[govinfo] GovInfo News - 11-14-06

  • From: "Patrice McDermott" <pmcdermott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 11:08:06 -0500

- CDC's Katrina critique is secret
- A career as a secrecy watchdog
- Traveling abroad? DHS has its eyes on you

Patrice McDermott, Director
202-332-OPEN (6736)

Published on: 11/07/06

By ALISON YOUNG / ayoung@xxxxxxx

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has critiqued its response to 
Hurricane Katrina and says it's taking actions to ensure that the agency is 
better prepared in the future.

But the Atlanta-based CDC is keeping secret the report analyzing its 
performance, and is talking only generally about the problems it identified, 
saying they are being addressed with better plans, communication and training.
The CDC has repeatedly refused since August to release a copy of its Katrina 
after-action report, which could put these e-mails in a broader context.

In denying an AJC request under the Freedom of Information Act, the CDC said 
the Katrina report is only a "draft" and that making it public would "interfere 
with the agency's deliberative process."
Last month, Gerberding said the federal government is debating whether 
after-action reports should be made public. ...she said Monday that she's still 
waiting for that decision to be made.

Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at 
the University of Maryland, said the CDC has largely escaped scrutiny of its 
Katrina response because it played a small role and because problems at other 
agencies - notably the Federal Emergency Management Agency - dwarfed anything 
that may have gone wrong at the CDC.

He questioned, therefore, why the CDC is keeping its Katrina after-action 
report secret.
"The White House after-action report was made public; the congressional 
after-action reports were made public," he said.

Steven Aftergood condemns the abuses of overclassification, excessive secrecy

BY Aliya Sternstein
Published on Nov. 13, 2006
Researcher Steven Aftergood's shelves are crammed with books on government 
secrecy and thick binders filled with government documents. Daniel Ellsberg's 
"Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" occupies a prominent 
position on one shelf.

One particular set of papers that came to him in 1991 caused him to question 
the criteria that the government used to classify documents. Someone whose 
identity Aftergood learned only later - and still won't reveal - mailed him 
documents about a classified program code-named Timber Wind. At the time, he 
had been researching nuclear reactor safety for the Federation of American 
Scientists, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C. He is now FAS' director 
of the Project on Government Secrecy.

Traveling abroad? DHS has its eyes on you

11/10/06 -- 12:13 PM
By Alice Lipowicz

Terrorism risk assessments will be assigned to any individuals seeking to enter 
or leave the United States, according to a Homeland Security Department 
announcement. The records are excluded from public review and maintained for up 
to 40 years.

In a Federal Register notice, DHS said the Automated Targeting System passenger 
screening is not new, but the agency does not identify when the program began. 
The purpose of the Nov. 2 announcement is to provide additional notice to the 
public of the system's existence and what functions it performs, DHS said. 
Public comments are due by Dec. 4.

Travelers leaving the United States by airline since Sept. 11, 2001, have been 
screened against a terrorist watch list. The newly disclosed assessments apply 
to travelers who leave by foot and by automobile as well, the Federal Register 
notice said.

Privacy groups describe the risk assessments as intrusive.
All data in the new system will be exempt from the access and correction 
requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974. The risk assessment records are stored 
electronically at the National Data Center.

- Growing Reports of White House Calls for Bloch's Resignation

Washington, DC - Seeking to deflect public attention, the Office of Special 
Counsel posted an overdue annual report to Congress on its website this past 
Tuesday, Election Day, but removed the link for the report the next day, 
according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This 
elusive report, obtained by PEER, 
http://www.peer.org/docs/osc/06_9_11_osc_fy2005.pdf paints a dismal picture of 
declining performance in the federal agency whose chief mission is advocacy for 

At the same time, right-wing columnists are writing that the Bush White House 
has twice asked for the resignation of its own appointee as Special Counsel, 
Scott Bloch. The Special Counsel has a fixed five-year term and can be removed 
only for cause.

Attachment: image001.gif
Description: GIF image

Other related posts:

  • » [govinfo] GovInfo News - 11-14-06