the 
trial of Clair George, said he realized his plea bargain would 
force him to turn on old colleagues but protecting his future was 
more important to him. Former chief of the CIA Central 
American Task Force and now a lobbyist for W.R. Grace & 
Co., Fiers was allowed to plead guilty in July 1991 to two 
misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress 
after promising to cooperate with prosecutors in any future 
proceedings. ("Witness Against Spy Chief Admits Lying to Hill 
About Iran-Contra," The Washington Post, July 31) 

AUGUST - The Census Bureau postponed deciding whether to 
use population figures that have been adjusted to compensate for 
the census undercount, yielding to the pleas of political leaders 
whose states stand to lose federal funding. Census spokeswoman 
Karen Wheeless said the matter would be opened to public 
comment, and a public heanng will be held at the Suitland 
Federal Center on August 21. The comment period ends August 
28. "We've decided we do need some public input on this 
process," Wheeless said. 

At issue is whether the Census Bureau population estimates 
are based on the results of the headcount conducted in 1990, or 
on a second set of population figures weighted to take into 
account persons missed in the census. ("Census Bureau Delays 
Move Affecting Funds," The Washington Post, August 5) 

AUGUST - After five years of investigation into the Iran-contra 
affair, prosecutors have told lawyers for former Attorney 
General Edwin Meese 3d that he is a subject of their inquiry. 
Nonetheless, a lawyer for Meese said that the former Attorney 
General faces no immediate danger of being charged with a 
crime. Disclosure of Meese's status came after recent news 
reports indicating that the investigation has recently shifted its 
focus to re-examine the roles of Meese and others at what 
prosecutors have called the "highest levels" of the Reagan 
Administration. 

Lawyers for former President Ronald Reagan said that he 
was not under scrutiny and was regarded as a witness in the 
investigation, a sign that after more than five years the prosecu- 
tors had not found that Reagan engaged in any cnminal conduct. 
Lawyers for George Shultz, the former Secretary of State, have 
said that Shultz is a subject of the inquiry. ("Meese Is Termed 
a Subject in Iran-Contra Inquiry," The New York Times, August 
13) 

AUGUST - Three major health organizations say Vice President 
Quayle's Council on Competitiveness is using its powers to 
"reshape, rewrite or eliminate" federal regulations in behalf of 



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special interests that want to circumvent open governmental 
processes. TTie American Heart Association, the American 
Cancer Society, and the American Lung Association charged in 
a July 31 letter to President Bush that the Council on Competi- 
tiveness "wields tremendous political and regulatory powers" 
and does so out of the public eye. 

The council reviews regulations on air pollution, food 
labeling, access for the disabled, and other issues, ordering 
changes if it finds the rules would unnecessarily burden individu- 
als and small businesses. "Our three organizations represent 
millions of Americans whose views are not being heard by the 
council because it seeks to conduct its business under standards 
which do not lend themselves to 'open' government," the letter 
said. Replying for the President, Roger Porter, chief assistant for 
economic and domestic policy, cited a Supreme Court decision 
supporting the Administration's right to explore alternatives "in 
a way many would be unwilling to express except privately." 
("3 Health Groups Criticize Quayle Panel," The Washington 
Post, August 21) 

AUGUST - More than half the charts used by commercial 
vessels and pleasure ships in U.S. waters are based on informa- 
tion that is at least 50 years old, according to a National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration official. Testifying at an 
investigative hearing into the August 7 grounding of the luxury 
liner Queen Elizabeth 2 off the Massachusetts coast, Capt. 
Donald Suloff, deputy director of NOAA's survey branch, said 
charts of the area were based on a 1939 survey. NOAA issues 
the official charts to be used aboard all vessels plying U.S. 
waters. He said surveys are usually updated only upon request 
because NOAA has only five ships for the entire U.S. coastline. 
"It's basically a lack of resources, " said Lt. Cmdr. John Wilder 
of NOAA's geodetic survey department. ("Sea Charts Seen 
Badly Outdated," The Washington Post, August 27) 

AUGUST - Bush Administration claims that its freeze on new 
government regulations will save businesses up to $20 billion in 
1992 are merely "an election-year gambit," two watchdog 
groups have charged. Public Citizen and OMB Watch contend, 
in a recent ref)ort, that "dozens" of health and safety, civil 
rights, and environmental regulations have been seriously 
weakened or eliminated due to the 210-day-old regulatory freeze 
and that the Administration has failed to substantiate its claims 
about the economic benefits. In response to Freedom of Informa- 
tion Act requests filed by the two groups, federal regulatory 
agencies failed to provide Justifications for their economic 
claims, the groups said. "None of the agencies provided 
mformation about 'cost savings' in a form even remotely 
understandable," the report said. ("Regulatory Freeze Figures 
Disputed," The Washington Post, August 31) 

SEPTEMBER - A New York Times editorial asked, "What did 
George Bush know about the Iran-contra affair and when did he 
know it?" Answer: "...a lot, and early. The President plausibly 



denies being 'in the loop' of the arms-for-hostage Iraman 
operation or the illicit supply of rebels in Nicaragua. But at least 
in general, he knew about those colossal follies and, it app>ears, 
did nothing to stop them." 

The editorial points out that the latest indication that the 
President was "plugged in" is a memorandum registermg a 
complaint by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger to 
former Secretary of State George Shultz in 1987. President Bush 
was saying publicly he hadn't known of their strong objections 
to the Iran dealings. "He was on the other side," said 
Weinberger. "Why didn't he say that?" What does Bush say 
about that memorandum now? A spokeswoman argues that Bush 
did not attend the meetings at which the strongest objections 
were raised. In a recent television interview Bush said mislead- 
ingly that he did not think Secretaries Shultz and Weinberger 
doubted his word. "And I have nothing to explain," he went on. 
"I've given every bit of evidence I have to these thousands of 
investigators. And nobody has suggested that I've done anything 
wrong at all." ("Vice President Bush's Vice," The New York 
Times, September 19) 

SEPTEMBER - President Richard Nixon decided in 1973 to 
complete the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam despite strong 
indications that some U.S. pnsoners of war had not been 
returned, senior officials of his Administration testified in 
congressional hearings. The officials told a Senate panel that 
Nixon had little choice but to continue the U.S. withdrawal, 
acting as if North Vietnam had carried out its promises to 
release all prisoners it held and to ensure that prisoners held by 
Laos also would be freed. "The president decided not to scuttle 
the [Paris] agreement [with North Vietnam) over the MIA 
issue," said Winston Lord, then a senior aide to National 
Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and later ambassador to 
China. "It was a very tough decision." 

Although Nixon declared in March 1973 that "all of our 
American POWs are on their way home," the former officials 
who were questioned said this assertion was probably not 
supported by evidence available at the time. For most of a long 
day of testimony before the Senate Select Committee on POW- 
MIA Affairs, no Nixon Administration official challenged an 
idea that once seemed almost unthinkable but is rapidly becom- 
ing the accepted view: Some Amencans known to have been 
alive in Vietnamese or Laotian custody did not come home with 
their comrades in the spnng of 1973, and in the absence of 
confirmed knowledge about specific individuals in specific 
places, Nixon went ahead with the withdrawal of U.S. forces 
because there was no alternative. ("Nixon Knew of POWs, 
Aides Say," The Washington Post, September 22) 

SEPTEMBER - Buried among 1,700 pages of notes written by 
then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger during the Iran- 
contra affair is one referring to a January 1986 meeting at which 
Weinberger voiced opposition to covert arms sales to Iran in the 
presence of George Bush, then the Vice President. The note. 



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which appears to contradict Bush's repeated assertion that he was 
never present when either Weinberger or then-Secretary of State 
George Shultz objected to the arms sales, is among classified 
documents being reviewed for possible use in Weinberger's 
upcoming trial. ("Bush 'Out of the Loop' on Iran-Contra?" The 
Washington Post, September 24) 

SEPTEMBER - According to Richard Secord, chief logistics 
officer for the Reagan Administration's dealings with Iran, then- 
Vice President George Bush became an influential "advocate" of 
sending arms to Tehran each time a U.S. hostage in Lebanon 
was released. Secord's allegation appears in his autobiography, 
Honored and Betrayed, and challenges Bush's repeated claims 
that he did not participate in shaping the Iran mitiative. White 
House spokesman Judy Smith dismissed Secord's assertion as 
"absolutely false," adding "there's no truth to them whatsoev- 
er." ("Secord Book: Bush Became Arms-for-Hostages Advo- 
cate," The Washington Post, September 25) 

SEPTEMBER - Before the federal government accepted a plea 
agreement with the contractor running an illegally polluted 
nuclear bomb factory, the grand jury hearing the case so badly 
wanted to indict the p>eople who ran the plant that it wrote the 
indictments itself, a member of the jury has said. But the 
prosecutor blocked the grand jury, the juror said, and ultimately, 
no individuals were charged. In a breach of the secrecy that 
usually surrounds grand jury proceedings, Westward, a weekly 
Denver newspaper, published an account of the 2'/^ -year grand 
jury inquiry into accusations against the operator of Rocky Flats, 
Rockwell International, its executives, and officials of the 
Department of Energy, which owns the plant. 

Rockwell, which ran the plant for 15 years, pleaded guilty in 
March to 10 violations of environmental laws, including five 
felonies. TTie company agreed to pay an $18.5 million fine. No 
employees of Rockwell or officers of the Energy Department 
were charged for their roles in the pollution at the plant in the 
northwestern suburbs of Denver, where for three decades 
plutonium triggers for thermonuclear bombs were made. ("Jury 
Fought Prosecutor on Bomb Plant," The New York Times, 
September 30) 

OCTOBER - The House of Representatives passed, and sent to 
the White House for signature, a comprehensive bill calling for 
the disclosure of virtually all the government's files on President 
John F. Kennedy's assassination and setting up a review board 
to track them down. The records, many still secret, are held by 
Congress, federal agencies, and presidential libraries and include 
everything from CIA and FBI reports to newspaper clippings and 
tax returns. ("Bill to Release JFK Files Moves to White House," 
The Washington Post, October 1) 

OCTOBER - Seventy-six new regulations prepared by the 
Environmental Protection Agency are being held up by the White 
House, some in violation of congressional deadlines, according 



to a confidential EPA report dated September 22. The stalled 
regulations include some of the major provisions of the 1990 
Clean Air Act intended to control smog, reduce acid rain, 
protect the ozone layer, and reduce toxic air pollutants. "The 
administration is holding up numerous rules, which is illegal, 
and which is not consistent with the goal of protecting human 
health and the environment," said a senior EPA official. ("EPA 
Report Says White House Stalls 76 Regulations," The Washing- 
ton Post, October 1) 

OCTOBER - Russia is offering for sale photographs from 
jxjwerful space cameras meant for spying. Espionage photos of 
Washington show features like the Capitol, the White House, 
and the Pentagon. Private experts say the declassifications of 
Moscow's best spy photographs may pressure the American 
government to be more forthcoming about opening its own 
surveillance archives. 

The space photographs are superior to those Moscow has 
sold since 1987, which already have far better resolution than 
any offered commercially in the West. The new ones can 
resolve, or "see," objects slightly smaller than two meters 
across. The less-sharp images Moscow has been selling for years 
have five-meter resolution. The best commercial images taken by 
the French SPOT satellites have a resolution of 10 meters and 
the ones of the American Landsat satellite have 30-meter 
resolution. The new photos are being marketed by Central 
Trading Systems of Arlington, Texas, and sell for $3,180. The 
photographs are sent from Moscow via Federal Express. In 
comparison, images from the French SPOT satellites cost $700 
to $3,000. Those from the American Landsat system cost $2(X) 
to $4,000. 

Dr. Peter Zimmerman, a reconnaissance expert at the Center 
for Strategic and International Studies, said Moscow's new 
mitiative would "put political pressure on the U.S. to declassify 
imagery that might be socially useful" for disaster relief and 
scientific studies. On a limited basis, the Central Intelligence 
Agency is beginning to let certain scientists examine its recon- 
naissance records for clues of environmental change. ("Russia 
Is Now Selling Spy Photos from Space," The New York Times, 
October 4) 

OCTOBER - Sen. Urry Pressler (R-N.D.) descnbed to his 
colleagues how the commercialization of the Landsat operation 
by the Reagan Administration in the mid-1980s had "a deleteri- 
ous effect on uses of Landsat data in American colleges and 
research institutions" because the high cost of Landsat data 
inhibited its use by the scientific and academic communities. 
"Erratic funding for the program, coupled with the high cost of 
data, $4,400 per scene, have resulted in restricted use of the data 
and caused concern... over the future of the program. TTiis 
concern is shared by State and local government officials and 
environmental organizations. " (October 7 Congressional Record, 
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OCTOBER - CIA Director Robert Gates launched a broad 
internal investigation into what Administration officials described 
as the agency's apparent failure to provide timely and accurate 
information to Congress and the Justice Department about a 
politically sensitive bank scandal. Gates' move came as U.S. 
officials disclosed that the agency uncovered 1989 documents 
that cast new doubt on the government's longstanding contention 
that the scandal was solely caused by officials of the Atlanta 
branch of an Italian bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. 

Tliis contention has been challenged by attorneys for the 
former head of BNL's Atlanta branch, the chief defendant in a 
criminal case arising from the scandal. The attorneys have 
alleged that the loans were authorized by Rome and that 
Washington has concealed evidence of Italian complicity to avoid 
embarrassing a key ally. The issue is considered sensitive 
because the bank is owned by the Italian government and the 
fraud — involving more than $4 billion in loans and loan guaran- 
tees that help>ed Iraq buy weapyons and food before the Persian 
Gulf War— is the largest in U.S. banking history. ("CIA Begins 
Inquiry in BNL Case," The Washington Post, October 8) 

OCTOBER - Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman David 
Boren (D-Okla.) criticized plans by the Justice Department and 
the FBI to work together in probing potential misconduct by 
department officials in the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro scandal. 
Other lawmakers called on Attorney General William Barr to 
ap|X)int an independent counsel to take over the department's 
probe. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) said that "only an 
independent investigation can assure... that the executive branch 
is not covering up major misconduct in its handling of the [BNL] 
affair." Metzenbaum cited press reports that FBI Director 
William Sessions and his wife Alice have come under investiga- 
tion by the Justice Department for possible ethics violations, just 
as Sessions began his own inquiry into the role played by two 
semor Justice Department officials in the BNL case last month. 
("Boren Criticizes Plans for Justice-FBI Probe of Alleged 
Misconduct in BNL Case," The Washington Post, October 14) 

OCTOBER - In his latest attempt to put the Iran-contra affair 
behind him. President Bush said that he and his staff have 
answered thousands of questions about the scandal and insisted 
that he was not present at a key January 1986 meeting on the 
Iran initiative, contradicting two former Cabinet secretaries. 
("Bush Bristles at Queries on Iran Initiative," The Washington 
Post, October 14) 

OCTOBER - First reports surfaced of the search of presidential 
candidate Bill Clinton's passport and citizenship files by State 
Department officials. The State Department said they were 
processing Freedom of Information Act requests, calling them 
"time sensitive" because of the im[)ending presidential election. 
("Aide Sought Prompt Search of Clinton File," The Washington 
Post, October 15) 



(Ed. note: Within a week, Acting Secretary of State Lawrence 
Eagleburger, asserting that "there has been and will be no 
coverup," ordered the State Department's inspector general to 
investigate. After first saying that "there is no inappropnate 
behavior at all in this," department spokesman Richard Boucher 
amended his comments and acknowledged that officials had 
deviated from department rules and mistakenly expedited FOIA 
requests regarding Clinton. Boucher, however, blamed the errors 
on "low-level people" who he contended were not acting under 
political pressure. ("Eagleburger Orders Investigation Into 
Handling of Clinton File Requests," The Washington Post, 
October 20)] 

OCTOBER - Public health surveillance systems are inadequate 
to detect threats from new diseases and the re-emergence of old 
ones, the National Academy of Sciences said in a report issued 
in Washington in mid-October. It said the sudden appearance of 
new diseases like AIDS and the resurgence of old ones like 
tuberculosis that can kill millions of people around the world are 
inevitable despite the great advances in medicine. Authors of the 
report said they were sending a "wake-up call to doctors, 
medical schools, government officials and the public to end 
complacency over infectious diseases. " 

The report sharply cnticized the base of the national system 
for reporting certain communicable diseases to the Federal 
Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. "Outbreaks of any 
disease that is not on C.D.C.'s current list of notifiable illnesses 
may go undetected or may be detected only after an outbreak is 
well under way," the report said. Although current United States 
and international surveillance efforts can do well in detecting 
known communicable diseases, they fall short in their ability to 
detect new threats, the report said, adding, "There has been no 
effort to develop and implement a global program of surveillance 
for emerging diseases or disease agents." ("Surveillance of 
Diseases Is Deficient, Report Says," The New York Times, 
October 17) 

OCTOBER - Rep. Doug Barnard (D-Ga.) accused the Justice 
Department of deliberately prolonging, until after the election, 
a criminal investigation into altered Commerce Department 
records about exports to Iraq. Chairman of the Government 
Operations Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer, and 
Monetary Affairs, Barnard made his comments in testimony 
prepared for a Senate Banking Committee hearing. "It has been 
a year and three months since Justice opened its investigation." 
Barnard said he "can only conclude that this matter is too 
sensitive to decide before the upcoming presidential election." 
The investigation into the altered records is the sole, active 
criminal investigation sparked by actions related to U.S. policy 
toward Iraq before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. 

On a related matter, a sp>okesman for the Agriculture 
Department denied allegations, reported to Congress, that 
department officials had shredded documents related to U.S. loan 
guarantees granted Iraq before the Persian Gulf War. House 



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Banking Chairman Henry Gonzalez (D-Texas) cited the 
allegations in a letter asking Secretary of Agnculture Edward 
Madigan to remove all shredders from offices that helped 
oversee loan guarantees. ("Justice Accused of Delaying Probe ot 
Altered U.S. Files," The Washington Post, October 28) 

NOVEMBER - A note by former Secretary of Defense Caspar 
Weinberger, released October 30 in his Iran-contra indictment, 
provides the most direct contradiction to President Bush's 
statements that he was "out of the loop" when the plan to sell 
arms to Iran was formulated. The January 7, 1986, note makes 
clear that Weinberger considered the deal for sending 4,000 
antitank missiles to Iran in exchange for the release of five 
Amencan hostages as an arms-for-hostages swap. He also wntes 
that he and former Secretary of State George Shultz objected to 
it and that Bush was present and apparently showed his approval. 
For the several days before the election. Bush has argued there 
is nothing new about the Weinberger note. ("Roots of Bush's 
Iran Credibility Gap," The Washington Post, November 2) 

NOVEMBER - The Department of Education informed ERIC 
users that the Department permitted the contractor that produces 
the ERIC database tapes to copynght the ERIC database and to 
collect fees for commercial and academic usage. The plan 
proposed by the ERIC contractor calls for implementation of 
usage fees during 1993 through a "Database Licensing Agree- 
ment," a new contract instrument executed between the contrac- 
tor and each organization that will receive either the entire 
database or updates to it in magnetic tape or machine readable 
form. (Letter from Robert M. Stonehill, director. Educational 
Resources Information Center to ERIC User, November 3) 

[Ed. note: In a December 16 article, "Department Weighing 
Plan to Copynght Information Data Base," Education Week 
called the ERIC proposal "a dramatic shift from past practice." 
The article said the proposal faces stiff opposition from educa- 
tion and library groups, which contend that it would restnct 
access to information by driving up the cost. The House of 
Representatives passed legislation, which was not considered by 
the Senate, that would have prohibited the department from 
copyrighting the database.] 

NOVEMBER - A federal appeals court ruled that Amencan 
taxpayers must pay former President Richard Nixon what could 
amount to millions of dollars in compensation for presidential 
papers and tape recordings that have been kept under govern- 
ment control. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned 
a federal judge's ruling last year that the papers and tapes were 
the projjerty of the American people and that the government 
does not owe Nixon any money for taking them. The court held 
that Nixon was entitled to compensation for his papers under the 
"takings clause" of the Fifth Amendment, which provides that 
the government may not take a person's property without just 
compensation. 



Lawyers for the former President argued that because all 
previous presidents treated their papers as personal property after 
they left office, Nixon reasonably had the same expectation and 
must be compensated for being deprived of his rights. Lawyers 
for the government argued that Nixon was only a custodian of 
the records, which legally were U.S. property. In 1978, 
Congress made all future presidential papers property of the 
government. Nixon's presidential collection contains 42 million 
items, including tape recordings of most conversations conducted 
in the Oval Office, the Cabinet room, the Lincoln Sitting Room, 
the President's private office in the Executive Office Building 
and on telephones at Camp David. 

The case now goes back to U.S. Distnct Judge John Garrett 
Perm for a tnal on the issue of how much the records are worth. 
The government has the options of seeking a rehearing by the 
panel or asking the full appeals court to hear the case. It can also 
appeal to the Supreme Court. ("Court Rules For Nixon on 
Records," TJie Washington Post, November 18) 

NOVEMBER - The chief White House counsel. C. Boyden 
Gray, has told President Bush's aides that they may destroy 
telephone logs and other personal records during the transition 
as they prepare to leave the government. Congressional staff say 
the legal opinion will hinder their investigation of the search 
through President-elect Bill Clinton's passport files. Telephone 
calls between the State Department and the White House have 
emerged as a potentially valuable source of evidence for 
congressional investigators trying to find out whether the White 
House was involved in the search for information that might 
have damaged Clinton's presidential campaign. 

Gray told White House employees that the 1978 law prohibit- 
ing destruction of "Presidential records" did not cover "'non- 
record' matenals like scratch pads, unimportant notes to one's 
secretary, phone and visitor logs or information notes (of 
meetings, etc.) used only by the staff involved." Histonans and 
archivists said that the requirements of federal law were more 
complicated than Gray had indicated. In some cases, they said, 
telephone and visitor logs are covered by the law and should be 
preserved. 

In a separate action. Judge Charles Richey issued a tempo- 
rary order preventing the Bush White House from destroying 
computer records before leaving office. The Bush Administration 
argues that the computer tapes in question are not records, do 
not have to be preserved and are not subject to the Freedom of 
Information Act. Judge Richey said that if tapes are erased at the 
end of the Administration, the public's nght of access to such 
electronic records "will be irreparably lost." Plaintiffs in the 
case include the National Secunty Archive, the American 
Library Association, and the Amencan Histoncal Association. 
They argued that the Bush Administration did not have adequate 
guidelines for federal employees to decide which records must 
be saved. 

The tapes in question include copies of electronic mail sent 
through the White House computer system in the last four years. 



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They cover topics including the budget, drug enforcement, 
science and technology policy. United State relations with Iraq, 
and foreign trade negotiations. ("Bush's Lawyer Says Aides May 
Destroy Records," The New York Times, November 21) 

[Ed. note: In a statement filed in December in U.S. District 
Court, the White House said the court's order does not cover 
records of individuals and offices whose "sole responsibility is 
to advise the president." Bush Administration lawyers said that 
they are free to destroy virtually all records of the Vice Presi- 
dent, the chief of staff, and the Council of Economic Advisers. 
("White House Disputes Impact of Tapes Order," The Washing- 
ton Post, December 10)] 

NOVEMBER - The National Security Agency has reversed 
itself and declassified two cryptography texts that it previously 
had insisted were secret even though they were available in 
public libraries. The manuals were written by a founder of the 
security agency and make up two volumes of a book on military 
code-breaking. John Gilmore, a California cryptographer, 
requested the volumes in a FOIA request. Gilmore believes that 
widespread access to coding and code-breaking technologies will 
make it easier to protect personal privacy in the electronic 
information age. His logic is that they more that is known about 
code-breaking, the easier it will be for individuals to design 
computer codes that would be almost impossible to break. 
"These are textbooks on relatively simply cryptographic tech- 
niques," Gilmore said, adding that the techniques had been 
"known for centuries." 

The dispute is one of a series between the security agency 
and independent cryptographic experts and business executives 
over how closely the government should guard the technologies 
used to protect national secrets and break enemy codes. As more 
and more information has been stored and exchanged electroni- 
cally, there has been growing pressure from United States 
computer companies to make coding technology available. ("In 
Shift, U.S. Spy Agency Shrugs at Found Secret Data," The New 
York Times, November 28) 

NOVEMBER - Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Texas) chairman of the 
House Judiciary Committee, asked the Attorney General to warn 
his employees not to inappropriately destroy documents. The 
request joins a chorus of official and unofficial requests that 
William Barr take pre-emptive action to prevent destruction of 
documents that relate to a variety of scandals that have touched 
the Justice Department in the past 12 years, including the theft 
of Inslaw software. Inslaw owner Nancy Hamilton said she has 
received a number of calls from sources inside Justice who say 
officials are allowing or ordering destruction of documents that 
could shed light on her company's dispute with Justice. 

Brooks' committee this summer issued a report (H.Rept. 
102-857) capping a three-year investigation that concluded that 
Justice officials may have stolen software developed by the 
Washington-based computer company. Barr refused a request by 



the committee to seek appointment of an independent prosecutor 
in the case, relying instead on an investigation by a "special 
counsel" who reports to him. The Justice Department is the 
subject of numerous allegations of wrongdoing, and those 
concerned about shredding of documents in the department say 
they are afraid proof of wrongdoing will be destroyed. The 
Justice Department itself is the agency in charge of enforcing 
U.S. laws relating to government document destruction. ("Warn- 
ing to Justice: Don't Destroy Inslaw Data," Washington Business 
Journal, Week of November 30-December 6) 

DECEMBER - According to Steven Garfinkel, director of the 
Information Security Oversight Office, the cold war gave birth 
to a government culture of secrecy and clandestine activity that 
had never existed before to any great degree, except in wartime. 
Government officials classify almost seven million documents a 
year. But with the cold war's end, some are asking whether all 
this secrecy is still needed. Steven Aftergood, editor of the 
Secrecy and Government Bulletin published by the Federal of 
Amencan Scientists, said that government secrecy had often 
prevented Congress and the public from "paying attention to 
abuses, wasted money, failed programs" and that "a whole 
realm of government is beyond any pretense of democratic 
decision-making. " 

But even with the cold war over, Garfinkel and Aftergood 
say the government has offered no plans to reduce the number 
of materials stamped secret each year. "I think it's fair to say 
that no one's talking yet about changing anything," Garfinkel 
said. "It looks like this cold war institution is going to be 
institutionalized beyond the cold war." ("Giving Up Secrecy Is 
Hard to Do," The New York Times, December 2) 

DECEMBER - In a victory resulting in more information to the 
public, the Bush Administration reached agreement on the final 
details of its ambitious overhaul of the nation's food labeling 
rules, breaking a bitter, month-long deadlock between the 
Department of Health and Human Services and the Agriculture 
Department over the scope and direction of the new regulations. 
The White House decision represents a victory for HHS 
Secretary Louis Sullivan and Food and Drug Administration 
Commissioner David Kessler on the critical issue of how 
nutritional information will be presented on the back panel of 
packaged foods. Both men had fought attempts by the USDA 
and the meat industry to remove a section of the proposed label 
that told consumers what percentage of a standard daily allow- 
ance of fat and cholesterol was found in the food product they 
were buying. ("Food Label Agreement Reached," The Washing- 
ton Post, December 3) 

DECEMBER - A 32-page article by Paul Brodeur in The New 
Yorker documents the high incidence of cancer at a school in 
Fresno, California. The school is close to two high-voltage 
transmission lines that run past the school. Teachers, parents, 
and students were unaware of the hazard posed by working and 



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going to school close to transmission lines until an article 
appeared in the Fresno Bee about an attempt by the Bush 
Administration in December 1990 to delay the release of a report 
compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency, which linked 
residential and occupational exposure to the alternating-current 
magnetic fields given off by power lines with the development 
of cancer in children and adults. The article is a case study in 
the difficulties concerned teachers faced in trying to convince 
California state health officials and utility executives that there 
is a link between cancer incidence and long-term exposure to the 
strong magnetic fields that are given off by power-frequency 
magnetic fields. ("The Cancer at Slater School," The New 
Yorker, December 7) 

DECEMBER - The first independent study of the health records 
of 35,000 workers at a government bomb plant in Washington 
State presents a new, more sinister picture of the risks of small 
doses of radiation. This finding, by 86-year-old Dr. Alice 
Stewart, a pioneer in radiation epidemiology, follows her 14- 
year struggle to regain access to the health data. For decades, 
the federal government had limited access to scientists of its 
choosing, who generally concluded that the radiation exposure 
had done little harm. Dr. Stewart's study concludes that 200 of 
the workers have lost or will lose years of their lives because of 
radiation-induced cancer. This contradicts earlier govemment- 
sptonsored studies that found no additional cancer deaths among 
employees at the Hanford nuclear reservation. 

In 1976, Dr. Stewart and other researchers completed a study 
of Hanford workers for the Energy Department and presented 
their conclusions that low doses of radiation had caused an 
increase in the number of cancers. The department rejected the 
findings, stopped paying for their research and cut their access 
to the workers' health records. TTieir access was restored as part 
of a new policy of openness by Energy Secretary James Watkins 
in 1990. By then, the Hanford plant had been closed because of 
environmental and safety problems. 

The study, covering 1944 to 1986, has been accepted for 
publication in March 1993 by a scientific journal. The American 
Journal of Industrial Medicine. ("Pioneer in Radiation Sees Risk 
Even in Small Doses," The New York Times, December 8) 



[Ed. note: President-elect Bill Clinton said after he took office 
he would consult with his Attorney General to decide whether to 
ask the courts to name an independent prosecutor to examine 
allegations that Bush Administration officials covered up efforts 
to help Iraq build up its imlitary in the years before the invasion 
of Kuwait. ("Clinton Says He'll Consider Inquiry Into Bank 
Case Involving Iraq," The New York Times, December 11)] 

DECEMBER - Clair George, former CIA official, was found 
guilty of two felony counts of lying to Congress about his 
knowledge of the Iran-contra scandal. In essence, the jurors 
found that George gave crafty and misleading answers in the 
final months of 1986 to two congressional committees. ("Ex-Spy 
Chief Is Convicted of Lying to Congress in Iran-Contra Case," 
The New York Times, December 10) 

DECEMBER - Seymour Hersh wrote an 18-page article for The 
New Yorker based on secret tape recordings in the National 
Archives that the former President has successfully blocked from 
public release. A plot was revealed that had never been made 
public. Nixon and his aide, Charles Colson, in 1972 plotted to 
link the man who tried to kill Alabama Gov. George Wallace 
with Democratic presidential candidate George McGovem. 
According to the article, Nixon and Colson decided to send 
former CIA operative E. Howard Hunt to Milwaukee to plant 
McGovem campaign literature in the apartment of Arthur 
Bremer, the man who shot Wallace. The trip was canceled when 
the FBI, to Nixon's dismay, sealed the Bremer apartment. 

Hersh maintains that the Watergate la(>es that have been 
released amount to 60 hours— less than two percent of those 
processed by the National Archives— and all of them had been 
subpoenaed. "All this means that Richard Nixon is wiiming one 
of the most significant battles of his life after Watergate: he is 
keeping the full story of what happened in his White House from 
the public and, in doing so, is defying the clear intent of 
Congress and the Supreme Court. The former President has 
invested millions to hire a team of skilled attorneys... [who] have 
orchestrated a delaying action inside the National Archives since 
1977." ("Nixon's Last Cover-Up: The Tapes He Wants the 
Archives to Suppress," The New Yorker, December 14) 



DECEMBER - Attorney General William Barr rejected congres- 
sional demands for an independent prosecutor to investigate 
whether the government had comrmtted a crime in a bank fraud 
case involving loans to Iraq. He asserted that the Justice 
Department had acted properly in every aspect of the politically 
contentious case. Barr's refusal to seek a judicially appointed 
prosecutor in the case involving the Atlanta branch of the Banca 
Nazionale del Lavoro followed the recommendation of Frederick 
Lacey, his own counsel. Congressional Democrats blasted Barr's 
decision and Judge Lacey's seven-week investigation, saying it 
white-washed senous issues and left important questions 
unanswered. ("U.S. Won't Seek New Inquiry Into Iraq Loans," 
The New York Times, December 10) 



[Ed. note: See also: "Tapes Tie Nixon to Anti-McGovem Plot," 
The Washington Post, December 7; and "Article Descnbes More 
Nixon Tapes," The New York Times, December 7)] 

DECEMBER - The General Accounting Office asked the White 
House to turn over copies of computer messages, phone logs, 
and other files from Chief of Staff James Baker, and aides, 
Margaret Tutwiler and Janet Mullins, as part of a broadening 
congressional investigation into the State Department's pre- 
election search through President-elect Clinton's passport files. 
Congressional committees recently became concerned when Bush 
Administration lawyers argued in a lawsuit that the White House 
had no obligation to preserve computer tapes containing electron- 



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ic mail and other internal messages by White House aides. 
("GAO Seeks Files of Baker, Aides in Passport Probe," The 
Washington Post, December 16) 

DECEMBER - A preliminary Justice Department investigation 
uncovered evidence that White House aide Janet Mullins may 
have helped "encourage and direct" the pre-election search of 
President-elect Clinton's passport files and then lied about her 
involvement to State Department investigators. The department's 
evidence prompted a three-judge panel to issue an order giving 
indeF>endent counsel Joseph diGenova broad authority "to fully 
investigate and prosecute" the passport search case and "all 
matters and individuals whose acts may be related. " Although 
Mullins, special assistant to the President for political affairs, is 
the only person named, the order in effect gives diGenova the 
power to conduct a wide-ranging inquiry that is almost certain 
to reach into the upper levels of the Bush White House. At least 
two of Mullins's colleagues, Chief of Staff James Baker and 
assistant to the President for communications Margaret Tutwiler, 
have hired cnminal lawyers to represent them in connection with 
the probe. ("Bush Aide, Passport Case Linked," The Washington 
Post, December 22) 

DECEMBER - Special prosecutors accused former Defense 
Secretary Caspar Weinberger of seven more lies about the Iran- 
contra scandal that they said they want to prove at his tnal in 
January. In a filing with U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, the 
prosecutors disclosed new notes of Weinberger's that not only 
seem to contradict his previous statements but also give addition- 
al information about the evolution of the scandal itself. The 
prosecutors said all seven false statements were "closely related" 
to the four-count indictment against Weinberger and were 
important to show that he had a motive to lie to congressional 
investigators in 1986 and 1987 and to keep lying later on to 
investigators for independent counsel Lawrence Walsh. 
("Weinberger Charges Expanded," The Washington Post, 
December 22) 

DECEMBER - President Bush pardoned former Defense 
Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five other former government 
officials involved in the Iran-contra affair t>ecause "it was time 
for the country to move on." Pardoned with Weinberger were 
former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, former 
Reagan National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former 
CIA officials Clair George, Alan Fiers and Duane Clamdge. 

Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh angnly declared that 
Bush's action meant that "the Iran-contra coverup, which has 
continued for more than six years, has now been complete." But 
Walsh gave notice that he was still not finished with his investi- 
gation, indicating that he is now focusing on Bush himself. 
Walsh disclosed that he had learned for the first time on 
December 1 1 that Bush had "his own highly relevant contempo- 
raneous notes" about the Iran-contra affair, which he "had failed 
to produce to investigators... despite repeated requests for such 



documents." He said Bush was still handing over these notes, a 
process that "will lead to appropnate action." In an interview on 
"MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour," Walsh went further, saying Bush 
is "the subject now of our investigation." Walsh said the 
President may have "illegally withheld documents" from Iran- 
contra investigations. ("Bush Pardons Weinberger m Iran-Contra 
Affair," The Washington Post, December 25) 

[Ed. note: Following is independent counsel Lawrence E. 
Walsh's wntten statement in response to the presidential pardons 
in the Iran-contra scandal: 

President Bush's pardon of Caspar Weinberger and other 
Iran-contra defendants undermines the principle that no man 
is above the law. It demonstrates that powerful people can 
commit serious crimes in high office — deliberately abusing 
the public trust — without consequence. Weinberger, who 
faced four felony charges, deserved to be tried by a jury of 
citizens. Although it is the president's prerogative to grant 
pardons, it is every Amencan's nght that the cnminal justice 
system be administered fairly, regardless of a person's rank 
and coimections. 

The Iran-contra coverup, which has continued for more 
than six years, has now been completed with the pardon of 
Caspar Weinberger. We will make a full report on our 
findings to Congress and the public descnbing the details and 
extent of this coverup. 

Weinberger's early and deliberate decision to conceal and 
withhold extensive contemporaneous notes of the Iran-contra 
matter radically altered the official investigations and 
possibly forestalled timely impeachment proceedings against 
President Reagan and other officials. Weinberger's notes 
contain evidence of a conspiracy among the highest-ranking 
Reagan administration officials to lie to Congress and the 
Amencan public. Because the notes were withheld from 
investigators for years, many of the leads were impossible to 
follow, key witnesses had purportedly forgotten what was 
said and done, and statutes of limitation had expired. 

Weinberger's concealment of notes is part of a disturbing 
pattern of deception and obstruction that permeated the 
highest levels of the Reagan and Bush admimstrations. This 
office was informed only within the past two weeks, on 
December 11, 1992, that President Bush had failed to 
produce to investigators his own highly relevant contempora- 
neous notes, despite repeated requests for such documents. 
The production of these notes is still ongoing and will lead 
to appropriate action. In light of President Bush's own 
misconduct, we are gravely concerned about his decision to 
pardon others who lied to Congress and obstructed official 
investigations. 
("Walsh: 'The Iran-Contra Coverup. ..Has Now Been Complet- 
ed,'" Vie Washington Post, December 25)] 

DECEMBER - The White House promised to make public 
"everything" in President Bush's files to coimter charges by 5 



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independent counsel Lawrence Walsh that the President was 
continuing a coverup of the Iran-contra affair when he pardoned 
former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others. 
Bush said repeatedly during the recent election campaign that he 
had disclosed everything he knew about the Iran-contra affair to 
Walsh's investigators. ("President to Disclose "Everything,'" 
The Washington Post, December 26) 

DECEMBER - President Bush hired former Attorney General 
Griffin Bell to represent him in the continuing investigation of 
his withholding his notes on the Iran-contra affair from 1987 to 
1992. ("Bush Hires Lawyer in Iran-Contra," Vie Washington 
Post, December 31) 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have been 
compiled In two indexed volumes covering the periods 
April 1981 -December 1 987 and January 1 988-December 
1991. Less Access... updates are available for $ 1 .00; the 
1981-1987 volume is $7.00; the 1988-1991 volume is 
$10.00. To order, contact the American Library Associa- 
tion Washington Office, 110 Maryland Ave., NE, 
Washington, DC 20002-5675; 202-547-4440, fax 202- 
547-7363. All orders must be prepaid and must Include 
a self-addressed mailing label. 



ALA Washington OrTice 



December 1992 







ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1 10 Maryland Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel: 202-547-4440 Fax: 202-547-7363 Email: alawash@alawash.org 

June 1993 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XX 

A 1993 Chronology: January - June 





INTRODUCTION 



For the past 12 years, this ongoing chronology has docu- 
mented Administration efforts to restrict and privatize govern- 
ment information. Since 1982, one of every four of the govern- 
ment's 16,000 publications has been eliminated. Since 1985, the 
Office of Management and Budget has consolidated its govern- 
ment information control powers, particularly through Circular 
A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources. OMB 
issued its projjosed revision of the circular in the April 29, 1992, 
Federal Register. Particularly troubling is OMB's theory that the 
U.S. Code's definition of a "'government publication" excludes 
electronic publications. Agencies would be unlikely to provide 
electronic products voluntarily to depository libraries — resulting 
in the technological sunset of the Depository Library Program, 
a primary channel for public access to government information. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to utilize 
computer and telecommunications technologies for data collec- 
tion, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend has 
resulted in the increased emergence of contractual arrangements 
with commercial firms to disseminate information collected at 
taxpayer expense, higher user charges for govertmient informa- 
tion, and the proliferation of government information available 
in electronic format only. While automation clearly offers 



promises of savings, will public access to government informa- 
tion be further restricted for people who cannot afford computers 
or pay for computer time? Now that electronic products and 
services have begun to be distributed to federal depository 
libraries, public access to government information should be 
increased. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open 
govenmient is vital to a democracy. A January 1984 resolution 
passed by 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 information, and to develop 
support for improvements in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions which creates a 
climate in which government information activities are suspect. 
Previous chronologies were compiled in two ALA Washington 
Office indexed publications, Less Access to Less Information By 
and About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 Chronology, and 
Less Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. The following 
chronology continues the tradition of a semi-annual update. 



CHRONOLOGY 



JANUARY - Griffin Bell, the attorney representing former 
President George Bush in dealings with Iran-contra independent 
prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, said in an interview that he hoped 
to send the prosecutor a second batch of notes that Bush took 
during White House meetings on the arms sale to Iran. The 
President sent the first set of such notes in December, five years 
after Walsh had asked him to turn over any of his documents 



relevant to the Iran-contra affair. 

The long delay between that request and Bush's response to 
it led Walsh to say in December that in failing to disclose earlier 
to the prosecutor's office that he had kept any such notes, the 
President had engaged in "misconduct." Speaking after Bush's 
pardon of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five 
other Iran-contra defendants, Walsh also said the President was 



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January • June 1993 



now a "subject" of the Iran-contra inquiry. ("Bush's Deposition 
Was Videotaped, Lawyer Says," The New York Times, January 
3) 

JANUARY - The Senate Select Conunittee on POW/MIA 
Affairs toned down its criticism of former President Richard 
Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, after protests 
from both men. The committee, investigating the handling of 
missing American servicemen in Southeast Asia, permitted 
Kissinger and his attorney, Lloyd Cutler, to read portions of a 
draft rejxjrt on December 28 and then changed some of the 
document's conclusions. 

Reportedly, the draft report criticized Nixon and his top aides 
for failing to get a full accounting of American military person- 
nel at the end of the Vietnam War. Some MIA advocates were 
enraged that Kissinger was allowed access to the report before 
its public release and that some of its findings were changed as 
a result of his comments. Many of these people have for years 
accused Kissinger and other government officials of participating 
in a cover-up to keep the public from learning the truth about the 
2,264 Americans who have never been accounted for. 

Cutler and former aides to Nixon say it is true that Nixon 
and Kissinger did not get a full accounting from the Vietnamese 
of American servicemen who were missing in Vietnam, Cambo- 
dia or Laos. But these aides say Congress must shoulder some 
of the blame by pulling the rug from underneath the Nixon 
Administration. ("Kissinger Protest Changes Report," The New 
York Times, January 11) 

JANUARY - The American intelligence community knew that 
a British company was buying military-related equipment for 
Iraq as early as 1987, nearly three years before the firm and its 
U.S. -based subsidiary were ordered shut by export authorities in 
both countries, according to U.S. government sources. The 
disclosure confirms suspicions by some lawmakers in Washing- 
ton and London last year about the secret U.S. -British exchange 
of data on Iraq's arms procurement network before the 1991 
Persian Gulf War. It also again raised questions about why 
officials in both countries stood by idly as Matrix Churchill 
supplied Baghdad with machine tools of value to Iraq's nuclear 
weapons program. 

The CIA disseminated information about Matrix Churchill to 
policymakers in the Reagan and Bush Administrations beginning 
in December 1987, just two months after the firm was purchased 
by an Iraqi-controlled company, according to government 
sources. The secret data exchange was hinted at in a February 
5 report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about 
the Bush Administration's mishandling of intelligence informa- 
tion about Iraq. The report said multiple raw intelligence reports 
received by the CIA "described the activities of Matrix Churchill 
as part of the Iraqi world-wide procurement network." 

Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Tex.), the Banking Committee 
chairman who for several years has investigated U.S. ties to 
Iraq, cited the Senate report's disclosures in alleging that the 



CIA misled Congress about the extent of the intelligence 
agency's knowledge about Matrix Churchill. The agency told 
Gonzalez in a November 1991 letter that it had located only two 
classified reports on the firm. ("CIA Knew of British Iraq 
Deal," The Washington Post, January 15) 

JANUARY - U.S. District Judge Charles Richey rejected a last- 
minute Bush Administration attempt to begin destroying most 
computerized White House records, and warned in a sharply 
worded order against any effort to evade his mandate. The 
National Security Council had been plaiming to start erasing the 
records on its computers to provide a "clean slate for the 
incoming Administration," according to court papers. Justice 
Department lawyers, representing the White House, contended 
that the court was impeding "the present Administration's ability 
to leave office with its records dispatched to appropriate federal 
document depositories consistent with the law." 

Calling that argument "incomprehensible," Richey said there 
was an important difference between paper copies of White 
House computer messages, memos, and electronic mail and the 
electronic records, "because the pajjer copies do not necessarily 
disclose who said what to whom and when." Administration 
lawyers indicated they intend to appeal the ruling to the U.S. 
Court of Appeals. 

The dispute is an outgrowth of a Freedom of Information suit 
brought four years ago by Scott Armstrong, the National 
Security Archive, and others (including the American Library 
Association). Computer records of the Reagan WTiite House 
already are covered by existing orders, and the Bush White 
House is seeking to destroy only those it generated. ("Judge 
Warns White House About Erasing Computers," The Washing- 
ton Post, January 15) 

JANUARY - A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals 
for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered departing White 
House and National Security Council officials to make portable 
back-up copies of records stored in their {personal computers 
before deleting the materials from the machines. Only after the 
millions of electronic messages — e-mail — and other electronic 
records are preserved in full on back-up disks or tapes can 
officials erase them from the internal hard drives of machines 
that will be inherited by their replacements in the Clinton 
Administration, the court ruled. 

The case is the first to apply the 50-year-old Federal Records 
Act to electronic communications. TTie White House had argued 
that as long as paper copies were made of e-mail materials, the 
electronic versions in the computers could be erased. Richey, 
however, noted that printed copies seldom contain all the 
information that was in the computer, such as who besides the 
named recipient received a copy of a memo and when it was 
received. 

"The question of what government officials know and when 
they knew it has been a key question in not only the Iran-contra 
investigations, but also in the Watergate" probe, said the judge, 



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who was appointed to the bench by President Richard Nixon. 
("Bush Officials Ordered to Preserve Copies of Computer 
Records," The Washington Post, January 16) 

JANUARY - On January 15, the White House released excerpts 
of a long-secret diary President Bush started the day after covert 
arms sales to Iran were first disclosed in November 1986 and in 
which he said, "I'm one of the few people that know fully the 
details." That private statement of Bush's knowledge while Vice 
President was made on November 5, 1986, months before a 
newspaper interview in which Bush said he had been "out of the 
loop" on the covert dealings with Tehran to gain the release of 
American hostages then being held in Lebanon by pro-Iranian 
terrorists. The excerpts show Bush professing less and less 
knowledge as the furor over the Iran-contra affair intensified. 

The 45 pages of diary excerpts relating to the Iran-contra 
scandal were selected by Bush's lawyer. Griffin Bell, as relevant 
to the long-running investigation of the affair by independent 
counsel Lawrence Welsh. Bell said Bush "apparently was not 
aware of the [Walsh] request for diaries," but even if he had 
been, "his present view is that" he would not have had to turn 
them over. According to Bell, Bush believes that because the 
diary entries "post-dated the relevant events of Iran-contra... and 
were his personal, political thoughts." Walsh plans to question 
Bush, White House counsel Boyden Gray, and others about the 
failure to tell about the diary's existence until December 1992. 
The Iran-contra prosecutor also wants to interview Bush about 
the cover-up of the scandal that Walsh says began in November 
1986. ("Diary Says Bush Knew 'Details' of Iran Arms Deal," 
The Washington Post, January 16) 

JANUARY - An internal investigation by the Central Intelli- 
gence Agency has concluded that its officials were responsible 
for not providing information from the Justice Department to the 
prosecution in a politically charged case involving bank loans to 
Iran, government officials said. A report of the investigation, 
which is classified and has not yet been released, lays much of 
the blame on the CIA, largely absolving the Justice Department 
for its behavior. The two agencies engaged in a public dispute, 
in the fall of 1992, over which was responsible for failing to 
provide information crucial to the prosecution of an official of 
an Atlanta branch of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. 

CIA Director Robert Gates said, "The report found no 
evidence of misconduct or willful withholding of documents." 
But he said the report detailed mistakes by senior agency 
officials and instances of poor judgment. It also concludes that 
part of the problem is the agency's complex system of maintain- 
ing its files. Gates said he had ordered a large-scale overhaul of 
the agency's information retrieval systems. ("Report Blames 
C.I. A. Officials For Lapses in Iraqi-Loan Case," The New York 
Times, January 20) 

JANUARY - Jack Anderson and Michael Binstein report that, 
"While the State Department broke speed records in an election- 



eve search for dirt on Bill Clinton, it was running 17 years 
behind schedule in living up to a congressional mandate to 
declassify documents 30 years old or older." During a meeting 
in November 1992, a group of historians was first informed that 
the State Department would take until 2010 to comply with a 
1991 law requiring the release of classified documents by next 
October. When Congress first imposed the two-year deadline, it 
was hailed as a victory for the public's right to know, and a 
blow to the culture of classification that grew with the Cold 
War. According to sources with access to the archives, the vast 
majority are not harmful to national security but invaluable to 
historians. ("State Dept. Lags on Declassifying Papers," The 
Washington Post, January 28) 

JANUARY - Former President George Bush misrepresented his 
role and knowledge of the arms-for-hostage dealings with Iran 
in 1985 and 1986, according to memoirs by former Secretary of 
State George Shultz. In an excerpt from the memoirs appearing 
in Time the week of January 3 1 , Shultz describes an encounter 
with Bush on November 9, 1986, six days after a Beirut 
magazine first disclosed the secret arms-for-hostage deals: 

I put my views to him [Bush]: I didn't know much about 
what had actually transpired, but I knew that an exchange of 
arms for hostages had been tried on at least one occasion. 
Bush admonished me, asking emphatically whether I realized 
there were major strategic objectives being pursued with 
Iran. He said he was very careful about what he said. 

"You can't be technically right: you have to be right," I 
responded. I reminded him that he had been present at a 
meeting where arms for Iran and hostage releases had been 
proposed and that he had made no objection, despite the 
opposition of both Cap [then-Defense Secretary Caspar W. 
Weinberger] and me. "That's where you are," I said. There 
was considerable tension between us when we parted. 
Shultz adds in the memoirs that he was "astonished" to read 
an interview Bush gave to The Washington Post nine months 
later in which Bush said he had never heard Shultz or Wein- 
berger express their strong opposition to the arms sales— that he 
was "not in the loop." According to Shultz, "Cap called me. He 
was astonished too. 'That's terrible [Weinberger said]. He 
[Bush] was on the other side. It's on the record. Why did he say 
that?'" 

Shultz's new disclosure confirms and amplifies a contempora- 
neous Weinberger note released four days before last Novem- 
ber's presidential election. The note said that at a meeting on 
January 7, 1986, in the White House, the deal was described as 
arms-for-hostages. Bush approved of it, and Shultz and 
Weinberger were opposed. 

In his memoirs, Shultz provides a picture of a stubborn 
President Reagan who doggedly convinced himself he was not 
trading arms for hostages. "To him reality was different," Shultz 
writes. On the Iranian arms sale and "other issues... [Reagan] 
would go over the 'script' of an event, past or present, in his 
mind, and once that script was mastered, that was the truth— no 



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fact, no argument, no plea for reconsideration could change his 
mind." ("Shultz Memoirs Say Bush Misstated Arms-for- 
Hostages Role," The Washington Post, January 31) 

FEBRUARY - Responding to calls for greater disclosure, 
officials of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library are 
attempting to speed declassification of White House tapes 
recorded secretly more than 30 years ago. The library, part of 
the National Archives, has been stymied because the National 
Security Council requires transcripts before it can perform 
declassification procedures, but the library is under orders from 
the National Archives not to transcribe the tapes. 

The library holds 248 hours of tapes recorded secretly in the 
Oval Office, along with 12 hours of recorded telephone calls. 
The materials originally were considered the President's personal 
property, and the property of his heirs. Now, federal law makes 
the tapes government property. Library spokesman, Frank Rigg, 
said the library did not withhold materials from the public or 
from scholars on its own initiative, and he denied persistent 
complaints that the library acts as an agent for the Kennedy 
family. William Johnson, the library's chief archivist, said the 
library honors restrictions imposed by donors. ("Library Moving 
to Release JFK Tapes," The Washington Post, February 3) 

FEBRUARY - The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 
released a report that said the CIA and the Justice Department 
mishandled a probe of illicit loans to Iraq during the past three 
years by failing to pursue intelligence leads or exchange and 
disseminate classified information bearing on the case. Serious 
errors in judgment by CIA and Justice Department officials and 
poor administrative practices kept prosecutors from learning of 
information that bore on the central question of who was 
responsible for $4 billion in fraudulent loans made to Iraq from 
1985 to 1989 by the Atlanta branch of an Italian govenmient- 
owned bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, according to the 
Senate report. 

The Senate report said that some CIA officials, who claimed 
to be acting on the advice of officials at the FBI, decided to 
block distribution to the Justice Department of some classified 
documents about the case. The documents were considered 
politically embarrassing to the government or potentially 
damaging to the government's prosecution of the director of 
BNL's Atlanta branch, Christopher Drogoul. 

One of these documents was a December 1990 intelligence 
report, partially disclosed in the Senate report for the first time. 
The intelligence report, from an unidentified agency, contained 
an unverified allegation that "U.S., Italian, and Iraqi officials 
had engaged in unlawful conduct in connection with the BNL- 
Atlanta loan case." The Senate inquiry did not substantiate this 
claim, but criticized the executive branch's failure to provide this 
report to federal prosecutors investigating the case in Atlanta. 

Attributing these foul-ups to errors in judgment by CIA and 
Justice Department officials, the Senate report said a four-month 
study of classified govemment information had not turned up any 



evidence of criminal wrongdoing by career officials or political 
appointees in the Bush Administration, which supervised the 
federal probe. ("Report Faults CIA, Justice Dept. in BNL 
Probe," The Washington Post, February 6) 

FEBRUARY - Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh laid out 
"new and disturbing facts" that he said showed top govemment 
officials lied about then-President Ronald Reagan's knowledge 
of a possibly illegal arms-for-hostages shipment to Iran in 
November 1985. In a reprart to Congress, Walsh made public 
much of the documentary evidence that he said he would have 
used at the trial of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinber- 
ger, whom then-President George Bush pardoned December 24. 
Citing notes written by Weinberger and a top aide to then- 
Secretary George Shultz, Walsh said Weinberger "opposed 
disclosing the arms sales to the public and acquiesced as other 
Administration officials provided information to members of 
Congress and to the public that Weinberger knew to be false." 

Walsh made his presentation in a voluminous "Fourth Interim 
Report to Congress," including 49 pages of Weinberger's long- 
secret notes about the Iran-contra affair and a two-inch stack of 
exhibits that Walsh said he would have used at trial. The 
independent counsel promised more details will be provided in 
his final report. 

Weinberger's lawyer, Robert Bennett, issued a blistering 
statement accusing Walsh of releasing "a work of fiction... that 
is all old stuff which is not supported by the evidence. " Bennett 
attacked Walsh as "a bitter man trying to rehabilitate a damaged 
reputation. " 

In his report, Walsh expanded on the sharp criticism he 
initially directed at Bush when the pardon was announced, and 
pointed out there is no precedent over the past 30 years for a 
President's pardoning someone who has been indicted but has 
not yet come to trial. Walsh said he was submitting the report to 
correct the "misconceptions" that Bush used as justifications for 
the Weinberger pardon. ("Walsh Report Details Evidence 
Against Weinberger," The Washington Post, February 9) 

FEBRUARY - Hillary Rodham Clinton's new policymaking role 
on the presidential health-care task force is being questioned by 
Rep. William dinger Jr. (R-Penna.), who believes she may be 
violating federal rules governing advisory committees, dinger 
has asked the General Accounting Office to review whether 
Hillary Clinton, who was appointed by her husband to head the 
President's Task Force on Health Care Reform, is allowed to 
conduct any of the group's meetings in private. 

White House general counsel Bernard Nussbaum has told 
dinger he believes Hillary Clinton's participation does not 
violate the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which says that 
task force meetings must be conducted in public if any members 
of the task force are not employees of the federal govemment. 
Hillary Clinton is not a govemment employee, but the White 
House contends that she also is not the type of "outside influ- 
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The federal statute requires that advisory committee meetings 
be held in public unless the committee "is composed wholly of 
fulltime officers or employees of the federal government." 
("GOP Congressman Questions Hillary Clinton's Closed-Door 
Meetings," The Washington Post, February 10) 

FEBRUARY - The CIA's mishandling of information about a 
bank scandal involving loans to Iraq has led to internal changes 
that will give the agency an enhanced and possibly controversial 
role in future U.S. law enforcement activities, according to CIA 
officials and independent experts. The internal revisions are 
aimed at breaching— without destroying— the political and 
bureaucratic barriers that traditionally have prevented the 
intelligence agency from assisting domestic law enforcement 
investigations. The barriers were erected to prevent the CIA 
from becoming involved in spying on U.S. citizens at home. 

Under the reforms, officials said, the CIA could be requested 
by federal prosecutors to collect evidence needed to bring 
indictments against foreign corporations or individuals for 
violations of U.S. laws. It also could be ordered to share more 
fully any information in its files relating to such investigations. 

The changes grew out of recommendations by CIA Inspector 
General Frederick Hitz, who concluded in January that "system- 
ic, procedural, and personal shortcomings" at the agency had 
ruined its collaboration with law enforcement officials probing 
$4 billion in illicit loans to Iraq by the Atlanta branch of the 
Italian-owned Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. 

The National Security Act of 1947, which established the 
CIA, states that "the agency shall have no police, subpoena, law 
enforcement powers, or internal security functions." A spokes- 
man for Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), who chairs the 
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that "evaluating 
and possibly expanding opportunities for cooperation" between 
the CIA and domestic law enforcement agencies is one of the 
Senator's top priorities. ("Changes at CIA Will Give Agency 
Wider Role in Law Enforcement," The Washington Post, 
February 10) 

FEBRUARY - The Justice Department said that it is considering 
a criminal investigation of the Archivist of the United States, 
Don Wilson, for potential conflicts of interest and thus may not 
be able to "adequately represent" him in a civil suit over the 
same controversy. The dispute involves Wilson's approval Jan. 
19 of an agreement giving George Bush "exclusive legal 
control" of computerized records of his presidency. Wilson 
subsequently announced his leaving the government to become 
executive director of the George Bush Center at Texas A&M 
University, raising questions about whether he had a conflict of 
interest in signing the records agreement. ("Justice Dept. Weighs 
Criminal Investigation of U.S. Archivist," The Washington Post, 
February 24) 

FEBRUARY - The U. S. intelligence community is worried that 
China may have revived and possibly expanded its offensive 



germ weapons program, according to current and former 
government officials. The officials said that if true, the Chinese 
effort would violate Beijing's nine-year-old pledge of adherence 
to an international treaty barring development, production, and 
stockpiling of toxin and biological agents and the weaponry to 
deliver them. Officials said U.S. concerns about China are partly 
based on evidence that China is pursuing biological research at 
two ostensibly civilian-run research centers that U.S. officials 
say are actually controlled by the Chinese military. 

Under President George Bush senior White House officials 
repeatedly removed a strong expression of concern about a 
suspected Chinese germ weapons program from unclassified 
versions of an annual report on arms proliferation that the 
intelligence community prepared for Congress. Only in January, 
did the intelligence report, which is required by law, state for 
the first time in an unclassified passage that "it is highly 
probable that China has not eliminated its BW [biological 
warfare] program" since agreeing to do so in 1984. Bush 
approved the little-noticed report on January 19, his final full 
day in office, before sending it to the House and Senate commit- 
tees on foreign affairs. 

The White House deleted this conclusion about China's 
activities — a conclusion representing a consensus of all relevant 
U.S. agencies — from both classified and unclassified versions of 
the report in 1991 and 1992, officials said, causing some 
intelligence analysts to accuse the White House privately of 
jxjlitical censorship. TTie White House "was concerned about the 
foreign policy sensitivity of revealing this information" during 
congressional debates about maintaining U.S. -China relations and 
renewing most-favored-nation trade status to China, said one 
senior intelligence officer who participated in discussions of the 
matter. The official said that intelligence suspicions were 
publicized this year "only because those who were concerned 
about China policy took their fingers off" the report. 

Two former White House officials who were involved in 
deleting the passage said, however, that they were motivated not 
by politics but by uncertainty that the charge was true. They said 
the Chinese government vigorously denied the allegation when 
questioned by a senior Bush Administration official last year. 
("China May Have Revived Germ Weapons Program, U.S. 
Officials Say," The Washington Post, February 24) 

MARCH - Federal officials have discovered that the government 
no longer collects the data needed to set a health budget for each 
state. President Clinton promised to set such a budget during the 
1992 campaign. The discovery forecloses one method of 
controlling health costs and forces the Clinton Administration to 
seek other ways of achieving the same goal, perhaps through 
direct federal regulation of prices in the health-care industry. 

Members of the President's Task Force on National Health 
Care Reform discovered in late February that the government 
stopped collecting state-by-state data on health sf>ending ten years 
ago. The federal government tabulated health spending by state 
from 1966 through 1982, but has not compiled state data since 



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then, apparently because federal officials did not need such 
information to run the Medicare and Medicaid programs for the 
elderly and the poor. ("Health Data Sought By Clinton Is No 
Longer Collected," The New York Times, March 1) 

MARCH - The Clinton Administration said a federal law that 
prohibits advisory committees from meeting in secret is imconsti- 
tutional, and it asked a federal judge to throw out a request that 
Hillary Rodham Clinton's task force on health-care reform hold 
open meetings. In a memo filed in U.S. District Court in 
Washington, the Justice Department said that the law, enacted to 
prevent special, private interest groups from exerting a secret 
influence on government decision, impairs the President's 
authority. In addition, the Justice Department said the law should 
not even apply to the task force because of what it called "the 
First Lady's imique status inside our government." 

In late February, the Association of American Physicians and 
Surgeons, American Council for Health Care Reform, and the 
National Legal & Policy Center asked U. S. District Court Judge 
Royce Lamberth to issue a temporary restraining order against 
Hillary Clinton, several Cabinet officials, and her task force. 
The organizations alleged that the law requiring open meetings 
applied to the task force because Hillary Clinton is neither a 
public official nor a public employee. That status is important, 
the groups said, because the law, enacted during the 1970s, says 
that any advisory committee that is not wholly composed of 
federal employees must open its meetings to the public. ("Justice 
Dept. Says Open-Meeting Law Is Unconstitutional, Impairs 
President," The Washington Post, March 4) 

MARCH - U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on March 10 
said Hillary Rodham Clinton should be considered like any other 
"outsider" working for the White House, and therefore certain 
meetings of the health-care task force she heads must be open to 
the public. The ruling represented a political setback for the 
Administration as it lost an early court test. "While the court 
takes no pleasure in determining that one of the first actions 
taken by a President is in direct violation of [the law], the 
court's duty is to apply the laws to all individuals," Lamberth 
wrote. 

However, as a practical matter, the ruling is not expected to 
change the way the health-care proposal is developed. Lamberth, 
who was appointed by President Reagan in 1987, said the staff- 
level "working groups" developing the plan need not hold open 
meetings, and the task force may meet behind closed doors to 
formulate policy to present to the President. Fact-gathering 
sessions of the task force must be open. "What he's done is 
really gutted the act" by defining the meetings that must be open 
in a way that "enables us to do the important things in private," 
said a senior White House official. ("First Lady Is a Govern- 
ment 'Outsider,' Judge Rules," The Washington Post, March 1 1) 

MARCH - Rep. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.), chair of the Foreign 
Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, charged that the 



Reagan Administration lied to Congress for years about the 
Salvadoran armed forces' complicity in murder, and he said that 
"every word uttered by every Reagan Administration official" 
about the observance of human rights in El Salvador should be 
reviewed for perjury. Torricelli s comments marked the latest 
turn in a renewed controversy about whether the Reagan 
Administration covered up abuses by the Salvadoran military to 
gain congressional approval of $6 billion in aid during the 
1980s. The issue arose again following the release of a rejxjrt by 
a United Nations-sponsored commission that investigated rights 
abuses in El Salvador's 12-year civil war. ("Reagan Administra- 
tion Accused of Lies on El Salvador," The Washington Post, 
March 17) 

MARCH - The Clinton Administration appealed a U.S. District 
Court ruling that certain meetings of the President's health-care 
task force must be open to the public because its chair, Hillary 
Rodham Clinton, is not a government employee. In a brief filed 
on March 22, the Justice Department argued that the First Lady 
"functions in both a legal and practical sense as part of the 
government." The action is extraordinary because it subjects the 
job of the First Lady, already groimdbreaking in this Administra- 
tion, to scrutiny by a court. 

In its brief, the Justice Department said, "The First Lady's 
role on the Task Force is that of a public servant, the functional 
equivalent of an officer or employee for purposes of the" 1972 
Federal Advisory Committee Act. The brief cited the "long- 
standing tradition of public service by the Presidents' spouses," 
including Sarah Polk, Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa- 
lynn Carter, and Nancy Reagan. "The Justice Department feels 
that the court made substantial errors both in interpreting and in 
applying the principles of constitutional law," said a statement 
issued by the department. "The department believes this case has 
implications beyond the health-care task force for the President's 
ability to seek advice. " The health-care task force and the 500- 
plus members of its technical working groups have operated 
largely in secret since beginning work in January. The official 
task force, which includes six Cabinet secretaries and several 
senior White House officials, is scheduled to hold its first 
meeting— which will be open to the public— at the end of March. 
("Health Task Force Ruling Appealed," The Washington Post, 
March 23) 

MARCH - In a 17-page article, Seymour Hersh documents how 
the world was "on the edge of a nuclear exchange between 
Pakistan and India, as both nations continued their tug-of-war 
over control of the state of Kashmir," whose status has been in 
dispute since 1947 when the British Empire collapsed in India. 
According to Hersh, in the spring of 1990, Pakistan and India 
faced off in the most dangerous nuclear confrontation of the 
post-war era. And while the Bush Administration successftilly 
averted disaster, it kept the crisis secret, even from Congress, as 
it also kept secret the extent of Pakistan's covert nuclear 
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Seymour observed: 

An obvious explanation for the high-level quiet revolves 
around the fact, haunting to some in the intelligence commu- 
nity, that the Reagan Administration had dramatically aided 
Pakistan in its pursuit of the bomb. President Reagan and his 
national-security aides saw the generals who ran Pakistan as 
loyal allies in the American proxy war against the Soviet 
Union in Afghanistan: driving the Russians out of Afghani- 
stan was considered far more important than nagging 
Pakistan about its building of bombs. The Reagan Adminis- 
tration did more than forgo nagging, however; it looked the 
other way throughout the mid-nineteen-eighties as Pakistan 
assembled its nuclear arsenal with the aid of many millions 
of dollars' worth of restricted, high-tech materials bought 
inside the United States. Such purchases have always been 
illegal, but Congress made breaking the law more costly in 
1985, when it passed the Solarz Amendment to the Foreign 
Assistance Act..., providing for the cutoff of all military and 
economic aid to purportedly non-nuclear nations that illegally 
export or attempt to export nuclear-related materials from the 
United States. 
("On the Nuclear Edge," The New Yorker, March 29) 

APRIL - The Commerce Department's inspector general said 
the Bush Administration misled Congress in the summer of 1992 
by sending lawmakers a department analysis of then-pending 
cable TV legislation that was based largely on data supplied by 
a trade group lobbying against the bill. Inspector General Francis 
DeGeorge said the department's cable report "showed bias" and 
could "endanger the fundamental trust" that Congress places in 
statistical analyses produced by Commerce officials. 

Controversy over the analysis began just as the House was to 
vote on legislation re-regulating cable TV prices. Commerce 
officials sent Congress documents showing that passage of the 
bill would likely saddle the cable industry with added administra- 
tion costs of between $1.27 billion and $2.81 billion. Commerce 
officials told Congress that the cost data was "prepared by" the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration. 
The report rested primarily on information provided by the 
National Cable Television Association, an industry trade group, 
and by a consulting firm hired by them. Both the Bush Adminis- 
tration and the NCTA were lobbying against the bill, which 
became law in October after Congress overrode President Bush's 
veto. 

The department's use of the industry data came to light after 
the NCTA mailed cable subscribers circulars falsely alleging that 
Commerce had concluded that the legislation would add as much 
as $51 to every household's cable bill. The inspector's report 
said the NCTA "exploited" Commerce's credibility. "What 
disturbed us was that the cable industry was able to virtually rent 
the prestige of the U.S. government," said Rep. Edward Markey 
(D-Mass.), the author of the House cable bill. ("Bush Adminis- 
tration Accused of Misleading Hill on Cable Bill," The Washing- 
ton Post, April 1) 



APRIL - At the National Archives, researchers and archivists 
are quarreling about matters of literally historic proportions. To 
the researchers, the National Archives and Records Administra- 
tion is more than the repository of the nation's most important 
historical documents. It is the place where decisions are made 
today about what documents to save out of the torrent of 
information pouring out of federal offices, a task that has grown 
ever more complicated with the explosion of computer-generated 
information. 

Growing numbers of historians complain that the archives are 
not keeping up with the times. They and other critics of the 
archives, including Congress and several federal watchdog 
groups, say that over the last decade the agency has been too 
passive in seeking to preserve important federal records and has 
failed to develop a policy concerning preservation of electronic 
data. They also say that the archives have sometimes foundered 
under f>olitical pressure. The critics say that such a weakness 
could simply mean the loss of material for future historians, or, 
at its most venal, it could allow officials to cover up crimes, 
distorting history. "Historians care very much about the preser- 
vation of our historical legacy," said Page Miller, director of the 
National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History, 
"and this is something that they can get fighting mad about." 
("Battle to Save U.S. Files From the Delete Buttons," The New 
York Times, April 11) 

APRIL - The Clinton Administration appealed the ruling of U.S. 
District Judge Charles Richey that White House computer files 
must be preserved, arguing: "The act does not require that every 
scrap of information be saved." The appeal continued: "To 
require preservation of information for potential criminal 
investigations or historical research, places undue emphasis on 
what this court identified as only one purpose of the act." 
("Administration Appeals Judge's Ruling on Files," The 
Washington Post, April 18) 

MAY - Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh may have to close 
down his 6'/i-year inquiry into the Iran-contra affair without 
questioning former President George Bush about withholding 
from investigators his secret diary about the scandal. Walsh's 
office was engaged in backstage negotiations over the conditions 
sought by Bush's attorneys for any questioning, but these have 
apparently ended in an impasse. Unless a voluntary agreement 
is reached, Walsh's only alternative would be to obtain a secret 
grand jury subpoena, but that could be challenged in the courts 
and lead to still more delays in winding up the investigation. 
Bush's lawyers were unwilling to permit as wide-ranging an 
interview as Walsh and his prosecutors wanted. 

One of Bush's lawyers, Wick Sollers, said that Bush has 
been cooperating with prosecutors in providing documents 
"regarding the diary issue," without invoking any claims of 
privilege. He said the last batch of records, from former White 
House counsel Boyden Gray's office, was retrieved from Bush 
library holdings in College Station, Texas, and turned over to 



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Walsh's office within the last week. ("Bush, Iran-Contra Probers 
at Odds Over Final Interview, " The Washington Post, May 4) 

MAY - The Pentagon is worried that a federal judge in Wash- 
ington will spill the secrets of the Air Force's F-117A jet, one 
of the Pentagon's most secret weapons. The Defense Department 
would prosecute any foreign spy who revealed the F-117A's 
stealth technology, which bears the highest security classifica- 
tion. Judge Robert Hodges Jr. of the Court of Federal Claims is 
trying to force the Pentagon to reveal secrets about this technolo- 
gy in a massive lawsuit against the government by defense 
contractors McDonnell Douglas Corp. and General Dynamics 
Corp. 

No one can recall a case such as this one, in which a 
defendant in a lawsuit has threatened the plaintiffs with felony 
charges if they speak to their own attorneys about something. In 
this case the U.S. government, the defendant, has threatened to 
file felony charges— unauthorized release of classified data— 
against company employees who have high-security clearances 
and who give information about sujjer-secret stealth technology 
to their employers' attorneys. The Air Force is appealing the 
judge's direct order that it answer questions about the F-117A, 
the stealthy B-2 bomber and a stealthy cruise missile called the 
Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile. This is prompting a legal 
showdown that could determine whether a judge can force the 
government to reveal secrets, lawyers said. 

The companies say the government is stalling their 
multibillion-dollar lawsuit. And Judge Hodges has accused the 
government for months of delaying release of information. 

At issue is the cancellation of contracts worth billions of 
dollars. The government said the firms were at fault and owed 
it $1.4 billion in payments advanced to them. The firms said it 
was the govenmient's fault, and sued to collect $1.6 billion they 
had lost. With $3 billion at stake, there is no mystery why the 
firms have spent $30 million on the case. The government has 
released 1 million pages of documents, and another million are 
coming. The companies' lawsuit is based on the long-held 
doctrine that someone who contracts with another is obligated to 
explain facts needed to do the job. But the government contends 
it was not obliged to tell the firms how to do the job — "that's 
what the government was buying," a federal attorney said. ("In 
Stealth Court Fight, Only the Ire Is Open," The Washington 
Post, May 9) 

MAY - In federal court, the Clinton Justice Department defend- 
ed as proper a controversial agreement giving former President 
George Bush exclusive legal control of the computerized records 
of his presidency. White House communications director George 
Stephanopoulos said the decision to support the agreement was 
based on a determination that, like Bush's White House, the 
Clinton White House does not want a succeeding, potentially 
unfriendly administration pawing over its computer memos. The 
agreement, signed by then- Archivist Don Wilson on January 19, 
hours before Bush left office, enabled the outgoing Administra- 



tion to move thousands of tapes from the National Security 
Council and other White House offices to the National Archives 
just before Clinton was sworn in. 

U.S. District Judge Charles Richey listened skeptically to the 
government's claims that the transfer was intended to preserve 
the materials in line with court orders it issued in early January. 
Justice Department lawyer David Anderson said that the hurried 
transfer of tapes was "not perfect," but he maintained that the 
flaws in the operation— such as the "accidental" overwriting of 
several back-up tapes— fell far short of contempt. The plaintiffs, 
led by Scott Armstrong, founder of the nonprofit National 
Security Archive, argued that the last-minute transfer of Bush 
records, which included records from the Reagan era, was 
carried out for political, not preservationist, reasons and that the 
operation has endangered the taf>es. ("Justice Officials Back 
Transfer of Bush Records," The Washington Post, May 18) 

MAY - Twenty-one years after the Watergate break-in, the 
conspiratorial voice of Richard Nixon was heard again on tape, 
plotting to deflect blame. The government made three hours of 
the 4,000 hours recorded by Nixon's secret White House taping 
system available for the first time to public listening at the 
National Archives. The 25 conversations cover the weeks 
immediately before and after June 17, 1972, when five White 
House-sp)onsored burglars wearing surgical gloves made a post- 
midnight foray into the offices of the Democrats. 

The National Archives, which holds Nixon's 42 million 
papers and tapes in a warehouse in Alexandria, Virginia, 
allowed ref>orters to listen to the tapes in a windowless room. 
The public now has the same access. No transcripts exist and no 
copies of the tapes are allowed to be made. Nixon has fought for 
years— and spent $3 million— to keep the content of the tapes 
secret and to regain custody of them. ("Three Hours of Secret 
Nixon Tapes Are Made Public, " The Washington Post, May 1 8) 

MAY - Judge Charles Richey cited the White House and the 
Archivist of the United States for contempt of court for failing 
to carry out his order to preserve the computer records of the 
Bush and Clinton Administrations. Judge Richey said Bush 
Administration officials had damaged some of the back-up 
computer tapes of the National Security Council that he had 
ordered preserved. He also ruled that the Clinton Administration 
had failed to write proper guidelines to preserve new White 
House computer records adequately. 

Judge Richey said if the Administration failed to take steps 
by June 21 to preserve the new and older computer files, he 
would begin imposing heavy fines on the defendants named in a 
suit seeking to protect official records. Under the civil contempt 
order he entered today. Judge Richey said that the fines on the 
defendants would start at $50,000 a day for the first week. That 
would double the next weeks to $100,000 a day and double 
again the week after that, to $200,000. 

A spokeswoman for the White House said that it was 
disappointed by the contempt citation and that the Administration 



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was writing stronger guidelines to protect its records. The 
precise contents of the computer records have never been made 
pubhc. But in past instances White House computer tapes have 
been known to hold vast amounts of significant and trivial 
information. 

In his opinion, Judge Richey said he did not have the 
authority to rule on an agreement by the former Archivist, Don 
Wilson, that gives former President George Bush the exclusive 
legal control of the computerized records of his Presidency. ("A 
Judge Issues Contempt Order in Archives Case," The New York 
Times, May 22) 

MAY - A unanimous Supreme Court rejected the Justice 
Department's sweeping assertion that all sources supplying 
information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a criminal 
investigation should be treated as "confidential" and thus exempt 
from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Congress 
never gave the FBI a blanket exemption of that type, either in 
the original Freedom of Information Act in 1966, or in later 
amendments. Justice Sandra Day O'Cormor wrote for the court. 
She said that while the govermnent did not have to demonstrate 
that a direct promise of confidentiality had been given, it had at 
least to be able to demonstrate that it was reasonable to infer 
under the circumstances that the information had been provided 
with an expectation of confidentiality. The case before the court, 
U.S. V. Landano, grew out of a long-running effort by a New 
Jersey man, Vincent Landano, to prove his innocence of the 
murder of a Newark police officer, for which he was convicted 
in 1976. ("Justices Limit Shielding Sources Who Aid F.B.I.," 
The New York Times, May 25) 

MAY - In late 1992, the Justice Department spent $29,233 
copying thousands of pages of documents for the personal 
archives of former Attorney General Dick Thomburgh, govern- 
ment auditors have found. Asked if he thought it was proper to 
ask the Justice Department to pay nearly $30,000 to copy his 
personal papers, Thomburgh said, "Beats me. I don't know what 
it costs.... That's the department's call." 

In the final months of the Bush Administration, Justice 
Department and FBI employees were told to photocopy 89 boxes 
of documents and 149 reels of microfilm so they could be 
shipped to a Pittsburgh warehouse where Thomburgh keeps his 
personal papers. Included were copies of documents from highly 
sensitive law enforcement investigations. 

Recently granted limited access to the Thomburgh archives. 
General Accounting Office auditors found folders on some of the 
most controversial matters during his 1988-1991 tenure— among 
them the Iran-contra affair and Inslaw, the Washington computer 
firm that has alleged it was the victim of a massive department- 
wide conspiracy to steal its software. Additionally, the auditors 
said they found three file folders with non-sensitive "original" 
documents that "should have been retained" by the Justice 
Department. ("Justice Dept. Spent $29,233 Copying Papers for 
Thomburgh," The Washington Post, May 31) 



MAY - President Clinton is more than four months late in 
complying with the law calling for disclosure of most secret 
records about the assassination of President John Kennedy, but 
aides say he will get around to it "shortly." The law requires 
Clinton to make nominations to a special five-member review 
board that will be in charge of the process, especially the ticklish 
questions of what constitutes an "assassination record" under the 
statute Congress enacted last year and whether it can still be kept 
secret. 

Recommendations for the board first went to the White 
House when George Bush was President. But as Clinton moved 
in, aides say, the paperwork moved out. Recommendations 
required by the law from the American Historical Association, 
the Organization of American Historians, the Society of Ameri- 
can Archivists, and the American Bar Association were boxed up 
to be sent to College Station, Texas, along with millions of other 
documents destined for the future George Bush presidential 
library. "The paperwork got shipped off campus, and we had to 
get it resubmitted," said deputy White House press secretary 
Lorraine Voles. ("JFK Assassination Records Caught Up in 
Transition," The Washington Post, May 31) 

JUNE - President Clinton's announcement on May 31 that he 
had ordered the declassification of all but a tiny fraction of 
military documents on Americans who did not return from 
the Vietnam War represents only a small change from Bush 
Administration policy. In July, President Bush ordered the 
declassification of 200,000 pages of State Department papers 
and 2,600 pages of Central Intelligence Agency materials 
related to the 2,260 American servicemen listed as unac- 
counted for in the Vietnam War, Administration officials said 
today. The officials added that in 1991 Congress ordered that 
the military declassify 1.5 million pages of Defense Depart- 
ment documents. 

One major difference is that Mr. Clinton's order set a 
date — Veterans Day, Nov. 1 1 — for the documents to be made 
public. In contrast, Mr. Bush's order asked that the docu- 
ments be released as soon as possible. So far, about 100,000 
pages of military documents, 100,000 pages of State Depart- 
ment papers and "several hundred" pages of C.I. A. reports 
have been made public, a White House official said today. 
The official added that they had received few complaints 
about the pace of declassification. 

("Clinton's Order on M.I. A. Data a Small Shift," The New York 

Times, June 2) 

JUNE - In an "Outlook" article, Tom Blanton, of the National 
Security Archive, wrote of the need to overhaul the U.S. 
government's enormous secrecy system. The good news is that 
in April President Clinton ordered the first post-Cold War 
review of the secrecy system — a move that could result in the 
release of millions of currently secret documents and a wholesale 
rewriting of 20th-century American history. The bad news is that 
the bureaucrats doing the reviewing are the mostly career 



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officials who built the system, the U.S. equivalent of the former 
Soviet Union's nomenklatura, and the least likely source of 
necessary major change. Blanton observed, "The secrecy 
system, in short, is well fortified against President Clinton's 
good intentions. " 

Blanton believes change in the secrecy system is long 
overdue. "The U.S. government remains the envy of the world 
for its openness, but on the most sensitive govenmient informa- 
tion America is rapidly losing its competitive advantage. And to 
the Russians, no less." He says that the dirty little secret of the 
post-Cold War era is that the wall has not fallen here at home. 
Historians actually have more access to KGB and Politburo 
documents on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 than to 
CIA documents on the U.S. overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 
1953. 

Blanton concludes that without "radical surgery on the 
secrecy bureaucracy, the Clinton Administration, like its 
predecessors, will continue to generate useless secrets, at 
enormous cost to the taxpayers and to our democratic system of 
government. And if that argument won't work, let's try a more 
familiar one. In acceding to the request of Russian scholars, 
President Yeltsin announced that the Kremlin's Presidential 
Archive will be handed over for declassification beginning this 
summer. When it comes to dismantling the culture of secrecy, 
how about we at least stay ahead of the Russians?" ("Canceling 
the Classifieds," The Washington Post, June 6) 

JUNE - U.S. District Judge Charles Richey refused to grant a 



stay of his civil contempt citation against the Clinton White 
House and the acting Archivist of the United States for failing to 
preserve and protect computer tapes during the Reagan and Bush 
Administrations. Richey said the defendants have "dilly-dallied, 
done little, and delayed for the past five months rather than 
make serious efforts to comply" with his orders to preserve the 
electronic federal records at issue. "The crux of this lawsuit is 
the preservation of the history of this country begiiming with the 
Administrations of President Reagan and Bush and, more 
specifically, the preservation of electronic records," Richey said. 
Those records include e-mail and logs containing information 
that Richey said "historians and others need to know about what 
essential people in the govenmient knew and when they knew 
it." 

The Administration contended that meeting Richey's June 21 
deadline to preserve and repair the tap)es "would result in 
significant and irreparable disruption of White House opera- 
tions." It secured a June 15 hearing date before the U.S. Circuit 
Court of Appeals here and asked Richey to stay his contempt 
order while the case is on appeal. Richey refused, saying the 
government has admitted that preserving the approximately 300 
tapes in immediate need of copying is "possible if no unforeseen 
problems arise." He said a stay would be "particularly inappro- 
priate in this case" because the defendants caused their own 
difficulties by transferring almost 6,000 tapes on January 19-20 
from the White House, which was equipp>ed to make copies, to 
the Archives, which is not. ("Administration Loses Ruling on 
Computer Tapes," The Washington Post, June 9) 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have bean compiled in two indexed volumes covering the periods April 1981 -Decem- 
ber 1987 and Januafy 1 988-December 1991. L»ss Access... updates are available for ^1.00; the 1981-1987 volume is 
$7.00; the 1988-1991 volume is $10.00. To order, contact the American Library Association Washington Office, 1 10 Mary- 
land Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002-5675; 202-547-4440, fax 202-547-7363. AU orders must be prepaid and must include 
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ALA Washington Office 



10 



June 1993 



KF5^7 5:? 




ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Offics 

110 Maryland Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel: 202-547-4440 Fax: 202-547-7363 Email: alawash@alawash.org 

Dac«mbar 1993 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION B'T ^ 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXI '^ 

A 1993 Chronology: June - December 




■x^"^- 



ABOUT 



INTRODUCTION 

For the past 13 years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented Administration efforts to restrict and privatize 
government information. 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 
Circular A- 130, Management of Federal Information Resources. 
OMB issued a revision of the circular in the July 2, 1993, 
Federal Register, changing its restrictive interpretation of the 
definition of "government publication" to which ALA had 
objected in OMB's draft circulars. 

In their first year in office, the Clinton Administration has 
improved public access to govenunent information. The Presi- 
dent signed P.L. 103-40, the Government Printing Office 
Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act, which will 
provide electronic government information to the public through 
the Depository Library Program. Government information is 
more accessible through computer networks and the Freedom of 
Information Act. The Administration's national information 
infrastructure initiatives include government stimulus for 
connectivity and applications in health care, education, libraries, 
and provision of government information. 

However, there are still barriers to access. For example, a 
legal challenge was raised over what records the President's 
Task Force on National Health Care Reform was required to 
maintain. Controversy resulted when the White House decided 
the hundreds of members of the task force were allowed to meet 
in secret because they were not covered under public meeting 
laws. National Performance Review recommendations to 
"reinvent government" to have every federal agency responsible 
for disseminating information to the nation's 1,400 depository 
libraries could result in a literal "tower of babel" as the Ameri- 



can public would be forced to search through hundreds of federal 
agencies for publications they need. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to use 
computer and telecommunication technologies for data collection, 
storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend has resulted in 
the increased emergence of contractual arrangements with com- 
mercial firms to disseminate information collected at taxpayer 
expense, higher user charges for government information, and 
the proliferation of government information available in elec- 
tronic format only. While automation clearly offers promises of 
savings, will public access to government information be further 
restricted for jjeople who cannot afford computers or pay for 
computer time? Now that electronic products and services have 
begun to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public 
access to government information should be increased. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open 
government is vital to a democracy. A January 1984 resolution 
passed by 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 information, and to develop 
support for improvements in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions. Previous 
chronologies were compiled in two ALA Washington Office 
indexed publications. Less Access to Less Information By and 
About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 Chronology, and Less 
Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. The following chronology 
continues the tradition of a semi-annual update. 



Less Access.. 



June - December 1993 



CHRONOLOGY 

JUNE - An editorial in The New York Times cautioned President 
and Mrs. Clinton to "ask themselves whether Clinton voters sent 
them to Washington to damage open government, by both 
example and litigation." The editorial concerned the decision in 
federal court that Hillary Rodham Clinton is "the functional 
equivalent of an assistant to the President" and not, under certain 
laws, a private citizen. Thus, her advisors in the development of 
a health plan may legally continue to hide their work from public 
inspection. The newspaper observed: "It doesn't mean that they 
should do so. They're still free to open their deliberations, thus 
honoring campaign pledges of open government." 

Mrs. Clinton is the only person not on the public payroll of 
the Cabinet-level task force on health reform that she headed. 
But the U.S. Court of Appeals, relying heavily on Congress's 
appropriations for the staff of the First Lady, found her a public 
servant for the purposes of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 
passed in 1972 to let the public in on meetings of private groups 
that use meetings with federal officials to press private agendas. 
("A Very Private Public Servant," The New York Times, June 
29) 

JULY - The investigation of independent counsel Joseph 
diGenova into possible criminal activity by Bush White House 
and State Department officials has been split into two separate 
investigative tracks as diGenova' s staff looks into the pre- 
election search of President Clinton's passport files. Attorneys 
for Steven Berry, former acting assistant secretary of state for 
congressional affairs and currently a minority employee of the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have refused to respond to 
a subpoena for records. In sealed motions and hearings before 
Chief U.S. District Judge John Garrett Penn, they have argued 
that the independent counsel inquiry was based on notes of Berry 
telephone conversations in September and October 1992 that 
were illegally overheard by State Department employees. Neither 
diGenova nor Berry attorney, Theodore Olson, would discuss the 
matter. 

The independent counsel investigation was ordered last 
December following allegations that one or more senior officials 
in the Bush White House lied to State Department inspector 
general personnel about the uinusual search of passport and 
consular files. The diGenova inquiry also was supposed to 
determine whether Bush officials illegally disseminated informa- 
tion from Clinton's files. ("Clinton Passport File Inquiry Hits 
Snags," The Washington Post, July 8) 

JULY - The Clinton Administration's welfare-reform planners 
issued a press release to pledge their "open and collaborative 
process" and promised to consult many "real people" and 
provide "a series of working papers" to anyone interested. The 
article continued, however: "As a practical matter, the welfare 
plaimers, whose task is to draft legislation fulfilling President 
Clinton's campaign promise to 'end welfare as we know it,' are 



likely to conduct their most important business in private. " The 
openness of the welfare planners was contrasted with the secrecy 
of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. ("Clinton's 
Welfare Planners Vow an Open Process," The New York Times, 
July 9) 

JULY - John Lane, chief information officer of the Securities 
and Exchange Commission, said it would cost too much for the 
government to offer information from the Electronic Data 
Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system directly 
over Internet as requested by the Taxpayer Assets Project, the 
public-interest group that has been battling the SEC for general 
public access to EDGAR data. Responding to a request from 
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Energy 
and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Telecommunica- 
tions and Finance, SEC officials calculated that it would cost 
$775,000 the first year they began making the system's data 
accessible on Internet. Each subsequent year would cost about 
$400,000. Lane said the cost to taxpayers would be less if the 
agency sells EDGAR data to third-party vendors that would, in 
turn, sell it to Internet users. "If we wait and do nothing, the 
market will begin to take over," Lane said. "It would not be 
necessary for us to put EDGAR data on the Internet today." 

James Love, director of the Taxpayer Assets Project, accused 
Lane of bowing to the interest of Mead Data Central, which is 
the EDGAR subcontractor that will sell the data to third-party 
vendors for a profit. "John Lane has no commitment to data 
users," Love said. "He should wake up and smell the coffee and 
figure out that he works for the government and not Mead Data 
Central." Love said the SEC's calculations indicate that Internet 
access to EDGAR data would cost less than 20 cents per 
document. He said a typical vendor would charge much 
more— between $10 and $50 for online access to a financial 
report. He added that the projected costs for allowing access to 
data via Internet are minor when compared with the $100 million 
price of installing EDGAR. "The whole purpose of the system 
is to provide disclosure," Love said. 

EDGAR, which went online in 1993, will receive fmancial 
data from 15,000 U.S. businesses when it becomes fully 
operational in 1996. ("SEC Exec Calls Internet Access to 
EDGAR Too Expensive," Federal Computer Week, July 12) 

[Ed. Note: An October 22 New York Times article, "Plan Opens 
More Data to Public," reported that the National Science 
Foundation is financing a test that will make the EDGAR online 
database of financial data available free via the Internet computer 
network. The project, financed with a $660,000 two-year grant, 
is being undertaken by the Stem School of Business at New 
York University and a small Washington company, the Internet 
Multicasting Service.] 

JULY - In April 1993, the Defense Department commissioned 



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two studies on how to carry out President Clinton's intention to 
lift the military's ban on homosexuals. One, conducted by a 
panel of generals and admirals, led to new policy. But the 
Pentagon is reftising to make public the other one, a $1.3 million 
report by the Rand Corporation, a research group with long- 
standing ties to the military. Executive summaries of the Rand 
report, "Homosexuals and U.S. Military Persoimel Policy: 
Policy Options and Assessment," as well as briefing slides 
presented to Secretary of Defense Les Aspin, were provided to 
The New York Times by individuals who felt the study should be 
made public. 

The Rand report concluded that gay men and lesbians could 
serve openly in the armed forces if its proposed policy were 
given strong support from the military's senior leaders, and it 
offered a detailed plan for carrying out the President's order. 
But it was the study by the panel of generals and admirals, who 
maintained that open homosexuality would undermine discipline 
and combat readiness, that prevailed. Aspin said that he tried to 
draft a plan closer to President Clinton's original promise to lift 
the ban entirely, but that the compromise that eventually 
emerged was the best he could negotiate with the Joint Chiefs, 
whose support was essential to win approval in Congress. 
("Pentagon Keeps Silent on Rejected Gay Troop Plan," The New 
York Times, July 23) 

AUGUST - On June 30, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Norma 
HoUoway Johnson ordered the Department of Education to 
release documents from its 1986 review of Maryland's special- 
education programs. The decision, resulting from a case brought 
by the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education, could 
increase the public's access to information about how states 
comply with federal laws. The parent-advocacy group took the 
Department to court in 1989 after its requests to see a draft 
report and other documents from the federal agency's 1986 
monitoring review of Maryland were refused. 

Federal officials claimed the documents were exempt from 
scrutiny under the "deliberative process" privilege of the 
Freedom of Information Act. That privilege allows public 
agencies to withhold documents that are prepared before a legal 
or policy determination is made. But the judge said the privilege 
did not apply in this case because no policy was being consid- 
ered, rather the materials at issue "assess how well existing 
policies are being implemented by the state of Maryland." Mark 
Mlawer, the executive director of the advocacy group, praised 
the judge's decision. "What this does is insure that the Depart- 
ment of Education can no longer shut parents and advocates out 
of the compliance process," he said. ("E.D. Ordered to Release 
Papers in Special-Ed. Case," Education Week, August 4) 

AUGUST - The General Accounting Office reported that it had 
found "questionable" the accuracy and reliability in three 
federally funded annually drug use surveys, widely regarded as 
the government's best barometers for measuring progress in the 
war on narcotics. The three surveys the GAO criticized are the 



National Household Survey on Drug Abuse; the High School 
Senior Survey, which tracks drug use patterns and trends in 
public and private high schools; and the Drug Use Forecasting 
project, which studies drug use among those charged with crimes 
and is used by local law enforcement agencies in plaiming anti- 
drug abuse and treatment programs. 

The GAO said it found "methodological problems" that 
skewed the validity of the surveys, resulting sometimes in overly 
conservative estimates of drug use and sometimes in exaggerated 
estimates. GAO recommended that self-reporting data should be 
validated by objective techniques, such as testing of hair 
samples, and that surveys should be redesigned so that nonwhites 
are adequately sampled. 

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the House 
Committee on Government Operations, said that the GAO results 
confirmed his long-held suspicion that such surveys have 
misdiagnosed the extent of the nation's drug problem. "Our 
national drug control strategies are based on unsubstantiated and 
insufficient information," said Conyers, who released the report. 
The surveys cost more than $17 million aimually. ("Validity of 
Drug Use Surveys Questioned," The Washington Post, August 
4) 

AUGUST - The Internal Revenue Service pledged to strengthen 
safeguards set up to ensure taxpayer records are kept confidential 
after being assailed by members of the Senate Governmental 
Affairs Committee over a breakdown in computer security that 
allowed IRS workers to browse through tax records. The 
testimony of IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson 
followed the release of a report that showed almost 370 of the 
agency's employees in the Southeast Region have been investi- 
gated or disciplined for creating fraudulent tax refunds or 
browsing through tax returns of friends, relatives, neighbors, 
and celebrities. 

Addressing Richardson, committee Chairman John Glenn 
(D-Ohio), said, "I feel very strongly about protecting the 
integrity of the tax system, and I told you we will not tolerate 
anything that will impinge on that integrity or the credibility of 
the American people. " But Richardson rebuffed a suggestion by 
Sen. David Pryor (D-Ark.) that the IRS notify the taxpayers 
whose files were improperly reviewed. "I'm not sure there 
would be a serious value to that in terms of tax administration or 
in connection with what I see as protecting the taxpayers' 
rights," she said. Pryor told her he would continue to press for 
taxpayer notification: "I'm going to really come down hard.... I 
think anyone that we can identify whose files have been browsed 
for no official reason, I think that taxpayer needs to know." 

Few details emerged at the hearing on how IRS regional 
employees created bogus refunds. An IRS investigative report 
released by the committee said that four employees are facing 
criminal prosecution. "In one case," the IRS report said, "an 
employee prepared over 200 fraudulent tax returns and moni- 
tored the refunds" on IRS computers. The report suggested that 
the fake refunds cost the government more than $300,000. In 



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answering questions, Richardson pointed out that IRS's internal 
audit staff had uncovered the employee violations and shared the 
information with the General Accounting Office. The IRS audit 
examined the Integrated Data Retrieval System, a database of 
taxpayer accounts used by 56,000 IRS workers nationwide. 
Richardson said the IRS is developing a "comprehensive review" 
of computer security issues that will improve the agency's ability 
to detect "inappropriate use." ("Accused of Failing to Protect 
Data, IRS Says It will Buttress Safeguards," The Washington 
Post, August 5) 

AUGUST - Former President Richard Nixon won a court order 
that blocks the National Archives from releasing four hours of 
White House conversations taped during July and August 1972 
following the Watergate break-in. The injunction granted by 
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth could mean it will be 
several years before the Archives releases new tapes of conver- 
sations secretly recorded during the Nixon presidency. The 
Archives had announced it would release the tapes, which 
contain portions of 39 separate conversations, in two stages on 
August 13 and August 26. 

Judge Lamberth said the Archives could not release the four 
hours of taped conversations until it complied with a 1979 
agreement with Nixon in which the agency promised to return to 
Nixon all private or personal taped material and to release the 
tapes as an "integral file segment." That agreement, Lamberth 
said, means the Archives must release all of its Nixon 
tapes — about 4,000 hours in length — at one time. Nixon's 
lawyer, R. Stan Mortenson, told Lamberth yesterday the 
Archives has not returned any private material since the Ar- 
chives took custody of the tapes in 1977. 

Lamberth's ruling is the second major court victory Nixon 
has won in the past year in his long struggle to prevent the tapes 
from being disclosed. In November 1992, the U.S. Court of 
Appeals ruled that because Nixon had a property interest in the 
tapes and his official papers, the government must pay him for 
keeping the material under government control. That case is 
pending. The new ruling came in a separate case brought by a 
history professor and the Public Citizen group to force the 
Archives to speed its release of the tapes. Nixon's lawyers 
intervened, alleging that releasing the new segments would 
violate Nixon's right to privacy and his rights under his agree- 
ment with the Archives. ("Nixon Wins Court Order Blocking 
Release of Tapes by Archives," The Washington Post, August 
10). 

AUGUST - A federal appeals court rejected Clinton Administra- 
tion appeals and held that the government must preserve 
hundreds of thousands of White House computer messages and 
memos from the Reagan and Bush presidencies. The three-judge 
panel unanimously rejected the government's contention that 
electronic materials do not have to be saved and that only paper 
printouts need to be kept under federal law. Electronic materials 
and their paper versions cannot accurately be termed copies" 



when frequently they are "only cousins — perhaps distant ones at 
that," the court said. Too much important information, such as 
who sent a document, who received it and when it was received 
can be gleaned only from the computer record, the judges said. 

The decision was reached in a case originally filed in 1989, 
Armstrong v. Executive Office of the President, in which the 
American Library Association is one of the plaintiffs. "This 
ruling is a breakthrough for government accountability in the 
electronic age," said Tom Blanton, the National Security 
Archive's executive director. The group's founder, Scott 
Armstrong, said it also "sends a clear message" to the Clinton 
White House, which is still operating under Reagan-and Bush- 
era guidelines. 

The ruling affirms a January 1993 decision by U.S. District 
Judge Charles Richey, who ordered preservation of nearly 6,000 
magnetic tapes and hard disks made at the White House in the 
Reagan and Bush Administrations and held that WTiite House 
plans to destroy most of them were unlawful. The chief lawyer 
for the plaintiffs, Michael Tankersley, called the ruling "a 
landmark victory" that will affect every government agency. Up 
to now, he said, very few have regarded their computer records 
as subject to the Federal Records Act or Freedom of Information 
Act. ("Court Orders Computer Memos Saved," The Washington 
Post, August 14) 

AUGUST - In an op-ed piece, Arthur Oleinick and Jeremy 
Gluck of the School of Public Health at the University of 
Michigan maintained that the Bureau of Labor Statistics grossly 
underestimates the seriousness of workplace injuries— as 
measured by missed workdays — by a factor between four and 
nine. For example, their data suggested that, as a result of 
injuries that occurred in 1986, American workers will miss up 
to 420 million workdays. But the federal statistics on injured 
workers maintained that these workers will lose only about 47 
million workdays from those accidents. The authors say that for 
policy makers who must curb the many dangers of employment, 
the federal survey results are critical. It is just as important as 
the data about car accidents and design problems that inspired 
the nation's automotive safety laws. 

The authors" contend that this gross inaccuracy about 
important health and safety data carries ominous implications for 
public policy, particularly when the nation is on the brink of 
health reform. Those who shape economic or health policies will 
believe the job injury problem is only a fraction of what it really 
is — and treat it accordingly. The reasons for the woeful underes- 
timations are the source and timing of the federal data. In the 
first half of each year, the BLS asks a sampling of employers to 
report the number of job-related injuries, and the missed work 
time, that their workers experienced in the year before. The 
situations of two groups present great difficulties and are the 
likely cause of the badly flawed estimates: workers who are still 
on the mend at survey time, and workers who have returned to 
work by then but later suffer relapses. 

The authors survey focused on Michigan in 1986 and used 



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worker compensation records to calculate workday absences. 
These after-the-fact records avoid the "dangerous" predictions 
of the federal data. By their measures, for injuries incurred in 
1986, Michigan workers missed between 7.5 million and 16.1 
million workdays. The corresponding federal number for these 
injuries is 1.9 million days. ("Faulty Data Play Down Job 
Injuries," The New York Times, August 15) 

AUGUST - Officials in the "Star Wars" project rigged a crucial 
1984 test and faked other data in a program of deception that 
misled Congress as well as the Soviet Union, four former 
Reagan Administration officials said. The deception was 
designed to feed the Kremlin half-truths and lies about the 
project, the officials said. It helped persuade the Soviets to spend 
tens of billions of dollars to counter the American effort to 
develop a space-based shield against nuclear attack. But the 
deceptive information originally intended for consumption in the 
Kremlin also seeped into closed briefings that helped persuade 
Congress to spend more money on strategic defense, according 
to the former Reagan Administration officials. The test also 
deceived news organizations, which reported it widely. A 
military officer said the use of deception should be seen in the 
context of the cold war, when disinformation was a weapon used 
by both sides. 

The former officials said the deception program was 
approved by Caspar Weinberger, the Secretary of Defense from 
1981 to 1987. Weinberger would not confirm or deny that he 
had approved the deception. But he said that Congress was not 
deceived and that deceiving one's enemies is natural and 
necessary to any major military initiative. In June 1993, the 
General Accounting Office completed eight classified reports that 
concluded the Pentagon had deliberately misled Congress in the 
1980s about the cost, the performance, and the necessity of the 
most expensive weapons systems built for nuclear war against 
the Soviet Union. The reports did not cover the missile defense 
project. ("Lies and Rigged 'Star Wars' Test Fooled the Kremlin, 
and Congress," The New York Times, August 18) 

AUGUST - U.S. District Judge John Garrett Penn has ruled that 
the 1992 monitoring of phone conversations by the Operations 
Office of the State Department was unlawful, according to 
informed sources. Penn's sealed opinion came in response to one 
of several motions filed in connection with the inquiry by 
independent counsel Joseph diGenova into possible criminal 
activity by Bush White House and State Department officials in 
the pre-election search of President Clinton's passport files. The 
ruling did not block the continuing inquiry but could slow it 
down with further closed-door legal maneuvering. The monitor- 
ing was done without the knowledge of those overheard, which 
is what made it imlawful. The State Department continues to 
monitor certain phone conversations with the knowledge of 
officials. ("Ruling on Phone Monitoring May Slow Passport File 
Probe," The Washington Post, August 19) 



AUGUST - The Defense Department said it would investigate 
new allegations that the Reagan Administration deliberately 
falsified the results of an early test of technology for a ballistic 
missile defense system. A former Army official involved in the 
test has denied the allegations, but Secretary of Defense Les 
Aspin said in a statement that "any allegation that the Congress 
has been misled raises serious questions." Aspin said Deputy 
Secretary of Defense William Perry will conduct an inquiry into 
how the 1984 test was conducted and "how it was reported to 
Congress." The program, which so far cost $30 billion, never 
produced a viable weapon for defending against a missile attack 
against the United States. ("Pentagon to Probe Missile Test 
Allegations," The Washington Post, August 19) 

AUGUST - The Central Intelligence Agency will make public 
to the National Archives 90, (XX) pages of documents relating to 
the 1963 assassination of President John Kennedy, far more than 
previously reported, a CIA spokesman said. The 90,000 pages 
of CIA documents to be made public include records from the 
Warren Commission and the House Committee on Assassina- 
tions. Papers from the Kermedy, Johnson, and Ford presidential 
libraries, including records from the Rockefeller Commission 
that reported in 1975 on improper CIA activities in the United 
States, will also be made public. In all, 37,000 pages of 
Kennedy assassination documents in the CIA's possession remain 
secret: 20,000 pages from the House committee; 7,000 that 
include information being withheld by other agencies, like the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation; and 10,000 pages that the CIA 
itself refuses to disclose. 

In 1992, Congress ordered that nearly all documents on the 
Kennedy assassination be sent to the National Archives for 
public disclosure. The law requires a description of documents 
withheld and reasons for withholding them. It also requires a 
review by a presidential panel that could compel disclosure. 
President Clinton has not ap[>ointed that panel, which Congress 
required to be set up last January. Some 150,000 microfilmed 
pages of assassination-related material, mostly indices and 
appendices, are being withheld subject to discussions with the 
yet-to-be-appointed panel, the CIA said. ("C.I. A. to Release 
90,000 Pages On Kennedy's Assassination," The New York 
Times, August 20) 

AUGUST - In an August 20 press release, the Commodity 
Futures Trading Commission aimounced that, beginning October 
1 , it will no longer publish the Commitments of Traders Report 
(COT). The publication contains data on open interest for 
commodity futures markets in which five or more traders hold 
positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the 
CFTC. The CFTC will continue to gather and compile the data 
biweekly, but will no longer be distributing it directly to the 
public. Rather, COT data will be made available routinely by the 
CFTC to intermediaries including the Computer Information 
Delivery system, Reuters and Knight-Ridder news wire services. 
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Historical COT data will still be available from the CFTC, 
libraries, U.S. futures exchanges, as well as private vendors. 
For further information about historical COT data, contact 
Cynthia Neuwalder of the CFTC's Public Affairs Office at 202- 
254-8630. (Advisory, Office of Communication and Education 
Services, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, August 20) 

SEPTEMBER - The following excerpted testimony was 
presented by the General Accounting Office before the House 
Subcommittee on the Civil Service. Nancy Kingsbury, director 
of Federal Human Resource Management, Issues General 
Government Division, GAO, presented the testimony: 

Since July 1992, we have issued reports dealing with 
federal employees' awareness of whistleblower protection, 
the effectiveness of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 
1989, and agencies' implementation of the whistleblower 
statutes. Overall, our work has shown that despite the intent 
of the 1989 act to strengthen and improve whistleblower 
protection, employees are still having difficulty proving their 
cases. Employees are not aware of their right to protection, 
and agencies are not informing them of this right. 

...in March 1993 we reported that there were wide 
disparities in how the 19 agencies we reviewed had imple- 
mented the whistleblower statutes. Some agencies had 
informed employees about their whistleblower protection 
rights, but most agencies had neither informed their employ- 
ees nor develoi)ed policies and procedures for implementing 
the 1989 act. 

Under 5 U.S.C. 2302(c), the head of each department 
and agency is responsible for preventing prohibited personnel 
practices, including whistleblower reprisal. However, no 
explicit requirement exists in the whistleblower statutes for 
OSC [Office of Special Counsel] or the agencies to inform 
employees about their right to protection from reprisal or 
where to report misconduct. OSC, to its credit, has attempted 
to spread the word about employees' rights to be protected 
from reprisal. However, as OSC officials acknowledge, they 
had limited success in eliciting the support of the agencies to 
inform employees of what their rights are under the law and 
how to go about exercising them. . . . 

To address these problems, we recommended in our 
recently issued reports that Congress consider amending the 
whistleblower statutes and to inform employees periodically 
of their right to protection from reprisal and where to report 
misconduct. 
("Examining the Impact of the Whistleblower Protection," PA 
TIMES, September 1) 

SEPTEMBER - The Justice Department's inspector general 
concluded that federal prison officials unfairly disciplined an 
inmate during the 1988 presidential campaign for spreading 
allegations that he once sold marijuana to Dan Quayle. The 
report by Inspector General Richard Hankinson said inmate Brett 
Kimberlin "was treated differently and held to a stricter standard 



of conduct... as a result of his contacts with the press to promote 
his allegations." But Hankinson said there was "conspiracy to 
silence" Kimberlin when Quayle was ruiming for Vice President. 

Hankinson concluded that officials at the Federal Correctional 
Institution in El Reno, Okla., who put Kimberlin in a special 
lock-down cell just before the 1988 election were reacting to the 
extraordinary intervention of then-Bureau of Prisons' Director J. 
Michael Quinlan. Quinlan had canceled a November 4, 1988, 
prison news conference at which Kimberlin planned to make 
public his allegation about Quayle. Quinlan also ordered 
Kimberlin to be placed in a special detention cell that night. 

The Associated Press obtained the report under the Freedom 
of Information Act. The investigation was sought by Sen. Carl 
Levin (D-Mich.), who said in a report that Bureau of Prisons 
actions were politically motivated. But Hankinson's report said: 
"There is no evidence to support the allegations that political 
forces or persons outside the Bureau of Prisons influenced the 
decision to either grant or subsequently deny Mr. Kimberlin 
access to the press." Kimberlin, who is serving a 51 -year 
sentence on charges including drug conspiracy and eight Indiana 
bombings, has been in jail since 1980. ("Quayle Accuser's 
Treatment Faulted," The Washington Post, September 11) 

SEPTEMBER - An editorial in The New York Times discussed 
a battle in the House of Representatives over an "obscure device 
known as the discharge petition." Ordinarily, a bill must go 
through committees before reaching the floor. The discharge 
petition allows a member to move a bill directly to the floor by 
getting a majority of members to sign a petition. The names of 
the signers are kept strictly secret from the public until the magic 
number of 218 members is reached — making it easier for the 
House leadership to twist arms to get members to add or 
withdraw their names. Rep. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has ques- 
tioned the secrecy of the petition process, which allows members 
to block legislation in Washington while telling constituents they 
support it. 

In early September, Inhofe obtained the required 218 
signatures on a discharge petition to kill such petitions' secrecy 
provisions. Supporters of the current rule, like House Rules 
Committee Chairman Joe Moakley (D-Mass.), contend that 
ending the secrecy will make members even more susceptible to 
pressures from special-interest lobbyists and invite ill-considered 
"flavor-of-the-month legislation" that appeals to public whims. 
But the editorial said "the public has a right to know where their 
representatives stand on issues." ("Secrecy Sideshow in the 
House," The New York Times, September 15) 

SEPTEMBER - Documents security within the Justice Depart- 
ment and FBI is so lax that congressional investigators were 
unable to track classified papers moving between the two 
agencies, according to a report by the General Accounting 
Office. The study also found that the FBI failed to take disciplin- 
ary action for many of the 4,400 violations that its own security 
patrols uncovered at FBI headquarters over a three-year period. 



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The GAO report, prepared for the House Government 
Operations Subcommittee on Information, Justice, Transporta- 
tion, and Agriculture, noted that safeguarding classified and 
sensitive information is an absolute necessity in the law 
enforcement area. 

Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.), the subcommittee chairman, 
wrote to Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis 
Freeh that while procedures have been established to control and 
track classified documents, "compliance with the procedures is 
in some cases so inadequate that the GAO was unable to track 
documents to insure that they had reached their intended 
recipients.... A classified document could be lost, stolen or 
simply vanish into thin air leaving the department unable to 
identify and hold accountable those responsible for the lapse." 
("Agency Papers Ill-Protected, GAO Says," The Washington 
Post, September 17) 

SEPTEMBER - The Central Intelligence Agency has decided to 
release edited versions of secret documents about major covert 
operations from 1950 to 1963. Thus, according to an editorial in 
The New York Times, much more may be learned about the 1953 
coup that re-enthroned the Shah of Iran, the 1954 overthrow of 
an elected leftist president in Guatemala, and the Bay of Pigs 
debacle in 1961. 

The editorial opined "...the main reason for secrecy is less 
to protect U.S. security than to preserve the tattered myth of 
omnicompetent clandestine services." And it will be past time if 
the CIA truly delivers. Also promised are secret estimates of 
Soviet strength from 1950 to 1983, and open publication of 
"Studies in Intelligence," the agency's in-house journal. But the 
proof will be in the performance; skeptics remember that in 
1991 the agency with much ado formed an "Openness Task 
Force" — whose report was promptly classified. 

Secrecy is not just a way of life at spy agencies; it is a state 
religion. The National Archives is steward to 325 million 
classified documents, including still-secret files dating to World 
War I. When documents are declassified, key passages are often 
blacked out, on the pretext of protecting sources and methods. 
But keepers of these secrets are equally protective of evidence of 
gross misjudgments and abuse of power. Under existing rules, 
it will take 19 years for the National Archives just to review 
State Department records for the 1960s. The editorial said: "It's 
up to Bill Clinton, that reinventor of government, to assure the 
removal of this incredible, outdated wall of paper between 
citizens and their supposed servants." ("The Secret War Over 
Secrecy," The New York Times, September 19) 

[Ed. Note: An article, "CIA Declassifies Pre-1960 Soviet 
Studies," in the October 1 Washington Post, said the CIA 
aimounced that it has declassified virtually all of its major studies 
of the Soviet Union prior to 1960 and sent them to the National 
Archives, where the documents will be available to the public 
begirming the second week in October.] 

SEPTEMBER - The Pentagon's secret reconnaissance office 



ignored specific congressional instructions in May and signed a 
new multi-billion-dollar contract for a classified espionage 
program for a spy satellite, the House Appropriations Committee 
has reported. The Pentagon had not obtained the permission of 
congressional committees for the contract. In an unusually blunt, 
if guarded, discussion in a report accompanying the military 
budget bill for fiscal year 1994, the Appropriations Committee 
said it was "dismayed" that the Defense Department had ignored 
its instructions to keep Congress informed about the program. 
The report called for a comprehensive review of how spy 
satellites and other costly intelligence programs are being 
managed. 

"The need to limit access to intelligence programs due to 
their sensitive nature does not provide program managers relief 
from complying with specific congressional direction," the 
report said. "Nor should it limit the public's right to know when 
specific congressional direction is ignored, without revealing any 
program specifics." ("Pentagon Is Found to Have Ignored 
Congress on Spy Satellite," The New York Times, September 24) 

SEPTEMBER - Tlie Supreme Court has retaliated against a 
California professor who copied and is selling audio tapes of 
courtroom arguments by telling the National Archives not to let 
the man copy any more argument tapes without the permission 
of the marshall of the Court. Peter Irons, a political science 
professor at the University of California at San Diego, will be 
presumed to be a commercial user "in light of his actions and 
his willingness to violate the agreements he signed" when he 
received the copies of the tapes that make up his six-cassette 
package titled, "May It Please the Court." 

Irons has contended that he was right to break his promise to 
make only private use of the tapes because the current limits on 
commercial use violate the First Amendment. Susan Cooper, a 
spokeswoman for the Archives, said today that the Archives had 
filled about 1,000 requests for copies over the years and had 
supplied copies to most major law libraries. ("Justices Quash 
Entrepreneur's Move on the Court," The New York Times, 
September 26) 

[Ed. Note: An article, "Supreme Court Eases Restrictions on 
Use of Tapes of Its Arguments," in the November 3 Nev,' York 
Times said that public access to audio tapes of the Court's 
arguments would be available from the National Archives 
without restriction. Beginning immediately, members of the 
public could obtain copies of the tapes for any purpose, includ- 
ing broadcast and commercial reproduction. For people who 
bring their own recording equipment to the Archives, there will 
be no charge for copying the tapes. Otherwise, the Archives will 
make copies on request for $12.75 for each one-hour tape. The 
action means that no one entrepreneur is likely to make a large 
profit, since the material will be freely available. At the same 
time, public access to the workings of the Court will almost 
certainly be enhanced. One publisher is said to be planning to 
offer the Supreme Court arguments on a CD-ROM, or compact 
computer disk, format.] 



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SEPTEMBER - Trying to establish a post-cold-war policy for 
classifying government documents, the Clinton Administration 
is considering a proposal intended to give the public easier 
access to sensitive information but still allow officials consider- 
able discretion to withhold some secrets. The proposal was 
drafted by a committee of government officials ordered by 
President Clinton in April to design a new system for the United 
States to keep its secrets. A major part of the proposal is to 
declassify virtually all government documents after 40 years. 

Steven Garfinkel, director of the Information Security 
Oversight Office and the head of the committee that drafted the 
proposal, said that if the provision were included in the final 
policy, it would mean the immediate release of "hundreds of 
millions of documents" that have never been declassified. He 
said the National Archives estimated that it had 300 million to 
400 million classified documents dating from the World War I 
era to 1956. Other government agencies also have large numbers 
of documents, he said. 

The Clinton draft proposal has attracted critics. In an op-ed 
article, "Secrets and More Secrets," on September 30 in The 
New York Times, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, 
and Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, 
wrote that the 40-year period for declassifying virtually all 
documents was far too long. They said President Nixon had set 
a 30-year period and President Carter 20 years. Garfinkel 
disputed that view. He said that while Nixon let the classified 
status of documents last 30 years, his order dealt only with 
documents from the date of the order in 1972. Any documents 
from 1942 or earlier were not automatically released but had to 
be reviewed for possible declassification. Carter's order allowed 
agency heads to make such wide exceptions, Garfinkel said, that 
more than 90 percent of the documents were not affected by the 
disclosure plan. ("New Proposal Would Automatically Limit 
Secrecy," The New York Times, September 30) 

OCTOBER - President Clinton gave federal agencies greater 
authority to write regulations on pollution, safety, business 
practices, and the like without White House intervention, saying 
his executive order would "eliminate improper influence, secrecy 
and delay." The move is meant to reverse the pattern under 
Presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, who 
ordered their staffs to scrutinize and frequently to overrule the 
agencies, often with an eye to making regulations more palatable 
to business. 

Under the Administration's plans, the Office of Management 
and Budget will continue to review the most significant regula- 
tions to see that they do not put undue burdens on those they 
affect, but in most cases the crucial decisions will be entrusted 
to the agencies that are responsible by law for drafting the 
regulations. ("President Moves to Loosen Grip of White House 
on Regulations," The New York Times, October 1) 

OCTOBER - In a report on the February 28 raid of the Branch 
Davidian compound in Texas, the Department of Justice 



concluded that law enforcement officials botched virtually every 
aspect of their plan to capture David Koresh, then misled 
investigators and Congress about their mistakes. In a detailed 
rejKirt of mistakes and mendacity in the top ranks of the Bureau 
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the department offered new 
information about the law enforcement operation. The ref>ort 
said that senior agency officials went to even greater lengths than 
previously believed to deceive investigators and Congress. It said 
officials had changed a written record of the plan after the raid 
in a self-serving way, and then lied about the alterations. ("In 
Davidians' Trial, Defense Could Hinge on U.S. Officials' 
Admitted Lies," International Herald Tribune, October 2-3) 

OCTOBER - A former head of the Forest Service's whistle- 
blower unit said the agency regularly denied the existence of 
documents to thwart attempts by the public to get them under the 
Freedom of Information Act. In one case, John McCormick said 
his superiors rewrote an incriminating report before giving it to 
someone who sought it under the federal law guaranteeing broad 
public access to government documents. 

McCormick, who retired under pressure in 1992, said he is 
prepared to testify in a court case in Portland, Ore., about 
widespread irregularities in the agency's handling of FOIA 
requests from 1989 to 1991. He said he knew of at least 25 
cases in which agency officials denied the existence of docu- 
ments they knew they had. He said many of the cases involved 
documents relating to government logging operations that 
violated environmental laws or reprisals against workers who 
resisted orders to break the laws. "I put those records in the 
files. I can lead the Justice Department and the General Account- 
ing Office right down to the basement there and open up their 
eyes," he said. "We take all of these allegations very seriously," 
Agriculture Department spokesman Tom Amontree said. 
Amontree said the department had no evidence FOIA requests 
have been falsified but "anybody caught doing anything like that 
will be dealt with severely." 

In a related development, a GAO report released in early 
October said that government investigators found "over 180 
alleged incidents of interference and retaliation" against Forest 
Service law officers who investigate alleged wrongdoing within 
the agency and the timber industry. ("Ex-Official Says Agency 
Hid Data From Public," The Washington Post, October 6) 

OCTOBER - General Accounting Office officials testified that 
they had to assign several staff members over several days to 
laboriously hand copy White House i>ersonnel information 
because of Clinton Administration resistance to their requests 
during a probe into White House personnel practices. Republi- 
cans accused the White House of engaging in a pattern of sloppy 
or inadequate record-keeping that makes it impossible for the 
public or Congress to apply any standards of fiscal or ethical 
accountability. 

G AO's Nancy Kingsbury told Congress that the White House 
refused several times to allow the GAO to transfer personnel 



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information on computer discs. Instead, the White House 
allowed GAO staff members access only to hand copy the 
information on paper. It then had to be put on GAO discs, which 
engaged "several staff members over a couple of weeks." White 
House director of the Office of Administration Patsy Thomasson 
said that the Administration was concerned about maintaining 
privacy, and Lorraine Voles, a White House spokeswoman, said 
the intent was not to throw roadblocks in front of the investiga- 
tion but to protect the records. She noted that the GAO conclud- 
ed that it had gotten the information it needed. 

The GAO report found that the White House engaged in 
sloppy bookkeeping in the early weeks of the Administration, 
back-dating personnel appointments, giving retroactive salary 
adjustments, and allowing double-dipping — the collecting of 
payments from both the White House and presidential transition 
team. The White House has said all the practices were inadver- 
tent, tied to the heavy load of work in the first weeks, and have 
been corrected or are being corrected. ("GAO Faults Sloppy 
Personnel Record-Keeping by White House," The Washington 
Post, October 23) 

NOVEMBER - In a five-page article in the magazine. National 
Parks, authors Bill Sharp and Elaine Appleton concluded the 
National Park Service is hampered by a lack of knowledge about 
the ecological makeup of the parks. They wrote that most people 
think that national parks have been thoroughly studied for years, 
and that they are immutable preserves with species well under- 
stood. This notion is not only wrong but dangerously misleading. 
Quite simply, the National Park Service suffers from an 
embarrassing lack of knowledge about the species in its parks. 
And as the 1992 Science in the National Parks study states, 
"Informed resource management is impossible without science 
in its broadest sense— that is, the acquisition, analysis, and 
dissemination of knowledge about natural processes and about 
the human influences on them. " 

The Clinton Administration has ambitious plans to change 
this through a program of shared science called the National 
Biological Survey. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt plans a more 
aggressive approach to preserving ecosystems and wildlife, 
involving a campaign to reverse years of underfunding and 
neglect in research programs. The authors said, "But it remains 
to be seen how this program, which got under way in October, 
will affect the Park Service. The effort will be nothing if not an 
uphill climb." ("The Information Gap," National Parks, 
November/December) 

NOVEMBER - Christopher Drogoul, former manager of the 
Atlanta branch of the Italian government-owned Banca Nazionale 
del Lavoro (BNL), testified before the House Banking Commit- 
tee that illicit loans of several billion dollars were made to Iraq 
in the 1980s with the U.S. government's knowledge and 
approval, but offered no concrete evidence to support his claim. 
He is awaiting sentencing in a penitentiary in Atlanta on two 
counts of making false statements to the Federal Reserve Board 



and one count of wire fraud in the loans to Iraq between 1985 
and 1989. 

In sworn testimony, Drogoul said the BNL branch was 
merely a tool of covert U.S. and Italian efforts to funnel funds 
to Iraq. U.S. policy-makers have acknowledged trying before the 
Persian Gulf War to help Iraq, which was then regarded as a 
counterweight to Iran, but have denied approving the BNL loans. 
("U.S. Approval of Iraq Loans Alleged," The Washington Post, 
November 10) 

NOVEMBER - Federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth 
said that the White House was improperly withholding records 
of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Task Force on National Health 
Care Reform from doctors and consumer groups that wanted to 
scrutinize the panel's work. He ordered the government to 
provide documents needed to assess whether the more than 500 
people who worked for the task force had complied with federal 
ethics laws. By his action. Judge Lamberth took a preliminary 
step to pierce the secrecy of the panel, which developed 
Administration proposals to control health costs and to guarantee 
health insurance coverage for all Americans. 

Sounding exasperated, the judge said the Administration was 
"improperly withholding the germane information" sought by the 
plaintiffs to prove their contentions about the staff task force. He 
said the White House has provided incomplete answers, "drib- 
bles and drabs of information," and "a preposterous resj>onse" 
to the plaintiffs request for the names of people who participated 
in each of the panel's working groups. "Even more egregious," 
he said, is the Administration's contention that it cannot supply 
accurate lists of people who attended task force meetings because 
of "the fluidity and informality" of their work for Mrs. Clinton 
earlier this year. ("Judge Says Health Panel Erred by Withhold- 
ing Data," The New York Times, November 10) 

[Ed. Note: The Washington Post, in a December 1 article, 
"White House Files Documents in Suit on Health Task Force," 
reported that a Justice Department courier delivered a boxload 
of documents from the task force to the U.S. Courthouse in 
Washington.] 

NOVEMBER - As part of an overhaul of cold- war-era rules, 
the Department of Energy has decided to declassify reams of 
previously secret information about the nation's nuclear weap- 
ons, including data about undisclosed nuclear tests, Administra- 
tion officials said. Although scholars have known for some time 
that the United States did not acknowledge all the nuclear tests 
it conducted, the new information is expected to include useful 
data about the extent and purpose of past testing. The informa- 
tion, to be released in the near future, will also include data that 
have long been sought by specialists in arms control and nuclear 
safety and on the health and environmental effects of the nuclear 
weapons program. Energy officials said. 

Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary has ordered the agency, 
which is in charge of most of the atomic weapons-building 



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program, to complete a review of the kinds of information that 
can be declassified and to set up means for the public to have 
access to it. ("U.S. to Release Data on Secret Nuclear Tests," 
The New York Times, November 1 1 ) 

NOVEMBER - The Central Intelligence Agency is considering 
giving its consent to commercial sales of spy satellite equipment 
and images, agency officials said. While no final decisions have 
been made, CIA Director R. James Woolsey is considering 
seriously "advancing the CIA's position from 'no, never' to 
considering support for international sales of hardware and 
perhaps imagery," said an agency spokesman, David French. 
The spy-satellite equipment under consideration has been 
produced since 1960 by the National Recormaissance Office, a 
secret branch of the Air Force whose existence was acknowl- 
edged by the government only last year. 

Top secret, technologically exquisite, and hugely expensive, 
the satellite systems can produce images of people and automo- 
biles from 500 miles in space, gathering data for military and 
intelligence analysts. Though their costs are officially classified, 
each can cost more than $1 billion. Any systems offered for sale 
to foreign nationals would almost certainly be less capable than 
the ones operated by United States intelligence agencies. 
("C.I. A. Considers Allowing Sale of Spy Technology," The Nen' 
York Times, November 13) 

[Ed. Note: On November 17 The Washington Post reported in 
an article, "U.S. Agencies at Odds: For Whom Can the Eye 
Spy?" that some CIA officials, and others in the State and 
Defense departments, have their own objections that could scuttle 
deals to have U.S. companies take spy-quality photos from space 
and sell them commercially. A November 18 Washington Post 
article, "Government May Sell Spy Photos," said the Pentagon 
and the CIA are considering selling photo images of Earth to 
companies and foreign countries, but both government and 
industry sources said the move is partly designed to discourage 
private firms from entering the same business.] 

NOVEMBER - The discovery that five additional patients may 
have died in tests of a new drug for hepatitis B has prompted the 
Food and Drug Administration to propose a major change in the 
rules for reporting side effects from drug trials. The first of two 
reports were released by the FDA on the latest test of the drug, 
which was conducted at the National Institutes of Health in 
Bethesda, Md. This test was among the worst catastrophes in the 
recent history of drug testing; deaths occurred in 5 out of 15 
patients who took the drug for four weeks or more. The FDA 
has discovered from a review of earlier tests of the drug that five 
other patients in the earlier experiments may have died as a 
result of taking the drug or its experimental predecessor. 

The FDA, which approved the latest test and reviewed data 
as it proceeded, said scientists could have found out that the drug 
would be toxic but had not collected the available information. 
"Some of the problem was optimism," said Dr. David Kessler, 



the commissioner of Food and Drugs. "The data were not pulled 
together in one place or analyzed in a way that would lead the 
scientists to see the drug's danger. In retrospect, the data were 
there. Tliere were five deaths here that demanded greater 
scrutiny." ("After Deaths, F.D.A. Is Proposing Stiffer Rules on 
Drug Experiments," The New York Times, November 16) 

NOVEMBER - The National Drug Intelligence Center, the 
government's newest agency for combating drug traffickers, 
opened in Johnstown, Penna., on August 9. At the dedication of 
the $50 million center. Attorney General Janet Reno said it 
would coordinate intelligence from rival federal law enforcement 
agencies. But in the view of many drug experts and former anti- 
drug officials, the FBI-administered agency duplicates the work 
of 19 other drug intelligence centers around the country and 
cannot function effectively in western Pennsylvania, 182 miles 
from Washington. For these critics, the center is a wasteful 
display of political patronage that primarily benefits the constitu- 
ents of one Democratic Congressman, Rep. John Murtha 
(D-Penna.) 

John Walters, who was President Bush's acting drug czar in 
1990 and 1991 and who helped plan the center, said in an 
interview that the Johnstown office was a complete distortion of 
the original plan. That plan called for the center to be located 
within the Department of Justice in Washington, Walters said, 
so that it would be near the headquarters of the FBI, Drug 
Enforcement Agency, CIA, the Customs Bureau, and other 
federal agencies that track drug trafficking. "It was to bring 
together anti-drug agencies' senior leadership and encourage 
them to share their agencies' most jealously guarded intelligence 
information about the highest level of drug traffickers," Walters 
said. Agencies rarely share such information, he said, because 
they do not want to share the credit with other agencies in 
making splashy arrests, which generate publicity, build reputa- 
tions, and justify budget increases. ("Center for Drug Intelli- 
gence Opens, But Some Ask if It Is Really Needed," The New 
York Times, November 17) 

NOVEMBER - Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal 
Reserve, offered a compromise to Rep. Henry Gonzalez 
(D-Texas), chairman of the House Banking Committee, saying 
the central bank would grant public access to detailed transcripts 
of meetings it held between 1976 and 1988. In a letter to 
Gonzalez, who is trying to make the Fed's deliberations less 
secret, Greenspan said that the Fed would make public tran- 
scripts of meetings of its main policy-making committee, the 
Federal Open Market Committee, with a five-year lag. 

Gonzalez had called for the release of complete transcripts of 
all meetings held more than three years ago and for releasing 
edited tran.scripts of meetings more than 60 days old but less 
than three years old. Transcripts of meetings up to 1976 are 
already public; they were released after a five-year lag. Since 
1976, however, the central bank has kept unedited tran.scripts of 
its policy-making meetings on file without making them public. 



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Instead, it releases a short summary of its policy-making 
meetings six weeks after they are held. 

Opening the records provides material for economists and 
historians about past economic and political controversies. For 
example, the transcripts are expected to show the debate that led 
to the Fed's decision to substantially raise interest rates in the 
early 1980s. Greenspan argued against the suggestion that the 
central bank release transcripts with less than a five-year lag. He 
said that members of the committee believed "that early release 
of these documents would sharply curtail" the open market 
committee;s "ability to discuss freely and frankly evolving 
economic and financial market trends and alternative policy 
responses, which is essential to sound monetary policy." Early 
release, Greenspan said, could stifle "originality, new ideas, and 
the give-and-take debate that so often open up new insights" at 
the committee's meetings. ("Fed Proposes a Compromise on 
Access to Its Transcripts," The New York Times, November 18) 

NOVEMBER - The underlying principles of the law requiring 
release of government records about the assassination of 
President John Keimedy, according to the Senate report on the 
law, are "independence, public confidence, efficiency and cost 
effectiveness, speed of records disclosure and enforceability," 
Washington lawyer James Lesar told the House Government 
Operations Committee at a hearing. Lesar, head of the nonprofit 
Assassinations Archives and Research Center, added that with 
the law now more than a year old, "it can only be said that these 
principles have been repeatedly violated. At best, only 10 to 20 
percent of the total universe of Kennedy assassination records 
has been released." 

Steve Tilley, who is JFK liaison officer at the National 
Archives, where all the records are to be kept, confirmed that 
the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Naval 
Investigative Service, and both House and Senate intelligence 
committees have yet to produce a single page under the law. 
("Deadlines Missed on Release of JFK Data," The Washington 
Post, November 18) 

[Ed. Note: In mid-December, the FBI announced that it was 
about to release the first of what will eventually be more than 
one million pages of documents related to President Kennedy's 
assassination. ("FBI Set to Release JFK Assassination Papers," 
The Washington Post, December 13)] 

NOVEMBER - The federal government's information on 
nutrients in food, used around the world to determine public 
nutrition policy, plan feeding programs, do medical research, 
and answer questions like how much vitamin A is in a sweet 
potato or how much fat is in a sirloin steak, is flawed and 
unreliable, according to a federal report issued on November 22. 
The General Accounting Office said the nutrition information in 
the publication. Handbook 8, is inaccurate because of sloppy, 
inconsistent, or questionable methods of collecting data. 

In the report, requested by Rep. George Brown Jr. (D- 



Calif.), chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology, the accounting office criticizes the Human Nutrition 
Information Service of the Department of Agriculture for using 
lax methods in compiling the nutritional data. The report says 
the agency often does not have enough samples and accepts data 
with "little or no supporting information on the testing and 
quality assurance procedures used to develop the data." For 
example, it says the nutrient data on bacon-cheeseburgers comes 
primarily from brochures provided by fast-food chains, which do 
not explain how the data were determined. Indeed, much of the 
information in Handbook 8 comes from the food industry, the 
report said. ("Report Finds Federal Nutrition Data to Be 
Unreliable, The NeM' York Times, November 23) 

NOVEMBER - The White House should disclose the multi- 
billion-dollar budget for secret intelligence spending, senior 
members of Congress have urged President Clinton. The secrecy 
shielding the spending, or "black budget," is a relic of the cold 
war and should be abolished, said a letter sent to the WTiite 
House by the Speaker of the House, Thomas Foley (D-Wash.); 
the Senate majority leader, George Mitchell (D-Maine); House 
majority leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), and nine present and 
former leaders of congressional committees overseeing the 
nation's intelligence agencies. ("Disclosure Urged for Secret 
Budget, The New York Times, November 25) 

NOVEMBER - A motion to release the final report of the 
Independent Counsel for the Iran-contra investigation was filed 
with a special panel of three federal appellate judges who have 
kept the report under seal since August. The motion expressed 
concern that lawyers for those involved in the 1986 scandal 
would seek to have the document suppressed or heavily cen- 
sored. "If this report, or any part of it, is suppressed, public 
understanding of the lessons of the Iran-contra affair... will be 
forever impoverished," the motion argued. It was filed on behalf 
of the National Security Archive, the Society of Professional 
Journalists, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the 
Press. Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh gave the court his 
final report in August, closing his investigation. 

Walsh concluded that senior advisers to President Reagan had 
tried to cover up events in the Iran-contra affair, according to 
portions of the sealed report described to The Associated Press. 
Lawyers for former President Ronald Reagan, former Attorney 
General Edwin Meese, and Oliver North have sought to keep 
some details of the report from being released. "The public's 
right to know the real story of the scandal is now in jeopardy," 
said Peter Kombluh, senior analyst at the National Security 
Archive. "The threat of suppression hanging over the Walsh 
report portends the ultimate Iran-contra coverup." ("Court Is 
Asked to Release Iran-Contra Report," The New York Times, 
November 25) 

[Ed. Note: In early December, a federal appeals court ruled: 
"The court not only considers it appropriate but in the public 



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interest that as full a disclosure as possible be made of the final 
report of the independent counsel." Without specifying a date, 
the court said it will release the massive report in "some short 
period of time." ("Iran-Contra Report to Be Released Mostly 
Intact," The Boston Globe, December 4) 

DECEMBER - Central Intelligence Agency Director R. James 
Woolsey appeared on Larry King's CNN talkshow to answer 
questions from callers in an effort to make the agency less 
mysterious and more visible. "We're working really very hard 
on helping people understand what the agency is all about and 
the intelligence community as a whole," Woolsey told King. He 
said the agency is "trying to disclose a lot more historical 
material," such as intelligence reports on the Soviet Union up to 
1983, which are being declassified "warts and all." 

Information about current operations and intelligence- 
gathering methods is to remain secret, however. Woolsey 
refused to extend the openness campaign to the intelligence 
budget, despite a request from Democratic leaders in Congress 
to declassify it. The annual intelligence budget has been widely 
reported to be about $28 billion, but the CIA opposes making the 
figure public because it does not want to answer questions about 
what the money is used for. ("Absent Cold War Mystique, 
Loquacious Silent Service," The Washington Post, December 2) 

DECEMBER - The United States conducted 204 previously 
unannounced nuclear weapons tests during the cold war, the 
Clinton Administration disclosed. The number of secret tests was 
about twice as high as had been suspected and accounted for 
almost 20 percent of the 1,051 nuclear tests conducted by the 
United States. The underground tests, which took place from 
1963 to 1990 in Nevada, were only small enough to escape 
detection. Some resulted in accidental releases of radioactive 
gases into the atmosphere, usually in amounts too low to be 
considered harmful. The Energy Department, as part of a newly 
ordered declassification of millions of documents relating to the 
vast nuclear buildup of the past 50 years, also disclosed for the 
first time the full extent of its plutonium production, and details 
of its huge stockpiles of the material. 

The secret tests did not violate any laws or international 
weapon-testing agreements because they were conducted 
underground. But they illustrate what officials at the Department 
of Energy now call a damaging atmosphere of secrecy that 
compromised safety and environmental considerations, a 
situation that the Administration is trying to correct. "We were 
shrouded and clouded in an atmosphere of secrecy," Energy 
Secretary Hazel O'Leary said at a news conference. "And 1 
would take it a step fiirther: I would call it repression." 

Department officials said that among the millions of docu- 
ments yet to be reviewed, there might be more information about 
previously disclosed exfteriments in which hundreds of human 
subjects were exposed to plutonium without granting informed 
consent. In general, O'Leary's attitude toward secrecy at the 
department and the lack of public trust it engendered differ 



greatly from those expressed publicly by any of her predeces- 
sors. Still, some researchers who have been pressing the 
government to offer more data about the nuclear weapon 
program said they were disapf>ointed at how little new informa- 
tion was disclosed. But the Energy Department said the disclo- 
sures were just the first step in an effort to review 32 million 
documents for possible declassification. The Pentagon, and some 
officials with the Energy Department, have resisted some efforts 
to declassify certain information, officials conceded. ("204 
Secret Nuclear Tests by U.S. Are Made Public, The New York 
Times, December 8) 

DECEMBER - Central Intelligence Agency allegations to 
Congress that exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide 
underwent psychiatric treatment in a Canadian hospital are false, 
the Miami Herald has learned. The allegations slowed the 
momentum of the U.S. campaign to return Aristide to power, 
fortified the Haitian leader's critics, and embarrassed President 
Clinton, who supports Aristide's return to power. The Herald, 
obtained a letter from Aristide authorizing it to retrieve any 
records for psychiatric treatment for him at the Louis-H. 
Lafontaine Hospital in Montreal, mentioned by CIA officials to 
Congress. The hospital categorically denied it had ever treated 
Aristide. 

When CIA Director R. James Woolsey and the CIA's chief 
Latin American analyst, Brian Latell, went before Congress in 
October to brief lawmakers on the crisis brewing over Aristide's 
scheduled return to Haiti, they repeated information from a 
classified CIA assessment of Aristide that was compiled by an 
agency psychiatrist during the Bush Administration, after 
Aristide's ouster by the military in September 1991. The CIA 
has declined comment about the Herald report. ("CIA Report on 
Aristide False, Newspaper Says," The Washington Post, 
December 2) 

DECEMBER - Joseph Duncan, chief statistician of Dun & 
Bradstreet Corp., and Cleveland State University professor 
Andrew Gross have concluded that the resources and methods 
for collecting government data are at least two decades behind. 
That would be just another complaint except that the success of 
the Clinton Administration effort to improve health care and 
foreign trade depends on numbers that either do not exist or are 
seriously flawed. The government's Healthy People 2000 
initiative, an effort to extend the reach of preventive medicine 
that is crucial to the Clinton health plan, will require more than 
400 separate sets of statistics, the authors said. "Yet, for one- 
fourth of the health objectives contained in the... project, no 
baseline data exist." Government officials acknowledged that 
they would like to have better numbers, although a spokeswoman 
for the National Center of Health Statistics said ordy 10 percent 
of the Healthy People 2000 objectives now lack base-line data 
and that portion is shrinking. 

At a briefing on their report, "Statistics for the 21st Centu- 
ry," Duncan said, "We have systems that were designed in the 



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'50s and have been upgraded to reflect changing technology and 
changing social structure." He further said, "We don't even 
know how many small businesses there are," contrasting the 
Small Business Administration's 20.5 million figure with Dun & 
Bradstreet's 10 million and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 6.5 
million. ("Raw or Cooked, Are the Data Rotten?" The Washing- 
ton Post, December 9) 

DECEMBER - Recently, it was revealed by Federal Reserve 
Chairman Alan Greenspan that for 17 years, the Fed had been 
keeping tape transcripts of the suf)er-secret discussions of top 
officials of the Federal Reserve System. The disclosures left 
many of the officials feeling that the very foundation of the 
Fed's policy-making process — the confidentiality of its regular, 
private deliberations — had been shaken. While no one would say 
so publicly, there is some apparent unhappiness with Greenspan, 
who learned of the transcripts when he became chairman in 1987 
but never informed the other members of the Federal Open 
Market Committee. 

A tape recording is made of each session of the committee. 
And now the members fear that they may be forced to turn the 
tape, or a transcript of it over to Rep. Henry Gonzalez 
(D-Texas), chairman of the House Banking Committee. Gonza- 
lez maintains that Fed officials must be "accountable" for their 
actions. Without full disclosure of what is said at their meet- 
ings — he has proposed videotaping the sessions — they ares not 
accountable. Gonzalez has compared the Fed's behavior to that 
of President Nixon during Watergate, who "stonewalled and 
lied. I believe we have seen some stonewalling at the Federal 
Reserve for 17 years," he said. 

The "stonewalling" involves the fact, unknown even to most 
Fed officials, that rough transcripts made from recordings of 
meetings of the Open Market Committee have been kept in four 
locked file cabinets at Fed headquarters. There are now more 
than 20,000 neatly typed pages stretching back to 1976. In a 
hearing before the House Banking Conmiittee, Greenspan said 
that transcripts were made and did not imply any had been 
destroyed. The transcripts are a sore point at the Fed. A number 
of officials said they were "embarrassed" by not knowing about 
them. "Everybody felt they hadn't been properly informed about 
what was going on," said Fed board member John La Ware. 
("The Fed Feels the Heat," The Washington Post, December 12) 

DECEMBER - For three decades after World War II, top 
medical scientists in the nation's nuclear weapons industry 
undertook an extensive program of experiments in which 
civilians were exposed to radiation in concentrations far above 
what is considered safe today. The experiments, at government 
laboratories and prominent medical research centers, involved 
injecting patients with dangerous radioactive substances like 
plutonium or exposing them to powerful beams of radiation. 



Now the Energy Department is doing an about-face, acknowl- 
edging that for the last six years it ignored evidence of abuses 
and a congressional request to uncover the extent of the experi- 
ments and compensate subjects. Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary 
has promised a full investigation, much of it focusing on whether 
civilians were fully informed of the risks and consented to their 
participation. ("Secret Nuclear Research on People Comes to 
Light," The New York Times, December 17) 

DECEMBER - Researchers at Vanderbilt University gave 
radioactive pills to pregnant women during the 1940s, university 
officials have confirmed. A follow-up study during the 1960s 
concluded that three children bom to women who took the pills 
likely died because of the tests. On December 8, the Department 
of Energy revealed that researchers gave radioactive pills to 751 
pregnant women seeking free care at a prenatal clinic run by 
Vanderbilt University. The pills exposed the women and their 
fetuses to radiation 30 times higher than natural levels, about the 
same as an X-ray. The doses were not considered unsafe at the 
time. 

Vanderbilt officials said researchers kept documents of the 
study until they were destroyed in the 1970s. "The researchers 
who were working on that maintained their own files," said 
Vanderbilt spokesman Wayne Wood. "They were not Vanderbilt 
property. They belonged to the researchers themselves." 
Vanderbilt officials said they do not know if the women were 
told of the possible effects of radiation or even if they knew they 
were being given radioactive pills. ("Radiation Tests on Women 
Confirmed," The Washington Post, December 21) 

DECEMBER - The American government official who directed 
radiation experiments on human subjects was warned soon after 
the program began that the research would invite public criticism 
and comparison to Nazi experiments on concentration inmates, 
a private memorandum declassified by the government shows. In 
a 1950 memorandum to Dr. Shields Warren, a senior official of 
the Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Joseph Hamilton, a top 
radiation biologist who worked for the agency, warned that the 
medical experiments might have "a little of the Buchenwald 
touch." At the Buchenwald camp a number of human experi- 
ments were done, including one that killed about 600 people 
exposed to typhus bacteria. 

The memorandum, declassified in the early 1970s, has been 
known to a handful of independent investigators interested in the 
early history of the Atomic Energy Commission. It has been 
publicly circulated in recent days as government investigators 
and re]K)rters have examined an extensive experimental program 
that involved at least 1,000 people in a variety of radiation 
experiments in the early years of the atomic era. One official 
said that number could go much higher. ("'50 Memo Shows 
Radiation Test Doubts," The New York Times, December 28) 



ALA Washington Office 



December 1993 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have been compiled in two indexed volumes covering the periods April 1981 -Decem- 
ber 1987 and January 1 988-December 1991. Less Access... updates are available for $1.00; the 1981-1987 volume is 
$7.00; the 1988-1991 volume is $10.00. To order, contact the American Library Association Washington Office, 1 10 Mary- 
land Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002-5675; 202-547-4440, fax 202-547-7363. All orders must be prepaid artd must include 
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ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1 10 Maryland Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel: 202-547-4440 Fax: 202-547-7363 Email: alawash@alawash.org 

June 1994 




LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXII 

A 1994 Chronology: January - June 



INTRODUCTION 

For the past 13 years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented Administration efforts to restrict and privatize 
government information. 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 
Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources. 
0MB issued a revision of the circular in the July 2, 1993, 
Federal Register, changing its restrictive interpretation of the 
definition of "government publication" to which ALA had 
objected in OMB's draft circulars. 

In their first year in office, the Clinton Administration has 
improved public access to government information. The Presi- 
dent signed P.L. 103-40, the Government Printing Office 
Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act. The implemen- 
tation of the law in June 1994 provides electronic government 
information to the public through the Depository Library 
Program. Government information is more accessible through 
computer networks and the Freedom of Information Act. Energy 
Secretary Hazel O'Leary started a campaign to open government 
files on Cold War radiation testing of humans. The Administra- 
tion's national information infrastructure initiatives include 
government stimulus for cormectivity and applications in health 
care, education, libraries, and provision of government 
information. 

However, there are still barriers to access. For example, the 
Clinton Administration, like the two administrations before it, 
has maintained that the government has no obligation to preserve 
its electronic records and the information they contain. National 
Performance Review recommendations to "reinvent government" 
to have every federal agency responsible for disseminating 
information to the nation's 1 ,400 depository libraries could result 
in a literal "tower of babel" as the American public would be 



forced to search through hundreds of federal agencies for 
publications they need. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to use 
computer and telecommunication technologies for data collection, 
storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend has resulted in 
the increased emergence of contractual arrangements with com- 
mercial firms to disseminate information collected at taxpayer 
expense, higher user charges for government information, and 
the proliferation of government information available in elec- 
tronic format only. While automation clearly offers promises of 
savings, 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 have 
begun to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public 
access to government information should be increased. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open 
government is vital to a democracy. A January 1984 resolution 
passed by 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 information, and to develop 
support for improvements in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions. Previous 
chronologies were compiled in two ALA Washington Office 
indexed publications. Less Access to Less Information By and 
About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 Chronology, and Less 
Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. The following chronology 
continues the tradition of a semi-annual update. 



Less Access.. 



January - June 1994 



CHRONOLOGY 

JANUARY - From recently declassified documents about the 
Vietnam War, new evidence is emerging that some American 
pilots held prisoner in Laos were not released at the end of the 
war, and that American intelligence officials might have known 
where some of them were. Officially, only two American fliers 
are known to have been alive in the custody of Pathet Lao 
rebels. Both died in captivity in the 1960s, Pentagon officials 
believe. No other reports, whether from human sources or aerial 
photographs, of Americans held prisoner by the Pathet Lao have 
ever been verified, according to the Defense Department. 

But declassified documents from the State Department, the 
Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency 
provide some support for those who argue that the number of 
prisoners was considerably higher, perhaps as high as 41 
Americans. The truth about Laos has eluded military specialists 
and diplomats for two decades, and Laos remains the black hole 
of the long, bitter story of the more than 2,200 American service 
personnel still unaccounted for. The United States never 
acknowledged officially participating in a war in Laos. 

In a 1973 speech, former President Richard Nixon said, "All 
of our American POWs are on their way home." He said 
provisions of the Paris agreement regarding Laos "have not been 
complied with," but he did not indicate there might still be U.S. 
prisoners there. Several times in the next few months of 1973, 
he repeated that all prisoners had come home. But the declassi- 
fied documents show there was intelligence information that the 
Pathet Lao held some U.S. fliers in caves near Pathet Lao 
headquarters in Sam Neua, in northeastern Laos, near the border 
with Vietnam. 

If any of the intelligence information was correct, the 
apparent conclusion is that some men were abandoned to their 
fates when the last U.S. troops left Indochina, unless the Pathet 
Lao killed them, as some U.S. officials believe. ("POW Pilots 
Left in Laos, Files Suggest," The Washington Post, January 2) 

JANUARY - President Clinton expressed support for opening 
government files on Cold War radiation testing of humans, but 
said he needs to assess how to proceed. He praised Secretary of 
Energy Hazel O'Leary for starting the campaign to search 
government files for information on hundreds of experiments 
conducted on people in the 1940s and 1950s. Federal agencies 
involved in the effort to uncover information on the tests include 
the Departments of Energy, Defense and Veterans Affairs and 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The VA has 
announced that it will investigate whether patients at VA 
hospitals in the 1940s and 1950s were subjected to nuclear 
medicine research without their knowledge. ("Clinton Supports 
Release of Information About Human Radiation Experiments," 
The Washington Post, January 2) 

JANUARY - The family of Elmer Allen learned after his death 
that he had been unwittingly injected with plutonium in 1947 as 



part of a secret government research project. Allen's family 
learned of his involvement in the experiments from the Albu- 
querque Tribune, which in December 1993 first reported that the 
U.S. government had injected him and 17 other people with 
plutonium. Elmerine Whitfield began searching her father's 
medical records after the Albuquerque paper first contacted the 
family last year. She appealed to Energy Secretary Hazel 
O'Leary during a joint appearance on CNN for the release of all 
the documents in the experiments. Whitfield is angry that the 
government her parents honored deceived them for more than 40 
years. ("Family of Radiation Test Victim Angered by Govern- 
ment's Deceit," The Washington Post, January 2) 

JANUARY - President Clinton's attorney, David Kendall, 
attempted to negotiate unusual limits on how the Justice Depart- 
ment could use files about Whitewater Development Corporation 
that the WTiite House had agreed to turn over. Kendall was 
rebuffed when he asked Justice officials to agree they would not 
share the material with the Office of Professional Responsibility, 
the unit of the department that is investigating the handling of the 
suicide in July 1993 of White House deputy counsel Vincent 
Foster. Such an agreement would have been extraordinary, 
according to a former federal prosecutor, because the Justice 
Department is generally free to share subpoenaed grand jury 
material with any of its attorneys who have a legitimate need for 
it as part of an investigation into potential criminal conduct. 

A senior Administration official said that Kendall "did say to 
the Justice Department that he did not want these documents to 
go to OPR. He wanted them protected from that kind of 
dissemination." The official said that Kendall's position to 
Justice was "they should not be turned over to OPR" unless 
OPR went to court to seek its own access to the records. There 
was no indication why Kendall sought to deny OPR access to the 
documents. ("President's Lawyer Tried to Limit Justice Dept. 
Use of Whitewater Files," The Washington Post, January 3) 

JANUARY - British aviation officials notified the Federal 
Aviation Administration in 1991 that Boeing 757s had problems 
with wake turbulence of the kind suspected in a fatal crash in 
December 1993, the Los Angeles reported. The FAA was also 
warned twice by a safety agency in 1993 that pilots had reported 
concerns about whirling currents from the plane's wing tips, the 
paper said. 

In late December, FAA Administrator David Hinson directed 
air traffic controllers to issue wake turbulence warnings to pilots 
landing behind 757s. He took the action a week after five people 
were killed in the crash of a twin-engine jet on December 15 in 
Santa Ana. The plane had been trailing a 757 by about two 
miles, and investigators suspect the fierce wake played a role in 
the crash. Turbulence from a 757 is also suspected in the 
December 1992 crash of a twin-engine jet in Billings, Mont., 
that killed eight persons. FAA officials have said no warning 



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was issued sooner because the issue was still under study. 
("F.A.A. Reportedly Knew of Jet-Wake Peril," The New York 
Times, January 5) 

[Ed. note: In early June, The Los Angeles Times reported that 
the Federal Aviation Administration was warned before two fatal 
air accidents that wake turbulence from Boeing 757 jetliners 
would cause a "major crash" if the agency did not intervene. 
The paper said it obtained 226 pages of FAA letters and 
memoranda under the Freedom of Information Act after agency 
officials fought their release. Citing the FAA internal documents, 
the Times said the agency's now-retired top scientist expressed 
serious concerns about the potential danger to planes flying 
behind 757s before crashes in Billings, Mont., and Santa Ana, 
Calif., that took 13 lives. ("FAA Was Warned on 757 Turbu- 
lence, Paper Says," The Washington Post, June 6) 

JANUARY - A special three-judge panel was asked to make 
public sealed motions filed in early December 1993 that seek 
deletions in independent counsel Lawrence Walsh's final report 
on his seven-year investigation into the Iran-contra affair. 
Several individuals mentioned critically in the report have filed 
sealed motions that comment on the report and request that 
certain portions be deleted, according to sources familiar with 
the legal maneuvering. It is said that among the attorneys who 
have filed such motions are those representing former president 
Ronald Reagan and former Reagan aide Oliver North. 

In the emergency motion, the Society of Professional 
Journalists, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press 
and the National Security Archive asked the panel to unseal 
motions "requesting suppression, redaction or deletion of any 
portion" of Walsh'? final report. The organizations said the 
secret filing "undermine public confidence in the judicial 
process, deepen public skepticism about the handling of the Iran- 
contra affair, and deny the public its cherished right to know 
what occurs in its courts." ("3 Groups Ask Access to Cuts 
Sought in Iran-Contra Report," The Washington Post, January 
7) 

[Ed. note: A three-judge panel ruled against deleting material 
from the final report of the Iran-contra investigation but delayed 
release of the controversial volume 10 days to permit appeal to 
the Supreme Court. ("Judges Preserve Iran-Contra Material but 
Delay Walsh Report," The Washington Post, January 8)] 

JANUARY - The National Academy of Sciences has concluded 
that so little is known about the ecological condition of American 
range lands that it is extremely difficult to determine how they 
should be managed, according to a report that could complicate 
Administration plans on federal lands. "This lack of information 
goes to the very heart of the current debate over grazing fees 
and environmental standards," said F. E. "Fee" Busby, a range 
scientist who chaired the academy panel that conducted the four- 
year study released this week. "Because fundamental questions 



about the condition of U.S. range lands cannot be answered," 
Busby said, our ability to make decisions about their proper use 
and management is severely, seriously impaired." 

TTie NAS report concludes that current scientific information 
on the roughly 770 million acres of federal, state and private 
range lands is so inconsistent and fragmentary that it does "not 
allow investigators to reach definitive conclusions about the state 
of range lands." ("Information Scarce on Range Lands," The 
Washington Post, January 8) 

JANUARY - The chairman of an independent panel that 
investigated the loss of NASA's Mars Observer spacecraft said 
that the group's findings— released in early January — should have 
included mention of a key management decision that may have 
led to the disaster. "It was an oversight," said Timothy Coffee, 
direct of the Naval Research Laboratory. "It really was my 
fault." Controllers lost contact with the Observer on August 21, 
1993, after what Coffey's panel concluded was most likely a 
failure in part of the propulsion system. The spacecraft's builder, 
Martin Marietta Corp., renounced its claim to a $21.3 million 
orbital performance bonus "in light of the unsuccessful mission." 
The lost spacecraft and the scientific instruments it carried 
accounted for about half of the mission's $1 billion cost. 

The Washington Post reported that, about seven months 
before the Observer was launched, NASA had decided to 
postpone pressurizing the fuel tanks until the spacecraft had 
completed its 11-month cruise to Mars, instead of doing its five 
days after launch as planned when the craft was designed and 
built. Investigators concluded that the most likely cause of the 
spacecraft's disappearance was "a massive rupture in the 
pressurization side of the propulsion system" that caused the 
Observer to spin out of control. The change in flight procedure 
was omitted inadvertently from the executive summary and 
overview provided to the news media. The change is mentioned 
in two places deep inside the report's eight-inch thick, four- 
volume documentation, which was not distributed but was made 
available for inspection at NASA headquarters. ("NASA Admits 
Oversight on Report," The Washington Post, January 11) 

JANUARY - The Clinton Administration, in the process of 
preparing a post-Cold War policy on the release of government 
secrets, is debating how long information should remain 
classified. A draft of a new policy would require that all 
government secrets, with few exceptions, be automatically 
released after 40 years. Several organizations, including the 
National Security Archive and the American Civil Liberties 
Union, said the need for a shorter period was demonstrated by 
recent disclosures about secret government-sponsored radiation 
experiments on unwitting Americans in the 1950s through the 
early 1970s. "Forty years is much too long," said Sheryl 
Walter, general counsel of the National Security Archive. "The 
whole reason to disclose secrets is to keep Government officials 
accountable by letting them know that their decisions will be 
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A senior White House official who is involved in seeking to 
fulfill President Clinton's promise for a more open information 
policy said officials were seriously considering reducing the 40- 
year time frame. The process of establishing a new policy on 
government secrets has involved a tug-of-war between groups 
pressing for greater openness and the established order, as 
represented by officials of government agencies that have 
historically maintained national security secrets, like the Defense 
Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. The White 
House is in the middle trying "to come up with a plan that 
would fulfill the President's pledge for more operuiess while 
protecting really sensitive information, and doing it at a reason- 
able cost." Trudy Peterson, the Acting Archivist of the United 
States, said that even a period of 30 years would be unnecessary. 
In a letter to Vice President Al Gore in December 1993, 
Peterson said: "In our experience, there is virtually no informa- 
tion over 30 years old that requires continued classification. 
Most documents of this age are so irrelevant to current security 
concerns that continued withholding seems inappropriate if not 
laughable." The National Archives has estimated it has 300 
million to 400 million classified documents dating from the 
World War I era to the mid-1950s. Countless other documents 
are housed at other government agencies. ("New Policy on 
Declassifying Secrets Is Debated," The New York Times, January 
14) 

JANUARY - Documents filed electronically with the Securities 
and Exchange Commission by public companies will be available 
through the Internet in a two-year experiment. Documents 
obtainable include annual reports, 10-K filings, proxy statements 
and other information valued by traders and investors. These are 
already available electronically through commercial data 
suppliers, but the new service is the first to make them available 
without additional charges. It is the most ambitious experiment 
so far by the Clinton Administration to make much government 
information available to the public at minimum cost. "We have 
a policy that Government information ought to be made available 
at only the marginal cost to provide the information," said Tom 
Kalil, who coordinates science and technology policy at the 
White House Economic Council. "We view this type of informa- 
tion dissemination as one of the ways we can address the info 
'haves and have nots' issue. Since the taxpayers have already 
paid for it, the idea of making it available was appealing." 

Carl Malamud, of Internet Multicasting, said the SEC is 
charging $78,000 a year to supply his company with data tapes 
of each day's filings. The fee, he said covers the cost of the 
tapes and messenger fees. Malamud said the SEC has projected 
that as many of 50 gigabytes of data— 50 billion characters of 
information — will be supplied each year. Computer users with 
access to Internet can get more information by sending an 
electronic-mail message to "mail[at)town. hall. org" requesting 
help. Those without Internet access can telephone 202-628-2044. 
("Internet Users Get Access to S.E.C. Filings Fee-Free," Vie 
New York Times, January 17) 



[Ed. note: The public's access represents a victory for public 
interest group leaders like Jamie Love of the Taxpayers Assets 
Project, who encouraged Congress and the SEC to make 
electronic information available over the Internet.] 

JANUARY - A seven-year investigation of the Iran-contra 
scandal produced "no credible evidence that President Reagan 
violated any criminal statute," but concluded that Reagan "set 
the stage of the illegal activities of others" by encouraging them 
to win freedom for American hostages in Lebanon and arm the 
contra rebels in Nicaragua, independent counsel Lawrence Walsh 
said yesterday. Once the public learned in late 1986 of the secret 
arms-for-hostages dealings with Iran and the clandestine funding 
for the contras, "Reagan administration officials deliberately 
deceived the Congress and the public about the level and extent 
of official knowledge of and support for these operations," 
Walsh said in his final report on the affair released in mid- 
January. 

A congressional investigation of Iran-contra, Walsh said, 
went down the wrong paths, in part because of the Reagan 
administration coverup. Walsh said his investigation discovered 
"large caches of previously withheld contemporaneous notes and 
documents, which provided new insight into the highly secret 
events of Iran-contra. Had these materials been produced to 
congressional and criminal investigators when they were 
requested in 1987, independent counsel's work would have 
proceeded more quickly and probably with additional indict- 
ments." 

In his 566-page report and a news conference, Walsh was 
particularly critical of former president George Bush, who 
served as Reagan's vice president. At the press session, Walsh 
called Bush's decision to pardon former defense secretary Caspar 
Weinberger and five other Iran-contra figures on Christmas Eve 
1992 "an act of friendship or an act of self-protection." The 
pardon prevented a trial of Weinberger at which Bush would 
have been called as a witness. Bush's lawyer, former attorney 
general Griffin Bell, said in reply that Bush "fully cooperated" 
with Walsh's office. In a 126-page response, Reagan called the 
report "an excessive, hyperbolic, emotional screed that relies on 
speculation, conjecture, innuendo and opinion instead of proof." 
("Iran-Contra Report Castigates Reagan," The Washington Post, 
January 19) 

JANUARY - Senate candidate Oliver North is portrayed as 
someone who repeatedly lied, broke the law and misused money 
in the final report on the Iran-contra affair. Special prosecutor 
Lawrence Walsh's report focuses attention on North's role in the 
scandal and questions his integrity. The report contrasts sharply 
with North's repeated descriptions of himself as a White House 
subordinate who loyally followed orders. "For six days," Walsh 
wrote, "North admitted to having assisted the contras during the 
[legal] prohibition on U.S. aid, to having shredded and removed 
from the White House official documents, to having converted 
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the creation of false chronologies of the U.S. arms sales, to 
having lied to Congress and to having accepted a home security 
system... then fabricating letters regarding payment for the 
system. But, North testified, 'I don't believe I ever did anything 
that was criminal.'" 

North and his aides dismissed the report as politically 
meaningless, saying it recycled old allegations that courts already 
have rejected. North was found guilty of several charges, 
including obstructing Congress and accepting an illegal gratuity, 
but the conviction was overturned on the grounds that North's 
testimony before Congress might have been used against him. 
("North's Role in Scandal Is Denounced," The Washington Post, 
January 19) 

JANUARY - In a move designed to provide more access to 
government information, the government will provide unlimited 
free access to its AIDS-related electronic databases. Any 
individual or organization will be given a password on request 
allowing free use of the AIDS databases. The databases are 
compiled by the National Library of Medicine, the largest health 
sciences library in the world. The principal reason for dropping 
the fees for searching the databases is that members of commu- 
nity organization told the library that they could not afford the 
existing fees. Fees for using the AIDS databases averaged $18 
an hour, or $1.25 for each search. The library operates with a 
fee-for-service philosophy under congressionally mandated 
guidelines, according to NLM Director, Dr. Donald Lindberg. 
He said recent increases in the library's AIDS funds would allow 
it to offer the service free. The library has no immediate plans 
to make any of its other databases available free, he said. ("U.S. 
Data on AIDS To Be Free," The New York Times, January 25) 

JANUARY - Matthew Freedman and Jim Riccio have written a 
five-page article describing how secret internal industry docu- 
ments obtained by Public Citizen reveal that America's nuclear 
reactors have serious safety, training, and equipment problems 
that government regulators have not disclosed to the public. 
These documents show that long-standing deficiencies in these 
plants put the health and safety of the public at risk. These 
findings conflict with public assessments made by the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, the federal agency in charge of 
regulating commercial nuclear power operations. The internal 
documents are significant because they show that aging nuclear 
reactors are plagued by a variety of management and technical 
problems, many of which have not been revealed in NRC's 
public assessments. The range and frequency of NRC's omission 
raise serious concerns about the credibility of regulators and 
their willingness to acknowledge potential safety hazards at 
nuclear reactors. "These documents show that citizens need 
greater access to accurate information about nuclear power 
plants," said Bill Magavem, director of Public Citizen's Critical 
Mass Energy Project. "The time has come to lift the veil of 
secrecy that shrouds this industry. TTiere's just no good excuse 
to keep the public in the dark when our health and safety may be 



at risk. " ("What the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Won't Tell 
You: Aging Reactors. Poorly Trained Workers," Public Citizen, 
January/February) 

FEBRUARY - An article by Jim Warren describes how not to 
computerize a federal agency's records. The U.S. Department 
of Justice developed JURIS, an in-house computer-assisted legal 
research system, in the late 1970s. In 1983, Justice contracted 
with West Publishing to provide computerized research services 
for its attorneys. These included providing computerized copies 
of federal case law. But in late 1993, West notified Justice that 
they were not planning to bid for the contract again, and that the 
computerized copies of the last 10 years of federal case law were 
West's private property. Additionally, West had copyrighted the 
page numbers from West's published copies of federal cases — the 
ones that are required by most federal courts for all federal 
briefs. 

Warren maintains that the JURIS situation provides lessons 
for every federal agency. He states that any contract with an 
outside provider must clearly state that: (1) the agency has the 
permanent right to receive, own and use copies of all computer- 
ized versions of its records, without restrictions, and (2) the 
agency has the right to distribute copies to any party at any time 
and permit any use of those distributed copies, unrestricted by 
the provider. An agency can't risk having a service provider 
lock up their data. Regarding public access, Warren says that 
contracts with outside providers must assure that: (1) the public 
can receive computerized copies of computerized public records 
at no greater cost than the agency pays for such copies, and (2) 
if public information is commingled with confidential, propri- 
etary or personal information in a comprehensive, structured 
information system, then the system must include the capability 
to easily and automatically remove all nonpublic information 
from computerized and printed copies. Otherwise, the agency is 
circumventing timely response to public-records requests. 
("Access: How NOT to Computerize Government Records," 
Government Technology, February) 

FEBRUARY - Under pressure to allow the release of high- 
resolution satellite imagery, Central Intelligence Agency Director 
R. James Woolsey told a Senate committee in November 1993 
that the agency and the Pentagon may begin selling the images 
themselves. The government sales could compete with the 
private sector, which has sought to end the ban on selling one- 
meter resolution satellite data. The CIA and Defense Department 
are resisting a complete lifting of the ban, claiming that hostile 
nations or groups could use the data to pinpoint targets in the 
United States. One-meter resolution is clear enough to identify 
types of cars on a road or aircraft at an airfield. The ban on the 
highest resolution spy data, which reportedly can identify license 
plates from space, is unlikely to be lifted and isn't under 
discussion. 

Industry representatives at the Senate hearing urged that any 
government sales be restricted to archive photos and allow the 



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private sector to sell up-to-date material, which is more valuable 
on the market. TTiey also told the committee they would prefer 
for the government to sell only photos taken from low-tech 
cameras, leaving the high-resolution shots to the private sector. 
With the Cold War over, some satellite firms have been looking 
for customers to replace the U.S. government, which is paring 
back on intelligence expenditures. TTiese firms believe that there 
is a huge remote sensing market and are looking for permission 
to sell to foreign intelligence agencies, crop scientists, urban 
planners, utilities and state and local governments. ("Sale on Spy 
Satellite Data," Government Technology, February) 

MARCH - In early February, Public Citizen's Health Research 
Group wrote to President Clinton urging him to immediately 
reverse Reagan-Bush policies and order acceleration of a 
program to individually notify nearly 170,000 workers of serious 
health risks they incurred through exposure to cancer-causing 
chemicals and other workplace hazards. Ten years have elapsed 
since Public Citizen wrote to President Reagan requesting that 
the federal government individually notify 240,450 workers 
exposed to hazardous materials at 258 worksites surveyed in 69 
epidemiological studies funded and conducted by the National 
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A decade later, 
fewer than 30 percent of these workers covered by only a 
handful of studies have been notified. ("Unfinished Business," 
Health Letter, March) 

MARCH - The CIA and Defense Department should streamline 
procedures for classifying information and devote far more 
attention to deciding who should have access to national secrets, 
a government-appointed commission of former intelligence and 
defense officials told the Clinton Administration. In a bow to 
public interest groups who contend the government has classified 
far too much information, the commission urged the Administra- 
tion to authorize the automatic declassification of most secrets 
within 25 years. Under the commission's plan, narrow excep- 
tions to the 25-year declassification rule would be allowed for 
information that might jeopardize a human mtelligence source or 
certain military capabilities. No such rule now exists, and last 
year some CIA and Defense Department officials protested a less 
demanding draft proposal for automatic document declassifica- 
tion after 40 years. 

In another potentially controversial recommendation, the 
commission proposed to abolish the existing system of classify- 
ing national security documents as "confidential," "secret," "top 
secret," and "top secret-[codeword]." In its place would be a 
simpler system with just two categories: "secret" and "secret- 
controlled access." This new approach would eliminate some of 
the myriad rules and regulations associated with protecting an 
estimated 300 separate categories of the most sensitive govern- 
ment information, the commission said. It cited the complaint of 
a senior military officer that current safeguards require protect- 
ing what is, in effect, "every blade of grass on a baseball 
field.... [using 100 players], when only four persons to protect 



home plate would suffice." ("Panel Urges Simpler Procedures 
on Government Secrets, Access," The Washington Post, March 
2) 

MARCH - On March 23, the Information Security Oversight 
Office released the 1993 "Report to the President," the eleventh 
annual report to examine the information security program under 
Executive Order 12356. In 1993, the total of all classification 
actions reported for FY 1993 increased 1 percent to 6,408,688. 
The Department of Defense accounted for 58 percent of all 
classification decisions; CIA 25 percent; Justice 13 percent; State 
3 percent; and all other agencies, 1 percent. Under the systemat- 
ic review program, agencies reviewed 9,038,144 pages of 
historically valuable records, 16 percent fewer than in FY 1992; 
and declassified 6,588,456 pages, 30 percent fewer than in FY 
1992. 

MARCH - The Clinton Administration has decided to claim in 
federal court that all documents created by the staff of the 
National Security Council are presidential records and therefore 
not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. If implemented, 
the policy change would end many years of established practice 
m which past administrations acknowledged that the NSC created 
both presidential records and agency records and that agency 
records were subject to disclosure under the Freedom of 
Information Act. 

The FOIA applies to the records of federal agencies; it does 
not apply to presidential records, which by law are deposited in 
federal archives after presidents leave office. The Administra- 
tion's legal strategy responds to adverse court rulings in 
Armstrong v. the Executive Office of the President, a case in 
which ALA is a plaintiff. The Administration's strategy hinges 
on the assertion that the NSC is not an "agency" for purposes of 
FOIA, but functions solely as an adviser to the president on 
matters of national security. The argument portends controversy 
for an administration that has boasted of a commitment to 
greater openness in government. "Every prior administration has 
admitted the National Security Council has a dual function," said 
Tom Blanton, executive director of the National Security 
Archive. "One function is presidential, the other function is 
agency... and the White House knows it." 

Acknowledging that if the legal argument prevails it would 
render moot the FOIA process. President Clinton directed March 
24 that a new disclosure review process be created within the 
NSC that will mirror FOIA by creating "procedures for access 
by the public to appropriate NSC records." Administration 
officials acknowledged that such a process would not provide the 
same legal remedies to seek enforcement in federal court. 
Blanton derided to proposal as a "trust-me FOIA." ("Clinton 
Tries to Limit Access to NSC Data," Ttie Washington Post, 
March 26) 

APRIL - A House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on April 1 1 
in Cincinnati was to receive testimony about questions surround- 



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ing radiation tests on humans at the University of Cincinnati 
from 1960 to 1971. Dr. Eugene Saenger, and his colleagues 
conducted experiments on 88 cancer patients, ages 9 to 84, 
exposing them to intense doses of radiation and recording their 
physical and mental responses. All but one of the patients were 
terminally ill, most were poor, and 60 percent were black. The 
Cincinnati study exposed patients to the highest levels of whole- 
body radiation and, some experts say, probably caused the most 
deaths of all the know government-sponsored radiation experi- 
ments since World War II. There is disagreement about how 
many died of radiation poisoning rather than cancer. But whole- 
body radiation has been discounted by doctors as an accepted 
cancer treatment in all but a handful of cancers, among them 
leukemia. 

One issue to be discussed is the propriety of concealing 
information about the effects of high-dose radiation from 
patients. In summaries to the Pentagon, Dr. Saenger said 
patients were not to be informed. "The patient is told that is to 
receive treatment to help his sickness," he wrote in 1961. 
"There is no discussion of subjective reactions resulting from the 
treatment. Other physicians, nurses and ward personnel are 
instructed not to discuss these aspects with the patient." By 
subjective symptoms, he meant vomiting, abdominal pain, 
diarrhea, weakness and mental confusion. Dr. Saenger's lawyer 
said, "There was a genuine belief that the patients would benefit 
from the study and, by the way, there would be information 
developed for the Department of Defense." 

But Dr. David Egilman, a former instructor in family 
medicine at the University of Cincinnati and now clinical 
assistant professor of community health at Brown University, 
said that even in the 1960s, whole-body radiation had been 
largely discounted for treating colon, stomach, lung and breast 
tumors. "The study was designed to test the effect of radiation 
on soldiers," said Dr. Egilman, who has studied Dr. Saenger's 
experiment and is scheduled to testify at the congressional 
hearing. "It was known when the study began that whole body 
radiation wouldn't treat the types of cancer these patients had. 
What happened here is one of the worst things this Government 
has ever done to its citizens in secret." ("Cold War Radiation 
Test on Humans to Undergo a Congressional Review," The New 
York Times, April 11) 

APRIL - Forest Service employees who speak out are discredit- 
ed, and scientific reports are routinely changed to support the 
interests of the timber industry, according to a report by The 
Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit interest group. "Scientif- 
ic fraud and crass intimidation" occur at virtually every national 
forest, said the report, titled "Sleeping With the Industry— The 
U.S. Forest Service and Timber Interests." "For years, the 
service has been one of the most mismanaged, poorly led, 
politically manipulated and corrupt agencies in the federal 
government." The Center completed the report after interviewing 
dozens of industry officials, congressional staffs and environ- 
mentalists. It also examined thousands of government docu- 



ments, campaign spending records and congressional testimony. 
The report primarily targets the "cozy relationship" between 
timber industry officials and Forest Service managers who 
oversee logging programs. 

Critics of the Forest Service were encouraged because 
biologist Jack Ward Thomas is the new chief of the agency, has 
shown interest in reforming the agency and its treatment of 
employees. In his first memo to employees, Thomas told them 
to "obey the law." However, the report says, "A year into the 
Clinton-Gore tenure, reform of the agency and its policies has 
come slowly or in many areas, has failed to materialize at ail- 
often because of the administration's unwillingness to stand up 
to powerful timber-state politicians." The Forest Service's 
reputation for "muzzling" its employees is well-documented, the 
report said. An Agriculture Department spokesman said many of 
the incidents of retaliation happened during the Bush Administra- 
tion. ("Forest Service Cited for 'Muzzling' Critics," Federal 
Times, April 25) 

APRIL - His heirs plan to continue former president Richard 
Nixon's 20-year fight to control more than 3,000 hours of White 
House tapes and 150,000 pages of Presidential papers, his 
lawyer said. But legal experts said Nixon's death may speed the 
release of the records, which are locked away at the National 
Archives and have never been made available to scholars or 
journalists. The tapes and papers were crucial to Nixon's 
struggle to re-establish his reputation. Starting two months after 
he resigned as President in 1974, he filed lawsuits to stop the 
release of the records. TTie last suit was filed in mid- April. 
Unless his family fights as hard and as well as he did, historians 
may be mining rich new veins of Nixon's hidden history. 

Only 63 hours of the tapes, provided to the federal grand 
jury in the Watergate affair, have been made public. Their 
famous passages include Nixon's advice that his aides "stone- 
wall" federal investigators and his response to demands for hush 
money from the men arrested in the June 1972 break-in at 
Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate office building: 
"You could get a million dollars. And you could get it in cash. 
I know where it could be gotten." Patti Goldman, a lawyer 
representing Stanley Kutler, a University of Wisconsin historian, 
said "the struggle is over who will control the tapes, who will 
control what the public will see and hear." She added: "Nixon 
really didn't want the tapes out. 1 don't know if his goal was to 
delay their release until he died or longer. It may be that he 
accomplished what he wanted." 

But Nixon's lawyer, R. Stan Mortenson, said the battle will 
not end with Nixon's death. "The suits will continue," he said. 
Mortenson said Nixon had a right to privacy even after death, 
although he could not cite a legal basis for that concept. Other 
legal experts said the claim of privacy would diminish after 
Nixon's death. ("Nixon Heirs Keep Up Fight to Control Papers 
and Tapes," 77;<' New York Times, April 26) 

[Ed. Note: Richard Nixon left the bulk of this estate to the 



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Nixon Library. Although the will does not indicate the value of 
the estate, it shows Nixon made a $1.45 million contribution to 
the Nixon Library in 1992, and pledged $1.2 million in 1993. 
The will was filed May 11 in the Bergen County Surrogate's 
Court in New Jersey. Control of his personal diaries, tapes and 
transcripts was given to his two daughters. ("Nixon's Will 
Leaves Tapes to Family," The Washington Post, May 18)] 

MAY - The Food and Drug Administration officially launched 
a long-awaited nutritional label design for packaged, processed 
foods to help Americans make healthier choices of the food they 
buy. The clearer labels, mandated by the Nutrition Labeling and 
Education Act of 1990, feature large type and offer simple 
guides to fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber and other 
nutritional components. Each nutrient is described in terms of 
the percentage of recommended "daily values" and the labels use 
common-sense serving sizes, such as 20 potato chips instead of 
1 ounce. "We're witnessing a public health milestone and a 
victory for consumers," said Michael Jacobson, director of the 
Center for Science in the Public Interest and a long-time 
advocate of clear nutritional information on foods. "For the first 
time, consumers will be able to see what they're getting— and 
trust what they're seeing." ("Read It and (Maybe) Eat," The 
Washington Post, May 3) 

[Ed. note: Earlier issues of "Less Access" documented the 
controversy about the labels between the FDA and food proces- 
sors over what information would be included in the labels and 
how it would be presented.) 

MAY - Over the decades of their existence, mistrust and 
outright distaste have developed between the nation's premier 
law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 
and premier intelligence organization, the Central Intelligence 
Agency. The case of superspy Aldrich Ames, which has 
spawned allegations that the CIA withheld vital information from 
FBI investigators about Ames and other potential spy cases, has 
led to renewed calls for overhauling the way the U.S. 
government conducts counterintelligence. 

The FBI-CIA tensions stem partly from bureaucratic rivalry 
and confusion caused by overlapping responsibilities for counter- 
intelligence activity. Both have officers stationed overseas, but 
the CIA is more interested in traditional spying, which involves 
protecting sources and avoiding public disclosures, while the FBI 
often wants to pursue law enforcement cases by bringing 
wrongdoers to court. The most publicized fights have occurred 
over the sharing of information. The FBI has charged in private 
congressional testimony — and more recently in material supplied 
to the White House— that the CIA failed to inform the bureau of 
information it had relating to as many as a dozen counterintelli- 
gence cases. The most recent example cited in the CIA's 
withholding from the FBI information about Ames' difficulties 
with a 1991 jxjlygraph test. 

The CIA has said that the FBI failed to ask for the polygraph 



information and has rebutted each of the bureau's other allega- 
tions. CIA officials also have noted that the FBI conducted a 
number of operations abroad without notifying the agency, in 
violation of standard procedure. President Clinton is expected to 
sign a presidential order outlining new counterintelligence 
practices, trying to head off congressional proposals to resolve 
the long-standing FBI-CIA dispute with legislation that would 
spell out respective responsibilities. Many insiders are skeptical 
that the new presidential directive will work. "You can't 
legislate behavior," said one FBI official. "If the CIA thinks 
something is wrong and won't tell anyone, then you won't know 
to ask for the files." ("Interagency FBI-CIA Tensions Defy 
Decades of Efforts to Resolve Them," The Washington Post, 
May 3) 

MAY - U.S. government researchers conducted radiation tests 
on still-bom babies in Chicago during the 1950s, the Department 
of Energy reported, in the latest revelation about the wide-scale 
use of humans in Cold War experiments. In the Chicago tests, 
scientists cremated 44 newly deceased infants and measured the 
amount of strontium 90, a radioactive substance, in the remains. 
Parents were probably not notified or asked permission for the 
use of their children in the experiments, according to DOE 
officials. The tests were part of Project Sunshine, a massive 
study conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission, a forerun- 
ner of DOE, to determine the long-term effects of nuclear 
radiation fallout on humans. Strontium 90 is among the radioac- 
tive particles that typically linger in the body following nuclear 
weapons tests. 

The release of long-classified information about the Chicago 
Baby Project — following recent reports about the use of mentally 
retarded teenagers, ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged 
groups in radiation tests — raises new questions about what ethical 
standards the federal government used in its conduct of Cold 
War research. DOE officials released documents about the baby 
tests as part of its mission to inform the American public about 
the extent that federal researchers involved humans in radiation 
experiments between the early 1940s and the 1970s. 

After Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary expressed outrage 
about the radiation experiments earlier this year. President 
Clinton appointed an interagency committee to investigate the 
tests and determine whether the victims should be compensated. 
Don Peterson, a retired Los Alamos researcher familiar with the 
tests, defended them in an interview. "There was probably no 
other way for science to obtain this kind of information at the 
time," he said. "The use of rats or other animals would not 
obtain the same results. This was a case of children who were 
no longer beneficial to the population being able to provide 
information that was enormously important for the rest of the 
world's children," he said. ("Stillborn Babies Used in '50s 
Radiation Tests," The Washington Post, May 3) 

MAY - Representative Jim Leach (R-lowa), the ranking 
Republican on the House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 



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January - June 1994 



Committees, sued federal regulators for release of documents 
relating to the Whitewater investigation, saying they cannot 
choose to withhold the material just because it might be embar- 
rassing to the president. For six months. Leach has been seeking 
documents relating to Whitewater and a failed Arkansas savings 
and loan, Madison Guaranty. Most of his requests have been 
denied on privacy or other grounds by the Office of Thrift 
Supervision, the agency that regulates S&Ls, and the Resolution 
Trust Corp., the agency created to dispose of hundreds of failed 
thrifts. 

Leach said that in the past regulators routinely provided 
inaterials to the Banking Committee minority on many other 
S&Ls, including some that were the subjects of sensitive 
criminal investigations. Among them were Lincoln Savings and 
Loan, run by Charles Keating, Jr., and Silverado Savings and 
Loan, where President George Bush's son Neil was a director. 
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., 
maintains that regulators are preventing Leach from fulfilling his 
oversight duties as the banking panel's ranking minority 
member. 

OTS and RTC have said they would provide Madison records 
if they are requested by the Banking Committee chairman, 
Representative Henry Gonzalez (D-Texas). Gonzalez has tned to 
block congressional investigation of Madison, going so far as 
writing to RTC and OTS officials to urge them not to provide 
materials to Leach. Lawyers for Leach are seeking to have the 
lawsuit placed on a judicial fast track. ("Leach Sues to Force 
Release of Whitewater Files," The Washington Post, May 12) 

MAY - The task of keeping millions and millions of government 
documents away from prying eyes still keeps more than 32,400 
workers employed full time, according to the first-ever tally by 
government agencies. And the government may be spending 
more than $16 billion a year to safeguard a growing stockpile of 
national security secrets created or managed by these workers, 
industry estimates and the new accounting for the Office of 
Management and Budget show. Eighty-one percent of this cost, 
or an estimate $13.8 billion, reflects what defense contractors 
told the federal government they were billing Washington for 
classification expenses in 1989. No contractor estimates have 
been made since then, but experts believe the costs may still be 
in that range despite a decline in defense spending. An additional 
$2.28 billion reflects what federal agencies told OMB this spring 
they will spend this year to protect classified information. And 
$200 million more reflects what the intelligence community 
recently estimated it is spending on security, a classified figure 
that many government officials and independent experts describe 
as an understatement. 

About 31,000 of the full-time employees safeguarding 
classified documents are attached the Defense Department. But 
even the Department of Interior has the equivalent of 30 full- 
time workers assigned to protect secrets related to national 
security. The Department of Education allocates $7,378 to write 
a classification guide and installing $7,264 worth of secure 



telephones this year. An Education Department spokesman said 
they were needed for discussions of travel plans by "foreign 
education officials" and reports to other agencies about student 
loan defaults. ("32,400 Workers Stockpiling U.S. Secrets," The 
Washington Post, May 15) 

MAY - The Pentagon in 1953 secretly adopted the Nuremberg 
Code for protecting humans involved in Cold War scientific 
experiments, according to official documents released in 
mid-May. But Defense Department officials may have withheld 
the guidelines from researchers who were using military 
personnel in radiation experiments at the time. The 1953 
document issued by the Secretary of Defense set the terms for 
using humans in scientific research. The two-page statement 
included provisions saying "the voluntary consent of the human 
subject is absolutely essential" and that facilities should be 
provided to protect the subjects' "even remote possibility of 
injury, disability or death." 

The document was classified, however, indicating access was 
limited to senior defense officials. The Pentagon has acknowl- 
edged Army personnel were widely used by department 
researchers, including many unlikely to have seen the classified 
code, for radiation experiments during the 1940s, 1950s and 
beyond. The Pentagon declassified the code in 1975. Researchers 
who have studied the radiation experiments believed the United 
States had no written policy on the experiments until the 1960s. 
("Defense Kept Radiation Test Policy Secret," The Washington 
Post, May 19) 

MAY - At the time of the August 1991 attempted coup against 
then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the Bush Administra- 
tion gave intelligence support to Boris Yeltsin that helped the 
Russian president emerge as a hero from that event, according 
to an article in The Atlantic Monthly. American officials in 
Moscow, with access to U.S. intercepts of Soviet defense 
communications, were ordered by the Bush White House to tell 
Yeltsin that Soviet military units were not responding to calls by 
the coup leaders, according to the article by Washington 
journalist Seymour Hersh. In addition, Hersh writes, an Ameri- 
can communications specialist was sent to Yeltsin's headquarters 
in the Russian parliament office building "with communications 
gear and assigned to help Yeltsin and his followers make their 
own secure telephone calls to their own secure telephone calls to 
the various military commanders." Yeltsin urged the 
commanders not join in the coup, Hersh says. 

Although previously published reports have documented how 
then-President George Bush in June 1991 warned Gorbachev that 
a coup was being planned against him, the Hersh article is the 
first indication that intelligence support was subsequently given 
to Yeltsin during the actual event. Hersh writes that Congress 
was not informed of the intelligence support given Yeltsin 
despite newly signed legislation that required the president to do 
so. ("Bush Aided Yeltsin in '91 Coup, New Report Say," The 
Washington Post, May 15) 



ALA Washington Office 



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January - June 1994 



MAY - The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticide 
and the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides have 
sued the Environmental Protection Agency, accusing it of 
breaking the law by refusing to release the names of all ingredi- 
ents in pesticides. TTie EPA allows pesticide makers to keep 
some inert ingredients off pesticide labels by calling them trade 
secrets, according to the two groups. Inert ingredients are any of 
more than 2,300 substances, including chemicals that are active 
and possibly toxic, the groups said. A substance qualifies as inert 
if it plays no role in the killing of the pest that the product is 
made to eliminate, the groups said. The suit asks the court to 
declare the policy illegal and to order the agency to five the 
groups a list of all ingredients in six pesticides. "This is one of 
few laws that precludes access to basic information about toxic 
ingredients," said Jay Feldman, of the National Coalition 
Against the Misuse of Pesticides. 

In April 1991, the groups asked the EPA for the ingredients 
in six pesticides — Aatrex SOW, Weedone LV4, Roundup, 
Velpar, Garlon 3 A and Tordon 101. EPA initially denied the 
request, saying the ingredients were "confidential business 
information" and exempt from disclosure. But the agency said 
it would make a final decision after consulting manufacturers. 
EPA gave the groups a list of the ingredients in three of the 
pesticides the following December, but all the inert chemicals 
were blacked out. Makers of the remaining three pesticides 
claimed blanket confidentiality for all ingredients, the agency 
said. ("Groups Sue E.P.A. for Pesticide Ingredients," 77?^ New 
York Times, May 21) 



MAY/JUNE - In a two-page article attorney Mike Tankersley 
summarizes the history and current status of Armstrong v. 
Executive Office of the President. Tankersley, who is with Public 
Citizen's Litigation Group, has been the lead attorney for the 
plaintiffs, which include the American Library Association. 
Tankersley points out that by the year 2000, according to a 1990 
estimate by the Congressional Research Service, 75 percent of 
all federal government transactions will be handled electronical- 
ly. Yet the Clinton Administration, like the two administrations 
before it, has maintained that the government has no obligation 
to preserve its electronic records and information they contain. 
Only through litigation pursued by Public Citizen over the last 
five years has the White House been forced by court order to 
"reinvent" the way electronic records are handled so that 
officials are no longer permitted to erase the blemishes of their 
tenure at the touch of a button. 
Tankersley concludes his article: 

Most importantly, the rulings secured by Public Citizen in 
this case apply not only to the White House, but to the 
electronic records of all federal agencies. As the Clinton 
administration promotes the use of advanced technologies by 
the federal agencies, the implementation of proper electronic 
record keeping practices in these agencies will become 
increasingly important to prevent the wholesale loss of 
historical records and protect the public's right to scrutinize 
the activities of the federal government. 
("The Medium Redux: Courts Order Preservation of Govern- 
ment's Electronic Records," Public Citizen, May /June) 



MAY - Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary's campaign to open the 
nation's atomic complex to public scrutiny has stumbled on the 
seeming inability of her department to assemble reliable figures 
on its production of plutonium, the main ingredient of nuclear 
warheads. Experts say crude tallies and shifting numbers raise 
new doubts about the government's carefulness in guarding one 
of the deadliest substances on earth. In the past, private experts 
have charged that federal plants were sloppy and prime targets 
for atomic theft and diversion. 

The current trouble arose when private experts at the Natural 
Resources Defense Council, which specializes in nuclear issues, 
found a discrepancy between their calculations of plutonium 
production and what Mrs. O'Leary had announced last Decem- 
ber. The gap was 1.5 metric tons, enough to make 300 nuclear 
weapons. Federal officials play down the discrepancy and say 
they have raised their production estimate to erase virtually ail 
of the calculated gap. But private experts accuse the government 
of a laxity that raises questions about the plutonium's where- 
abouts. Inconsistent numbers might also have diplomatic 
repercussions, since the declassified figures on plutonium 
production that Mrs. O'Leary delivered to her counterpart in 
Russia have turned out to be wrong. ("Experts Say U.S. Fails 
to Account for Its Plutonium," Vie New York Times, May 21) 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have been 
compiled in two indexed volumes covering the periods 
April 1981 -December 1987 and January 1988-December 
^99^. Less Access... updates are available for $1.00; the 
1981-1987 volume is $7.00; the 1988-1991 volume is 
$10.00. To order, contact the American Library Associa- 
tion Washington Office, 110 Maryland Avenue, NE, 
Washington, DC 20002-5675; 202-547-4440, fax 202- 
547-7363. All orders must be prepaid and must include 
a self-addressed mailing label. 



ALA Washington OfTice 



June 1994 







ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

110 Maryland Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel: 202-547-4440 FAX: 202-547-7363 Email: alawash@alawash.org 

December 1994 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION B 

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXIII 

A 1994 Chronology: June - December 




INTRODUCTION 

For the past 13 years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented Administration efforts to restrict and privatize 
government information. 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 
govenmient information control powers, particularly through 
Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources. 
0MB issued a revision of the circular in the July 2, 1993, 
Federal Register, changing its restrictive interpretation of the 
definition of "government publication" to which ALA had 
objected in OMB's draft circulars. 

In their first two years in office, the Clinton Administration 
has improved public access to govenmient information. The 
President signed P.L. 103-40, the Government Printing Office 
Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act. The implemen- 
tation of the law in June 1994 provides electronic government 
information to the public through the Depository Library 
Program. Government information is more accessible through 
computer networks and the Freedom of Information Act. A 
government information locator service (GILS) was established 
in early December. Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary started a 
campaign to open govenmient files on Cold War radiation testing 
of humans. The Administration's national information infrastruc- 
ture initiatives include government stimulus for connectivity and 
applications in health care, education, libraries, and provision of 
government information. 

However, there are still barriers to access. For example, the 
Clinton Administration, like the two administrations before it, 
has maintained that the government has no obligation to preserve 
its electronic records and the information they contain. National 
Performance Review recommendations to "reinvent government" 
to have every federal agency responsible for disseminating 
information to the nation's 1 ,400 depository libraries could result 



in a literal "tower of babel" as the American public would be 
forced to search through hundreds of federal agencies for 
publications they need. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to use 
computer and telecommunication technologies for data collection, 
storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend has resulted in 
the increased emergence of contractual arrangements with com- 
mercial firms to disseminate information collected at taxpayer 
expense, higher user charges for govenmient information, and 
the proliferation of government information available in elec- 
tronic format only. While automation clearly offers promises of 
savings, 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 have 
begun to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public 
access to government information should be increased. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open 
government is vital to a democracy. A January 1984 resolution 
passed by 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 information, and to develop 
support for improvements in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions. Previous 
chronologies were compiled in two ALA Washington Office 
indexed publications. Less Access to Less Information By and 
About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 Chronology, and Less 
Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. The following chronology 
continues the tradition of a semi-aimual update. 



Less Access. 



June - December 1994 



CHRONOLOGY 

JUNE - Although the White House earlier had decided not to 
require financial disclosure reports from several outside political 
consultants, those consultants with White House passes were 
required to file financial disclosure forms listing their clients and 
detailing their assets, liabilities, and sources of income. Chief of 
Staff Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty issued the directive, which 
will apply to political advisers James Carville and Paul Begala, 
media adviser Mandy Grunwald and pollster Stan Greenberg. 

McLarty's order follows public pressure from Republican 
members of Congress and newspaper editorial writers who said 
the influential consultants were effectively working for the 
Administration and should be subject to disclosure rules. There 
was no public announcement of the directive. 

Begala said that his work for clients already is publicly 
available through Federal Election Commission financial 
disclosure reports but that he was happy to file the forms. "My 
view was I've already disclosed everything," said Begala. 
("White House Orders Consultants to Disclose Finances," The 
Washington Post, June 10) 

JUNE - Senate Democrats and Republicans proposed sharply 
conflicting plans for hearings on the Whitewater controversy, 
triggering a rancorous debate in which they accused each other 
of trying to stack the hearings to serve their own partisan 
interests. The latest eruption of political hostilities about 
Whitewater came after Republicans declared an impasse in two 
months of negotiations between Majority Leader George J. 
Mitchell (D-ME) and Minority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-KS) 
over a compromise on timing, scope, and structure of the 
inquiry. Republicans then brought the issue to the Senate floor, 
accusing the Democrats of insisting on rules that would turn the 
hearings into a "mockery and a sham," as Sen. Alfonse M. 
D'Amato (R-NY) put it. Democrats responded by accusing the 
Republicans of attempting to stage a "political circus" to 
embarrass President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham 
Clinton. ("Senate Democrats, GOP Propose Divergent White- 
water Plans," The Washington Post, June 10) 

JUNE - The House of Representatives agreed to make public 
interview transcripts and other documents from an internal 
investigation of the House Post Office just hours after U.S. 
Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. said he no longer objected to their 
release. Disclosure of the documents represented an effort by the 
House to get past mismanagement of the House Post Office that 
led to convictions of eight former employees and the indictment 
in early June of Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski 
(D-IL) on 17 charges, most unrelated to the post office's 
operations. "We need to put this sorry episode behind us, and 
the release of these documents will go a long ways towards that 
goal," House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel (R-IL) said. 

Two House members, one appointed by House Majority 
Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) and one named by Michel, 



are to review the documents. They must agree on withholding 
any records deemed irrelevant to issues raised in the probe. 
House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-WA) and other Democrats 
argued that some transcripts should not be released if the House 
employees interviewed had been promised confidentiality. 

"We accepted hearsay. We accepted gossip. We accepted 
innuendo, and I'm afraid, some lies," warned retiring Rep. Al 
Swift (D-WA), a task force member. "The testimony we are 
about to release is unreliable for any other purpose." But Rep. 
Pat Roberts (R-KS), another task force member, denied that the 
transcripts showed that any witnesses were promised their words 
would be kept secret. Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), who was on the 
task force, said it was committee investigators who signed a 
confidentiality pledge because "we were concerned about the 
staff leaking information." Several Republicans, including Reps. 
Robert S. Walker (R-PA) and John A. Boehner (R-OH), 
described the release of the documents not as the end that Michel 
saw but the beginning of further investigation, perhaps by the 
House Ethics Committee. ("House Agrees to Release Post Office 
Probe Records," The Washington Post, June 10) 

JUNE - For years. Pentagon officials issued checks to military 
contractors without keeping rack of what they were paying for. 
It was a fast and convenient way to pay Defense Department 
bills. It was also wrong, says the official President Clinton 
appointed to put the military's books in order. To impose 
discipline on the Pentagon's notoriously uintidy accounting 
system. Pentagon Comptroller John J. Hamre has temporarily 
frozen payments to military contractors on a number of housing 
construction, property maintenance, and other projects on which 
a total of $300 million was spent without proper accounting 
records. Payment on additional programs could also be stopped, 
said Pentagon officials who say another $10 billion was never 
adequately matched to the corresponding contracts. 

"We cannot continue these ad hoc practices," Hamre wrote 
in a directive ordering corrective action, dated March 3 1 but not 
publicized at the time. "As a department, we have become 
complacent to accept negative balances as the product of errors 
with few people feeling responsible for correcting the problem. " 

"We built an accounting system that is highly decentralized 
in order to get money to contractors quickly," said one Pentagon 
budget expert. "But it's primitive and dependent on outdated 
technology. Consequently, money got paid out without being 
lined up with the contracts that were being paid off." ("Comp- 
troller Takes Aim at Lax Pentagon Bookkeeping," The Washing- 
ton Post, June 10) 

JUNE - Transportation Secretary Federico Pena ordered a 
review of the Federal Aviation Administration's handling of 
allegations the Boeing 757 produces unusually strong turbulence 
in its wake that can be dangerous to following small aircraft. 
The review will examine the speed of the agency's reaction to 



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safety-related information as well as its procedures for providing 
full information to the public. 

Pena's review was prompted by Los Angeles Times articles 
on 757 wake turbulence, including one alleging former FAA 
chief scientist Robert Machol's warning the 757 could cause a 
"major crash" was ignored. The review also is to determine 
whether the agency properly followed procedures under the 
Freedom of Information Act in providing documents to the 
Times and whether some documents were withheld improperly. 
The paper said the FAA fought release of the documents. FAA 
Administrator David R. Hinson said in a statement FAA's 
actions "appropriately address safety issues relating to the wake 
vortex matter. I nonetheless believe strongly that the public is 
entitled to be assured that the FAA has acted, and can act in the 
future, with appropriate speed when the facts warrant. " Hinson 
also directed an agencywide review of responses to FOIA 
requests. 

The Times FOIA request, agency officials said, was handled 
at a low level and Hinson's office was never informed. The 
officials indicated they believe bungling, rather than deliberate 
withholding of information, may be involved. "It looked like we 
had something to hide, and that was not the case," said FAA 
spokeswoman Sandra Allen. ("FAA to Review Safety Order," 
The Washington Post, June 11) 

JULY - Despite the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet 
Union, the United States still spends in the neighborhood of $16 
billion a year to classify and protect national security documents, 
according a recent report by the Office of Management and 
Budget. In addition to the money that agencies spend on secure 
telephones, alarms and special electronic gadgets, OMB esti- 
mates that the government pays the salaries of 32,400 workers 
employed full-time in security work. 

It appears clear that classification costs are not going down 
any time soon. President Clinton has said he wants to reduce the 
number of classified documents, but in his first year in office 
54,000 more documents were classified than in President Bush's 
last year in office. And the number of documents declassified 
went down by 30 percent, from 9.4 million in 1992 to 6.6 
million in 1993. ("Still Keeping Secrets," Government Executive, 
July) 

JULY - The federal government spent more than $25 billion 
buying, operating, and maintaining electronic information 
systems in 1993. But a General Accounting Office study found 
little evidence that the massive investment in new technology has 
made agencies more efficient in managing information. Instead, 
GAO officials say, tales of mismanaged data continue to mount: 

■ In 1991, Medicare mistakenly paid out $1 billion for services 
already covered by other insurers, due in part of inadequate 
data. 

■ In 1990, the Department of Education gave millions of 
dollars in Stafford Student Loans to students who had either 
defaulted or exceeded their legal loan limits. 



■ Also in 1990, federal law-enforcement agencies released 
highly sensitive information on witnesses and informants, due 
to poor computer security. 

("Drowning in Data," Government Executive, July) 

JULY - In late July, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth 
ordered White House health-care adviser Ira Magaziner and 
other Administration officials to stand trial in a lawsuit over the 
Administration's secret Health Care Task Force. Lamberth said 
holding a trial with witnesses under oath is the only way he can 
leam the truth about the membership and structure of a working 
group and several subcommittees that did the legwork for 
President Clinton's now-disbanded task force. The lawsuit was 
brought by three groups in 1993 to open the task force's work 
to the public. 

The Federal Administrative Procedures Act allows only 
"groups comprised wholly of full-time federal officers or 
employees of the federal government" to meet in secret. Lawyer 
Kent Masterson Brown said his investigation showed that at least 
357 people who worked on the groups were not on the govern- 
ment's payroll. The judge put off ruling on a request to hold 
Magaziner in contempt of court for saying in sworn court 
documents that the panels were highly organized and com()osed 
of govenunent employees and then later painting a picture of a 
more chaotic, looser process. ("Health Advisers Ordered to 
Stand Trial," The Washington Post, July 26) 

AUGUST - The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 
charged that the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that 
manages the nation's spy satellites, has concealed from Congress 
the mushrooming cost of a $310 million compound it has been 
secretly building near Dulles International Airport. President 
Clinton declassified the existence of the proposed headquarters 
for the agency after several Senators protested to him privately 
that they had been kept in the dark about the cost and scope of 
the one million-square-foot project. The NRO, whose existence 
was an officially classified secret until two years ago, is jointly 
overseen by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department 
of Defense. The headquarters project had been publicly de- 
scribed as an office complex for Rockwell International Corp., 
the Los Angeles-based defense contractor. 

Committee Chair Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) criticized the 
Pentagon and the CIA for not providing Congress adequate 
information. The intelligence community is a culture that 
"believes we don't have to account like everybody else in 
government," he said. ("Spy Unit's Spending Stuns Hill," The 
Washington Post, August 9) 

SEPTEMBER - In a ten-page article, Arthur Morin of Fort 
Hays State University, explores the question, "What is the role 
of goverrmient in data collection and dissemination?" He says 
that the Office of Management and Budget is involved in 
regulating the flow of government information in at least four 
ways: its participation in the development and implementation of 



ALA Washington OfTice 



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June - December 1994 



government information and statistical policy; the setting of 
budgets for centralized statistical agencies; the forms review 
process, and control of the information collection budget. 

The author concludes that during the Reagan Administration, 
OMB tried to tighten the flow of government data. His inclina- 
tion is to view information and statistical data as social goods, 
not as economic commodities. He argues that: 

...contrary to economic commodities, the value of data 
increases as its use increases. Statistical data have historical 
as well as contemporary value; consequently, their full worth 
cannot be adequately measured by market values. Private 
firms will provide statistical data only as long as it is 
profitable to do so, and profit is a short-term phenomenon. 
The discount rate of information, and long-term benefits of 
information, are virtually impossible for the market to 

measure 

Reliability and continuity of data may be more problemat- 
ic if data collection were left to the private sector. Indeed, 
EIA [Energy Information Administration] was created in part 
because of the distrust of industry figures.... 

The questions of legitimacy, authority, and independence, 

of who defines 'quality standards,' whether private firms 

have the resources or incentive to match the scale at which 

data are collected by the government, and whether private 

firms could match the economy of scale achieved by the 

government. . . lead us to believe that it would be dangerous 

to underestimate the importance of the role of government in 

data acquisition. Given that information is a social good, I 

believe it is better to err in collecting too much rather than 

too little data. 

("Regulating the Flow of Data: OMB and the Control of 

Government Information," Public Administration Review, 

September/October) 

SEPTEMBER - The Clinton Administration initially proposed 
a news blackout during the first six or eight hours of the planned 
invasion of Haiti, but compromised on coverage with the four 
television networks. In a meeting with network executives. 
Administration officials agreed to accept a voluntary embargo on 
the broadcasting of sensitive pictures for one hour after U.S. 
troops arrived in Haiti. The television executives said they would 
withhold footage that might disclose the location of troop 
landings because of the background or other landmarks. 

The Bush Administration imposed a total news blackout 
during the first 12 hours of the February 1991 ground offensive 
against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. The blackout was 
quickly lifted when the operation proved a success, prompting 
complaints from some journalists that the Administration was 
simply trying to block reporting of possible casualties for 
political reasons. ("White House, Networks Agree on 1-Hour 
Blackout," The Washington Post, September 18) 

OCTOBER - Open-government advocates complain the Clinton 
Administration is not living up to its promise to improve access 



to government records under the Freedom of Information Act. 
The Administration adopted an official policy in October 1993 
to be more op>en than its Republican predecessors. But critics say 
it is nearly as hard as ever to wrestle government documents out 
of a reluctant bureaucracy. 

The government has been holding seminars to promote easier 
access to government documents. One problem: no additional 
money to help process the flood of new requests. Critics say the 
Administration still uses the old excuses, broad claims of 
national security and privacy rights, to keep information under 
wraps. In late September, former Lebanon hostage Terry 
Anderson sued the government for denying him access to 
government records about his nearly seven years in captivity. 
"National security is a legitimate exception," says Stuart 
Newberger, Anderson's attorney. "I'm sure some things should 
be kept secret, but everything in the file?" Anderson says the 
government is using "silly reasons, like the privacy rights of a 
terrorist," to keep his files secret. ("The New 'Openess' Is Open 
for Debate," USA Today, October 3) 

OCTOBER - As the 103rd Congress left Washington in 
October, it passed by voice vote a controversial bill that 
guarantees the govenmaent will be able to tap conversations 
carried on sophisticated telephone networks that are being built. 
The bill requires that telephone companies build features into the 
new systems that would let the government eavesdrop. Authori- 
ties would continue to need court approval to do so. The 
legislation is a modified version of earlier Clinton Administration 
proposals that ignited intense criticism from industry and civil 
liberties activists. 

After intensive negotiations conducted over several months, 
legislators crafted a compromise that seemed to satisfy technolo- 
gy companies as well as one privacy group, the Electronic 
Frontier Foundation. "The FBI director's made this a drop-dead 
issue," said Jerry Berman, EFF's policy director, "So when we 
had the alternative of letting legislation move that was totally 
unacceptable or crafting a responsible bill, we thought we should 
work with it." The American Civil Liberties Union remains 
critical of the legislation. "There's a principle here that seems to 
be insidious," said Laura Murphy Lee, who directs the ACLU's 
Washington Office. Companies are being asked not just to 
acquiesce to legal wiretaps but to alter technology to accommo- 
date them, Lee said. "It seems that these wiretaps are so useless 
in a number of cases and invade the privacy of so many," she 
said. 

Proponents argue that the negotiated bill offers citizens more 
protection from surveillance than do existing laws. For example, 
it requires that law officers have a search warrant before they 
can get records of an individual's online transactions, something 
they can now get with a simple subpoena. The legislation 
authorizes the government to give phone companies $500 million 
over the next four years to tailor existing digital networks so that 
they can be tapped. Phone companies will be asked to pay for 
similar features in new networks. But if a company thinks those 



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December 1994 



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June - December 1994 



costs are unreasonable, it can appeal to the Federal Communica- 
tions Commission. ("Network Wiretap Bill Passes," The 
Washington Post, October 8) 

[Ed. note: A September 23 article in The Washington Post, 
"Delay Urged on Encryption Technologies," said the Office of 
Technology Assessment released a report suggesting that 
Congress consider stopping the Clinton Administration from 
using some of the data encryption technologies that have aroused 
public criticism until legislators can review the policies. It 
suggested that legislators take an active role in issues such as 
"key-escrow" encryption, a technique that would let the govern- 
ment crack scrambled phone and computer messages by putting 
the means for unlocking such communications into the hands of 
a designated group, such as a government agency. "It's essential 
to have an open debate before putting key escrow into place," 
said Joan Winston, who directed the OTA report. "Given the 
government's track record so far, the only place that debate can 
take place ojjenly is in Congress."] 

OCTOBER - In a continuing effort to open the Department of 
Energy to greater public scrutiny. Energy Secretary Hazel 
O'Leary, will unveil a plan that would strengthen the hand of its 
160,000 federal and contract employees against retaliation and 
harassment. The Energy Department runs the nation's atomic 
complex and has a long history of rocky relations with internal 
critics and whistle-blowers. The new policy would increase the 
ability of department employees and contractors to criticize 
policy and speak out on workplace issues of health, safety, the 
environment, waste, fraud, and abuse. In the past, such expres- 
sions were often squelched, at times vigorously. "These are 
experts who should be celebrated, not punished," O'Leary said. 
"We want to bring them back into the fold. We want an 
environment where employees feel safe to voice their concerns. 
We have zero tolerance for reprisals. It's as simple as that." 

News of the initiative was applauded by critics of the 
department and public-interest groups. "It's unprecedented," said 
Jeffrey Ruch, policy director of the Government Accountability 
Project, a private group based in Washington that aids whistle- 
blowers. "It apf>ears to be a real attempt to change the agency's 
culture. It's not just a breath of fresh air, it's a gale." 

Meanwhile, Dr. Alexander De Volpi, a physicist at the 
department's Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, 
recently had his computer and files sized by department security 
officials and his own security clearance threatened with suspen- 
sion when he prepared a document and article for publication 
that questioned the accuracy of some of the department's 
statements on nuclear weapons. Energy Department officials said 
his works contained secret information and should have been 
kept from the public, while he maintained the data were 
innocuous and that the seizures were punishment for his views. 
The department has 50 to 100 cases like that of De Volpi in the 
administrative or judicial system, department officials said. 
There are many other informal cases. ("Energy Dept. Giving 



Critics More Voice," The New York Times, October 16) 

OCTOBER - The government has drawn a new line in the sand 
to control military exports: technological information can be sent 
abroad if it is found in a book, but not if it is on a computer 
disk. In an action that illustrates the difficulty of preserving the 
nation's military export controls in the information age, the State 
Department has denied the request of a California engineer to 
export a computer disk that has samples of some powerful and 
widely used software encoding formulas. 

The request of the State Department's International Traffic 
in Arms Regulations Office was made during the summer by 
Philip R. Kam Jr., a San Diego telecommunications engineer 
who filed it as a challenge to the regulations. Kam argued that 
the restrictions were meaningless because the same information 
could be obtained in standard cryptographic textbooks, which 
could be sent overseas without export controls and then used by 
simply typing or scanning the data into a computer. The same 
software is already freely available on computer networks around 
the world. The dispute between Kam and the government is the 
latest in a string of battles between the National Security 
Agency, the nation's electronic spying arms, and computer 
companies and privacy advocates. The agency has tried to 
restrict the export of most advanced commercial cryptographic 
hardware and software because it complicates its mission: 
eavesdropping on electronic communications around the world. 
("U.S. Tries to Keep Secrets That Aren't Any More," The New 
York Times, October 17) 

OCTOBER - The Advisory Conmiittee on Human Radiation 
Experiments, an independent panel appointed by the Clinton 
Administration, released a report concluding that radiation 
experiments sponsored by the federal government were conduct- 
ed on more than 23,000 Americans in about 1,400 different 
projects in the 30-year period after World War II. The figures 
suggest that the deliberate exposure of humans to radiation 
during the Cold War was far more widespread than previously 
believed. The panel also has found that discussions about the 
ethical implications of radiation tests took place as early as 1953, 
and involved senior officials, including the Secretary of Defense. 
The panel has documented fully 400 government-backed 
biomedical experiments involving human exposure to radiation 
conducted between 1944 and 1975, and has received materials 
describing 1,000 other tests over the same period, the report 
said. 

A 1986 congressional probe of federal radiation tests, 
cotrmiissioned by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), until now 
considered the most authoritative account of radiation experi- 
ments, discussed only 31 separate experiments. In June, Energy 
Secretary Hazel O'Leary released information about 48 addition- 
al experiments. Cold War researchers conducted several hundred 
so-called intentional releases, in which radioactive substances 
were emitted into the environment, usually to test human 
responses and often without the knowledge of those exposed, the 



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June - December 1994 



panel's report said. 

In a final report due in April 1995, the panel will address 
key questions about the ex(>eriments, such as the extent to which 
researchers gained the consent of participants, how participants 
were chosen, and whether participants should be compensated 
for damages they suffered. The panel is supposed to collect data 
about experiments sponsored across the federal government, but 
it has not received full cooperation from all agencies, according 
to the report. For example, the departments of Defense and 
Energy have refused to hand over documents relating to the 
intentional releases. Officials from the agencies have refused to 
declassify the documents, citing national security concerns. 
Central Intelligence Agency officials have said the agency was 
not involved in radiation tests and have refused to give any files 
to the panel. But the panel has found that CIA officials were at 
least involved in discussions about the tests in the early 1950s. 
The agencies' refusal to cooperate already are causing "road- 
blocks" for the committee, said Ruth Faden, a Johns Hopkins 
University ethicist who chairs the panel. ("Radiation Tests Were 
Widespread," The Washington Post, October 22) 

[Ed. note: A related article in December revealed that military 
and nuclear energy officials were motivated by fear of lawsuits 
and unfavorable publicity in their decision to keep secret many 
experiments using radiation on humans. ("Inquiry Links Test 
Secrecy To a Cover-up," The New York Times, December 15)] 

OCTOBER - For almost ten years, questions have been raised 
about what Oliver North did to make sure U.S. government 
flights to help the Nicaraguan contras were free of drug traffick- 
ers. In personal diaries North kept in 1985, he wrote down a tip 
that drugs were being brought into the United States on a contra 
supply plane. He recorded the type of aircraft and a stop on its 
route. In 1987 testimony to Congress, North said he gave that 
information to the Drug Enforcement Administration. But the 
DEA, when asked to verify North's testimony, issued a state- 
ment saying, "There's no evidence he talked to anyone. We 
can't fmd the person he talked to, if he did talk to them. There's 
no record of the person he talked to. " Along with the new DEA 
comment, government records, depositions, hearing testimony, 
and interviews with former officials, the diary entries again raise 
questions about what North did to maintain the integrity of the 
contra supply efforts that he oversaw as a National Security 
Council aide. 

North did not respond to written questions asking him to 
explain the diary entries and identify whom in the DEA he told. 
He issued a statement in which he said: "I did all in my power 
to ensure that whenever the slightest rumor or concern was 
raised about drugs, the matter was immediately referred to the 
cognizant authorities in our government." But top law enforce- 
ment officials— including the former heads of the DEA and U.S. 
Customs Service— who met with North at the time on a variety 
of issues said in recent interviews that he did not pass the 
information on to them. ("North Didn't Relay Drug Tips," The 



Washington Post, October 22) 

OCTOBER - Government officials abruptly cut off a 1992 
investigation of the Upjohn Corporation and a its {Mpular 
sleeping pill, Halcion, under circumstances that "strongly 
suggest a high-level FDA coverup," according to Sidney Wolfe, 
executive director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group. 
The allegations were in a memorandum to the Food and Drug 
Administration from Wolfe, who has opposed the continued sale 
of Halcion, which has been associated with side effects that 
include memory loss, depression, anxiety, and violent behavior. 
Tlie drug has been removed from the market in England. 

Upjohn spokeswoman Kaye Bennett said in an interview, 
"Wolfe's charges of a coverup are ridiculous. There isn't, and 
there never has been, anything to cover up about Halcion, either 
on the part of Upjohn or the FDA. " One of the new documents 
obtained by Wolfe's group is a March 26,1993, memorandum 
from FDA field investigator, David Erspamer to a supervisor, 
Kenneth Ewing, regarding the 1991-92 inspection of Upjohn. In 
the memo, Erspamer said that on March 17, 1992, "in a 
conference phone call with [FDA] headquarters {personnel, I was 
told to discontinue the investigation of the firm. " According to 
the memo, an official in the FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs 
"was adamant that we should not go back into Upjohn even to 
pick up records that we had previously requested." Erspamer 
wrote, "I still have strong feelings that Upjohn has manipulated 
and misrepresented the Halcion data to FDA, and that the firm 
misled the agency from start to finish. " 

In June, FDA Commissioner David Kessler wrote a letter to 
Wolfe explaining that the agency had formed a task force to give 
the allegations against Upjohn a full review. The investigation 
will examine, among other issues, "whether consideration should 
be given to referring certain matters to the Department of Justice 
for investigation or prosecution," and "the FDA processes which 
led to the delay" in issuing the report on the Upjohn investiga- 
tion. Kessler concluded, "I can assure you that a thorough 
reexamination of the issues raised in the report will be made." 
("Abrupt Cutoff of FDA Halcion Probe Suggests a Coverup, 
Group Says," The Washington Post, October 28) 

NOVEMBER - Seven genetically engineered foods— five for 
people and two for animals— have passed a voluntary Food and 
Drug Administration safety inspection. But some scientists 
questioned whether the FDA is scrutinizing emerging genetically 
engineered foods closely enough. "I am a little troubled," 
Marion Nestle, an FDA adviser from New York University, told 
the agency. "It's as if FDA scientists have accepted these very 
complicated assessments [of safety] on face value." But FDA 
spokesperson Jim O'Hara said, "Biotech foods are being held to 
the same safety standards as every food." 

Several of the new products also require separate approvals 
from other regulatory agencies, including the Environmental 
Protection Agency in some cases and the Agriculture Department 
in others. The FDA reviewed scientific data voluntarily compiled 



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December 1994 



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June - December 1994 



by the manufacturers and concluded that these plants appear to 
be as safe as their nonaltered counterparts. The agency is 
preparing to mandate that biotech companies notify it before 
marketing any genetically engineered food. That will give the 
FDA an opportunity to decide what kind of safety review each 
food needs. FDA food safety chief Jim Maryanski said, "We 
simply don't have the resources to give every plant that intensive 
review, and we don't see the public health need." ("7 Engi- 
neered Foods Declared Safe by FDA," The Washington Post, 
November 3) 

NOVEMBER - The following continues earlier "Less Access" 
items concerning weather data: A November 1994 article 
reported that the nation's newest weather satellite has completed 
its shakedown and is providing more and better information to 
forecasters. Launched on April 13, the $220 million satellite 
GOES-8, which hovers in a stationary orbit over Earth, has 
completed engineering testing, NOAA reported. Because of the 
failure of an earlier satellite and delays in launching new ones, 
GOES-7 had been the nation's only stationary satellite, although 
Europe lent the United States its Meadowsweet to observe the 
Atlantic and East Coast areas. ("GOES-8 Satellite Providing 
Better Weather Data," The Washington Post, November 8) 

NOVEMBER - President Clinton signed an executive order 
declassifying nearly 44 million pages of long-secret documents, 
some dating to World War I, in an action delayed for nearly a 
year by the objections of military and intelligence officials. The 
papers represent roughly an eighth of the secret documents held 
by the National Archives. All have been classified on national 
security grounds. Some date to the spring of 1917, when the 
United States was entering World War I, while others discuss 
once-sensitive techniques like making and using invisible ink, 
said archivists who have reviewed the documents. 

The release covers the largest single batch of secret pajjers 
to be declassified by the National Archives and is a sign, 
historians and archivists said, that the President may fulfill a 
promise he made more than 1 8 months ago to change Cold War 
secrecy practices on military and intelligence records. Twenty- 
two years ago. President Richard Nixon promised "immediate 
and systematic declassification" of Vietnam War documents. 
Nearly five million pages are still being withheld at the demand 
of military and intelligence officials, including nearly three 
million pages about Vietnam, public records show. 

Gregg Herken, chair of the department of space history at the 
Smithsonian Institution Air and Space Museum, said, "I would 
reserve judgment until I see what's there about atomic weapons, 
intelligence and dealings with foreign governments." In fact, 
such files have been identified and removed from the records 
that were declassified, said Michael Kurtz, the acting assistant 
archivist at the Nafional Archives. "We've carefully excluded 
records with ongoing security concerns," he said. The post- 
World War II records declassified were mostly civil records and 
military headquarters files, although they include nearly six 



million pages of papers from the Vietnam War, he said. ("U.S. 
Makes Public Millions of Long-Secret Papers," The Washington 
Post, November 11) 

NOVEMBER - "Who says all of Washington's secrets deal with 
national security issues? Not the U.S. Postal Service. The 
agency has declined to reveal the results of a 1991 report by its 
inspection service about whether a certain new way of routing 
letters would be economically sound. According to a senior 
postal official, the report was highly critical of the $987.4 
million project, which allows workers at a remote site to place 
bar codes on letters through a computer linkup. 

The idea was supf)osed to save money because lower-paid 
contract workers were to be used. But the inspectors' internal 
report questioned whether the project would save as much as 
postal officials had publicly predicted. Since the report was 
prepared. Postmaster General Marvin T. Runyonhas given most 
of the remote bar-coding jobs to full-time jjostal workers, whose 
higher pay has pushed the project's cost way beyond initial 
projections. 

When asked by The Washington Post for a copy of the 
report, agency officials released only five pages of the 1991 
document. Officials deleted virtually all the information on those 
five pages. They said the information was being withheld 
because it "contains analyses, opinions, conclusions, projections 
and beliefs of the auditor. " They also said they could withhold 
the rejwrt because it is "information of a commercial nature 
which under good business practice would not be publicly 
disclosed." ("Washington at Work," The Washington Post, 
November 22) 

NOVEMBER - Sloppy management at NASA has resulted in 
billions of dollars in computers, lawn mowers, and other 
equipment being given to contractors, according to a congressio- 
nal report. The House Government Operations Committee also 
concluded that lax management practices have allowed contrac- 
tors to reap excessive profits and receive award fees on contracts 
with serious cost overruns. "NASA's financial management 
picture is a mess," committee Chair John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) 
said. "NASA's record-keeping is so inadequate that its books 
cannot be audited, and its planning is so unrealistic that budgets 
are hopelessly optimistic. " 

The report, compiling several previous studies, said contrac- 
tors hold more than $14 billion in government-owned property, 
including $2 billion in general purpose equipment. It said 
NASA's monitoring of this equipment is inadequate and "many 
contractor reports on NASA property are riddled with errors and 
inconsistencies totaling millions of dollars. " The report said that 
while NASA spends about 90 percent of its $14.4 billion aimual 
budget on contracting, "poor financial management practices 
undermine NASA's effectiveness and efficiency." Conyers said, 
"We have learned that some NASA subcontracts were yielding 
as much as 288 percent in profits and that one contractor on 
NASA's gamma ray observatory received a $S million bonus for 



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December 1994 



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June • December 1994 



cost-effectiveness, even though this contract had a $40 million 
cost overrun." NASA spokesperson Brian Welch said the space 
agency has carried out a number of procurement and manage- 
ment reforms. He said NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin had 
put in place internal reviews "that automatically trigger any time 
we get into a cost overrun situation." ("NASA Accused of 
Management Lapses," The Washington Post, November 27) 

DECEMBER - The House Intelligence Committee plans in 199S 
to investigate whether top CIA officials intentionally misled 
several senior Republican members who between 1988 and 1992 
repeatedly asked about loss of U.S. -paid Soviet agents. It was 
not until confessed spy Aldrich Ames was arrested in February 
that Republican committee members learned that at the time they 
had asked their questions, agency officials already knew that 
more than a dozen of the CIA's Soviet agents had been killed or 
arrested and that many more intelligence of)erations had been 
exposed. There was "a pattern of lack of candor by senior CIA 
officials in answering questions of committee members about 
losses of Soviet assets," the intelligence panel said in its final 
report. "The possibility cannot be dismissed," the report added, 
that had the committee known the facts, its "expressions of 
interest and concern" may have led to a more robust investiga- 
tion and earlier discovery of Ames as a spy. As previously 
repxjrted, the committee criticized the FBI as well as the CIA for 
failures that allowed Ames to go undetected for as long as he 
did. ("Incoming Panel Plans CIA Inquiry," The Washington 
Post, December 1) 

DECEMBER - The shift to a Republican-controlled Congress in 
1995 is likely to make it more difficult for the Securities and 
Exchange Commission to expand its regulatory activities and for 
investors to pursue claims of fraud against the securities 
industry. In interviews, more than a dozen legislators, staff 
aides, industry executives, and regulators agreed that an 
expanded SEC budget to provide for more examiners to oversee 
mutual funds and investment advisers and to upgrade consumer 
education would collide with Republican concerns that the 
agency is already too intrusive and creates unnecessary ex{>enses 
for the industry. 

Advocates for change, led by Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX), in 
line to lead the Banking Committee's securities subcommittee, 
and his key staff adviser, the economist Wayne Abemathy, said 
the current securities litigation process "has been distorted by 
greedy lawyers into a form of piracy." Gramm's disputes with 
the agency have had a personal edge since the late 1980s, when 
Richard Breeden, then SEC chairman, tried to take over the 
duties of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, headed 
at the time by Wendy Gramm, the Senator's wife. 

Explosive growth in the investment advisory business and in 
the mutual fund industry in the last decade have substantially 



outstripped the SEC's inspection programs. The agency is able 
to examine on a regular basis only the largest and most active 
managers of the public's money. Smaller fund operations or 
advisory firms are likely to be inspected only when a scandal has 
occurred— and such scandals, including unreported risks in 
money market mutual funds and fraudulent activities by invest- 
ment advisers, have occurred frequently enough in the last year 
to suggest that additional regulatory oversight might be need. 
Without additional resources, such inspection could be provided 
only by reducing resources now devoted to policing the public 
markets and reviewing the documents supplied to investors by 
companies trying to raise capital. In addition to planning a 
substantial increase in the inspection staff, SEC Chair Arthur 
Levitt has initiated a small but ambitious program of consumer 
information, aimed at giving small investors a better understand- 
ing of how to protect themselves from market fraud. ("Republi- 
cans May Curb S.E.C. and Fraud Suits by Investors," The New 
York Times, December 12) 

DECEMBER - U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth asked the 
U.S. attorney to investigate whether Ira Magaziner, President 
Clinton's health-care adviser, lied in an attempt to defeat a 
lawsuit filed by groups seeking access to the now-defunct Health 
Care Task Force's deliberations. Lamberth said he cannot 
determine from the record in the lawsuit whether Magaziner 
committed a crime — criminal contempt of court, perjury, or 
making a false statement. He said an investigation by law 
enforcement authorities is necessary to determine "what Mr. 
Magaziner knew and when he knew it." Lorrie McHugh, a 
spokeswoman for the White House, said, "The White House 
believes that a full and fair review of the facts will completely 
vindicate Mr. Magaziner." 

Lamberth referred the issue to U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder 
Jr. because he ruled the lawsuit was now moot but was con- 
cerned enough about Magaziner' s statement to seek an investiga- 
tion. At issue is a March 3, 1993, sworn statement that "only 
federal government employees serve as members" of the task 
force's interdepartmental working group, which he headed. 
Magaziner' s statement was made in response to the lawsuit filed 
more than a year ago by the Association of American Physicians 
and Surgeons Inc. and two other groups against him. First Lady 
Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Administration officials, 
seeking access to the task force. ("Judge Asks U.S. Attorney to 
Probe Magaziner Statement," The Washington Post, December 
22) 

[Ed. note: In early December, Justice Department lawyers 
agreed to make public thousands more documents generated by 
a working group of the Health Care Task Force because the 
Administration has "nothing to hide. " ("Justice Dept. to Release 
Health Panel Documents," The Washington Post, December 3)] 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have been connpiled in two indexed volumes covering the periods April 1981 -December 1987 
and January 1988-December 1991. Less Access... updates are available for $1.00; the 1981-1987 volume is $7.00; the 1988-1991 
volume is $10.00. To order, contact the American Library Association Washington Office, 1 10 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washirtgton, DC 
20002-6676; 202-547-4440, fax 202-547-7363. All orders must be prepaid and must include a self-addressed mailing label. 



ALA Washington OfTice 



December 1994 







ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1 10 Maryland Avenue, NE 

Washington, DC 20002-5675 

Tel: 202-547-4440 FAX: 202-547-7363 Email: alawash@alawash.org 

June 1995 




LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXIV 

A 1995 Chronology: January - June 



INTRODUCTION 

For the past 14 years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented Administration efforts to restrict and privatize 
government information. 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 
Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources. 
OMB issued a revision of the circular in the July 2, 1993, 
Federal Register, changing its restrictive interpretation of the 
defmition of "government publication" to which ALA had 
objected in OMB's draft circulars. 

In their first two years in office, the Clinton Administration 
has improved public access to government information. The 
President signed P.L. 103-40, the Government Printing Office 
Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act. The implemen- 
tation of the law in June 1994 provides electronic government 
information to the public through the Depository Library 
Program, and 15 depository gateways around the country. 
Government information is more accessible through computer 
networks and the Freedom of Information Act. President Clinton 
signed a reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act in 
May, saying it would further reduce government-required 
reports. The list of restrictive factors, or "checklist," that was 
controversial in the library history during the long history of 
PRA attempts, is not in the new statute. 

However, barriers to access still exist. For example, the 
Clinton Administration, like the prior two Administrations, has 
maintained that the government has no obligation to preserve its 
electronic records and the information they contain. National 
Performance Review recommendations to "reinvent government" 
to have every federal agency responsible for disseminating 
information to the nation's 1 ,400 depository libraries could result 
in a literal "tower of babel" as the American public would be 



forced to search through hundreds of federal agencies for 
publications they need. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to use 
computer and telecommunication technologies for data collection, 
storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend has resulted in 
the increased emergence of contractual arrangements with com- 
mercial firms to disseminate information collected at taxpayer 
expense, higher user charges for government information, and 
the proliferation of government information available in elec- 
tronic format only. While automation clearly offers promises of 
savings, will public access to government information be further 
restricted for people who carmot afford computers or pay for 
computer time? Now that electronic products and services have 
begun to be distributed to federal depository libraries, public 
access to government information should be increased. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open 
government is vital to a democracy. A January 1984 resolution 
passed by 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 information, and to develop 
support for improvements in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions. Previous 
chronologies were compiled in two ALA Washington Office 
indexed publications. Less Access to Less Information By and 
About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 Chronology, and Less 
Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. TTie following chronology 
continues the tradition of a semi-annual update. 

D 



Less Access.. 



January - June 1995 



CHRONOLOGY 

JANUARY - According to two Syracuse University researchers, 
federal agencies' electronic bulletin board systems are failing to 
disseminate federal information except perhaps to the most savvy 
BBS users. That is the claim of Charles McClure, an Internet 
consultant and professor at Syracuse University's School of 
Information Studies. In 1994, McClure and doctoral student John 
Carlo Bertot monitored volunteers who navigated many of the 
government's 200 bulletin boards. The volunteers had trouble 
connecting to BBSes as well as finding and downloading files. 

Many BBS system managers seemed to post whatever files 
they thought might be useful, without targeting specific audienc- 
es. Further, files often were out of date. Testers complained 
about continuous busy signals, restrictive time limits, menu trees 
that buried important choices, and lengthy sign-on question- 
naires. Search engines were "primitive and weak," often giving 
inaccurate results or trapping callers. 

If agencies want to improve their information dissemination, 
they should concentrate on reaching citizens through the Internet, 
McClure recommended. He also suggested providing toll-free 
numbers. McClure criticized the Commerce Department's 
FedWorld BBS, regarded as the best federal BBS in use today, 
because it does not help users when they connect through its 
gateways to hundreds of other federal BBSes. FedWorld 
managers are considering changes to make navigation easier. 
("Agency BBSes Miss the Target, Survey Shows," Shawn 
McCarthy, Computer News, January 9) 

JANUARY - In a January 14 editorial, "Virtually Open Govern- 
ment," The Washington Post commented favorably on libraries 
providing access to government information through Government 
Printing Office gateways. The editorial also cited numbers to 
show that even if computer networks are the wave of the future, 
they "remain for now a tiny province of society rather than a 
full-fledged universe. Numbers aren't totally reliable on this, but 
the trade publication Matrix News estimated in December [1994] 
that 27.5 million people in the world are on e-mail; 13.5 million 
people use what the researchers call the 'consumer internet,' 
with basic on-line services; and only 7.8 million have access to 
computers sophisticated enough to participate in the 'core 
internet.' This last requires users to have access to fancy 
services such as the World Wide Web, which is needed to reach 
most of the new governmental information services and commer- 
cial products. The 'virtual revolution' may make a good 
buzzword, but the real world shouldn't be allowed to slip off the 
screen. " 

JANUARY - Although a federal judge dismissed a .suit filed in 
1993 by groups who sued to gain access to the Clinton Admin- 
istration's health-care deliberations, Ira Magaziner, the Presi- 
dent's health-care adviser, is under investigation, accused of 
lying in a sworn statement about the makeup of the task force. 
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth dismissed the access suit as 



moot because the Administration has turned over the documents 
on the task force's work, but he has not yet ruled on sanctions 
he said he would impose against the government for its conduct 
and his decision could be delayed because of the ongoing 
investigation of Magaziner. ("Health Adviser Declines Judge's 
Offer," The Washington Post, January 18) 

JANUARY - When it came to power in January, the new 
majority in the House of Representatives enacted a rule limiting 
revisions in the Congressional Record to corrections of gram- 
mar, typographical errors, and other nitpicks. In the past, 
lawmakers were able to review their exchanges and revise them 
before the daily record of Congress' debate went to press. To 
gauge adherence to the new rule. The New York Times tape- 
recorded an actual, acrid debate on January 18 about the 
propriety of criticizing Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's 
(R-GA) book contract. The newspaper printed the text of the 
debate as recorded and the debate as printed. Reporter Michael 
Wines urged readers to be the judge of the effectiveness of the 
new rule. ("How the Record Tells the Truth Now," The New 
York Times, January 22) 

FEBRUARY - In a closed hearing on February 7, the House 
Intelligence Committee threatened to subpoena a former top 
Central Intelligence Agency official after being told he refused 
to discuss why key panel members were kept in the dark about 
the loss of CIA-recruited Soviet agents in the 1980s. Committee 
members heard Acting Director Adm. William Studeman and 
other CIA officials try to explain why three senior Republican 
members — including the current chairman. Rep. Larry Combest 
(R-TX) — were not given frank answers to questions raised in the 
late 1980s with senior agency officials about counterintelligence 
activities and rumors there were severe operational losses of 
Soviet agents working for the CIA. 

According to the House panel's report in November 1994 on 
the case of confessed spy Aldrich Ames, these members were 
not told in the late 1980s about the CIA's loss of dozens of 
agents and the closing of more than 45 intelligence operations, 
along with the agency's own internal search for a mole. The 
report said there was a "pattern of a lack of candor by senior 
CIA officials in answering questions of committee members 
about the losses of Soviet assets." 

At one point, a congressional source said, "Studeman 
admitted it was not just Congress that was misled; other CIA 
directors were kept from what was happening." The Senate 
Intelligence Committee, in its report on the Ames case, said the 
losses were not mentioned to its members or staff during 
counter-intelligence briefings between 1985 and 1994, when 
Ames was arrested and the issue was made public. ("Panel Seeks 
Answers on CIA Secrets," Tlie Washington Post, February 8) 

FEBRUARY - New documents show the U.S. government 



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undertook a worldwide campaign of deception in the early 1950s 
to hide its gathering of human remains and other data to measure 
fallout from atomic weapons tests. TTie government documents 
also suggest that the Central Intelligence Agency had a wider 
involvement in human radiation tests than it has acknowledged. 
At one point, the CIA considered injecting its own agents with 
radioactive tracers to provide "positive identification." These 
findings are among papers being reviewed by the President's 
Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, which 
was created in 1994 to examine the ethics surrounding human 
radiation testing during the Cold War. 

One of the series of papers involves an early 1950s program 
known as Operation Sunshine. Under the program, the Atomic 
Energy Commission used other government agencies, physicians, 
and private groups to gather soil, water, crops, and even bones 
from dead infants to try to learn the extent of worldwide 
radioactive fallout from U.S. weapons tests. The searches, which 
followed as many as 50 bomb tests in the late 1940s and early 
1950s, were made in the United States and more than 20 
countries. To determine the extent of the fallout, AEC research- 
ers wanted to test levels of highly radioactive strontium 90 in 
samples, including human skeletons, from around the world. The 
samples were collected under a cloak of secrecy and through the 
use of elaborate cover stories. 

For example, researchers devised a story that the collections 
of dead infants, who were often stillborn, were being made to 
survey natural radium concentrations in humans. Animals and 
crop samples were obtained under the guise of conducting 
nutritional studies. To help keep the AEC involvement secret, 
the AEC made the collections through other parties — including 
officials at the Agriculture Department, contacts among foreign 
physicians, connections through private groups, and personal 
contacts in the medical community. TTie collection of infant 
skeletons involved Japan, South Africa, India, Brazil, Columbia, 
Peru, Chile, and Bolivia as well as the United States. The 
documents show that at least 55 skeletons of stillborn infants — 
including several from Utah— were tested at the University of 
Chicago. 

Separate documents concerning the involvement of the CIA 
in radiation testing appeared to contradict CIA statements last 
year that the agency had no evidence of having participated in 
such tests. Another document reveals that the CIA funded a 
laboratory in a California prison during the 1960s in which 
radioisotope studies were conducted on inmates. ("Files Show 
U.S. Deception in 1950s Radiation Tests," The Washington 
Post, February 15) 

FEBRUARY - In an apparently unprecedented move. House 
Ethics Committee members and staff have been required to sign 
a secrecy oath. TTie new oath for the committee's ten members — 
five Democrats and five Republicans — comes as they take up a 
controversial complaint against Speaker of the House Newt 
Gingrich (R-GA). Former Rep. Ben Jones (D-GA), who lost to 
Gingrich in last November's election, has charged Gingrich with 



a host of violations relating to Gingrich's book deal with Harper 
Collins, his political committee GOPAC, and the Progress & 
Freedom Foundation, a major funder of his college course. 

The secrecy oath is consistent with a new House rule 
requiring anyone with "access to classified information" to sign 
such an oath. It was unclear whether this rule was deemed to 
apply to ethics — which technically deals with little "classified" 
government information but nevertheless considers sensitive and 
potentially damaging information about members of Congress. 
Committee members have largely maintained a policy of public 
silence about cases they are considering, but there have been 
occasional leaks. Committee rules have long banned unautho- 
rized disclosure but did so without an oath. ("Ethics Members 
Must Sign Secrecy Oath," Roll Call, February 20) 

MARCH - A Washington Post article recounted several inci- 
dents in which Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) 
used what appeared to be striking examples of how the federal 
government wastes taxpayer funds on inefficient social pro- 
grams. The newspaper reported that on closer examination, very 
little in the examples turned out to be true. 

Gingrich told a Washington trade group about a "federal 
shelter" in Denver with 120 beds that costs $8.8 million a year 
to operate, while a nearby privately funded shelter of roughly the 
same size saves more lives at a cost of only $320, (XX) a year. 
However, no such federal shelter exists in Denver. What 
Gingrich was actually referring to, according to the group that 
advises him on social issues, is Colorado's largest drug and 
alcohol treatment program, which operates 14 treatment centers 
in the Denver area. The organization's budget for all its clinics, 
plus 16 school-based counseling programs, is $11 million, of 
which about $4.3 million is federal money, according to its 
executive director. 

In December 1994, Gingrich assailed the Food and Drug 
Administration for not approving a heart pump that he said can 
be used to resuscitate heart attack victims. But the company that 
markets the device did not have an application at the FDA, and 
tests have suggested the product might not work any better than 
conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

Also in December 1994, Gingrich mentioned a 10-year-old 
in St. Louis who was put in detention for saying grace in a 
public school cafeteria as evidence that public schools repress the 
rights of students who wish to pray. However, the superinten- 
dent of St. Louis schools said that at the time the student was 
disciplined for matters entirely unrelated to praying in school. 
The case was being contested in federal court and the facts were 
far from clear. 

Gingrich spokesman Tony Blankley said that the Speaker 
based his remarks on information from a task force established 
at his request to advise him on welfare reform and other poverty 
issues. The task force was set up by the nonprofit National 
Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. "We did not have a chance 
to vet [sic] the information at a staff level," Blankley said. "I 
think that people who speak publicly have to rely on information 



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that seems credible when presented. Nobody has the luxury, 
whether they are a newspaper or a public speaker, to conclusive- 
ly establish in their own research whether every fact is accurate. 
That's why newspapers have correction boxes." ("Speaker Cited 
'Federal Shelter' as Tax Waste," The Washington Post, March 
3) 

MARCH - A New York Times editorial criticized the Supreme 
Court for finding a new exception to the so-called exclusionary 
rule, which bars the use of illegally obtained evidence. Arizona 
courts had thrown out marijuana possession charges against a 
man who was arrested in Phoenix and searched on the basis of 
an erroneous computer record. But the Supreme Court, saying 
the police relied on the faulty information in good faith, reinstat- 
ed the charges. 

More than 80 years ago, the Court said the Constitution 
required the exclusion of tainted evidence. A few miscreants 
went free, but for the most part the rule encouraged the police 
to respect the privacy rights of all citizens by making more 
careful, court-approved arrests. In recent years, the Court has 
weakened the Fourth Amendment by finding exceptions to the 
exclusionary rule, but in this recent case the Court went further, 
approving an arrest that was based on a nonexistent warrant. 
That warrant, issued when the defendant failed to appear in court 
for a traffic violation, was quashed when he finally showed up. 
The obsolete information remained in the computer, probably 
because a court clerk failed to report the quashing. 

Writing for a 7-to-2 majority. Chief Justice William Rehn- 
quist held that the police fairly relied on their own faulty 
records. Justice John Paul Stevens, in dissent, saw the issue as 
the erroneous use of the state's sovereign power to arrest. 
("Another Search-and-Seizure Loophole," The New York Times, 
March 5) 

MARCH - The U.S. Judicial Conference, which sets policy for 
the nation's federal courts, rejected a controversial rule change 
that would have made it far easier to seal court records from 
public view. The rule change, proposed by a committee of 
federal judges, provoked protest from Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wl) 
and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, a public-interest law 
group. Both charged that the proposal to make the sealing of 
court records nearly automatic in civil cases, as long as the two 
sides agreed, would have eased the way for corporations to 
conceal information about defective products and other threats to 
the public health and safety, even when that information had 
been provided in the usually public forum of a lawsuit. 

Critics of the proposal argued that it would have meant 
essentially abandoning the current requirement that judges find 
"good cause" for barring public access to records filed in courts. 
The issue of sealing court records from public view — by the 
means of "protective orders" — has long been a battleground 
pitting plaintiffs' lawyers and consumer advocacy groups against 
industry and corporate lawyers. The latter group argues that 
protective orders are needed to protect trade secrets and avoid 



lengthy and expensive battle over documents after lawsuits are 
filed. ("Judges Reject Record-Secrecy Rule," The Washington 
Post, March 15) 

MARCH - As Congress wages war on federal regulations, 
anecdotal evidence of nonsensical rules and irmocent victims has 
been a powerful weapon in the push to enact measures that will 
temporarily halt rule-making, protect property owners, and 
ensure new regulations are worth the cost. According to an 
article in The Washington Post, many of the purported examples 
have the ring of truth, but not the substance. For example. Rep. 
Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) said, during House floor debate, "The 
Drinking Water Act currently limits arsenic levels in drinking 
water to no more than two to three parts per billion." He 
continued, "However, a regular portion of shrimp typically 
served in a restaurant contains around 30 parts per billion." 

Arsenic, a known human carcinogen, has been subject to 
regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency since 1976. 
The drinking water standard is now not two or three parts per 
billion, but 50 parts per billion. And according to EPA officials, 
the arsenic found in water and the arsenic found in shrimp and 
other seafood are chemically quite different. The type of arsenic 
found in seafood is organic; in water, arsenic is predominantly 
inorganic, and far more toxic. 

Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) lamented the making of 
"policy on the basis of false or misleading anecdotal informa- 
tion." Proponents of anti-regulatory legislation, said Markey, 
"claim that the Consumer Product Safety Commission had a 
regulation requiring all buckets have a hole in the bottom of 
them so water can flow through and avoid the danger of 

someone falling face down into the bucket and drowning Now, 

that would be ridiculous regulation, if it existed. But the truth is 
that there has never been such a rule." ("Truth is Victim in 
Rules Debate," The Washington Post, March 19) 

MARCH - One of the first acts of the House of Representatives 
on January 4 was to strip 28 House caucuses of their budgets, 
staffs, and offices. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), an arts 
caucus co-chair, said that with the loss of staff the group is 
"really hamstrung" because "we lost our own sources of 
information." Several Democrats complained that the new rules 
have, in particular, threatened to shut the flow of information 
from the Democratic Study Group, which lawmakers and 
reporters relied on for analysis of floor legislation. But not only 
Democrats have worried about a possible information gap. "We 
can't do research," said Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), chair of the 
House Wednesday Group of moderate Republicans. 

Republicans who proposed the caucus restrictions maintain 
that lawmakers from both parties have plenty of other informa- 
tion sources. "We have subcorrunittee information, committee 
information, leadership information," Rep. Pat Roberts (R-KS) 
said. "We believe it is the responsibility of leadership to provide 
such information to their members," Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) 
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Committee. "They're not hellbent to put us out of business," 
Rep. David Skaggs (D-CO), chairman of the Democratic Study 
Group, said of GOP leaders. "One could theorize that part of the 
centralization of control that the Speaker has done such a good 
job of accomplishing included a centralization of informa- 
tion.... You can have a strong executive without censorship." 
("Cut Back, Caucuses Struggle to Go Forward," The Washing- 
ton Post, March 23) 

MARCH - The U.S. government had information in October 
1991 linking a paid CIA informer in the Guatemalan military to 
the killing of an American citizen there, but did not seek his 
prosecution inside Guatemala for the crime, U.S. intelligence 
sources said. The CIA also failed to inform its congressional 
overseers until this year of its informer's alleged involvement in 
the slaying, a circumstance that provoked criticism from the 
Republican chairman and senior Democrat of the Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence. The CIA informer's link to the 
killing became public after Rep. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) 
accused the Administration in a letter of deliberately misleading 
the public. ("U.S. Had Information in 1991 Tying CIA Informer 
to Killing," The Washington Post, March 24) 

MARCH - Measuring violence against women has long been a 
statistical minefield, statisticians say. Historically, rape and 
domestic violence have been exceptionally difficult to reduce to 
solid numbers — in part because women often are reluctant to 
discuss such offenses. Relatively few studies deal directly with 
these topics, and even fewer are sufficiently rigorous in their 
methodology or sample size to be considered authoritative. ("In 
Debate Over Crimes Against Women, Statistics Get Roughed 
Up," The Washington Post, March 27) 

SPRING - The Government Accountability Project, a member 
of the Coalition on Government Information, filed a lawsuit in 
February 1995 against the Navy in connection with the explosion 
of the Navy's battleship U.S.S. Iowa. The explosion occurred in 
April 1989, resulting in the death of 47 sailors. The G.A.P 
lawsuit seeks to obtain a videotape of rehearsal sessions where 
it is believed high-ranking officers were coached about what to 
say to reporters concerning the U.S.S. Iowa explosion. G.A.P. 
believes that the tapes will provide factual evidence of what 
really happened aboard the ship and the Navy's knowledge of 
these events. 

The videotape is one of 90 records the government has 
refused to provide. For the past two years, journalist Charles 
Thompson has been trying to obtain the videotapes of the Navy's 
media interview preparation sessions. Don Aplin, G.A.P. 's lead 
attorney on the suit, commented: "The Navy cannot withhold 
material from the public merely because it is embarrassing. This 
videotape is part of a tax-supported disinformation campaign 
[that] must see the light of day." ("G.A.P. Sues to Prove Cover- 
up of U.S.S. IOWA Explosion," Bridging the Gap, Spring 
1995) 



APRIL - Designed and funded in secrecy, the Tri-Service 
Standoff Attack Missile was to be invisible to radar, guided by 
on-board computers, and capable of being launched by any of 
three military services. But after nine years of delays, contract 
disputes, failed tests, and $3.9 billion in taxpayer funds, the 
Clinton Administration recently terminated the program. No one 
was held accountable for the end of the TSSAM. Defense 
Secretary William Perry attributed the cancellation simply to 
"significant development problems" and production costs that 
were "unacceptably high." 

But the story of TSSAM provides a cautionary tale about 
Pentagon procurement gone awry. It reveals a mismanaged 
program, overly ambitious, that ran into trouble early and was 
allowed to go on faltering for nearly a decade. Northrop Corp. 
committed to doing the job at a preset price, then realized it had 
underestimated the challenge and was handicapped by the 
program's secrecy in recruiting experienced staff. ("Missile 
Project Became a $3.9 Billion Misfire," The Washington Post, 
Apnl 3) 

APRIL - Three Senators who help oversee the CIA accused the 
spy agency of providing misleading information to Congress 
about links between a paid CIA informant in the Guatemalan 
military and the 1990 murder of a U.S. innkeeper in Guatemala. 
("CIA Accused of Misleading Lawmakers," The Washington 
Post, April 6) 

APRIL - In a nine-page excerpt from his book. In Retrospect, 
former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara discusses the 
credibility gap that developed in the mid-60s during President 
Lyndon Johnson's Administration. "During this fateful period, 
Johnson initiatedbombingof North Vietnam and committed U.S. 
ground forces, raising the total U.S. troop strength from 23, (XX) 
to 175,000— with the likelihood of another 100,000 in 1966 and 
perhaps even more later. All of this occurred without adequate 
public disclosure or debate, planting the seeds of an eventually 
debilitating credibility gap. Although the President withheld this 
change in policy from the public, he sought the advice of many 
experienced people outside government, especially ex-President 
Eisenhower." ("We Were Wrong, Terribly Wrong," Newsweek, 
April 17) 

APRIL - Writing in the "Outlook" section of The Washington 
Post, Jefferson Morley maintains that government secrecy helps 
to alienate Americans, causing distrust in government. He says 
there is no official department of secrecy, but there is a function- 
al equivalent, bigger than many Cabinet agencies. It consists of 
the offices and archives in the Pentagon, the intelligence 
agencies, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, 
and other federal agencies that classify and guard all sorts of 
information considered too sensitive to be shared with the 
American public. According to a 1994 Washington Post report, 
the secrecy system keep an estimated 32,400 people employed 
ftill-time— more than the Department of Education and the 



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Environmental Protection Agency combined. According to the 
Office of Management and Budget, the bureaucracy of secrets 
may cost as much as $16 billion a year to run. 

Morley says that elected officials can do something about the 
popular mistrust of the secrecy system. On April 17, President 
Clinton signed Executive Order 12958, establishing the least 
restrictive jwlicy on government records since the beginning of 
the Cold War. Clinton's major innovation is that government 
records more than 25 years old will be declassified automatically 
instead of remaining secret indefinitely. But reformers within the 
Administration who hoped for substantive change in the day-to- 
day workings of the secrecy system were thwarted. National 
security agencies successfully lobbied for language in the order 
that protects most of their current prerogatives, according to 
Steven Aftergood of the American Federation of Scientists. 

Energy Secretary O'Leary's release of long-secret documents 
of radiation experiments shows that full disclosure of embarrass- 
ing material is not political or institutional suicide. According to 
Morley, "We don't know what other abuses of governmental 
power, if any, the secrecy system is hiding. But we do know 
that a citizenry without access to its own history has no guaran- 
tee of democratic accountability. And as long as democratic 
accountability is in doubt, the citizenry, not just government 
office buildings, will remain vulnerable." ("Department of 
Secrecy," The Washington Post, April 30) 

[Ed. note: Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security 
Information, was published in the April 20 Federal Register, pp. 
19825-43.] 

MAY - Project Censored (a member of the Coalition on Govern- 
ment Information) awarded Public Citizen's Health Letter for 
publishing what the project voted to be the #1 censored story of 
1994. The story, "Unfinished Business: Occupational Safety 
Agency Keeps 170,000 Exposed Workers in the Dark About 
Risks Incurred on Job," describes how in the early 1980s, the 
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health completed 
69 epidemiological studies that revealed that 240,450 American 
workers were exposed to hazardous materials at 258 worksites. 
Many of the affected workers were unaware that they were being 
exposed to hazardous substances (such as asbestos, silica, and 
uranium) that were determined in those studies to increase the 
risk of cancer and other serious diseases. 

In 1983, NIOSH and the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention concluded that NIOSH had a duty to inform workers 
of exposure "particularly when NIOSH is the exclusive holder 
of information and when there is clear evidence of a cause and 
effect relationship between exposure and health risk." Obviously, 
workers who learned they were at risk could undergo screening 
that could lead to earlier detection of cancer. Nonetheless, the 
Reagan Administration refused to fund a $4 million pilot 
notification program and opposed legislation that would have 
required such notification. As a result, by 1994, fewer than 30 
percent of the workers have been notified. Public Citizen's 



Health Research Group learned that NIOSH has individually 
notified a maximum of only 7 1 , 1 80 (29.6 percent) of the original 
240,450 workers, leaving 169,270, more than 60 percent, still 
in the dark about health risks from on-the-job exjwsure. (''Health 
Letter Gets Two Journalism Awards," Health Letter, May) 

MAY - The Department of Commerce armounced that it was 
seeking a private organization to compile and update its index of 
leading indicators and two companion indexes that anticipate or 
track turning points in the economy. Although the index — the 
government's chief forecasting gauge— is widely followed, it has 
fallen into disrepute among many professionals for emitting false 
signals of recession or failing to warn of actual ones. Depart- 
ment officials are confident that somebody would be found to 
take over the work of compiling and updating the three business- 
cycle indexes on which the government spends $300,000 to 
$400,000 a year. The privatization effort is inspired by a need 
to free resources for a sweeping overhaul of the department's 
national and international statistics. 

Everett Ehrlich, the Under Secretary of Commerce for 
economic affairs indicated that if no one were interested in 
taking over the index of leading indicators, the agency would 
drop it. Unlike other government reports on the economy, the 
leading, coincident, and lagging indexes do not involve primary 
data collection, only mathematical compilation of data supplied 
by business, academic institutions, and other government 
agencies. "We need to redirect our resources away from 
statistical programs, such as the cyclical indicators, that no 
longer require a Government role, and towards these most 
pressing statistical issues," Ehrlich said. ("The Commerce 
Department Seeks to Privatize an Index," The New York Times, 
May 5) 

MAY - On May 22, President Clinton signed P.L. 104-13, the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, saying it would further 
reduce government-required reports and help Americans conquer 
a "mountain of paperwork" wasting their time. ("Clinton Signs 
Law to Cut Paperwork," The Washington Post, May 23) 

[Ed. note: The Paperwork Reduction Act covers a wide range 
of complex subjects, including the government's collection, 
management, and dissemination of information, its use of 
information technology and computer security. The list of 
restrictive factors, or "checklist," that was controversial in the 
library community during the long history of PRA reauthoriza- 
tion attempts, is not in the new statute.] 

JUNE - "TTie Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued 
the WTiite House, seeking documents related to a secret govern- 
ment group responsible for developing policies on information 
security. President Clinton last September established the 
Security Policy Board by a secret directive. According to David 
Sobel, EPIC counsel, very little information about the board's 
activities have [sic] been made public. Among the things the 



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lawsuit — under the Freedom of Information Act — seeks, is the 
presidential directive itself, said Sobel. Clinton's presidential 
directive, which established the board, is the latest in a line of 
White House actions on information security, going back to the 
Reagan Administration." ("Secret Info Highway Suit," Govern- 
ment Technology, June) 

JUNE - In an 1 1 -page article, Peter Carlson attempted to select 
some statistics used in Washington's policy wars, trace them 
back to their source, call in some experts, and see if the 
numbers were on the level. He says, "It was an awful idea. For 
weeks, it brought me nothing but headaches and confusion and 
the dizzy, disorienting feeling that nothing is really real. 
Searching for reality in Washington statistics is akin to exploring 
a mangrove swamp. Just when you think you're standing on the 
solid ground of an actual, verifiable fact, you begin to sink into 
the oozing muck of maybe and sort of and it all depends on how 



you look at it." 

Carlson checked the following statistics: those that both 
Republicans and Democrats use to accuse each other of imple- 
menting "the largest tax increase in history"; the numbers being 
used in a battle raging over President Clinton's use of some 
questionable crime statistics promoting his "Violence Against 
Women" program; the conflicting information being used to 
attack the Administration's drug policy; the controversial 
statistics used to identify the number of hungry children in 
America; and the conflicting statistics about the Republican tax- 
cut plan. 

Carlson summed up what he learned: "In Washington, 
statistics can simultaneously be accurate but misleading, legiti- 
mate but bogus, real but fake. In Washington, statistics tell the 
truth but not the whole truth." ("The Truth... But Not the Whole 
Truth," The Washington Post Magazine, June 4) 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have been compiled in two indexed volumes covering the periods April 1981 -December 1987 
and January 1988-December 1991. Less Access... updates are available for $1.00; the 1981-1987 volume is $7.00; the 1988-1991 
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ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 403 

Washington, DC 20004-1701 

Tel: 202-628-8410 Fax: 202-628-841 9 E-mail: alawash@alawash.org 

December 1995 




LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY ANS 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXV 

A 1995 Chronology: June - December 



INTRODUCTION 

For the past 14 years, this ongoing chronology has documented 
efforts to restrict and privatize government information. 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 Circular A- 130, Management of 
Federal Information Resources. 0MB issued a revision of the 
circular in the July 2, 1993, Federal Register, changing its 
restrictive interpretation of the definition of "government 
publication," to which ALA had objected in OMB's draft circulars. 

In their first three years in office, the Clinton Administration 
has improved public access to government information. The Presi- 
dent signed P.L. 103-40, the Government Printing Office 
Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act. The implementa- 
tion of the law in June 1994 provides electronic government 
information to the public through the Depository Library Program 
and more than 20 depository gateways around the country. 
Government information is more accessible through computer 
networks and the Freedom of Information Act. President Clinton 
signed a reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act in May, 
saying it would further reduce government-required reports. The 
list of restrictive factors, or "checklist," that was controversial in 
the library history during the long history of PRA attempts, is not 
in the new statute. 

However, barriers to access still exist. For example. National 
Performance Review recommendations to "reinvent government" 
to have every federal agency responsible for disseminating 
information to the nation's 1,400 depository libraries could result 
in a literal "tower of babel" as the American public would be 
forced to search through hundreds of federal agencies for 
publications they need. 



Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to use 
computer and telecommunication technologies for data collection, 
storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend has resulted in the 
increased emergence of contractual arrangements with commercial 
firms to disseminate information collected at taxpayer expense, 
higher user charges for government information, and the 
proliferation of government information available in electronic 
format only. While automation clearly offers promises of savings, 
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 have begun to be 
distributed to federal depository libraries, public access to 
government information should be increased. 

ALA reaffirmed its long-standing conviction that open govern- 
ment is vital to a democracy. A January 1984 resolution passed by 
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 information, and to develop support for improvements 
in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about this series of actions. Previous 
chronologies were compiled in two ALA Washington Office 
indexed publications. Less Access to Less Information By and 
About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 Chronology, and Less 
Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. The following chronology 
continues the tradition of a semi-annual update. 



D 



Less Access... 



June - December 1995 



CHRONOLOGY 

JUNE - In an editorial, The Hill deplored the decision of Andrew 
F. Brimmer to exempt from public scrutiny the District of 
Columbia financial control board he heads. Brimmer was 
appointed by President Clinton as chairman of the board, created 
by the 104th Congress to rescue the District of Columbia 
government from financial disaster. Brimmer was quoted in The 
Washington Post. "I see no advantage in trying to do this in public. 
. . . My model is the Federal Reserve. . . . There will be few public 
meetings rather than many. Privacy is required to assure the safety 
and confidentiality of the discussions." Brimmer promptly 
demonstrated that he intends to operate behind closed doors by 
holding the first meeting, in secret, after which he declared that 
almost all contacts between the board and Mayor Marion Barry 
and their respective aides will be "out of public view." 

The editorial commented that there is no reason to doubt 
Brimmer's sincerity, but that is not the issue. Officials who 
conduct public business behind closed doors, no matter how well 
intentioned, cannot expect to gain public confidence in and support 
for their actions. ("Secrecy: the bane of democracy," The Hill, June 
14) 

JUNE - Reminiscent of a novel by Charles Dickens, details of the 
worldwide search in the 1950s for cadavers by the Atomic Energy 
Commission were revealed in newly declassified documents 
obtained by the presidential Advisory Committee on Human 
Radiation Testing. At the height of the Cold War, the government 
looked for people who could "do a good job of body snatching" to 
help scientists learn more about the effect of radioactive fallout. It 
was unclear how many human remains AEC operatives gathered, 
but investigators for the advisory panel said the total may have 
been as many as 1,500 cadavers in the United States and a half- 
dozen other countries from Europe to Australia. Code-named 
"Project Sunshine," the body collection was given top priority at 
the AEC as the government sought to learn the extent of 
radioactive fallout from bomb tests and what effect the 
contamination was having on humans in the United States and 
elsewhere. The searches were cloaked in secrecy, focusing mainly 
on urban areas and among the poor. 

At a secret 1955 AEC meeting, Willard Libby of the University 
of Chicago (who in the 1960s won a Nobel Prize in chemistry) 
described the difficulties of obtaining human samples, especially 
from young people. The scientists discussed the need to obtain 
samples from all age groups from infants to the elderly. According 
to the transcript, AEC operatives had established a network of 
contacts in hospitals and among physicians in the United States as 
well as Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Africa and the 
Philippines to collect body parts. Major sources of cadavers were 
urban centers, especially New York City, Houston and Vancouver. 
(The transcript did not say whether it was Vancouver, Canada, or 
Vancouver, Washington.) In these cities, as many as 20 bodies a 
month were expected, according to the transcript. "Down in 
Houston, they don't have all these rules. . . . They have a lot of 



poverty cases and so on," explained J. Laurence Kulp of Columbia 
University, adding that in some cities, such as Houston, "we can 
get virtually everybody that dies." ("Agency Sought Cadavers for 
Its Radiation Studies," The Washington Post, June 22) 

JUNE - Three government agencies are investigating the Air 
Force's handling of inquiries into major plane crashes after a 
former top safety official alleged that commanders falsified files to 
avoid embarrassment and disciplinary action in more than two 
dozen cases. In one case, a transport plane crashed after the wife 
of a pilot allegedly was allowed to take the controls. In another, 
two Navy fighter pilots and a navigator on a plane removed their 
clothes, helmets and oxygen masks and attempted to moon another 
plane's crew. They passed out and the plane crashed, killing them. 
In these incidents, the true causes of the crashes were covered up, 
according to Alan Diehl, who was the Air Force's chief civilian 
safety official for seven years until he was involuntarily transferred 
out of the job. Diehl has raised questions about 30 cases, 
supporting his claims by providing investigators with internal 
documents gathered while he was still in his safety job. ("False 
Reporting Is Alleged in Air Force Plane Crashes," The Washington 
Post, June 23) 

JUNE- Several Senators attacked a pollution disclosure program, 
known as the Toxics Release Inventory, which requires that 
manufacturers disclose how much they pollute. Sen. J. Bennett 
Johnston (D-LA) and Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) are trjing to narrow 
the program that has spurred industrv' to reduce emissions of toxic 
chemicals voluntarily by billions of pounds a year. At the urging 
of chemical companies, a provision to scale the program back was 
included in a far-reaching regulatory-relief bill. The provision 
would strike hundreds of chemicals from the list of toxic emissions 
that must be reported each year to the Environmental Protection 
Agency, which then makes the data public, state by state and 
factory by factory. States and local residents have found the 
information a powerful and versatile tool for pressing companies 
to reduce pollution. Local officials also use it to plan how to handle 
industrial accidents, and labor unions have used it to demand in 
contract negotiations reductions in hazardous emissions in work 
places. 

The latest reports show that industrial releases of toxic 
chemicals in the United States dropped by 12.6 percent in 1993, to 
about 2.8 billion pounds. That is a reduction of nearly 43 percent 
since 1988. when the program started. The scope of the disclosure 
law has steadily increased since the program started. The data now 
cover about 23,000 factories. Under the Senate proposal, EPA 
would have to drop hundreds of chemicals that were added to the 
list six months ago unless the agency could prove that removing a 
chemical from the list "presents a foreseeable significant risk to 
human health or the environment." Senate aides on both sides of 
the issue said the amendment was drafted with the help of lobbyists 
for the chemical industry. The EPA contends that it should bear no 



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June - December 1995 



such burden of proof since the program requires nothing beyond 
disclosure. "The whole point of it is, people have a right to know," 
said Carol M. Browner, the EPA's administrator. 

Critics of the program say that the raw numbers disclose little 
or nothing about the risks posed by the emissions and that for this 
reason the program is fundamentally flawed. When Lott first 
introduced an amendment requiring the agency to justify its 
listings, he said: "The EPA has let the TRI misrepresent the 
toxicity of chemicals, and permitted unnecessary anxiety within 
local communities. This is terrible policy." But even the chemical 
companies that lobbied for the changes concede that the existing 
program has merit. Paul Orum, who heads the Working Group on 
Community Right-To-Know, an environmental advocacy group, 
said that despite its public stance, the chemical industry had been 
"trying to gut this law for years." ("Senate Measure Is a Threat to 
Efficient Pollution Rule," The New York Times, June 28) 

JUNE - Charges of backroom deals and broken promises clouded 
the Clinton Administration's push to end a seven-year delay in 
implementing rules to crack down on shoddy nursing homes. The 
rules would impose stiff fines and tough sanctions on homes that 
mistreat patients. But both the nursing home industry and 
consumer groups are angry at the White House, with each side 
criticizing what it sees as double-dealing in negotiations over the 
rules' content. "All the delays have increased the pressure 
enormously, and it's compounded by the fact that all of this is 
being done in secret," said Sarah Burger of the National Citizens 
Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. 

Clinton Administration officials angrily denounced the nation's 
largest nursing home lobby group for circulating a memo that said 
the Administration had, in effect, caved to industry pressure and 
would delay putting the new rules in place. But Health Care 
Financing Administration officials, in charge of drafting the rules, 
said there will be no delay and no such deal had existed. The 
HCFA is writing new rules because it oversees Medicare and 
Medicaid; about 85 percent of all nursing homes receive funds 
under those programs. The goal of the rules is to put muscle in 
nursing home reforms passed by Congress in 1987. The Bush 
Administration never put the reforms in place, and the Clinton 
Administration's already difficult task in doing so now has been 
complicated by the antiregulatory climate in Congress. ("Nursing 
Home Reforms at Risk," USA Today, June 28) 

JULY- The Pentagon Inspector General said the Air Force lied in 
dealing with a story about a general who took a $1 16,000 military 
flight from Italy to Colorado with his enlisted aide and pet cat. 
"The Air Force was inept in its response to media inquiries about 
the flight," the IG found. "The presentation of a series of incorrect 
facts, careless communications and lack of central direction . . . 
defined the Air Force performance. . . . The Air Force did not 
comply with its policy objectives regarding the quick and candid 
release of unfavorable information." 

The Newsweek editor who broke the story, David Hackworth, 
said; "They just lied through their teeth, and none of these 



spinmeisters who worked so hard to con me is being punished." 
("Air Force Flew Loose With 'Facts'," The Washington Post, July 
5) 

JULY - Congress has not given statistical agencies enough money 
to put into effect dozens of changes advocated by a government 
panel in the early 1990s to improve the nation's statistics, 
according to report by the General Accounting Office. GAO said 
that from fiscal 1990 through 1994 the agencies requested more 
than $95 million and received about $50 million to carry out the 
improvements. "Agencies generally cited budget limitations as 
reasons for not completing plans to implement the 
recommendations," said the report, which was requested by Rep. 
Henry Gonzalez (D-TX). Economists in and out of government 
have complained for years that the nation's statistics are 
inadequate, with some experts saying the data are outdated or just 
plain wrong. ("U.S. Said to Be Lax in Overhauling Data," The New 
York Times, July 10) 

JULY - The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, first published in 
1939 and last revised in 1991, was developed "in response to 
demand for standardized occupational information in support of 
job placement." The dictionary's first edition had 7,500 entries, 
while the latest (two volumes, 1404 pages, $50 in hardcover) has 
13,000. The 1991 edition, however, will be the last in print, said 
Arthur Jones, spokesman for the Department of Labor 
Employment and Training Administration, because the dictionary 
is going electronic next year: "The increasing need for up-to-date 
occupational information has become too massive and too dynamic 
to continue to rely on the DOT's traditional collection, publications 
and distribution methods," according to a news release. ("Slime 
Plier? French Frier? It's in There!" The Washington Post, July 1 1) 

JULY - The Justice Department investigated whether FBI officials 
destroyed records and misled authorities as part of a coverup of the 
bureau's actions in the 1992 siege in Idaho that led to the killing of 
white separatist Randy Weaver's unarmed wife, Vicki. One high- 
ranking FBI official, E. Michael Kahoe, has been suspended after 
authorities alleged that he destroyed a document that could have 
altered the official account of what happened in the standoff on 
August 22, 1992. Kahoe was then a section chief in the criminal 
investigative division at FBI headquarters and prepared a report 
reviewing the circumstances of Vicki Weaver's death. The 
document, shredded within weeks of the incident, could have shed 
light on decisions made by top officials about the "rules of 
engagement" to be used when the FBI's hostage rescue team 
stormed Weaver's heavily fortified mountain cabin. The FBI 
authorized the raid in response to the slaying of a U.S. marshal 
who was shot while trying to arrest Weaver. ("Probe of FBI's 
Idaho Siege Reopened," The Washington Post, July 13) 

JULY - Jack Anderson and Michael Binstein reported that the 
same members of Congress who are accusing President Clinton of 
a coverup of the federal raid at the Branch Davidian compound 



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June - December 1995 



near Waco, TX, have spent several weeks engaging in their own 
subterfiige and spin control. Aides to Rep. Bill Zeliff (R-NH), who 
is cochairing hearings into the Waco incident, did their best to keep 
secret the fact that they had arranged for the National Rifle 
Association to help bankroll a portion of the congressional 
investigation. "Unfortunately for Zeliff, his staffs clandestine 
operation was as badly botched as the original federal raid . . . ," 
Anderson wrote. According to Anderson and Binstein, Zeliff, who 
wants to hold the President accountable for the mistakes allegedly 
made by subordinates at Waco, is passing the buck himself. Zeliff 
claims his staff didn't tell him about the NRA deal until early July. 
Zeliff said he would not fire his top aides, March Bell and Robert 
Charles, for "making a legitimate mistake." ("Waco Probe 
Entangled with NRA," The Washington Post, July 14) 

AUGUST - The Patent and Trademark Office has a database that 
is a treasure trove for scientists, historians, students — anyone who 
needs to see the art and thinking of inventors. But to use it costs 
$40 an hour, "a prohibitive price for any but the most specialized 
user. Alternatively, you can dial into a private data service like 
Lexis or Dialog and pay even more — fees that can amount to 
hundreds of dollars an hour for public information." 

The patent office abeady has a high-band Internet connection. 
That could easily enable any of the millions of home and business 
computers with access to the Internet to plug into its system and 
see what a user sees at the PTO terminal, just as any computer can 
now plug into the New York Public Library's online catalog or the 
databases of thousands of other libraries. The public has already 
paid more than $400 million to create a patent database available 
only to walk-in traffic. So why not go online? PTO Commissioner 
Bruce Lehman's responses echoed the reasoning of scores of other 
government agencies, federal and local, facing the same issue: It's 
not our job; we're doing it anyway, as fast as we can; and, we must 
not compete with the private sector. The last argument sounds 
attractive, but those companies are lobbying for the privilege of 
paying more — in other words, they want to forestall competition. 
"They belong to an industry that has used heavy, targeted cam- 
paign contributions to protect its stake in an economic model that 
is rapidly becoming obsolete: scarce data sold to specialists at high 
prices. West Publishing, with a near monopoly on the govern- 
ment's court databases, is a costly example, as lawyers quickly 
discover. The Internet has created a different model: information 
of all kinds, a mass audience, low prices. Lehman acknowledges 
that private-information services lobby him hard to keep prices up; 
he denies being influenced by their pleas. Nevertheless, the patent 
office, like many other federal agencies, sells its data mostly on 
old-style mainframe computer tapes, at prices low enough to 
guarantee enormous profits for commercial services but just high 
enough to prevent widespread distribution." 

The article concludes with a quote from James Love, director 
of the Taxpayer Assets Project: "People are concerned about 
universal access — the wire running into your house will be the easy 
part. Certainly the one thing people shouldn't have to worry about 
is government information, the thing they own as taxpayers. 



There'll be lots of other things they won't be able to afford. At 
least this should be available." ("Washington Unplugged," The 
New York Times Magazine, August 6) 

AUGUST - In the opening salvo of a battle that would rage for the 
remainder of 1995, members of Congress and the President clashed 
over the release of documents in the ongoing congressional 
investigation of the Clintons' Whitewater investments and a failed 
savings and loan institution in Arkansas. Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), 
chairman of the House Banking Committee, wrote Attorney 
General Janet Reno to accuse the Justice Department of 
deliberately withholding a document sought by the committee as 
it prepared for Whitewater hearings. A Reno spokesman called the 
letter political "theater." ("Document Dispute Escalates as House 
Whitewater Hearings Near," The Washington Post, August 6) 

AUGUST - Testifying before Congress for the first time, L. Jean 
Lewis gave a detailed description of how an investigation of 
Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan that began in March 1 992 was 
thwarted by Resolution Trust Corporation and Justice Department 
officials after President Clinton was elected president. She said 
there was "a concerted effort to obstruct, hamper and manipulate" 
her findings at high levels of the federal government. The Clintons 
were named as potential witnesses in criminal referrals that Lewis 
prepared, meaning that she suspected they may have had 
information about some of the alleged criminal activity. Those 
allegations included "rampant bank fraud," an "elaborate check- 
kiting scheme" and other potential criminal abuses found at 
Madison, she said. Lewis is an investigator in the Kansas City 
office of the RTC, the federal agency charged with disposing of 
failed S&Ls. ("Witness Says Probe Was Blocked," The 
Washington Post, August 9) 

AUGUST- The Department of Energy has concluded that during 
four decades of the Cold War the agency conducted 435 different 
radiation experiments on 16,000 men, women and children. In a 
200-page report. Energy Department officials described each of the 
experiments uncovered in its files, including a 1944 study in which 
workers were exposed to high levels of uranium oxide dust and a 
test stated in the early 1960s in which mentally retarded children 
were given doses of Iodine 131 to test the reactions of their thyroid 
glands. While many of the experiments had positive benefits for 
medicine, others raise serious ethical questions, senior Energy 
Department officials said. Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary 
released the final tally on radiation experiments sponsored or 
supported financially by the Atomic Energy Commission — an 
agency that preceded the Energy Department — from the 1930s to 
the late 1970s. The findings followed an 18-month search of the 
agency's records. Unanswered questions remain about whether 
individuals exposed to the experiments gave their information 
consent prior to their participation, said Tara O'Toole, the 
department's assistant secretary for environment and safety. 
("Final Data Released on Tests Involving Radiation Exposure," 
The Washington Post, August 1 8) 



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June - December 1995 



AUGUST - At a time when the Census Bureau would usually start 
increasing its spending to prepare for the next decennial census, the 
tight federal budget is forcing it to cut its operations and possibly 
even limit the amount of information it gathers for the count in the 
year 2000. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), who heads the House 
subcommittee that oversees the Census Bureau's appropriation, 
says it asks Americans too many questions anyway and its 
operation should be simplified to save money. But social scientists, 
marketing firms and others who use census data say that the 
demand for demographic information is soaring. Reducing the 
amount of data gathered by the census would not save that much 
money, they say, and would be an information-age disaster. 

Both sides in the debate agree that the problem for the Census 
Bureau will get only worse. As the bureau's costs escalate 
approaching the 2000 census, the Republicans will also be nearing 
2002, when they have said they will have balanced the federal 
budget. As a result. Congress will be looking even harder at 
trimming federal spending, including the Census Bureau's share. 
Tight budgets have already caused census officials to cut back on 
the publication of reports on data from previous surveys and to 
reduce the number of locations this year for testing new methods 
of counting people for the next census. Further reductions could 
cause the Census Bureau to postpone buying new imaging 
technology that would allow it to scan data from census forms into 
its computer system. The cutbacks could also reduce the amount of 
testing the bureau will do this year on how many and what kind of 
questions it will ask on the 2000 census, already a highly 
contentious issue. 

Rogers insists that if people really want specific kinds of data, 
they should pay for its collection. If government agencies need it, 
he said, they should fmance its collection out of their own budgets. 
"I don't care if it is authorized or mandated by law," he said. "This 
subcommittee is not going to pay for it." ("Cut in Budget May 
Hamper 2000 Census," The New York Times, August 23) 

AUGUST - The Food and Drug Administration announced new 
rules to help consumers know more about the drugs they take. The 
Patient Education program calls for pharmacies voluntarily to 
provide handouts with each prescription about a product's 
approved uses, possible side effects, and incompatibilities with 
other drugs. "The days of going into a pharmacy and being handed 
a bottle of pills with only very brief directions for use" are past, 
said FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler, who compared the 
initiative with the FDA's successful program to make food labels 
more readable and informative. 

The new push to require the medical profession to provide 
standardized drug information to patients goes back to FDA 
proposals from the late 1970s. The initiative was blunted in 1982 
as part of a regulatory rollback during the Reagan Administration, 
and the FDA opted for a voluntary plan. In the intervening years, 
pharmacies and HMOs have made increasing efforts to provide 
drug information to patients. A study cited by the FDA showed 
that by 1992 about one fourth of consumers were receiving written 
information that went beyond the label and stickers on the pill 



bottle. By the end of last year, about 55 percent of patients 
received such handouts. ("Pharmacies Told to Give Patients Full 
Drug Data," The Washington Post, August 24) 

AUGUST - Once citizens connect to "an interactive electronic 
government that answers its electronic mail, conducts virtual town 
meetings and makes millions of pages of public documents easily 
accessible to anyone with a personal computer," the reality of what 
is useful about electronic access to the government dissipates into 
a confusing labyrinth of worthless information and wasted, 
frustrating hours. Envisioned by Vice President Al Gore in 1994 as 
the torch-bearer for the electronic information revolution, the 
federal government has failed to live up to its potential. Eric 
Miller, who has helped develop an online presence for the 
Department of Justice, says that cybergovemment "is in its 
infancy. ... I was frankly astounded at how difficult and how hard 
it was to find information. ... It was a shock to me that it was not 
better. At this point, it seems that unless you know where you are 
going, you can't get there." 

Miller says technological know-how and bureaucratic mix-ups 
are barriers. He also claims that some governmental workers are 
afraid of putting some types of information in such a public forum. 
"We have had people with the department saying they don't want 
stuff public on the 'net. TTiey think it is too easy for people to find 
even though the information is publicly available," he said. Miller 
added that such fears are probably unfounded given the difficulty 
he's had fmding information. "First, they've got to find it," he said. 

For example, with fewer than one third of the congressional 
offices capable of responding to e-mail, most constituents are still 
better off sending a letter through the U.S. Postal Service. Access 
is no better elsewhere in the government. Once computer users 
succeed in connecting into government sites, what they find may 
be weeks or months out of date and the information less than 
helpful. The majority of the government homepages now online 
offer press releases and speeches by department heads, information 
about the department, logos, pictures and a roster of contacts. At 
the Department of Justice, the State Department and the 
Department of Veterans Affairs Internet sites, the most current 
releases were more than a week old. Some economic and census 
information available through the Census Bureau and the federal 
economic bulletin boards were more than two years old. A few 
pages, like the White House Homepage (http://www 
.whitehouse.gov) and the Library of Congress' THOMAS 
legislative server (http://thomas.loc.gov), have excelled by offering 
useful and entertaining information. Despite their efforts, however, 
most other government agencies are years away from providing 
fully interactive services to the public. ("The Information Beltway: 
The Feds Aren't Really Online Yet," Ann Arbor (MI) News, 
August 3 1 ) 

SEPTEMBER - In an op-ed piece, Robert Samuelson complained 
that scores of Census Bureau reports are being eliminated. In 1992, 
Census issued 1,035 reports; in 1994 the number was 635, and the 
retreat from print has only begun. Gone are, among others: 



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"Earnings by Occupation and Education," "Poverty Areas in the 
United States" and "Language Use in the United States." He said: 
"This is absurd. We go to great trouble to collect this information, 
and now Census is suppressing it. The losers are not just statistics 
addicts. Our public conversations depend heavily on these dry 
numbers. They shape the concept of who we are, of how society is 
performing and of what government should or shouldn't do. 
Political speeches routinely spit out statistics that can be made to 
tell stories: some true, some not so true. Keeping the conversations 
honest requires that the basic data be easily accessible to anyone 
who wants them." 

Samuelson continued: "When I say Census is 'suppressing,' 1 
don't mean that it's deliberately hiding its surveys. As a reporter, 
I've asked Census for information hundreds of times; I can't recall 
an instance when answers, when available, weren't provided 
quickly. The culture of the place is to release information. By its 
lights. Census isn't abandoning print so much as it's shifting its 
data to the Information Superhighway. Statistics are being 
distributed by CD-ROMs and the Internet. Already, Census brags 
that its World Wide Web site is receiving 50,000 hits a day. 
Sounds amazing. It isn't. Those 50,000 daily hits are a lot less 
breathtaking than they seem, even if the figure is accurate (and I 
have my doubts.) In May, Interactive Age. a trade publication, 
surveyed Internet sites. It reported that Pathfinder (the site for 
Time Warner publications, such as Time and People) had about 
686,000 daily hits. Playboy had about 675,000 and HotWired had 
about 429,000. I mention these popular sites because they belong 
to magazines. As yet, none is forsaking the printed page for the 
glories of the Internet." 

He went on to say: "Census's shift from print clearly 
discriminates against people (including me) who don't surf the 
Internet or use CD-ROMs. We remain the vast majority. American 
Demographics magazine recently reported a number of surveys 
that tried to measure U.S. Internet use in 1994. The surveys put 
usage of the World Wide Web between 2 million and 13.5 million 
people, which is at most about 5 percent. The average income of 
Internet households was $67,000, which is the richest fifth of 
Americans." Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population 
Reference Bureau, observes, "It's going to be a disaster for the 
average analyst." Downloading and printing data from the Internet 
can take hours. Getting a number from a CD-ROM is often a lot 
harder than getting it from a book. To Haub, Census is transferring 
a lot of the cost — in time and money — of making statistical 
information useful to people like him. 

Samuelson points out that print's other great virtue is that it 
guarantees a historic record. He says Census should be issuing its 
data in computer-friendly ways, but not as a substitute for printed 
reports. ("Out of Print," The Washington Post, September 6) 

[Ed. Note: Martha Famsworth Riche, director of the Bureau of the 
Census, responded to Samuelson's article in a letter to the editor in 
The Washington Post on September 18. She said that printed 
reports will still be available, but to help defray costs, the Census 
Bureau is forming partnerships with private and nonprofit 



organizations to print and distribute some reports. As an example, 
she mentioned a recent report on Hispanic population trends that 
was printed and distributed by the National Association of 
Hispanic Publications.] 

SEPTEMBER - The White House withheld a handwrinen note- 
book kept by Vincent W. Foster Jr. about the controversial firing 
of White House travel office employees from federal investigators 
for a year after Foster's death. The file was not disclosed to Robert 
B. Fiske Jr., the first Whitewater independent counsel, until July 
1994, the month after Fiske completed a report that concluded 
Foster committed suicide and that the travel office affair weighed 
heavily on his mind. The file was also withheld from the Justice 
Department, which was investigating the FBI's role in the travel 
office firings. The notebook, made public by the White House in 
July 1995, discusses the actions of the FBI, First Lady Hillary 
Rodham Clinton and the White House counsel's office in the travel 
office, which erupted into a public controversy two months before 
Foster's death. ("White House Kept Foster's Travel Office 
Notebook From Investigators for a Year," The Washington Post, 
September 16) 

SEPTEMBER- Recently declassified CIA documents relating to 
the 1963 killing of President John F. Kennedy show that the 
agency blocked the release of records to keep from acknowledging 
the bugging of the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City and other 
clandestine operations. The Assassination Records Review Board, 
in releasing 39 CIA JFK documents, said some words and phrases 
would remain secret and in almost every case found that "the 
redacted information contains no substantive information about the 
assassination of President Kennedy or about Lee Harvey Oswald," 
the man accused of killing the president in Dallas. ("CIA Bugged 
Soviet Embassy in Mexico Cit>'," The Washington Post. September 
22) 

SEPTEMBER - The National Reconnaissance Organization, the 
federal agency that manages the nation's spy satellite program, has 
accumulated unspent funds totaling more than $1 billion without 
informing its supervisors at the Pentagon and CIA or Congress, 
according to Capitol Hill sources. The ability of the agency to salt 
away so much money from its classified, multimillion-dollar 
budget reaffirmed longstanding concerns in Congress that 
intelligence agencies sometimes use their secret status to avoid 
accountability. Following congressional complaints about the 
NRO's finances, CIA Director John M. Deutch launched an 
inquiry and recently ordered a restructuring of the NRO's financial 
management and spending. 

The National Reconnaissance Organization, whose name was 
classified until three years ago, supervises design, development, 
procurement and launching of satellites and maneuvers them, at the 
direction of CIA and Pentagon program managers. The unspent 
funds were discovered after the Senate intelligence committee 
raised questions about a luxurious, $300 million new headquarters 
complex NRO was building in Fairfax County', whose officials had 



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been told the building was for Roctcwell International Corporation. 
("Spy Agency Hoards Secret $1 Billion," The Washington Post, 
September 24) 

SEPTEMBER - The Supreme Court has agreed to review the 
government's refusal to adjust the 1990 census results to correct an 
acknowledged undercount that missed a disproportionate number 
of black and Hispanic residents of large cities. The Clinton 
Administration appealed the census case to the Court in defense of 
a policy judgment made in 1991 by the Bush Administration. The 
case does not present the Court with the ultimate and highly 
charged question of how the 1990 census should have been 
conducted. There is no dispute that the census missed about five 
million people, or that the statistical adjustment the Bush 
Administration considered and rejected would have changed the 
size of four states' congressional delegations and realigned power 
in other states. The legal question for the Court is whether the Bush 
Administration's policy choice was entitled to deference from the 
federal courts in which it was challenged by New York City and 
other big cities, or whether the government should have to meet a 
high standard of proof in justifying its decision, as the federal 
appeals court in New York ruled last year. The case, Wisconsin v. 
New York City, No. 94-1614, will be argued in January 1996. 
("High Court to Hear Case on Government's Refusal to Adjust 
Census," The New York Times, September 28) 

SEPTEMBER - Two Senators who oversee the Central Intel- 
ligence Agency said they would ask the Justice Department to 
determine whether senior CIA officials broke the law by not telling 
Congress that the agency's paid agents in the Guatemalan military 
were suspected of murder and torture. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), 
chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Robert 
Kerrey (D-NE), its ranking member, said the agency had 
"knowingly misled" the committee about the depth of human rights 
abuses by the Guatemalan agents. CIA Director John M. Deutch 
told the Senators in a closed-door hearing that "Congress was not 
kept informed as required by law." He said CIA officers had also 
failed to tell the truth to their own colleagues as well as to two 
successive United States Ambassadors to Guatemala. Deutch said, 
"I expect to find further instances" of falsity or failure to disclose 
the facts by the agency's covert operations divisions. 

A 1980 law requires the CIA to keep Congress "fully and 
currently informed" about its activities abroad. The law, which 
carries no criminal penalties, is the foundation of a painstaking 
series of rules designed to keep the secret agency within the realm 
of democracy. But it was broken said Tony Harrington, a 
Washington lawyer and chairman of the President's Intelligence 
Oversight Board, an independent panel reviewing the Guatemalan 
affair. "There was a violation of the law here — there can be no 
dispute," Harrington said. "You would think that between 1980 
and now somebody would have implemented the law through a 
thoughtful process. But Deutch is committed to making this a 
serious process. He's nailed to the front door a statement saying 
this is important." ("Senators Seek Legal Inquiry on C.I. A. in 



Guatemala," The New York Times, September 30) 

SEPTEMBER - The following article is quoted in its entirety: 

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) disinformation is being 
disseminated by the Heritage Foundation in its book A Citizens 
Guide to Regulation (page 13). Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) 
used the foundation's material, apparently without further 
investigation, in a "Top Ten List of Silly Regulations" released 
on July 1 1 . Number one was: 

/. Fining a company $34,000 for failing to fill out "Form 
R " in spite of the fact that the company does not release toxic 
materials. 

In fact, however, the company (a San Diego, Calif, 
manufacturer of electronic components) reports TRI off-site 
transfers of about 10,000 pounds of toxic copper wastes each 
year. Further, the fine was reduced to $4,500. In addition, EPA 
had already changed the TRI requirements to exempt releases 
or transfers of less than 500 pounds from detailed reporting. 

Copper is toxic if it becomes bioavailable. It damages the 
liver and kidneys at high levels, and can harm the nervous 
system. Infants and children are especially susceptible. 
Approximately 50 Superfund sites need clean up for copper 
contamination — the very type of problem that TRI reporting 
helps to prevent. 
("Disinformation Watch," Working Notes on Community Right-to- 
Know, September-October) 

OCTOBER- When Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) wrote Nashville 
real estate developer Ted Welch a letter encouraging him to make 
a $IO,000-a-year contribution, he offered a glimpse into GOPAC's 
strategy that illustrates why the highly secretive group became so 
controversial. That letter and two others obtained by The 
Washington Post shed light because little has been known about 
how GOPAC raised and spent money in its early years. Concern 
about GOPAC's secrecy and whether it was violating federal 
election laws has only heightened since Republicans gained control 
of Congress in 1994 in keeping with the group's long-range goal. 
The Federal Election Commission recently brought suit against 
GOPAC, questioning the legality of its operations during several 
years when it was not yet registered as a federal political action 
committee but working to gain a GPO majority. 

Gingrich wrote Welch that GOPAC was "active in 22 
congressional districts" and working with the National Republican 
Congressional Committee to develop a "farm team" of GOP 
congressional candidates who would help the party gain control of 
Congress. Gingrich, now the House speaker, has insisted 
repeatedly that GOPAC was not involved in raising money for 
national political races until after it registered as a federal political 
action committee in May 1991. But GOPAC's activities and its 
secretive operating style have been a recurring issue for Gingrich, 
who used the fijnd-raising arm to build his national reputation and 
lend support to his GPO allies across the country. ("Gingrich 
Letters Offer Insight on GOPAC's Goals," The Washington Post, 
October 2) 



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OCTOBER - The Advisory Committee on Human Radiation 
Experiments proposed that surviving subjects of three research 
projects — or the famihes of deceased subjects — should receive 
monetary damages and an apology from the government. 
Following an 18-month search of hundreds of thousands of 
documents fi^om the Atomic Energy Commission and other 
agencies sponsoring the experiments involving tens of thousands 
of individuals between 1944 and the mid-1970s, the panel issued 
a 1 , 000-page report. Apparently individuals in vulnerable popu- 
lation groups including children, pregnant women and African 
Americans were involved unwittingly. In one case, mentally 
retarded teenagers at the Femald School in Massachusetts were fed 
irradiated cereal. In another, the testicles of federal prisoners in 
Oregon and Washington state were irradiated with heavy doses of 
X-rays. 

Ruth Faden, chair of the radiation panel and a bioethicist at 
Johns Hopkins University, said one of the most unfortunate aspects 
of the experiments was the great pains taken to conduct them in a 
shroud of secrecy. Individuals taking part in tests should have a 
right to know of their participation, she added. Faden said the panel 
has created a detailed database available to individuals who suspect 
they or their relatives may have been subjects. The data will be 
widely available to the public through files and on the Internet. 
Even today, she said, rules could allow some experiments to be 
conducted in secret. The panel also proposed establishing 
guidelines to protect the rights of subjects in future experiments. It 
suggested that the federal government sharpen the rules for gaining 
consent of participants and for public disclosure about the nature 
of experiments. ("Panel Urges Compensation for Radiation 
Subjects," The Washington Post, October 3) 

[Ed. Note: Copies of the report can be obtained by writing to the 
U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, 
PA 1 5250 or by calling 202-5 1 2- 1 800.] 

OCTOBER - During a congressional hearing on October 24, 
representatives of five federal agencies that reviewed the White 
House's handling of the firings of White House travel office 
employees said documents, facts or witnesses were kept from 
them. Michael Shaheen of the Justice Department's Office of 
Professional Responsibility was the most blunt. He said that the 
White House's lack of "cooperation and candor" was 
"unprecedented," rating the Administration as a four on a scale of 
10 for openness. On one level, Shaheen gave the Administration 
the benefit of the doubt for being inexperienced in May 1993, but 
he said the White House staff should have handled the situation 
better and been more cooperative, especially since Clinton 
promised Attorney General Janet Reno that they would be 
forthcoming. ("Papers Detail Clinton Friend's Contract Push," The 
IVashington Post, October 25) 

[Ed. Note: The former head of the White House travel office, 
whose dismissal became an embarrassment for the Clinton 
Administration, was acquitted of criminal charges that he had 



embezzled $68,000 paid by news organizations for presidential 
trips. ("Ousted White House Travel Chief Is Cleared of 
Embezzlement," The New York Times, November 1 7)] 

OCTOBER- Sen. Daniel Patt-ick Moynihan (D-NY) accused the 
White House of deliberately suppressing a study of the pending 
Senate welfare reform bill that concluded it would push 1.1 million 
children into poverty and make families already below the poverty 
line worse off. The study, by the Department of Health and Human 
Services, has not been officially made public. But word of its 
existence leaked out among Democrats who say the White House 
has suppressed it because the President wants to sign some form of 
legislation overhauling welfare, as he has promised to do. After 
Moynihan charged that the White House was hiding the poverty 
study, the White House press secretary Michael McCurry referred 
inquiries to the Department of Health and Human Services. But a 
department official denied that such a study existed. ("White 
House Held On to Study of Senate Bill's Harm," The New York 
Times, October 28) 

OCTOBER- In a 13-page article in The Washington Post Maga- 
zine, George Wilson and Peter Carlson described the U.S. Navy's 
A- 12 Avenger, a plane that has never flown and never will, a 
procurement fiasco that has already cost American taxpayers more 
than $3 billion and is quite likely to cost them $2 billion more. In 
1988, the A-12 was the Navy's great hope for the future. The A-12 
was killed in 1991 by Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney who 
was angry that the plane was at least a billion dollars over budget 
and a year behind schedule, facts that the Navy and its contractors 
had concealed from him until after he testified to Congress that the 
A-12 project was proceeding just fine. When the bad news finally 
surfaced, there were several congressional hearings into the 
debacle, plus a criminal investigation by the Defense Department's 
inspector general. The investigation never led to the filing of any 
criminal charges, and the Pentagon promptly classified the 
investigators' report to the inspector general, even though it 
contains no militar>' secrets. ("Stealth Albatross," The Washington 
Post Magazine. October 29) 

OCTOBER - The CIA passed to U.S. presidents and other top 
officials in the late 1980s and early 1990s misleading information 
obtained from Soviet double agents put in place by the KGB with 
the help of confessed spy Aldrich H. Ames, according to rwo new 
CIA reports. As a result of this "massive disinformation campaign" 
by the Soviets, one former top intelligence official said, "the U.S. 
released publicly wrong information and may have wasted millions 
of dollars retooling military equipment to meet fabricated changes 
in Soviet capabilities." The disclosure of the KGB's double agent 
operation is contained in the damage assessment of the year- long 
inquiry into the effect of Ames' espionage prepared by Richard L. 
Haver, executive director of Intelligence Community Affairs, and 
a follow-up investigation by CIA Inspector General Frederick P. 
Hitz. The apparent delivery of double agency material to 
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush is particularly 



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embarrassing for the CIA, one former top official said, 
"particularly if we were disseminating information that was fake 
and the agency knew it." A former top CIA official said some 
agency personnel disagree with Hitz and say that the nature of the 
sources was described in the reports. ("CIA Passed Bogus News to 
Presidents," The Washington Post, October 3 1 ) 

[Ed. Note: A November 17 article, "Tainted Intelligence Issue 
Blunted," in The Washington Post reported that a Defense 
Department review had been unable so far to find any policy or 
weapon purchase decision that "in and of itself was shaped by 
tainted Soviet intelligence provided to the Pentagon by the CIA 
between 1986 and 1994. On the other hand, when the CIA released 
a report in December, Director John Deutch concluded that the 
Soviet deception scheme "diminished our ability to understand" 
crucial political, military and diplomatic developments inside the 
Soviet Union and Russia for nine years, and the consequences were 
enormous. ("C.I. A. Chief Says Moscow, With Help From Double 
Agent, Warped U.S. Perceptions," The New York Times, December 
9)] 

NOVEMBER - In a notice published in the October 16 Federal 
Register, the FBI has proposed a national wiretapping system of 
unprecedented size and scope that would give law enforcement 
officials the capacity to monitor simultaneously as many as one out 
of every 100 phone lines in some high-crime areas in the country. 
Such a surveillance ability would vastly exceed the current needs 
of law enforcement officials around the country, who in recent 
years have conducted an annual average of fewer than 850 court- 
authorized wiretaps — or fewer than one in every 174,000 phone 
lines. The plan, which needs congressional approval for the funds 
to finance it, would still require a court warrant to conduct 
wiretaps. Still, the proposed expansion of the government's 
eavesdropping abilities raises questions about why the FBI believes 
it may require such broad access to the nation's phone network in 
the future. And privacy-rights advocates see the specter of a Big 
Brother surveillance capability whose very existence might 
encourage law enforcement officials to use wiretapping much more 
frequently as an investigative tool. ("F.B.I. Wants Advanced 
System to Vastly Increase Wiretapping," The New York Times, 
November 2) 

NOVEMBER - The Clinton Administration is withholding intel- 
ligence from an international court investigating war crimes in 
Bosnia. "There's certain types of intelligence information that our 
government cannot share with the international community," said 
Michael McCurry, the White House spokesperson, when asked 
about complaints from the court's chief prosecutor that the United 
States had not cooperated. It was the first time that despite its 
stated policy of cooperating fully with the tribunal the United 
States could not give the court all the information it is seeking, 
both the White House and State Department acknowledged. ("U.S. 
Says It Is Withholding Data From War Crimes Panel," The New 
York Times, November 8) 



NOVEMBER - The Clinton Adminisfration spent $13.4 million 
preparing its doomed health care initiative and another $433,966 
defending a lawsuit that challenged the secrecy in which First Lady 
Hillary Rodham Clinton and others assembled the plan, congres- 
sional investigators said. The overall price tag, prepared by the 
General Accounting Office, is well above White House estimates 
and raised new charges from Republican legislators about the 
Administration's credibility. The White House initially predicted 
the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform would 
cost "below $100,000" but later raised the figure to about 
$200,000. ("GAO Price Tag on White House's Failed Health Care 
Initiative: Almost $14 Million," The Washington Post, November 
10) 

NOVEMBER - The partial shutdown of the federal government 
is jeopardizing the flow of government statistics to many users, 
including federal policymakers, business executives, investors, 
bond traders, landlords, forecasters and state and local gov- 
ernments. At risk are the Labor Department statistics on the 
number of people filing initial claims for jobless benefits during 
the previous week, the consumer price index and the household 
employment and unemployment figures for November. 
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department was unable to issue a 
scheduled report on sales and inventories for the manufacturing, 
wholesale and retail trade sectors of the economy in September. 
("Shutdown's Next Casualty May Be Government's Numbers," 
The Washington Post, November 1 6) 

NOVEMBER - Tom Blanton wrote an article in the Outlook 
section of The Washington Post adapted from his new book, White 
House E-Mail: The Top Secret Computer Messages the Reagan/ 
Bush White House Tried to Destroy. He described the remarkable 
case of the White House e-mail when hundreds of senior White 
House staff during the 1980s believed that the stream of computer 
messages they generated would never be seen by outsiders. In fact, 
in the last weeks of the Reagan Administration in January 1989, 
they cleared out their computer disks. But the e-mail survived, on 
backup computer tapes, thanks to a six-year legal battle waged by 
public-interest groups, historians and librarians against the Reagan, 
Bush and Clinton Administrations. Some 5,907 computer tapes and 
disk drives are now in the National Archives, undergoing 
preservation copying. ("New Rules for the E-Mail Generation," 
The Washington Post, November 26) 

[Ed. Note: ALA is one of the plaintiffs in the case, Armstrong v. 
Executive Office of the President, Blanton discusses.] 

NOVEMBER - Three people suspected of paranormal powers 
known as "remote viewers" have been employed by the U.S. 
military for years, working at Fort Meade, MD. The effort, which 
cost $1 1 million from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, was of 
uncertain value, according to a study conducted recently for the 
CIA. The agency was told by Congress to take over the secret 
program from the Pentagon last summer and decided to take a 



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close look at what it was getting into. CIA officials said they have 
concluded that no more public funds should be spent on it. 
("Pentagon Has Spent Millions on Tips from Trio of Psychics," 
The Washington Post, November 29) 

NOVEMBER - The Federal Election Commission has charged 
that GOPAC, the political organization led for years by Speaker 
Newt Gingrich, provided him with more than $250,000 in hidden 
support in 1990 as he faced his toughest reelection campaign. Fn 
court documents, the commission said the support included paying 
the salaries and expenses of GOPAC political consultants who 
devoted much of their work to helping Gingrich. GOPAC's stated 
mission at the time, which freed it from federal regulation and 
supervision, was to help Republicans in elections for state and 
local offices. The committee made donations averaging $300 to 
$500 to candidates in 1990, the election commission said. The FEC 
is not saying that Gingrich benefited illegally from the GOPAC 
support. Instead, the commission is charging that the group 
violated federal election law by actively attempting to influence 
federal campaigns without registering as a federal political 
committee, a step that would have required, among other things, 
disclosure of donors and expenditures. 

Gingrich told the FEC that he was aware of the need to keep 
GOPAC and his campaign separated, but he left that to others. 
Democrats have argued that Gingrich misused GOPAC, making it 
into a secret political arsenal. GOPAC decided this year to disclose 
the identity of its donors, a break from past practice. ("Election 
Panel Says Gingrich Got Hidden Aid," The New York Times, 
November 30) 

DECEMBER - Independent Counsel Joseph diGenova called the 
1992 preelection search of then-candidate Bill Clinton's passport 
by Bush Administration officials "stupid, dumb and partisan." But 
he said the government owed an apology to those who 
subsequently "were unjustly accused of violating the law." 
("Independent Council Calls '92 Clinton Passport Search 'Stupid' 
but Not Illegal," The Washington Post, December 1) 

DECEMBER - Asserting the attorney-client privilege for the 
second time in a week, the White House ordered an adviser to 
President Clinton not to answer questions from the Senate 
Whitewater Committee about a November 1993 meeting of the 
President's top personal and government lawyers and other 
officials to discuss Whitewater. William Kennedy, former White 
House associate counsel, repeatedly declined to answer questions 
from Senators about the meeting or notes he took at it. Sen. 
Alphonse D' Amato (R-NY) who heads the Whitewater Committee, 
said after the hearings that, if the White House refused to 
cooperate, he would ask the committee to issue subpoenas. 
("Clinton Adviser Is Ordered Not to Answer Whitewater Queries," 
The New York Times, December 6) 

[Ed. Note: Paving the way for a constitutional and political clash, 
D' Amato announced that the Whitewater Committee would issue 



a subpoena for the notes of a 1993 meeting where President 
Clinton's top lawyers and other officials discussed Whitewater. 
("Senate Panel Will Subpoena Notes of Whitewater Meeting," The 
New York Times, December 7)] 

DECEMBER - Over the protests of the Department of Defense, 
the Clinton Administration has decided to return to Haiti tens of 
thousands of sensitive documents that were seized by American 
troops during the 1994 intervention and which have become the 
source of friction between Haiti and the U.S. military and 
intelligence officials took the position that the documents did not 
belong to the Aristide government because they were records from 
the previous regime. U.S. officials had said they would not turn 
over the papers for fear the Haitian government would use them to 
retaliate against people named in the documents. ("U.S. to Return 
Documents Seized Last Year in Haiti," The Washington Post, 
December 6) 

DECEMBER - Archivist of the United States John Carlin 
announced that the Justice Department has decided not to appeal 
a federal court ruling that voided an agreement made hours before 
President Bush left office. The agreement, signed by then-Archivist 
Don Wilson, gave Bush "exclusive legal control" over all White 
House computer records and backup tapes. Wilson later became 
executive director of the George Bush Presidential Studies Center 
at Texas A&M University and his agreement with the President 
became the subject of a lawsuit and conflict-of-interest allegations. 
In February, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey overturned the 
agreement, ruling that it violated the Presidential Records Act, a 
law enacted after Watergate to prevent future presidents from 
destroying presidential documents. Kate Martin, an attorney with 
the National Security Archive, said the Clinton Administration had 
recognized "that a president cannot make a private deal" about 
what happens to White House records. The Administration's 
decision also establishes the principle that presidential decisions 
about those records are subject to review by the courts, Martin 
said. 

Archivist Carlin said he agreed with the judge's decision 
voiding the agreement and that the Clinton Administration's appeal 
was planned "on technical grounds." Carlin said in a statement: 
"On behalf of the National Archives, I strongly support the 
decision of the solicitor general and I am pleased that this litigation 
is fmally behind us." ("White House Drops Appeal of Ruling in E- 
Mail Case, The Washington Post, December 16) 

[Ed. Note: ALA is a plaintiff in the above-mentioned lawsuit, 
American Historical Association v. Peterson/Carlin. originally 
filed by the National Security Archive and others.] 

DECEMBER - The official historian for the Internal Revenue 
Service, Shelley Davis, is resigning in protest from the agency. Her 
job for seven years has been to catalog the historical records of an 
agency that is ubiquitous in American life, and chronicle its past. 
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to keep meticulous financial records, dumps its own historical files 
in a basement or in desk drawers — or shreds them. The IRS, she 
has been told, even has begun an investigation of her, fearful that 
she may have passed on to outsiders too much history. 

When Davis came to work at the IRS in 1988, she found there 
were hardly any records about IRS operations after 1930. And the 
agency, which by law must turn over records of historical 
significance to the National Archives, had last done so in 
1971 — and those papers involved tax-assessment lists from 1909 
through 1917. The IRS replies that it is caught between 
contradictory federal statutes. One requires it to turn over historical 
records to the National Archives, but another one prohibits it from 
turning over any individual tax information to outsiders. Wlien 
Davis found about 70 boxes of records in a basement office, one 
box had files relating to President Nixon's 1970 and 1971 tax 
audits. Then unknown to her, in the spring of 1994 IRS officials 
recommended shredding nearly the whole load, while saving a few 
boxes in a records warehouse. Davis tried to halt the destruction 
and contacted the National Archives, which sent a stiff letter to the 
IRS, complaining about the "paucity of the IRS's records among 
our holdings'" and urging the agency to save the records. She also 
complained to the IRS's internal-security division. Her tactics 
worked; the boxes remain intact in the IRS basement. By last 
summer, an IRS investigation of Davis appeared to be underway. 
Davis considered the investigation to be harassment, and cited it in 
her December 8 letter of resignation, which is effective December 
29. "It was this final instance of retaliation that made me realize I 
had exhausted all available internal channels," she wrote. "Without 
solid policies and programs in place to ensure that vital 
documentation is not destroyed, there can be no history." That isn't 
much of a problem anymore for the IRS. The agency says it is 
abolishing the historian's post after Davis leaves. ("IRS Historian 
Quits Over How Agency Is Treating Its Past," The Wall Street 
Journal, December 1 5) 

[ Ed. Note: U.S. Archivist John Carlin has given the IRS 90 days 
to come up with a plan to identify, safeguard and eventually turn 
over to his office records that may have historic value. His 50-page 
evaluation cited "serious shortcomings" in IRS recordkeeping and 
questioned wither some important records had been lost or 
destroyed. ("U.S. Archives Warns I.R.S. Over Secrecy," The New 
York Times, December 2 1 )] 

DECEMBER- The Senate voted 5 1-45, breaking entirely on party 
lines, to approve a resolution to ask a federal judge to order 
President Clinton to comply with subpoenas and turn over 
Whitewater material that the White House has said is protected by 
the lawyer-client and executive privileges. The material, notes of 
a 1993 meeting of President Clinton's senior aides and his lawyers 
to discuss Whitewater, has been the subject of a bitter fight 
between the White House and Republicans on the Senate 
Whitewater Committee for the several weeks. Republicans have 
speculated that the notes could show that White House aides 
improperly provided confidential information about two politically 



sensitive investigations to private lawyers for the President and his 
wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The White House has said the notes 
will shed no significant new light on the conduct of the Clintons or 
their aides. In the sharpest Republican attack yet. Sen. Lauch 
Faircloth (R-NC) said on the Senate floor that Mrs. Clinton had 
lied to federal investigators, in violation of the law, about how she 
and her law firm had come to represent the savings and loan 
association, Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. Democrats 
responded angrily that Faircloth and others had distorted the 
conclusions of investigators and that months of federal and 
congressional investigations had uncovered no crimes on the part 
of the Clintons. 

On December 20, the White House dropped most of its 
remaining conditions for releasing the material and said it would 
make the documents public if the House Banking and Financial 
Services Committee, which is also investigating Whitewater, 
agreed that such a disclosure would not waive the President's 
lawyer-client privilege. The White House's new posture came 
shortly after it announced Administration officials had said that the 
Whitewater independent counsel, Kenneth W. Starr, agreed to this 
condition. ("Senate Asks Judge to Order President to Yield on 
Notes," The New York Times, December 2 1 ) 

DECEMBER - The following article is quoted in its entirity. 

Usually, the Federal Aviation Administration issues rules 
by the pound, filling shelves in law offices and libraries all over 
America with weighty tomes printed in tiny agate type. 
Recently it switched; In releasing what was described as the 
most comprehensive aviation rulemaking in more than 25 
years, it handed out floppy disks. And nothing else. 

The rulemaking covered new standards for commuter 
airplanes, a proposal for new limits on how many hours a pilot 
can be on duty and a justification for forcing airline pilots to 
retire at the age of 60. It came to 1.4 megabytes, on two 
floppies. 

"The printmg costs would sink us," said Drucie Andersen, 
a spokeswoman for the agency, explaining the decision. A 
printed publication of the regulation would have been 1,000 
pages long. 

The agency was not required to hand out any copies; under 
the Administrative Procedures Act, all it had to do was deliver 
one to the Federal Register for publication. The Register is still 
a magazine-sized paper document, but the quicker way to gain 
access to its contents would be via the World Wide Web on the 
Internet (at the address http://www.access.gpo.gov/su-docs/). 
Among the advantages of using the site is its built-in search 
function. 

As a practical matter, though, the F.A.A. was looking for 
publicity and had to give out something to the dozens of 
reporters it gathered for the release of the new rules. The 
material on the disks included narrative text and charts, 
showing when each of various regulations would take effect, 
complete with a rich harvest of footnotes, asterisks and caveats. 

Releasing data electronically is not new for the Gov- 



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eminent, but releasing rules, not merely information, in that 
format only is unusual. The Environmental Protection Agency 
has distributed information that way exclusively. For example, 
it has provided electronic data bases, like toxic release 
inventories and summaries of advice on limiting consumption 
of freshwater fish from polluted waters. President Clinton's ill- 
fated health care reform package was distributed elecfronically 
as well. 

The Justice Department, in issuing data on compliance with 
the Americans with Disabilities Act, published a braille edition, 
Ruth Pontius, a senior editor at the Federal Register, said. 

The Federal Government issues a compilation every two 



years of all the data bases it maintains that have information about 
individuals in them. The last edition, published in 1994 and 
covering 1993, was issued only on CD-ROM, Ms. Pontius said. 
"It's probably going to be the wave fo the fiiture," she said. 
But maybe not for the F.A.A. itself Developing new 
computers and software for air traffic control, it had at one 
point decided to store all the numerous procedures 
electronically, but later gave up on the idea as too cumbersome; 
the plan now is that they will stay on paper, in three-ring 
binders chained to desktops. 
("F.A.A., Publicizing New Rules, Passes on Paper to Choose 
Disks," The New York Times, December 25) 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have been compiled in two indexed volumes covering the periods April 1981 -December 1987 
and January 1988-December 1991. Less Access... updates are available for $1.00; the 1981-1987 volume is $7.00; the 1988-1991 
volume is $10.00. To order, contact the American Library Association Washington Office, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, #403, 
Washington, DC 20004-1701; 202-628-8410, fax 202-628-8419. All orders must be prepaid and must include a self-addressed 
mailing label. 



ALA Washington Office 



12 



December 1995 







ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 403 

Washington, DC 20004-1701 

Tel: 202-628-8410 Fax:202-628-8419 E-mail: alawash@alawash.org http://www.alawash.org 

July 1996 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXVI 
A 1996 Chronology: January - June 



INTRODUCTION 

For the past 1 5 years, this ongoing chronology has documented 
efforts to restrict and privatize government information. For the first 
time, it is an electronic publication. The ALA Washington Office 
plans to distribute a printed version of this chronology in September 
1996. 

While government information is more accessible through 
computer networks and the Freedom of Information Act, there are 
still barriers to pubhc access. The latest damaging disclosures facing 
the Clinton Administration involve allegations of concealing 
information and claiming executive privilege. Continuing 
revelations of Cold War secrecy show how government information 
has been concealed, resulting in a lack of public accountability and 
cost to taxpayers. 

Another development, with major implications for public access, 
is the growing tendency of federal agencies to use computer and 
telecommunication technologies for data collection, storage, retrieval, 
and dissemination. This trend has resulted in the increased 
emergence of contractual arrangements with commercial firms to 
disseminate information collected at taxpayer expense, higher user 
charges for government information, and the proliferation of 
government information available in electronic format only. While 
automation clearly offers promises of savings, will public access to 
government information be further restricted for people who cannot 
afford computers or pay for computer time? 



On the other hand, the Government Printing Office GPO Access 
system and the Library of Congress THOMAS system have enhanced 
public access by providing free online access to goverrunent 
databases. A recent study for Congress prepared by GPO 
recommends a five to seven year transition to a more electronic 
depository program instead of the rapid two-year transition proposed 
in 1 995 by the House of Representatives. 

ALA 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 information, and to develop support 
for improvements in access to government information. 

With access to information a major ALA priority, members 
should be concerned about barriers to public access to government 
information. Previous chronologies were compiled in two ALA 
Washington Office indexed publications. Less Access to Less 
Information By and About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 
Chronology, and Less Access...: A 1988-1991 Chronology. The 
following chronology continues the tradition of a semi-annual update. 



Less Access.. 



January - June 1996 



CHRONOLOGY 

JANUARY - According to the General Accounting Office, the 
Postal Service is spending $1 1 .9 million to survey businesses on how 
well it delivers their mail, but is keeping the results secret, fearing the 
information would help its competitors. In 1 993 when the Postal 
Service contracted with the Gallup Organization to survey its 
business customers, many businesses expected the results to be made 
public. According to GAO, it was after the Postal Service got the 
first results in April 1 994 that the agency decided against making 
them public. 

The GAO report comes six weeks after postal officials confirmed 
that they will no longer publicize a key consumer satisfaction rating 
that the postal service developed to gauge how residential customers 
around the country view their mail service. The GAO suggested in 
its report to Representative John McHugh (R-NY), chair of the 
House Postal Service Subcommittee, that the agency should have 
been making greater— not less— public use of the ratings. ("Postal 
Service Won't Reveal Data from Customer Survey," The Washington 
Post, January 3) 

JANUARY - The New York Times editorialized: "Too little has been 
made of a landmark victory for open government. Hundreds of 
millions of classified documents will soon become public thanks to 
Executive Order 1 2958, which came into force Oct. 1 5 and requires 
the automatic declassification of most U.S. Government files more 
than 25 years old. The struggle against obsessive secrecy is far from 
over, but President Clinton has honored his promise to let more 
sunshine in. It has begun to shine even at the Central Intelligence 
Agency." 

The editorial maintains that the Executive Order is "nothing less 
than an act of liberation for the National Archives, guardian of five 
billion Federal documents. Uniform standards for classification will 
apply for the first time to all Federal agencies, and the burden is now 
on officials to show why a document should be kept secret for 10 
years, the new limit for most files. In theory, this should sharply 
reduce the number of secret files. In practice, it will require 
continuous oversight by citizens to make sure their public servants 
abide by the new rules." ("The Struggle Against Secrecy," The New 
York Times, January 3). 

JANUARY -A new prosecutor agreed to drop felony charges against 
former Secretary of Interior James Watt in exchange for Watt's guilty 
plea to a single misdemeanor. Watt had been indicted in 1 995 on 25 
counts charging him with lying to Congress and a grand jury and 
obstructing prosecutors. Watt's legal troubles stemmed principally 
from his insistence that he had few documents of "marginal, if any, 
relevance" to the grand jury investigating political favoritism and 
mismanagement at the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development during the Reagan Administration. But during a search 
of his family garage early in 1995, Watt found documents including 
letters he had written to then-HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr., 
another focus of the investigation, as well as to business associates 



and a HUD under secretary about certain projects of interest to clients 
of Watt, a consultant. When Watt turned them over, prosecutors were 
incensed because he had failed to turn them over sooner. The 
independent counsel even blamed Watt for dragging out his 
investigation, which began in 1 990, and driving up its expense. Its 
cost increased $3 million since January 1995. ( "When Subpoenaed 
in 1990, Watt Made the Wrong Call," The iVashington Post, January 
5) 

JANUARY - A memo by David Watkins, a former top Clinton aide, 
depicts Hillary Rodham Clinton as the central figure in the 1993 
fravel office dismissals, a politically damaging episode that the aide 
said resulted from a climate of fear in which officials did not dare 
question her wishes. The newly released draft memo also sharply 
contradicts the White House's official account of Mrs. Clinton as 
merely an interested observer in the events that led to the dismissal 
of the White House travel staff' and their replacement with Clinton 
associates from Arkansas. Watkins was dismissed in 1994 after 
using a government helicopter for a golf outing, and White House 
officials discounted his description of Mrs. Clinton's role as 
inaccurate. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry on the fravel office 
resulted in the indictment of Billy Dale, the fravel office director, in 
December 1 994, on charges that he embezzled $68,000 paid by news 
organizations for Presidential trips. In November 1995, a jury 
acquitted him. ("Memo Places Hillary Clinton at Core of Travel 
Office Case," The New York Times, January 5) 

JANUARY - After nearly two years of searches and subpoenas, the 
White House said that it had unexpectedly discovered copies of 
missing documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's law firm that 
describe her work for a failing savings and loan association in the 
1980s. Federal and Congressional investigators have issued 
subpoenas for the documents since 1994, and the White House has 
said it did not have them. The originals disappeared from the Rose 
Law Firm, where Mrs. Clinton was a partner, before President 
Clinton took oflice. The newly discovered documents were copies of 
billing records from the Rose firm, where Mrs. Clinton helped to 
represent Madison Guaranty, a savings association run by the 
Clinton's business partner in the Whitewater land venture. The 
Clinton's personal attorney said the documents show that the work 
Mrs. Clinton performed was limited both in time and scope, as she 
has repeatedly said. ("Elusive Whitewater Papers Are Found at 
White House," The New York Times, Januar>' 6) 

JANUARY - A coalition of big cities, led by New York City, argued 
their case before the Supreme Court against the Department of 
Commerce for making a statistical adjustment to the 1 990 census to 
offset a racially skewed undercount. After winning a lower court 
decision, the cities argued that a constitutional principle was violated 
because members of minorities were disproportionately missed by 



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January - June 1996 



census-takers. Although the decision not to adjust the count was 
made during the Bush Administration, the Chnton Administration 
decided to appeal the lower court's decision to the Supreme Court. 
By the end of the hour long argument, it was clear that whatever the 
merits of a statistical adjustment as a question of policy, the Court is 
not about to order it as a matter of constitutional law ("High Court 
Hears Arguments for Census Alteration by Race," The New York 
Times, January 1 1 ) 

I JANUARY - The Army revealed another layer of Cold War secrecy 
by disclosing the amount and types of its chemical weapons— 30,000 
tons of nerve and blister agents, stored in eight states and being 
destroyed at a cost of $ 1 2 billion. The approximate size of the 
American chemical weapons arsenal has been known for years. By 
dropping official secrecy, the Army provided a more detailed 
breakdown of where the deadly materiel is stored and the kinds of 
chemical agents in the actual rockets, cartridges, missiles and other 
weapons. Maj. Gen. Robert Orton, head of the Army's chemical 
weapons destruction project, told a Pentagon news conference that 
declassifying the information will expedite efforts to get the 
environmental clearances needed to incinerate the weapons. "It also 
may enhance our credibility by confirming that we are not holding 
back from regulators and the public," Orton said. 

Asked why the information was being declassified only now, 
several years after the chemical weapons destruction effort began, 
Maj. Gen. Edward Friel said chemical weapons were part of the U.S. 
war-making arsenal until 1993, when the United States officially 
renounced them. The overall figure of 30,599 tons is not the true 
total. It is only the amount of "unitary" chemical weapons in the 
stockpile, or those with one active chemical component. The Army 
also stores 680 tons of "binary" weapons, a newer and safer 
technology, armed by mixing two active components. The Army also 
has 13,630 tons of chemical agents not counted in its active 
inventory, which are used for testing, research and other purposes. 
("U.S. Army Details Extent and Content of Chemical Arsenal," The 
Washington Post, January 23) 

JANUARY - Voices shaking with emotion, seven fired White House 
travel office employees accused the Clinton Administration of 
abusing its power when it dismissed them nearly three years ago and 
of continuing to spread "lies" about them, especially former director 
Billy Dale. The longtime employees, some of whom served 
presidents as far back as John F. Kennedy, told the House 
Government Reform and Oversight Committee that they continue to 
suffer White House attacks. 

Dale is still waiting for completion of an Internal Revenue 
Services audit launched during the criminal investigation of the travel 
office Each of the former employees has gone into debt— close to 
$600,000 total— to pay for the lawyers they had to hire to debunk 
White House charges that there were gross financial mismanagement 
in the office. All seven workers denied that they ever did anything 
wrong. While they realized that they served at the pleasure of the 
president, they did not expect to be given two hours to clear out of 



their offices, they said. "What they didn't seem to understand about 
the seven of us that staffed the travel office under the administrations 
of as many as eight presidents is that we were their people," said John 
Dreylinger, a 25-year office employee. 

The White House had recently released a memorandum wntten 
by David Watkins, former director of White House administration. 
In it, Watkins said he felt pressured coming from Hillary Clinton to 
fire the employees or there would be "hell to pay." The memo 
appeared to contradicted Clinton's repeated contentions that she 
played "no role" m the confroversial firings on May 19, 1993, that 
resulted in intense criticism of the White House and accusations of 
cronyism and misuse of the FBI by bringing in agents to investigate 
the employees. ("Ex-Travel Office Workers Condemn 

Administration 'Lies'" The Washington Post. January 25) 

JANUARY - On January 26, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton spent 
four hours testifying before a federal grand jury about the 
disappearance and sudden recovery of her law firm billing records 
along with other matters related to the Whitewater scandal. ("First 
Lady Testifies for Four Hours," The Washington Post, January 27) 

JANUARY - The National Reconnaissance Office, the secret agency 
that builds spy satellites, lost track of more than $2 billion in 
classified money in 1995, largely because of its own internal secrecy, 
intelligence officials say. Critics of the reconnaissance office said that 
the money was hidden in several rainy-day accounts that secretly 
solidified into a "slush fiind." One Senate intelligence committee 
aide described the misplaced money as a severe accounting problem, 
which grew from a lack of accountability, in turn created by the 
exlraordinary secrecy under which the reconnaissance office works. 

The reconnaissance office operates in the deepest secrecy of any 
government agency. Financed by the $28-billion-a-year "black 
budget" (classified above top secret) for military and intelligence 
programs, it spends an estimated $5 billion to $6 billion annually, 
outside analysts say; the sum varies from year to year, depending on 
how many satellites the agency is building. 

The reconnaissance agency is really a set of secret offices— so 
secret that they have been shielded from each other, like safes locked 
within safes. Each office, and each program, had separate 
management and accounting systems, all "black." When these offices 
and programs were consolidated in the reconnaissance office's new 
headquarters in 1995, its top managers found that "no one had a 
handle on how much money they had," the Senate intelligence 
committee aide said. There was little or no accountability because of 
the office's secrecy, he said. In the past. Congressional oversight of 
the reconnaissance office has been sketchy, he said, because few 
members of Congress understood the highly technical language of spy 
satellites and some did not know what they were approving when they 
authorized billions of dollars a year in secret spending. ("A Secret 
Agency's Secret Budgets Yield 'Lost' Billions, Officials Say," The 
New York Times, January 30) 

JANUARY - The collection and release of community right-to-know 



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Less Access. 



January - June 1996 



information from industry will be delayed due to the recent 
government shutdown. The reportmg delay affected the data which 
include for the first time reports on the 286 chemicals EPA 
Administrator Carol M. Browner added to the list in November 1 994. 
The shutdowns in December 1 995 and continued budget cuts also 
have led to a delay in the Agency's ability to process right-to-know 
data already collected from 1994. The public will receive 1994 
community right-to-know information more than two months late this 
year than the usual March release date. 

Widespread public access is available from libraries, state and 
federal environmental offices, CD-ROM, and a toll-free hotline. 
Since 1986, reported releases of toxic chemicals under the 
community right-to-know laws have declined by 43 percent 
nationwide. ("Community Right-to-Know Reporting Program 
Delayed by Government Shutdown," 0MB Watch, January 30) 

JANUARY - The United States Ambassador to Austria, Swanee 
Hunt, provided the Austrian government with the location and 
contents of 79 arms caches the U. S. set up in Austria in the early 
1950s. The weapons were stockpiled in the zone of American 
occupation after World War II and were meant for anti-Communist 
partisans in the event of a Soviet invasion The existence of the 
stockpiles came to light when the CIA and other U.S. government 
agencies examined cold-war programs. Hunt apologized to the 
Austrians for keeping the stockpiles secret for so long. She gave the 
secret list to Interior Minister Caspar Einem, who said Austria had 
found five of the weapons depots over the years. ("U.S. Reveals 
Secret Arms Caches in Austria," The New York Times, January 30) 

FEBRUARY - House Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-GA) office 
released the names of members of a task force he authorized to 
develop recommendations for states to reform the workers' 
compensation system. The disclosure came after Roll Call on 
January 25 reported that the task force— whose membership had not 
previously been made public— was headed by Richard Scrushy, an 
Alabama health care executive who is a major fundraiser for 
Gingrich. 

Tony Blankly, Gingrich's press secretary, in a letter to Roll Call, 
disputed the use of the word "secret" to describe the membership of 
the group, arguing that the list of members was readily available in 
the report, which was "presented last December to the American 
Legislative Exchange Council, a 3,000-member group of state 
legislators." But ALEC, a conservative, free-market group, 
disavowed producing the report Gingrich's office released even 
though its name appeared on the cover in large typeface. The cover 
indicated that the proposals came from ALEC's Business & Labor 
Task Force Study Group on workers' compensation. In a statement, 
ALEC said it had "no direct relationship" with the task force and that 
the proposals "are not a product of ALEC, nor has ALEC adopted 
them in any fashion." ("Gingrich's Office Releases Task Force 
Names," Roll Call, February 1 ) 

FEBRUARY - A long-sealed Justice Department report on the 



White House travel office was released on January 31. It criticized 
White House officials for engaging in "ill-advised and erroneous 
actions" in abn^tly dismissing seven employees of the office in 1 993. 
But the report did not fmd, as Republicans have suggested, that 
presidential aides had pressured the FBI to investigate the dismissed 
employees. The report was completed in March 1 994 by the Office 
of Professional Responsibility, the Justice Department's internal 
ethics unit. The report focused primarily on the White House 
dealings with the FBI, finding that the agency had engaged in no 
wrongdoing by investigating the travel office. Signed by Michael E. 
Shaheen, Jr., the report says the White House had created the 
appearance that it had pressured the FBI to embark on an 
investigation by hurriedly dismissing the employees and disclosing 
the existence of the FBI inquiry, which had already begun. Shaheen's 
report on Billy Dale, former director of the travel office, was released 
in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by several news 
organizations. It had been withheld pending the outcome of Dale's 
prosecution. ("Justice Department Faults White House in Travel 
Office Dismissals," The New York Times, February 1 ) 

FEBRUARY - In the months after the United States invasion of 
Haiti, American officers repeatedly told their troops that the country's 
most dreaded paramilitary group was actually a legitimate opposition 
political party. "They're no different from Democrats or 
Republicans," soldiers in Haiti dutifully echoed when asked about 
their instructions. But a review of classified cables sent by the 
American Embassy in Haiti to the Defense and State Departments 
shows that for a year before the invasion in September 1994 the 
Pentagon knew that the official version was not true. 

Within weeks of the founding of the Front for the Advancement 
and Progress of Haiti, the papers indicate, American intelligence 
agencies had concluded the group was a gang of "gun-carrying 
crazies" eager to "use violence against all who oppose it." With the 
United States troops now in Bosnia pursuing some of the same 
objectives as in Haiti, the documents raise questions about the 
soldiers' mission, the information they are given by superiors and the 
action they take in the field. 

Human rights observers and others who have seen the papers say 
they also raise the question whether the military ordered American 
troops to ignore human rights abuses committed before they arrived. 
What remains uncertain is why the Pentagon took a public stance 
clearly at odds with the classified information in had collected in 
Haiti. A Pentagon official denied that there was any conflict between 
the official position and the inside information. ("Cables Show U.S. 
Deception on Haitian Violence," The New York Times, February 6) 

FEBRUARY - American makers of nuclear weapons have been 
classifying virtually everything for so long that the Department of 
Energy now has more secrets than it can cope with, and the 
department and its contractors may have released information they 
should have kept secret, officials said. The department has 100 
million pages of documents that it wants to review for possible 
release but does not have the resources to do the reviewing. It is 



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spending $3 million to develop a computer program to scan the 
documents and make an initial assessment. The goal is to reduce the 
secrets to a manageable quantity. 

In the Department's current scheme, ideas are "classified at 
birth," or presumed secret until proved otherwise, and some 
department officials and employees of contractors have lost track of 
what needs to be kept quiet. Hazel R. O'Leary, the Energy Secretary, 
said that most of what was still secret had "occasional mention of 
something that was perhaps bom classified." She said much of that 
could probably be declassified. Some material that is still classified 
is guarding useless secrets but would be useful in defming the 
environmental and health damage associated with the production and 
testing of nuclear weapons. Energy Department officials said. 

Mrs. O'Leary gave another reason for declassification: to provide 
the public with information that could be used in deciding what to do 
with nuclear wastes. The plutonium inventories that the department 
detailed will eventually have to be disposed of ("Millions of Secrets 
Burden Energy Agency," The New York Times, February 7) 

FEBRUARY - Two years before he died, Helen Frost says her 
husband, Robert, returned from his sheet-metal job at a top-stcret Air 
Force base with flaming-red skin that soon began peeling off his face 
Mrs. Frost is one of two widows, who along with four former civilian 
workers, are suing the Defense Department in a so-called citizen's 
lawsuit. They contend that it violated federal hazardous-waste law by 
repeatedly burning ordinary chemicals and highly toxic classified 
materials in open pits at the base, which is located 125 miles from 
Las Vegas. The workers, who say their exposure to toxic fumes 
throughout the 1980s caused health problems ranging from skin 
lesions to cancer, are seeking information to facilitate medical 
treatment and help with medical bills but no other monetary damages. 
As employees of government subcontractors some of the plaintiffs say 
they have no medical insurance. They also want a court order 
requiring the government to follow the law and dispose of such waste 
safely. They themselves can't bring criminal charges. 

So far, the government refuses to confirm or deny their allegations 
or to respond to their request for criminal prosecution. Instead, it 
asked a U.S. District Court judge to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that 
almost any disclosure about the base could pose a "serious risk" to 
national security. The strategy is startling because the government 
apparently has never before invoked the so-called national-security 
privilege in a case in which the effect is to shield itself from criminal 
liability. The privilege is intended to prevent courtroom disclosures 
of state secrets involving intelligence gathering or military planning. 
But the burning alleged by the workers is a serious crime, punishable 
by up to 15 years in prison and a $ 1 million fine. Constitutional 
experts say the case could ultimately go to the Supreme Court 
because it tests the limits of executive-branch power. The 
government in effect argues that the national-security privilege gives 
the military more leeway than the president has to keep information 
secret, even if it involves a crime. ("Secret Air Base Broke 
Hazardous- Waste Act, Workers' Suit Alleges," The Wall Street 
Journal, February 8) 



FEBRUARY - CIA Director John M. Deutch said that the agency 
maintained the right to use U.S. journalists or their organizations as 
cover for intelligence acitivites but only under retrictive regulations 
pubhshed 19 years ago. Disclosure that the CIA's ban on recruiting 
U.S. journalists or using American news organizations as cover could 
be waived under a little-publicized regulation has surprised many 
journalists and former government officials. It also undercut a 
recommendation made recently by an independent blue-ribbon panel 
sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. The group, unaware 
the ban on using "journalistic cover" could be lifted by the director in 
extraordinary circumstances, called for "a fresh look" at whether the 
CIA should ease the ban on use of journalistic and other non-official 
covers for clandestine activities overseas. 

Leslie H. Gelb, president of the council and a member of the 
panel, took issue with the group's recommendation and with current 
CIA policy. Gelb said, "I was and am flatly opposed to using 
Amencan journalists as spies and American spies as journalists." He 
made clear the panel's views were not those of the entire council, an 
exclusive, nonpartisan organization whose members include many 
journalists. ("CIA to Retain Right to Use Journalistic Cover," The 
Washington Post, February 17) 

FEBRUARY - An article, "A Small Arms War on Children," in the 
February 1 8 San Francisco Examiner described how the United 
States has sold or given away tens of thousands of rifles, shotguns, 
land mines and other weapons to foreign countries, where they are 
helping ftiel an alarming rise in the number of children, killed or 
traumatized by war. A new report by the United Nations Children's 
Fund cites "the proliferation of light weapons" as a major reason for 
the upsurge of war-related violence against children and the growing 
practice of using children under the age of 1 5 as soldiers. UNICEF 
estimates that about 2 million children have been killed in conflicts 
during the past decade, with 4 million disabled, 12 million left 
homeless and 1 million traumatized. 

U.S. policy requires the weapons be sold only to friendly 
government and not resold. But over time, the weapons may change 
hands or be resold for use in new conflicts. Fifty countries, including 
the U.S., manufacture small arms, and the majority of the United 
Nations' 185 members make small arms ammunition. The profiision 
of small arms makes it virtually impossible to track them, CIA 
officials say. And while the Clinton Administration is working with 
27 other nations for new export controls on the arms trade, it has 
excluded small arms from consideration. 

On the same page with the above article is one describing how the 
secrecy surrounding the small-arms trade is a major reason why 
controlling these weapons is difficult. Information obtained through 
the Freedom of Information Act by the Federation of American 
Scientists, a nonprofit research group, shows that U.S. sales and 
grants since 1980 include at least 50,000 pistols and revolvers; 
170,000 rifles and shotgims; 12,000 grenade launchers as well as 
anti-personnel land mines; more than a million hand grenades, 
demolition charges and flechette rockets whose warheads spew 
clouds of lethal steel darts. Almost 325,000 land mines were sold to 



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El Salvador, Columbia, Ecuador, Lebanon, Niger, Thailand and 
Somalia, and 1.4 million hand grenades to Belize, Colombia, El 
Salvador, Lebanon, Panama, Somalia, Sudan, Tnnidad, Bolivia and 
Antigua. 

Although much of this weaponry was intended for the anti- 
communist campaigns of the 1980s, the lethal legacy lives on 
Today, bloody wars are being fought with U.S.-supplied small arms 
in Columbia, Liberia, Somalia and Angola, and the weapons are used 
in continuing political violence in the Philippines, Haiti and 
elsewhere. Officially, the Clinton Administration supports increased 
openness of its own small arms dealings. But the State Department, 
which oversees U.S. arms exports, has turned down repeated requests 
for data on small arms exports, and State Department officials decline 
to discuss arms policy or its ramifications. Similarly, the Pentagon 
routinely withholds information on the weapons its sell or gives away 
abroad. ("Why Control Is So Difficult," San Francisco Examiner, 
February 18) 

MARCH - A report released by the CL\'s inspector general 
concluded that blunders by agency operatives trying to gather secret 
information on French trade negotiations and economic espionage led 
to an international embarrassment. One legendary spy resigned, the 
CIA's role in gathering economic intelligence may be damaged, and 
its reputation may suffer another self-infficted wound as a result of the 
internal investigation into the CL\'s Paris station, officials familiar 
with the report said. The classified report is likely to intensify the 
debate over the risks and rewards of spying on allies for economic 
intelligence. It found that the CIA station chief in Paris, Dick Holm, 
kept the United States Ambassador to France, Pamela Harriman, in 
the dark about important aspects of his work. Holm retired last year 
while the inspector general's investigation was underway. The chief 
of the Europe division of the CIA's clandestine service has been 
placed in administrative limbo and at least four covert operators have 
been recalled from Paris. 

Soon after several CIA operatives set up a two-pronged project- 
to undercover French positions on world trade talks and to counter 
French economic espionage against American companies— French 
counterintelligence officials knew there was a network of CIA 
officers operating against them. The French, ignoring the traditional 
protocol in such cases, raised an uproar over the spying rather than 
letting the four accused spies working under diplomatic cover slip out 
of the country for activities, "incompatible with their diplomatic 
status." The ensuring publicity raised questions about whether 
spying on allies for economic data is a worthy pursuit for the CIA, or 
whether its operatives would do better to concentrate on the activities 
of terrorists and other deep political secrets abroad. ("CIA. 
Confirms Blunders During Economic Spying on France," The New 
York Times, March 1 3) 

MARCH - Citing budget cuts, officials of the Internal Revenue 
Service say they may discontinue Publication 17, "Your Federal 
Income Tax," a handy summary of tax rules affecting individuals. 
Publication 334, "Tax Guide for Small Business," might also be 



dropped. A spokesman said all the information in these free 
pubUcations is contained in other IRS materials, adding that "budget 
pressures cause tough decisions." Some members of the House of 
Representatives are incensed by this idea and by the IRS's move 
earlier in the year to reduce the number of taxpayer-service walk-in 
offices. Some IRS tax specialists say eliminating Publication 1 7 
would be a mistake and would antagonize taxpayers. ("The IRS May 
Eliminate Some Popular Publications Next Year," The Wall Street 
Journal, March 20). 

MARCH - By a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the 
federal government need not adjust 1990 census figiires to 
compensate for the undercounting of Blacks, Hispanics and other 
minority groups in the nation's cities and along the border. The 
decennial census figures are important because, among other 
purposes, they are used to draw congressional districts and to 
calculate federal funding to states. The case arose after New York, 
several other cities and civil rights groups challenged the Commerce 
Department's decision not to increase some cities' 1 990 population 
counts. The department, parent agency for the Census Bureau, had 
questioned the value of adjusting the figures although it 
acknowledged Blacks had been undercounted by 4.8 percent, 
Hispanics by 5.2 percent. Native Americans by 5 percent and Asian- 
Pacific Islanders by 3. 1 percent. 

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled for the 
cities, saying Commerce failed to make a good-faith effort to obtain 
an accurate population count. Reversing that ruling, the Supreme 
Court said the Constitution gives Congress virtually unlimited 
discretion for the census and Congress has delegated authority to the 
Secretary of Commerce. Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote, 
"The secretary's decision not to adjust needs bear only a reasonable 
relationship to the accomplishment of an actual enumeration of the 
population." He said the Census Bureau had "made an extraordinary 
effort to conduct an accurate enumeration, and was successfiil in 
counting 98.4 percent of the population." ("Census Need Not Adjust 
for Minority Undercount, Justices Rule," The Washington Post, 
March 21) 

MARCH - Bosnia's representative at the United Nations accused the 
United States of failing to turn over information on a notorious 
Serbian paramilitary leader, knov\Ti as Arkan, who has been linked to 
killings of Bosnian Muslims as late as the fall of 1995. The 
representative, Muhamed Sacirbey, essentially charged that the 
United States, needing the cooperation of Serbian President Slobodan 
Milosevic to enforce the Dayton peace accords, was holding back 
infonnation that might lead to questions about Serbian involvement 
in the massacres of Bosnians. Sacirbey said Milosevic had been 
handed an account of the activities of Arkan by Richard I lolbrooke, 
the former Assistance Secretary of State who brought the Balkan 
parties together at the Dayton conference. "If Mr. Milosevic is 
entitled to that written information, than I'm not sure why we, the 
Bosnians, the international community, or The Hague war crimes 
tribunal is not," Sacirbey said. ("U.S. Said to Withhold War-Crime 



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Data," The New York Times, March 28) 

APRIL - The National Security Agency said that it had declassified 
more than 1 3 million pages of secret documents, some from before 
World War I. All the declassified matenal is more than 50 years old, 
older than the agency itself, and represents a tmy fragment of the 
biUions of pages of government documents that have been kept secret 
on the grounds that their release would damage national security. 
Agency ofiicials were at a loss to explain why these documents, now 
at the National Archives, had remained secret for so long. 

Among the documents declassified was a January 1919 
memorandum from Army Col. A. W. Bloor, a commander of the 
American Expeditionary Force in France, explaining the origin of the 
"code talkers," American Indian soldiers who spoke in their native 
tongues to confound enemy code breakers in World War 1 and World 
War II. Their languages were largely unwritten and largely unstudied 
by foreigners, and so constituted an instant code translatable only by 
the speakers. Col. Bloor wrote that he had a company of Indians in 
his regiment who among them spoke 26 languages or dialects, and 
that "there was hardly a chance in a million" that the Germans could 
translate them. David Hatch, the National Security Agency's 
historian, said Choctaws, Navajos, Comanches, Winnebagos, 
Pawnees, Kiowas and Cherokees served as code talkers. In World 
War II, he said, the Marine Corps used more than 400 Navajos as 
communicators in the Pacific campaign. Hatch could not explain why 
the documents stayed secret for so long. The agency's archives run 
into the billions of pages, and the agency, loath to disclose anything 
concerning codes, has only begun to consider declassifying 
documents in the past four years. ("Pentagon Spy Agency Bares 
Some Dust>' Secret Papers," The New York Times, April 5) 

APRIL - The CIA publicly promised in 1993 to release its files 
within a few months on its most important covert actions of the cold 
war--coups in Iran and Guatemala and the Bay of Pigs. However, the 
documents remain secret because of "a clash of cultures" inside the 
CIA pitting cold warriors against open-minded historians. Another 
factor may be that the agency has devoted only three ten-thousandths 
of its budget and seven fiill-time employees to the task of making the 
documents public. A stack of secret files taller than 50 Washington 
Monuments awaits them. 

The CIA has another explanation. They say that Oliver Stone's 
1991 movie, "J.F.K.", which insinuated that a military-industrial- 
espionage conspiracy killed President Kennedy in 1 963 , led Congress 
to establish a J.F.K. Assassination Records law in 1992. It ordered 
that the government files on the assassination be made public. 
President Clinton took nearly a year to name members of a review 
board to oversee the release of the files. Now the CIA's historians 
are explaining to the board every one of the thousands of excisions 
they want to make in its documents. That time-consuming effort 
made the pledge on the covert-action records impossible to keep, the 
agency said. ("C.I. A. Is Slow to Tell Early Cold War Secrets," The 
New York Times, April 8) 



APRIL - House Speaker New Gingrich (R-GA) said that President 
Clinton misled Congressional leaders about the United States' true 
role in Bosnia at a time the Administration was secretly acquiescing 
in the creation of an Iranian arms pipeline to the Bosnian Muslims. 
Gingrich said that he, Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS) 
and other lawmakers had many meetings with Clinton about U.S. 
Bosnia policy over the past three years— at a time when the U.S. was 
publicly upholding the international arms embargo against Bosnia. 
Never, he said, did the president indicate that the United States had 
given a green light to Iranian arms smuggling. 

In response. White House press secretary Michael McCurry 
denied that Gingrich had been misled. Congressional leaders had full 
access to U.S. intelligence information that provided clear evidence 
of Iranian arms shipments into Bosnia, McCurry said. "Those are 
truly extraordinary comments by the speakers, given the high degree 
of attention that we presume the Congress was paying to Bosnia at the 
time," McCurrey said. "It was clear, from the intelligence 
information available to the speaker and his staff at the time, what our 
understanding was about the nature of arms flows into Bosnia. And 
at any time there could have been a more thorough discussion of the 
arms flows into Bosnia, because that information was widely 
available to Congress." ("Gingrich Charges Clinton With Misleading 
Congress," The IVashington Post, April 1 1 ) 

APRIL - The White House will assert executive privilege and refuse 
to give Congress a secret internal report on President Clinton's 1 994 
decision to do nothing about weapons shipments from Iran to Bosnian 
Muslims. "Consistent with the practice of past administrations," a 
senior Administration official said, "we will insist on protecting the 
confidentiality of internal deliberations and communications between 
the President and his advisers." 

At least six Congressional committees are contemplating hearings 
on the President's decision. The claim of executive privilege appears 
likely to anger Congress and provide ammunition for Clinton's 
opponents in the 1 996 Presidential election. ("Congress Is Denied 
Report on Bosnia," The New York Times, April 1 7) 

APRIL - The White House announced that beginning this year it 
would ask Congress to release an overall "bottom line" figure for the 
budget of American intelligence agencies, a figure now widely 
estimated at $24 billion to $30 billion a year. In making the figure 
public, the White House said, it hoped to foster a new sense of 
openness in the intelligence community. ("White House Seeks 
Release of Intelligence Budget Total," The New York Times, April 
24) 

MAY - A 1 0-page article, "Nuclear Reactions," in May 5 The 
Washington Post Magazine describes efforts to clean up the area 
around Hanford, Washington— "the biggest environmental disaster in 
America." The cleanup is expected to cost about $230 billion over 
75 years. The area around Hanford's plutonium factory, built during 
World War E as part of the U.S. effort to develop an atomic bomb, is 
home to two-thirds of the country's high-level radioactive waste. 



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January - June 1996 



In 1986, when an environmental group in Spokane forced the 
release of classified documents from Hanford, the public learned that 
the plutonium factory had made a practice of poisoning it downwind 
and downstream neighbors. Huge atmospheric releases of radiation, 
all them secret and some of them deliberate, occurred throughout the 
second half of the 1 940s and early 1 950s. Hanford documents show 
that biologists secretly discussed the "advisability of closing" a 
downstream stretch of the Columbia River to public fishing and 
hunting in the late 1 950s when plutonium production was at its peak 
and resident fish and ducks showed dangerously high concentrations 
of radioactive phosphorus. But no warnings were issued. "Nothing 
is to be gained by informing the public ," Herbert M. Parker, the head 
of health and safety at Hanford, wrote in 1 954. 

MAY - Columnist Mary McGrory wrote of the struggle of Sister 
Dianna Ortiz, an Ursuline nun, to pry out of intelligence agencies the 
documents that could tell her why and with whose help she was 
kidnaped, tortured and raped by Guatemalan security forces in 1989. 
"My crime," she said at one point during her packed news conference 
at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, "was to teach little Mayan children to read 
and write." ("CIA's Unlikely Exorcist," The IVashinglon Post, May 
7) 

MAY - The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee 
voted along party lines to cite the White House counsel. Jack Quinn, 
for contempt of Congress for refiising to turn over subpoenaed 
documents related to the fuings in the White House travel office. 
Committee Chair William dinger (R-PA) has waged an aggressive 
campaign to capture the fiiU paper trail on the 1 993 firings of seven 
travel office employees. He has sharply criticized the White House 
for not being fully forthcoming, while the White House has countered 
by calling dinger's demands vague and overly broad. ("House Panel 
Votes for Contempt Citation," The IVashinglon Post, May 10) 

MAY - In a complete coll£^se of accountability, the highly secretive 
National Reconnaissance Office accumulated about $4 billion in 
uncounted secret money, nearly twice the amount previously reported 
to Congress. The secret agency was unaware until very recently 
exactly how much money it had accumulated in its classified 
compartments. To put the $4 billion in perspective, the agency lost 
track of a sum roughly equal to the combined annual budgets for the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department. All the 
money spent by the secret agency, a clandestine branch of the Air 
Force, is hidden through various false line items that comprise the co- 
called "black budget," which finances secret intelligence and military 
programs and is shielded fi"om public scrutiny. 

The reconnaissance office issues secret government contracts to 
build systems and components for space satellites that take pictures, 
record radar images and eavesdrop on telecommunications. It spends 
about $6 billion in secret money a year building the satellites for the 
CIA, the Air Force and the Navy. The agency's secrecy made 
Congressional oversight next to impossible, intelligence officials said 
Thus, the Congressional intelligence committees kept appropriating 



money for the secret agency, unaware that it was buildmg up a 
surplus of billions of dollars. ("A Spy Agency Admits Accumulating 
$4 Billion in Secret Money," The New York Times, May 1 6) 

MAY - The Washington Post editorialized about the game the 
Administration and Congress are playing over proposals to make 
public the aggregate figure for U.S. intelligence spending Each is 
waiting for the other to move first to make this information public. 
"The White House has put out word that the president is 'determined 
to promote openness in the Intelligence Community' and 'has 
authorized Congress to make public the total appropriation. ' But it 
is the executive branch that has classified this information in the first 
place, and the president doesn't need the consent of Congress to 
declassify it. He may want company in taking this step, but he has the 
authority to act on his own. If Congress is reluctant to move, he 
should take the lead." ("The Intelligence Number," The Washington 
Post, May 27) 

MAY - Russian military analyst Harriet Scott, and her husband, Bill, 
are unhappy that they have to use a computer to access the CIA's 
Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), the most 
comprehensive media-monitoring service in the world. The FBIS 
publishes translated transcripts from hundreds of sources per day, 
including the world's leading news agencies, newspapers and 
broadcasts. For decades, its output has been indispensable to national 
security and foreign policy-makers. But FBIS efforts to keep up with 
the electronic revolution have provoked a furious reaction from critics 
who say that instead of making the product more accessible, FBIS is 
doing the opposite. Before the computer age, FBIS published an 
indexed pamphlet that readers could easily scan for information. But 
thanks to the information revolution— as implemented by the U.S. 
government—that simple chore can take nearly two hours, Mrs. Scott 
said. 

"It takes me a minute or so to download a piece of e-mail into my 
computer. That's fine. But the way they've formatted the FBIS 
material, 100 items are all packaged as separate pieces of e-mail, so 
it takes me 100 minutes just to download them before I can even 
think about starting to read them," she said. Mrs. Scott's complaints 
are being widely echoed. Afler this summer, FBIS material will only 
be available electronically on the World News Connection of the 
National Technical Information Service. An academic fi"om the 
Midwest who has used FBIS material for his graduate students noted 
that key documents once could be easily photocopied and distributed. 
But now his students have to line up at one or two terminals that have 
Internet access. 

Ending the daily mountain of published FBIS reports saves 
significant money according to CIA officials. But critics of the way 
the change was handled say this kind of talk is trendy techno babble. 
One Congressional analyst said, "The result is that, for all their talk, 
people in the government, as well as a lot of the experts who use 
FBIS products to avoid being dependent on government statements 
and interpretations of events, are not going to have the time or the 
opportunity to use the product." Some government officials who use 



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the FBIS said they will not have time to keep up with it once it 
becomes electronic only. ("Lost in Computer Age," The Washington 
Times, May 28) 

MAY - The White House provided Congress with some 1,000 
pages of documents it had withheld on the 1993 travel office fuings, 
but declined to turn over twice as many more, leaving the House to 
consider whether to go forward with a threatened contempt of 
Congress citation against presidential aides. Instead, the White 
House provided an 1 1 -page list of the documents for which it is 
exerting a constitutional claim of executive privilege. ("White House 
Gives Congress 1,000 Page of Travel Office Papers," The 
IVashinglon Post, May 3 1 ) 

June When the White House relinquished a thousand documents 
at the end of May to the House Goverrunent Reform and Oversight 
Committee, it included a request for background information on Billy 
Dale, the ousted head of the White House travel office. This 
information quickly became one of the biggest stories of the month 
because it led to the revelation that White House officials obtained 
FBI background material on Dale and hundreds of other officials, 
some of whom had worked at the White House in previous 
administrations. ("White House Obtained FBI Data on Fired Travel 
Chief," The Washington Post, June 6) 

June Three months after it introduced plans for improving the 
nation's census in 2000, the Census Bureau is being challenged by 
minority groups and some Republicans. The minority groups say the 
sampling technique planned by the bureau would worsen, not lessen, 
the problem of undercounting the nation's Black and Hispanic 
population, and the Republicans say that technique would result in 
improperly drawn legislative districts. Representative Carrie Meeks 
(D-FL) introduced a bill that would forbid the Census Bureau to 
proceed with its plan: to count at least 90 percent of the households 
in each county and then use statistical sampling methods to estimate 
the number missed. She proposed an alternative statistical method 
for estimating the nation's uncounted population. Representative 
Thomas Petri (R-WI) introduced legislation that would prohibit the 
Census Bureau from applying sampling techniques of any kind to 
determine a population count. He said the bureau should do whatever 
it takes to obtain an accurate count without relying on sampling. 

The twin challenges to Census' plans add to the burdens on an 
agency that is under pressure to increase the accuracy of the next 
census, hold down costs and at the same time respond to concerns of 
lawmakers who control its budget, who generally have little 
understanding of statistical methods and whose districts are drawn on 
the basis of its work. ("Census Plan for 2000 Is Challenged on 2 
Fronts," The New York Times, June 6) 



JUNE - Louis Freeh, the Director of the FBI, said that he and the 
bureau had been "victimized" by improper requests from the Clinton 
White House for files on more than 400 people, most of them 
employees of prior Republican Administrations. In issuing a report 
on the bureau's inquiry into the episode, Freeh said the White House 
and the FBI committed "egregious violations of privacy" when the 
bureau delivered summanes from these files to Presidential aides, 
beginning in late 1 993 and continuing for several weeks. The FBI 
and the White House, which has described the requests as a result of 
an innocent bureaucratic mistake, said that new controls had been 
adopted to prevent future abuses. Freeh blamed himself for a lack of 
vigilance in safeguarding a longstanding system, vulnerable to 
political abuse, in which the FBI routinely complied with White 
House requests for sensitive information. 

The Director's choice of words seemed to puzzle the White 
House, "I do not understand that statement," said President Clinton's 
press secretary Michael McCurrey, who added, "There has been no 
abuse of the information in the files." ("Request for Files 
'Victimized' F. B. I., Its Director Says," The New York Times, June 
15) 

JUNE - The Senate Whitewater Committee closed after 1 3 months, 
releasing a 768-page report. The final report accused the Clinton 
White House of stonewalling and obfuscating, and the Democrats, in 
a minority rebuttal, claimed that the President and Mrs. Clinton had 
been victimized by a modem-day witch hunt. ("The Hearings End 
Much as They Began," The Washington Post, June 1 9) 

JUNE - Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was given authority to 
investigate the FBI files controversy, concentrating fu"st on the 
former White House aide who obtained confidential reports about 
Clinton White House. The investigator, Anthony Marceca, was the 
only one named in the two-page court order expanding Starr's 
jurisdiction, but the mandate is broad, covering any other "person or 
entity" who might have committed a serious federal crime, engaged 
in an unlawflil conspiracy or aided or abetted any offense. 

The order was issued at the request of Attorney General Janet 
Reno by the special three-judge court in charge of independent 
counsels. Reno said she had conducted a truncated preliminary 
inquiry, enough to convince her that it would be "a political conflict 
of interest" for the Justice Department to go any fiulher because the 
matter "necessarily will involve an inquiry into dealings between the 
White House and the FBI." ("Starr Gets Authority for FBI Files 
Probe," The Washington Post, June 22) 



Semi-annual updates of this publication have been compiled in two indexed volumes covering the periods April 1981 -December 1987 
and January 1 988-December 1991. Less Access... updates are available for $1.00; the 1981-1987 volume is $7.00; the 1988-1991 
volume is $10.00. To order, contact the American Library Association Washington Office, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, #403, 
Washington, DC 20004-1701; 202-628-8410, fax 202-628-8419. All orders must be prepaid and must include a self-addressed 
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ALA Washington Office 



July 1996 







ALA Washington Office Chronology 
INFORMATION ACCESS 

American Library Association, Washington Office 

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 403 

Wasfiington, DC 20004 1701 

Tel: 202-628-8410 Fax:202-628-8419 E-mail: alaw/asfi@alawash. org tittp://www. alawash.org 

December 1996 



LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXVII 

A 1996 Chronology: June - December 



CONTENTS 



Introduction 2 

JUNE 

Has Big Brother found a way around the 

Constitution? 3 

The cost of keeping secrets secret revealed 3 

CIA knew of abuses in Guatemala 3 

SEPTEMBER 

Report questions credibility of Pentagon on 

Gulf War Illness 3 

Scope of Special Counsel report questioned 4 

Documents show U.S. knew North Korea held 

American P.O Ws 4 

House rejects release of preliminary report on House 

Speaker 4 

U.S. Army intelligence manuals instructed 

Latins on coercion 4 

Priest vindicated by military's disclosure 5 

Six-month gap disclosed in White House logs 5 

OCTOBER 

Gulf War combat logs fail to report explosions 5 

Government no longer maps Gulf Stream 

due to budget cuts 5 

US military warned by Czechs of nerve gas 

detected dunng the Gulf War 6 

Declassifying documents delayed at the CIA 6 

Editorial advocate resumption of crowd counts 6 



Former FBI aide pleads guilty for role in Ruby Ridge 6 
Publisher puts Gulf War data on the Internet 6 

NOVEMBER 

Advocates of less secrecy try to make government 

research available 7 

US. does not participate in chemical arms treaty .... 7 

Bosnian arms policy criticized 7 

EPA loses hundreds of confidential documents 7 

Compensation awarded to survivors of government 

radiation experiments 8 

Air bag safety questioned in 1969 8 

Sexual misconduct probed at Army's top levels 8 

DECEMBER 

Public government information is increasingly 

privatized 8 

We cannot afford to not know accurate numbers 9 

Security clearance revoked for disclosing secret 

to Congress 9 

FBI still does not know who leaked Jewell 

information 9 

Independent panel finds incomplete data on 

nerve gas exposure 10 

House Speaker admits to ethical wrongdoing 10 

Democratic National Committee will allow access 

to records 10 

Panel "shielded from all information" about 

Gingrich investigation 10 



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LESS ACCESS TO LESS INFORMATION BY AND ABOUT 

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: XXVII 
A 1996 Chronology: June - December 

INTRODUCTION 



For the past 15 years, this ongoing chronology has 
documented efforts to restrict and privatize government 
information. It is distnbuted as a supplement to the ALA 
Washington Office Newsletter and as an electronic 
publication at http://www.ala.org/washoff/lessaccess.html. 

While government information is more accessible 
through computer networks and the Freedom of 
Information Act, there are still barriers to public access. 
The latest damaging disclosures facing the Clinton 
Administration involve allegations of concealing information 
and claiming executive privilege. Continuing revelations of 
Cold War secrecy show how government information has 
been concealed, resulting in a lack of public accountability 
and cost to taxpayers. 

Another development, with major implications for public 
access, is the growing tendency of federal agencies to use 
computer and telecommunication technologies for data 
collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination. This trend 
has resulted in the increased emergence of contractual 
arrangements with commercial firms to disseminate 
information collected at taxpayer expense, higher user 
charges for government information, and the proliferation 
of government information available in electronic format 
only. This trend toward electronic dissemination is 
occurring in all three branches of government. While 
automation clearly offers promises of savings, will public 
access to government information be further restricted for 
people who cannot afford computers or pay for computer 
time'? 



On the other hand, the Government Printing Office GPO 
Access system and the Library of Congress THOMAS 
system have enhanced public access by providing free 
online access to government databases A study prepared 
in July 1996 by GPO for Congress recommends a five to 
seven year transition to a more electronic depository 
program instead of the rapid two-year transition proposed 
in 1995 by the House of Representatives. 

ALA 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 information, and to develop support for 
improvements in access to government information 

With access to information a major ALA prionty, library 
advocates should be concerned about barriers to public 
access to government information Previous chronologies 
were compiled in two ALA Washington Office indexed 
publications. Less Access to Less Information By and 
About the U.S. Government: A 1981-1987 Chronology, and 
Less Access to Less Information By and About the US 
Government: A 1988-1991 Chronology. The following 
selected chronology continues the tradition of a semi- 
annual update 



ALA Washington Office 



December 1996 



Less Access. . 



June - December 1996 



CHRONOLOGY 



JUNE 
Has Big Brother found a way around the 
Constitution? 

The Washington Post Magazine featured a 10-page article, 
"Someone to Watch Over Us", by Jim McGee and Brian 
Duffy describing the workings of a secret court in the U.S. 
Department of Justice that authorized a record 697 
"national security" wiretaps in 1995 on American soil. 
These wiretaps were outside normal constitutional 
procedures The authors asked: "Is the world growing 
more dangerous — or has Big Brother found a way around 
the Fourth Amendment?" 

According to Justice Department statistics, in 1994 
federal courts authorized more wiretaps for intelligence- 
gathering and national security purposes than they did to 
investigate ordinary federal crimes — 576 to 554. In 1995, 
surveillance and search authorizations rose to 697 under 
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). 

This 1978 law permits secret buggings and wiretaps of 
individuals suspected of being agents of a hostile foreign 
government or international terronsts organization, even 
when the target is not suspected of committing any crime. 
Under FISA, requests for such warrants are routed through 
lawyers in the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review in 
the Department of Justice. If these lawyers decide a 
warrant request has merit, they prepare an application and 
take it before a judge who sits in a restricted area of the 
courtroom in the Department. 

McGee and Duffy assert that the FISA system's 
courtroom advocacy is monumentally one-sided. In the 
closed FISA court, when a Justice Department lawyers 
presents an application for a national security wiretap, no 
lawyer stands up to argue the other side of the case. 
Moreover, the target of FISA surveillance normally is never 
told about it and has no opportunity for formal review or 
redress later, as would the target of surveillance protected 
by the Fourth Amendment. 

According to the article, the FISA court has never 
formally rejected an application. The FISA system raises 
the question of when evidence gathered for national 
security purposes can be used for regular cnminal 
prosecutions. Yet, the authors acknowledge, sometimes 
national security wiretaps turn up vital, important evidence 
of serious domestic crimes. (McGee, Jim and Brian Duffy. 
"Someone To Watch Over Us." Washington Post 
Magazine. 23 June 1996, 9-13, 21-5.) 

The cost of keeping secrets secret revealed 

Representative David Skaggs (D-CO), a member of the 



House Intelligence Committee, reported that the federal 
government — not counting the Central Intelligence 
Agency — spent at least S5 6 billion in 1995 keeping secret 
documents secret. 

The CIA provides no public report on how much it 
spends to maintain classified documents. Security officials 
estimate that billions of pages of classified documents 
exist, although no one knows for sure Skaggs says that 
less than 1 percent of the $5.6 billion is being spent on 
declassifying documents A billion-page backlog has built 
up of documents that are more than 25 years old and thus 
by law are ready for declassification and release to the 
public. 

The Pentagon spent nearly 90 percent of the $5 6 
billion But other agencies spent, too: the Department of 
Agriculture ($1,153,000), the Federal Reserve Board 
($305,000), the Federal Communications Commission 
($156,000) and the Manne Mammal Commission ($1,000). 
Military and intelligence agencies that hold the classified 
documents maintain that the high cost of declassification is 
delaying the release of documents older than 25 years that 
President Clinton has ordered to be made public. (Weiner, 
Tim. "Lawmaker Tells of High Cost of Keeping Secret Data 
Secret," New York Times, 28 June 1996, A20.) 

CIA knew of abuses in Guatemala 

The Intelligence Oversight Board, a presidential advisory 
panel, revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency during 
the past decade employed many informants in the 
Guatemalan government and military who agency officials 
knew were involved in assassinations, torture, kidnappings 
and murders. The board also concluded that CIA officials 
kept information about these crimes and other human 
rights abuses from Congress, violating U.S. law. The 
board blamed the agency's failure to heed the issue of 
human rights until 1994. A series of reforms instituted early 
this year by CIA director John Deutch included "a new 
directive generally barring the recruitment of unsavory 
informants except when senior CIA officials decide their 
assistance is warranted by national interests." ("Panel 
Confirms CIA Officials Knew of Abuses," The Washington 
Post. 29 June 1996, p A1.) 

SEPTEMBER 
Report questions credibility of Pentagon on Gulf War 
illness 

Investigators for the Presidential Advisory Committee on 
Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, created in 1995 by President 
Clinton, said that the credibility of the Department of 



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December 1996 



Less Access.. 



June - December 1996 



Defense had been "gravely undermined" by its inquiry into 
the possible exposure of American troops to Iraqi chemical 
weapons during the 1991 gulf war. They recommended 
that an outside body take over the investigation from the 
Pentagon. Despite reports of mysterious illnesses among 
thousands of gulf war veterans, the Pentagon insisted 
publicly until 1996 that it had no evidence that large 
numbers of American soldiers were exposed to chemical 
or biological weapons 

At the same time, a long-classified intelligence report 
was released showing that officials at the White House, the 
Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State 
Department were informed in November 1991 that 
chemical weapons had been stored at an ammunition 
depot demolished by American troops in March of that 
year. (Shenon, Philip. "Report Is Sharply Critical of the 
Pentagon Inquiry into Troop Exposure to Nerve Gas, " 
New York Times, 6 September 1996, A22.) [Ed. Note. This 
article was one of the earliest on this issue which at press 
time continues to unfold.] 



testified before a Congressional subcommittee that on the 
basis of "very compelling reports," he believed that as 
many as 15 Amencans were still being held prisoner in 
North Korea The Defense Department has said it has no 
clear evidence that any Americans are being held against 
their will in North Korea, and has pledged to continue to 
investigate reports of American prisoners there (Shenon, 
Philip "US, in 50's, Knew North Korea Held American 
P O.W.'s." New York Times. 17 September 1996, A1.) 

House rejects release of preliminary report on House 
Speaker 

The House voted — without debate — against a Democratic 
move to force the ethics committee to make public its 
counsel's preliminary report on charges against Speaker 
Newt Gingnch. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) 
accused Republicans of a "systematic, deliberate effort to 
cover up this report " (Clymer, Adam "House Rejects Bid 
to Force Release of Ethics Report on Gingrich," New York 
Times, 20 September 1996 ) 



Scope of Special Counsel's report questioned 

No findings, analysis, conclusions or recommendations are 
included in the document produced by James Cole, the 
outside counsel hired by the House Committee on 
Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics), to investigate House 
Speaker Newt Gingnch (R-GA). One of the former outside 
counsels who worked for the House ethics committee on 
prior cases was surprised at the description of Cole's 
report. "It's very unusual," said Richard Phelan, the 
Chicago attorney who served as outside counsel in the 
case that resulted in the resignation of House Speaker Jim 
Wnght (D-TX). "I would say that the committee is 
minimizing [Cole's] role," Phelan said. "There were no 
such restrictions placed on my work. I was able to come to 
conclusions and make recommendations." (Chappie, 
Damon "Was the Gingrich Special Counsel Limited in His 
Probe of Speaker?" Roll Call, 9 September 1996.) 

Documents show U.S. knew North Korea held 
American P. O.W.'s 

Recently declassified documents from the Dwight D. 
Eisenhower Presidential Library and other government 
depositories show that the United States knew immediately 
after the Korean War that North Korea kept hundreds of 
American prisoners known to be alive at the end of the war. 
The documents deepen the mystery over the fate of 
Americans still considered missing from the Korean War, 
adding to growing speculation that Amencan prisoners 
might still be alive and in custody there 

In June a Defense Department intelligence analyst 



U.S. Army intelligence manuals instructed Latins on 
coercion 

According to a secret Defense Department summary of 
intelligence manuals compiled dunng a 1992 investigation, 
counterintelligence agents should use "fear, payment of 
bounties for enemy dead, beatings, false imprisonment, 
executions and. ..truth serum." Pentagon documents show 
that U.S. Army intelligence manuals used to train Latin 
American military officers in Army school from 1982 to 
1991 advocated executions, torture, blackmail and other 
forms of coercion against insurgents, a violation of Army 
policy and law at the time they were in use The manuals 
were used in courses at the US Army's School of the 
Americas, located at Fort Benning, GA, where nearly 
60,000 military and police officers from Latin American and 
the United States have been trained since 1946 

The Defense Department said the school's curriculum 
now includes mandatory human rights training "The 
problem was discovered in 1992, properly reported and 
fixed," said Lt Col Arne Owens, a Pentagon spokesman. 
When reports of the 1992 investigation surfaced this year 
during a congressional inquiry into the CIA's activities in 
Guatemala, spokesmen for the school denied the manuals 
advocated such extreme methods of operation. The 
Defense Department is trying to collect the manuals but, as 
the 1992 investigation noted, "due to incomplete records, 
retrieval of all copies is doubtful " (Priest, Dana. "U.S. 
Instructed Latins on Executions, Torture," Washington 
Post. 21 September 1996, A1.) 



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Priest vindicated by military's disclosure 

In her column, Mary McGrory describes how Father Roy 
Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, was imprisoned for six 
months in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for leading a 
nonviolent civil disobedience protest at Fort Benning Now 
he believes he has been vindicated because the Army has 
finally admitted the existence of the grisly manuals used in 
the Army's School of the Americas The Freedom of 
Information Act was used to obtain information about the 
manuals "They lied," fumed the priest over the prison 
telephone. "They have kept on lying about it as recently as 
last month In an interview with the Columbus Ledger \he 
commandant of the school talked about 'the small 
percentage of graduates who have done some terrible 
things; we cannot take responsibility for those who have 
gone astray.' He denied there was a manual " (McGrory, 
Mary "Manuals for Murders." Washington Post, 26 
September 1996, A2) 

Six-month gap disclosed in White House logs 

Senate Republicans disclosed there is a six-month gap in 
White House logs showing who checked out confidential 
FBI background reports from the Office of Personnel 
Security. The lapse began in March 1994, after an 
investigator for the personnel office, Anthony B. Marceca, 
stopped collecting files on hundreds of Republicans from 
the Reagan and Bush Administrations, Senator Orrin 
Hatch (R-UT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 
stressed there was still no conclusive evidence to show 
whether the files were used for a "nefarious purpose " The 
White House blamed poor record keeping for the gap 
(Lardner, George. "GPO Says White House Logs on 
Readers of FBI Reports Have 6-Month Gap," Washington 
Post. 26 September 1996, A10.) 

OCTOBER 
Gulf War combat logs fail to report explosions 

An apparent gap in Gulf war combat logs that should have 
recorded the destruction of an Iraqi ammunition 
bunker — an incident that may have exposed more than 
15,000 American troops to nerve gas and other chemical 
weapons — is being investigated by the Pentagon. 
Defense Department officials said that combat logs showed 
a gap between March 3 and March 12, 1991. The 
explosions in questions occurred on March 4 and on March 
10. The logs may have been lost, destroyed, or there may 
never have been entries for that period, officials cautioned. 
GulfWATCH, a veterans group, got copies of the logs 
from the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act, 
and detected the gap. GulfWATCH and other veterans 
organizations said the gap is evidence that the Defense 



Department has hidden information about the exposure of 
American troops to Iraqi chemical weapons in the gulf war 
and afterward. A Pentagon spokesman. Captain Michael 
Doubleday, said "That absolutely is incorrect," and asked 
for patience as the Pentagon tried to determine if American 
troops had been exposed to Iraqi chemicals (Shenon, 
Philip "Records Gap on Gulf War Under Scrutiny," New 
York Times, 9 October 1996, A14 ) 

Government no longer maps Gulf Stream due to 
budget cuts 

After 21 years of charting the position of the Gulf Stream, 
government oceanographers at the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration have been forced by budget 
cuts to stop mapping the position of the ever-shifting Gulf 
Stream, a swift current that forms in the Caribbean and 
flows north to Greenland and Iceland. Thousands of 
fishermen, researchers, yachtsmen, and freighter captains 
who navigated by the government's thrice-weekly Gulf 
Stream charts will be left to find their own way "People are 
going to be just a little bit more unsafe than they were 
before," said oceanographer Stephen Baig. Baig faxed the 
Gulf Stream charts for free to anyone who asked. David 
Hendrix of Savannah said, "It helps us to decide in small 
boats whether to go out or not." Baig's maritime clientele 
had grown to about 10,000 users a year — including NASA, 
which used the service to help recover space shuttle 
boosters. 

NOAA, as a matter of government policy, decided to 
leave the business to several private companies — mostly 
fishing forecasters — because they provide some limited 
Gulf Stream charting by fax While one government 
agency may be saving money, its action means more 
expenses for other public agencies that need to know the 
Gulf Stream's location. The Coast Guard, marine 
researchers, fishery analysts and hazardous materials 
experts must now pay up to $50 apiece for a Gulf Stream 
chart. "We don't really have the money to buy that 
service," said Karen Steidinger, a research scientist with 
the Florida Marine Research Institute in St. Petersburg, 
who has relied on the Gulf Stream charts to help track red 
tides before they reach shore Bradford Benggio, with 
NOAA's Hazardous Materials Response and Assessment 
Division, has used the charts to predict the course of oil 
and chemical spills along the eastern seaboard "We had 
so many incidents where that information was really 
critical," he said. Now his agency must use public money 
for private Gulf Stream locators (Nolin, Robert and Maya 
Bell "Government No Longer Follows the Gulf Stream," 
Washington Post. 15 October 1996, A 13.) 



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U.S. miljtat7 warned by Czechs of nerve gas detected 
during the Gulf War 

Czech solders whose responsibility during the 1991 
Persian Gulf war was chemical detection say that American 
military commanders were repeatedly warned that sensitive 
detection equipment had identified Iraqi chemical weapons 
on the battlefield — and that the toxins were spreading over 
unprotected American troops Combat logs of officers 
working for General H Norman Schwarzkopf show that 
Amencan commanders ignored Czech warnings that low 
levels of nerve and mustard gas had been detected in the 
vicinity of American troops. The Defense Department was 
informed after the war that Czech soldiers suffered from 
many of the same health problems that have afflicted the 
American veterans, according to former Czech military 
officials. Interviews with Czech officials raise new doubts 
about public statements from the Pentagon, which has 
been criticized over its treatment of gulf war veterans. 
("Czechs Told U.S. They Detected Nerve Gas During the 
Gulf War," New York Times. 19 October 1996, A1.) 

Declassifying documents delayed at the CIA 

In 1995, when President Clinton ordered the CIA and other 
government agencies to release all classified documents 
more than 25 years old (that would not compromise current 
national security), the files contained some 40 million 
pages. Included was the CIA's assessment of the vast 
military research effort of the former Soviet Union. In their 
declassification effort, the CIA decided to set up a series of 
powerful computer workstations, scanners and printers. 
Technicians would feed the pages into the scanners, while 
retired CIA employees, reading each file on screen, would 
electronically tag information that must remain classified, 
such as sources whose safety might be endangered if their 
identity were known A declassified version of the 
document would then be pnnted out and made public. 

The CIA was supposed to declassify 9 million pages of 
histoncal documents this year, but so far not a single 
document has been released. Embarrassing technical 
problems have undermined the effort Apparently, the CIA 
tried to modify its existing software to censor the sensitive 
passages, only to discover the software was too inflexible. 
The agency had to start again from scratch with a newer 
set of commercial computer programs. Mark Mansfield, a 
CIA spokesman, refused to tell how much money was 
spent on the first attempt at the project. The new system 
is scheduled to go into production by March 1997, but 
some advisers are not sure it will work "We appreciate the 
CIA trying to figure out a way to declassify a lot of records, 
but we're skeptical as to whether this is going to work," 
says Page Putnam Miller of the National Coordinating 



Committee for the Promotion of History, who is a member 
of a panel that advises the CIA on declassification policy. 
(Kiernan, Vincent "Why Cold War Secrets Are Still Under 
Wraps," New Scientist. 19 October 1996.) 

Editorial advocates resumption of crowd counts 

The Washington Post editorial, "When the Park Police 
Don't Count," encouraged the resumption of crowd counts 
in major demonstrations by the Park Police When the 
Park Police were asked for a crowd estimate for the Latino 
March in mid-October, spokespersons for the National Park 
Service said Congress prohibited their crowd estimates. 
They cited the latest appropriations bill for the Department 
of the Interior, which stated that if event organizers want 
crowd counts, they should hire an outside agency The 
issue drew attention after the Million Man March After the 
Park Police came up with a rough estimate of 400,000, 
organizers threatened to sue ("When the Park Police 
Don't Count" Wasliington Post. 20 October 1996 ) 

Former FBI aide pleads guilty for role in Ruby Ridge 

A senior official of the FBI, E Michael Kahoe, agreed to 
plead guilty to obstruction of justice for destroying an 
internal review of the 1992 siege in Idaho known as Ruby 
Ridge The charge against Kahoe involves a review of the 
FBI's actions at Ruby Ridge that his superiors ordered him 
to prepare. As Kahoe and his colleagues completed the 
review in early 1993, federal prosecutors in Idaho asked 
the FBI to turn over all papers it had about the deadly 
siege. Kahoe and "certain of his superiors at F.B.I, 
headquarters," who were not identified, had resisted that 
request according to the criminal charge. Court papers say 
that Kahoe then withheld the internal review from the Idaho 
prosecutors, destroyed his copies of the review and 
ordered a subordinate to destroy other copies to make it 
appear as if the review had never existed (Labaton, 
Stephen "FBI Official to Plead Guilty to Destroying Files on 
1992 Siege. "Wew Yorl< Times, 23 October 1996, A19.) 

Publisher puts Gulf War data on the Internet 

Publisher Bruce Kletz of Insignia Publishing made public 
more than 300 government documents about Iraqi 
chemical weapons removed from a Defense Department 
Internet site, known as GulfLINK, earlier this year. 
According to the article, the documents were removed from 
the Defense site at the request of the CIA Kletz posted 
the documents on the Internet because he believes 
government leaders are "trying to hide the documents only 
to avoid political and personal embarrassment." The 
documents concern the release of Iraqi chemical and 
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Persian Gulf War. Kletz declined to tell the New York 
Times how he obtained the documents. ("Civilian defies 
Pentagon, puts Gulf War data on Internet," CNN 31 
October 1996, http://cnn.com/US/9610/31/gulf.war.reports/ 
index.html) [Ed Note: Soon after this article appeared, the 
CIA announced that it had restored hundreds of other 
intelligence reports to the Pentagon's Internet site, known 
as GulfLINK (http://www. dticdla.mil/gulflink/.) (Shenon, 
Philip. "CIA Orders Inquiry Into Charges of Chemical Arms 
Cover-Up," New York Times, 2 November 1996, P9.)] 

NOVEMBER 
Advocates of less secrecy try to make government 
research available 

Michael Ravnitzky, technical director of the Industrial 
Fabrics Association International in St. Paul, MN, has been 
trying to pry information out of the Defense Technical 
Information Center (DTIC) in Alexandria, VA, for the past 
nine years. "Decades of work done by the Defense 
Department and its contractors in the area of safety and 
protective fabncs would be of enormous use to our 
industry," Ravnitzky says. 

The data could aid the development of protective 
clothing, helping companies make more fire-resistant tents, 
sleeping bags and children's clothing. Even defense 
contractors who build supersecret weapons systems urge 
more openness. Jack Gordon is the president of Lockheed 
Martin's famous Skunk Works, which developed the U-2 
spy plane and the F-1 17 stealth fighter. Last year he told 
a government commission that a "culture of secrecy" often 
leads the military to classify too much and declassify too 
little. "The consequence of this action directly relates to 
added cost, affecting the bottom line of industry and 
inflating procurement costs to the government," he wrote. 

The government is well aware of the potential payoff in 
declassification and less secrecy. In 1970 the Pentagon 
produced a study showing that "the U.S. lead in microwave 
electronics and in computer technology was uniformly and 
greatly raised after the decision in 1946 to release the 
results of wartime research in these fields." The same 
study said an open research policy also benefited nuclear 
reactor and transistor technology development. (Dupont, 
Daniel G. and Richard Lardner. "Defense Technology; 
Needles in a Cold War Haystack," Scientific American, 
November 1996, p. 41.) 

U.S. does not participate in chemical arms treaty 

Hungary ratified an international treaty banning production 
or use of nerve gas weapons, becoming the 65th nation to 
do so, and setting enforcement in motion. With Hungary's 
deposit of its ratification documents with the United 



Nations, a six-month clock starts that will bring the 
Chemical Weapons Convention into force April 29, 1997. 
Because the Senate has not ratified the treaty, the United 
States is precluded from participating in enforcement 
preparations, will have no representatives on the treaty's 
executive council in The Hague, will not be represented on 
the teams conducting international challenge inspections 
and will not have access to information those inspections 
develop. "If we don't ratify, we'll be the loser, because we'll 
have to live under an enforcement regime devised by other 
countries," said State Department Spokesman Nicholas 
Burns. 

The United States promoted the treaty beginning in the 
Reagan Administration. The treaty has strong bipartisan 
support, but the Clinton Administration did little to press for 
ratification when Democrats controlled the Senate. When 
control of the Senate shifted, conservative Republicans, 
including Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Foreign 
Relations Committee Chair Jesse Helms (R-NC) opposed 
ratification, despite support for the treaty from the 
Pentagon, the State Department and the major U.S. 
chemical manufacturers. (Lippman, Thomas W. "Chemical 
Arms Treaty Heads for Enactment Without U.S. 
Participation," Washington Post, 2 November 1996, A9.) 

Bosnian arms policy criticized 

The Senate intelligence committee chticized the secrecy of 
the Clinton Administration's policy of turning a blind eye in 
1994 to Iranian weapons shipments to Bosnia's Muslim 
government. The committee said that the policy caused 
confusion among high-ranking U.S. policy makers and kept 
Congress in the dark. "Very, very grave risks are involved 
here when you violate the protocol and the standard rules," 
Committee Chairman Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) told 
reporters in discussing the White House decision to keep 
secret from its allies a policy that, he said, "supported a 
violation of the U.N. arms embargo." He also said, "There 
are obvious penalties for misleading Congress." At the time 
Congress was debating whether the United States should 
unilaterally withdraw from the United Nations embargo 
without knowing of the Administration's actions. (Pincus, 
Walter. "Policy on Bosnia Arms Gets Mixed Review," 
Washington Post, 8 November 1996, A26.) 

EPA loses hundreds of confidential documents 

Confidential documents collected in 1994 and 1995 by the 
Environmental Protection Agency containing sensitive data 
belonging to chemical companies have been lost by the 
Environmental Protection Agency. The 200 lost documents 
may contain trade secrets that could be worth millions to 
the companies. Agency officials have no evidence the 



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papers were stolen, indicating that they may have been 
misplaced or destroyed. EPA is conducting an 
investigation and has tightened security. An internal memo 
obtained by the Associated Press said the incident "Will be 
an embarrassment to the agency which could damage our 
reputation and put into question, our ability to handle 
sensitive information." The agency said the missing 
documents are not a serious security breach. "More than 
one-half million of these papers are managed annually by 
EPA, and about 200 may have been misplaced, most likely 
within the agency," said Lynn Goldman, assistant 
administrator for prevention, pesticides and toxic 
substances. ("EPA Loses Papers," Washington Post, 14 
November 1996, A1 9.) 

Compensation awarded to survivors of government 
radiation experiments 

Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary said the federal 
government has agreed to pay $4.8 million as 
compensation for injecting 12 people with radioactive 
Plutonium or uranium in secret cold war experiments. The 
settlement is part of a effort to compensate those subjected 
to experiments carried out by government doctors, 
scientists and military officials from 1944 to 1974, 
Secretary O'Leary said government officials should make 
a commitment "that never again will the Government of the 
United States perform tests on our citizens and do so in 
secrecy." Soldiers were marched through nuclear explosion 
sites, without informing them of possible risks, while other 
experiments involved injecting people with radioactive 
substances, again without their knowledge. (Hilts, Philip J. 
"Payments to Make Amends for Secret Tests of Radiation," 
New York Times, 20 November 1996, A1.) 

Air bag safety questioned in 1969 

It was not until 1991 that the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration warned parents that children in infant 
safety seats should not be placed in front of an air bag, 
although federal and auto industry officials suspected since 
1969 that air bags could injure or kill some children and 
small adults. And it wasn't until late 1995 that the agency 
publicly stated that air bags could cause injuries and death. 
According to documents spanning more than 20 years of 
debate over air bags, the government did not warn the 
public as it campaigned to win widespread public 
acceptance of the devices. 

Until recently, when news of fatalities caused by air 
bags became widespread, much of the debate over the 
safety of the bags was held behind closed doors. 
Lobbyists, industry representatives, consumer groups, 
insurers and the government fought over proposed 



regulations governing their use As the government 
struggled to come up with "passive restraint" regulations, 
the safety aspects of the proposed rules were stuck in 
political, economic and marketing battles waged among 
these same groups (Brown, Warren and Cindy Skrzycki. 
"U.S. Doubts on Air Bags Date to '69," Washington Post. 
21 November 1996, A1.) 

Sexual misconduct probed at Army's top levels 

Army Secretary Togo West has ordered an investigation 
into the responsibility of those in the chain of command at 
Maryland's Aberdeen Proving Ground concerning the 
sexual abuse scandal there. In addition, the Pentagon said 
it does not know how many female service members are 
victims of sexual violence each year because it does not 
collect the information, although a 1988 law requires it to 
do so. Some of the services do not keep centralized 
statistics on sexual crimes such as rape and indecent 
assault. Holly Hemphill, a Washington attorney and 
chairwoman of a defense advisory panel on women in the 
armed services, said the committee had tried many times 
to get the services to give it information on sexual violence 
against female soldiers but "we kept getting the wrong 
information." She said the services collect statistics on 
spouse abuse, but not abuse of their female members 

Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said 
one problem was that Congress had not given the 
department any money to create the new database. 
Congress, he added, still had not come up with any new 
funds "but basically, after this hadn't been done for awhile, 
somebody decided that it was time to do [it]...." He said the 
directive was issued October 15 The information in the 
new Defense Incident Base Reporting System also will be 
shared with the Justice Department. Other federal 
agencies are under the same mandate to report crime in 
their ranks to the Justice Department, but many have not 
complied either. Pentagon officials noted. (Priest, Dana. 
"Army Probe to Focus on Top Levels," The Washington 
Post, 22 November 1996, A1.) 

DECEMBER 
Public government information increasingly is 
privatized 

In an op-ed piece, "When Public Business Goes Private," 
in the December 4 New York Times, Bill Kovach warns that 
watchdog journalism is facing a new and little-noted 
challenge. Kovach, curator of the Nieman Foundation at 
Harvard, describes how for-profit and nonprofit 
organizations increasingly displace government agencies 
in running public programs He points out that as tax- 
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move largely outside the reach of the press As examples, 
he gives these: 

• The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press 
says that a publisher in Mississippi has exclusive rights 
to distribute and sell the electronic version of the state's 
laws. 

• The National Technical Information Service grants 
exclusive nghts to private companies to sell once-public 
data from the National Institutes of Health, the Social 
Secunty Administration and the Federal 
Communications Commission. 

• The Amentech Corporation wants to acquire the nghts 
to become the sole electronic source of more 
government information. 

In addition to the disappearance of government information 
into private databases, still another problem will result from 
the new welfare law: less information about the allocation 
of public funds will be available Access to the public and 
the press to this information will depend on state laws and 
how each state writes its welfare regulations Private 
contractors may take over some state welfare programs 
For example, in Texas, Electronic Data Systems, an 
information technology company, and Lockheed Martin, a 
military contractor, are bidding to take over the state's $563 
million welfare program. 

Will corporate rights to privacy be invoked if journalists 
tried to obtain information about such operations? Kovach 
warns his colleagues: "If these examples are part of a 
trend, then the press and the public are being slowly 
blinded. A press dedicated to the watchdog role is 
discovering that it lacks the tools to adequately monitor 
corporate managers of the public weal Freedom of 
information laws. ..do not cover private businesses." 
(Kovach, Bill. "When Public Business Goes Private, New 
York Times. 4 December 1996, A29.) 

We cannot afford not to know accurate numbers 

Robert J Samuelson, writing an op-ed piece, "The 
Squeeze on Statistics," says that accurate numbers are 
society's eyes and ears and that we cannot afford not to 
know them. He says that statistics allow us to judge the 
economy, social conditions and government policies. 
Without reliable numbers, we cannot say how well — or 
poorly — we are doing. And the numbers do not simply 
materialize, they must be collected, verified and analyzed. 
"It's exacting, time-consuming work that Congress is slowly 
crippling by starving it of money." 

Samuelson provides this example: This year, faced with 
a tight budget, the Bureau of Economic Analysis ended its 
annual survey of pollution-control spending by business. 
In 1994 (the survey's last year), companies spent $77 



billion to control pollution. But in the future, we won't know 
exactly how much they're spending. Debates over 
environmental policy will proceed with less information on 
costs and benefits BEA's experience is typical; not 
enough money is being spent on statistical agencies to 
keep up. Between fiscal 1990 and 1997, the BEA 
requested $36.7 million for statistical improvements. Of the 
request. Congress approved only $6.5 million. In five of 
seven years, no money at all was approved. (Samuelson, 
Robert J. "The Squeeze on Statistics," Washington Post, 4 
December 1996.) 

Security clearance revoked for disclosing secret to 
Congress 

Departing CIA Director John Deutch revoked the security 
clearance of a senior State Department official who 
revealed a CIA secret to Senator-elect Robert Torricelli (D- 
NJ) The action effectively ends the government career of 
the official, Richard Nuccio, who was the State 
Department's envoy on peace talks between the 
Guatemalan military and Guatemalan guerrillas. Two 
years ago Nuccio discovered that a paid informer for the 
CIA, a Guatemalan colonel, was involved in the killing in 
Guatemala of an American innkeeper and of a captured 
Guatemalan guerrilla who was married to an American 
lawyer. Convinced the CIA was covering up, and that 
Congress had been misled about what happened, he gave 
this information to Torricelli. When Torricelli told Ttie New 
York Times, the disclosure led to the dismissal of several 
CIA officials who had failed to provide Congress and CIA 
headquarters with clear information about the case. 
Reportedly, Deutch "felt that the CIA's absolute need to 
protect the secret identities of its informers outweighed the 
burden the information had placed on Mr. Nuccio's 
conscience." (Weiner, Tim "CIA Chief Disciplines Official 
for Disclosure," New York Times, 6 December 1996, A20.) 

FBI still does not know who leaked Jewell information 

FBI Director Louis Freeh acknowledged to the Senate 
Judiciary Committee that Justice Department investigators 
have been unable to find the law enforcement official who 
told reporters that security guard Richard Jewell was a 
leading suspect in the bombing at the Summer Olympic 
Games in Atlanta. In late October, the Justice Department 
said that Jewell was no longer a suspect. 

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), who chaired the 
hearing, suggested he might introduce legislation that 
would make it easier to prosecute government employees 
who give confidential information to reporters. But Specter 
stressed "We've tried to make clear our oversight is over 
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Freeh also disclosed that investigators have been 
unable to identify the leaker who tipped reporters about the 
pending arrest of Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski 
and the planned search of his Montana cabin. (McAllister, 
Bill. "Probe Has Failed to Detect Leaker in Jewell Episode, 
Freeh Tells Panel," Washington Post, 20 December 1996, 
A25.) 

independent panel finds incompiete data on nerve gas 
exposure 

An independent panel of scientists from the Institute of 
Defense Analysis said there is Pentagon may never be 
able to determine with any accuracy the number of troops 
who were exposed to chemical agents in the one verifiable 
release known to have occurred during the Persian Gulf 
War. The group said there is not enough reliable data 
about the quantity of nerve gas released or about weather 
conditions at the time to determine how many U.S. troops 
might have been exposed. Without firm data, the Pentagon 
has nonetheless estimated than 20,000 troops may have 
been exposed in the release. The Pentagon is trying to 
contact the 20,000 troops and is encouraging them to 
participate in a special medical evaluation program, which 
so far 2,000 have joined. (Priest, Dana. "Data Lacking on 
Nerve Gas Exposure," Washington Post, 21 December 
1996, A3.) [Ed. Note: Two studies of Gulf War veterans' 
health published in the New England Journal of Medicine 
concluded that the health of veterans of the Persian Gulf 
War has differed slightly from that of other groups of 
soldiers, but not in a way that suggests a "mystery illness" 
is afflicting them. (Brown, David and Bill McAllister. "Two 
Studies Find No Gulf 'Mystery Illness'," Washington Post, 
14 November 1996, A3)] 

i-iouse Spealcer admits to etiiicai wrongdoing 

After more than two years denying wrongdoing, House 
Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on December 21 admitted 
that he broke the rules of the House of Representatives 
and "brought down on the people's house a controversy 
which could weaken the faith people have in their 
government." Responding to allegations of the House 
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics), he 
said: "In my name and over my signature, inaccurate, 
incomplete and unreliable statements were given to the 
committee, but I did not intend to mislead the committee." 
Gingrich admitted to the charges in the House ethics 
committee's 22-page "Statement of Alleged Violations", the 
House version of an indictment. It said Gingrich failed to 



ensure that a college course he taught and a televised 
town hall would not violate federal tax law. Both were 
financed with tax deductible contributions. Gingrich's 
admission does not end the committee's investigation of 
him. (Yang, John E. "Speaker Gingrich Admits House 
Ethics Violation," Washington Post, 22 December 1996, 
A1.) [Ed. Note: The "Statement of Alleged Violation" and 
the "Respondent's Answer to Statement of Alleged 
Violation" are available from the House Committee on 
Standards of Official Conduct (202-225-7103).] 

Democratic National Committee will allow access to 
records 

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) said it would 
allow reporters to have access to some 3,000 documents 
connected to former political fundraiser John Huang 
shortly after it cut off media access to the documents 
The reversal came after the White House heard the DNC 
had decided reporters had "ample opportunity" to look at 
one set of the records during the 10 hours they were 
available DNC spokeswoman Amy Weiss Tobe would not 
comment on how the decision was made to shield the 
records from further media scrutiny. (Schmidt, Susan and 
Anne Farris. "In Reversal, DNC Decides Not to Close 
Records Connected to Huang," Washington Post, 24 
December 1996, A6.) 

Panel "shielded from all information" about Gingrich 
investigation 

Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA), senior Democrat 
on the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, 
said that he and five other committee members were 
"shielded from all information" while other members of the 
Committee worked with special counsel James Cole to 
develop facts on the complex financial transactions and 
determine that there was reasonable cause to believe 
Gingrich violated House rules. "At this point, none of the 
six of us is clear what really occurred If there are to be 
public hearings before we set the speaker's punishment, 
we have to be prepared to ask intelligent questions of Mr. 
Cole and the speaker's attorney and the speaker himself, 
if he chooses to appear." McDermott said he had been told 
by another member of the ethics committee that the files 
and notebooks they have to review are "voluminous." 
(Broder, David S. and Helen Dewar. "Swift Vote on 
Gingrich Faces Hurdle," Washington Post, 30 December 
1996, A1.) 



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