Executive Order 12333, as amended, requires agencies in the Intelligence Community to report possible violations of Federal law by their employees to DOJ, which includes violations of the statutes relating to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. These crime reports identify, among other things, the classified information that was leaked and the level of classification of the leaked information. DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) then assesses whether an investigation should be opened as a result of the reported leak. As part of this assessment process, DOJ requires the reporting agency to answer a series of specific questions to help evaluate whether an investigation would be productive. Should an investigation be deemed necessary, these questions are useful in guiding the course of that investigation. For example, DOJ usually has the referring agency specify in its crime report whether it would like DOJ to investigate the leak. Although the FBI has the authority to investigate a leak regardless of whether the reporting agency desires such an investigation, eliciting the reporting agency’s determination of which leaks are sufficiently damaging to warrant an investigation helps us assess how best to use limited investigative resources.
In addition to responding to referrals, the FBI opens investigations whenever we become aware of a leak that we believe is significant, even without a referral. Similarly, we occasionally open an investigation based solely on an oral request from a senior Intelligence Community official. These investigations are conducted by the FBI in consultation with the NSD, which oversees and coordinates all leak investigations. The FBI and NSD regularly brief the reporting agencies on the status of these investigations.
What is a secret document? It is a document containing national security information generated by the U.S. government and its employees and contractors, as well as information received from other governments. The desired degree of secrecy about Government information is known as its sensitivity. Sensitivity is based upon a calculation of the damage to national security that the release of the information would cause. And remember, it doesn’t have to be a complete file or book. A piece here, a picture there, a paragraph . . . and pretty soon you’ll have a pretty good idea about what is going on. “Loose lips, sink ships. -WWII
In the U.S. information is called “classified” if it has been assigned one of the three levels: Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret. An important part of the system is the “need to know.” Just because you have a Secret Clearance does’t mean you can read any Secret document. You have to demonstrate a “need to know.”
I attended my 50th class reunion at New Mexico Military Institute a couple of weeks ago. After a memorial ceremony for classmates Hugh Michael Staver and Monte Orr, we talked a bit about Randy Suber who is interred at NMMI.
I heard lots of different stories about Randy and the circumstances around his death. I wanted to set some straight. This may not be news to many but for others how and what happened.
Randy was assigned to CCN. Command and Control North, MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group). MACV-SOG was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their “cover’ while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time frame, “Shining Brass” or “Prairie Fire” missions. Randy was a member of Recon Company and One-One (second in command and the second American) on RT Rattler. RT Rattler was a Nung team. Ethnic Chinese, these Nung soldiers were best-known for their loyalty to US Special Forces and had a reputation as the most-feared fighters of all the minority groups trained by the Americans.
No matter what you think about it, this subject is likely to come up again. Here in the attached CRS is information your Congressman receives. Not classified but not really advertised either.
This report briefly summarizes what constituted EITs, provides background on their adoption and use, and discusses differing views on three questions that were frequently addressed in the discussion and debate of this topic:
- 1. Did the CIA’s use of EITs constitute torture?
- 2. Did the CIA’s use of EITs run counter to American values and morals?
- 3. Were the EITs effective in producing valuable intelligence, not otherwise obtainable through standard interrogation techniques?