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FRINFORMSUM: 1/20/2011

January 20, 2011

"That Scoundrel Gorbachev..."

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, three transcripts are being declassified and released documenting  internal Iraqi deliberations from the early days of the Persian Gulf War.  The transcripts depict Saddam Hussein’s frustrations with Mikhail Gorbachev, who he labels “a scoundrel,” following the Soviet Union’s inability to dissuade the U.S. from pursuing a ground war.  The documents represent a small segment of the millions of pages and approximately 2300 hours of recorded meetings obtained by the U.S. military and currently being housed at the National Defense University.

Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is looking into questionable FOIA procedures at the Department of Homeland Security, including alleged involvement of political appointees in delaying FOIA requests and investigating details regarding the individuals requesting documents.

Joseph Davis at Climate Science Watch wrote a detailed four part rundown of evidence regarding the White House Office of Management and Budget’s alleged efforts to delay and modify the Obama Administration’s White House Scientific Integrity Guidelines which govern, among other things, transparency and communication between federal scientists and journalists.

According to a memo recently obtained by Secrecy News from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to the Information Security Oversight Office, “derivative classification decisions increased 7.6% to 1,762,999 from last year’s totals.”  The increase is attributed to 17% “population growth” from last year.

In hearings yesterday, the Supreme Court seemed dubious regarding AT&T’s claims that documents related to their interactions with the federal government should be exempt from disclosure under FOIA to protect the “personal privacy” of AT&T as a corporation.  Find the transcript of the hearing here.

On the other side of the pond, a row is underway between David Cameron and Tony Blair regarding the latter’s refusal to disclose the contents of what he deems “personal” letters to George W. Bush expressing British support for the U.S. in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.

Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi is on board with Iran’s explanation that the wikiLeaks scandal is secretly part of a CIA effort to destabilize and overthrow anti-imperialist leaders, citing the purported role of leaked State Department cables in inciting the overthrow of Tunisia’s  ex-dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

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