2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: marylia@earthlink.net
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 12:47:47 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Reveal a secret, face prison/Sac. Bee
this new law could have a huge, negative impact on all our organizations'
work to monitor the nuclear weapons complex and other government
activities. read on ... mk

Reveal a secret, face prison: Leaking any classified data will be illegal
for first time
By Michael Doyle
Bee Washington Bureau
Published Oct. 24, 2000

WASHINGTON -- A sweeping new law about to be signed by President Clinton,
drafted without public hearings, for the first time makes it illegal to
leak any classified information.

"Because of the seriousness of the leaks and the releasing of classified
information, we needed to take some additional steps," said Rep. Gary
Condit, a Ceres Democrat who serves on the House Permanent Select Committee
on Intelligence. "We hope it helps."  

Condit said he and other Democrats attempted to modify the measure to
account for some concerns. But the full implications of what critics are
calling America's first Official Secrets Act remain unclear -- for
whistle-blowers, for journalists, and for security officials themselves.

Consider, for one, just how many secrets America keeps.

The number is literally inestimable, Steven Garfinkle of the federal
Information Security Oversight Office said Friday.

But among documents more than 25 years old, there are well over 1 billion
classified pages -- enough, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York said
earlier this year, to fill 441 Washington Monuments. Some still-secret
documents date back decades, such as World War I-era documents concerning
secret ink.

The old documents are being declassified, but new secrets also are being
created. Last year, 169,735 new documents -- each potentially spanning many
pages -- were given their first classification. An additional 8 million
documents got a fresh classification stamp last year when they included a
previously classified secret. Release of any one of these, regardless of
the topic, would subject the leaker to imprisonment for up to three years
under the new law.



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