NEWS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
Issue 104, JULY 2004

Table of Contents

  1. Ten Most Wanted Documents List Released
  2. Supreme Court Ponders Energy Task Force Documents
  3. Government Secrecy Classifiction Activity on the Increase
  4. How Americans Get in Touch With Government
  5. The Human Rights Record of the United States, 2003
  6. Tax Pirates of the Caribbean
  7. Impact of NAFTA on Top 100 Companies in the U.S.
  8. Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us A War
  9. GPO Hunts Fugitives
  10. Congressional Research Service Publications
  11. Patterns of Global Terrorism Report Withdrawn
  12. GPO Struggling with the Issue of Fugitive Documents
  13. Bush Administration Documents on Interrogation
  14. Report on Educator Sexual Misconduct in Schools Released
  15. Workforce3 One Debuts
  16. GPO Undergoing Transformation
  17. ERIC Update (June 2004)
  18. Over 50 Years of Presidential Commercials
  19. GAO Becomes Government Accountability Office
  20. GPO Access Congressional Hearings Web Pages
    Now Offer Browsing Capability
  21. Cheney v. U.S. District Court:
    Supreme Court Sends Case Back to Lower Court
  22. Freedom of Information Act Anniversary
  23. House Narrowly Rejected Amendment to Curtail
    FBI Peeks at Library Records
  24. Report from the Field: The USA Patriot Act at Work
  25. Will the Public Receive Free Access to NIH Sponosred Research?
  26. News from Orlando: Director's Update


(1) Ten Most Wanted Documents List Released

On April 15, 2004, a new coalition released its first annual survey of "The Ten Most Wanted Documents." The release was the inaugural event of OpenTheGovernment.org, an organization comprised of 33 organizations working on freedom of information issues. The organization seeks to galvanize public support for open, accountable government. The group represents an unprecedented coalition, bringing together First Amendment advocates, good government groups, journalists, environmentalists, and organizations.

According to Rick Blum, Coordinator of the coalition and Director of the Freedom of Information Project of OMB Watch, "We are witnessing a broad expansion of government secrecy that runs counter to our core democratic values. We must reverse this course so the public can access the information it needs to hold our government accountable, make our families safer, and generally strengthen democracy."

The list targets secrecy in all three branches of government and is the result of an Internet survey, in which respondents ranked documents covering a broad spectrum of issues, from women's rights to animal welfare to our government's fight against terrorism. Roughly 500 people completed the online survey. Of these, 76 percent said they have personally accessed federal government information within the last two years.

Nine out of ten respondents thought the government classifies too much information, abuses legitimate privacy protections, and uses the threat of terrorism and national security concerns to withhold information. Eighty-eight percent also said trade secrets and business confidentiality too often shield information the public should know about.

Among the many issues covered by the list of Ten Most Wanted Documents, three themes stood out: first, respondents expressed a deep skepticism about the information the government provides; second, the government should do more to make its day-to-day operations open to the public; and third, the government should reverse its unprecedented expansion of secrecy and give the public a more open and complete accounting for its efforts to make our communities safer.

Here is the list of the ten "most wanted documents" for 2004:

  1. The 28-page Secret Pages of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 Intelligence Failures;
  2. types of crime investigated each time a Patriot Act power was invoked;
  3. a list of the contaminants found in the sources of drinking water;
  4. records of court cases partially or totally closed to the public and an explanation why for each;
  5. industry-written reports on chemical plants' risks to communities;
  6. the Identities of those detained after 9/11 on immigration charges or as material witnesses;
  7. gifts from lobbyists to Senators and their staff;
  8. Federal contracts, grants and other agreements, their total value (in dollars), records documenting violations, and fines and other federal enforcement actions;
  9. all changes made to publicly available versions of congressional legislation before a committee vote; and
  10. Congressional Research Service Reports.
For more information about the coalition, tap into: http://www.OpenTheGovernment.org.

Source: NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 10, #17; April 23, 2004).

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(2) Supreme Court Ponders Energy Task Force Documents

On April 27, the Supreme Court heard arguments on Vice-President Richard Cheney's effort to keep the public from knowing who met with him behind closed doors three years ago when the Bush administration drafted a new energy policy. While at first the issue appears to be one of marginal interest to historians, archivists, and political scientists, in fact, like the access questions that surrounded the Watergate tapes and papers controversy, the suit has important ramifications on what government documents researchers are permitted to see now and in the future.

In early 2001, shortly after the Bush administration assumed control of the White House, Vice-President Cheney convened a task force to draft a new energy policy for the nation. Its membership was secret, but environmental groups charged that in addition to government officials, big energy companies (including the embattled Enron) and major campaign donors were permitted to participate. The conservative Judicial Watch and the liberal Sierra Club both argued that because people who are not federal employees were de facto members of the task force, the Federal Advisory Committee Act kicks in and that it requires that records of meetings must be made public. Cheney stated that the act does not apply because the task force's members were all federal employees. Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club sued in federal court for access to the task force participant list.

In an effort to decide the case a trial court ordered Cheney to provide "limited disclosure" of who participated on the task force. Cheney's lawyers argued that the court's order violated the vice-president's executive privilege and rejected all efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with the trial court. Cheney then short-circuited regular trial court procedures and sought a higher court blanket order to keep the names of the participants secret.

Though many of the issues that the court must address involve arcane procedural questions about pre-trial discovery rules, the substantive issue relates to the degree to which a vice-president can claim special privileges. As the Supreme Court held in a landmark case involving President Richard Nixon's Watergate tapes, the executive privilege assertion has its limits. With that precedent in mind, Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club attorneys argued before the court that Mr. Cheney may be entitled to ask that the disclosure requests be narrowed, but the law does not exempt him entirely. Cheney's attorneys argued the case is "about the separation of powers" and that forcing the White House to release confidential papers would jeopardize the president's ability to receive candid advice.

If the legal questions alone were not controversial enough, once the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, it was publically revealed that Justice Antonin Scalia had accompanied the vice-president on a hunting trip suggesting a close personal tie with Cheney. The disclosure resulted in widespread calls for the justice to recuse himself when the court considered the plea. Scalia declined. Scalia's questions during the court's oral arguments clearly revealed his hand when he declared, "Involvement of private individuals in the committee does not mean de facto membership." Now that the Supreme Court has heard arguments a decision is expected in July 2004.

Some court watchers predict another Bush v. Gore type decision -- where the court decided the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign by a 5 to 4 decision, with Justice Scalia casting the deciding vote. Should that happen again, the reputation of a court whose authority and objectivity is already seriously questioned by many may find itself once again attacked by critics who see the court as a political tool of the administration, and not guided by impartial application of the laws of the land. For researchers though, depending on how the court decides, the result may be an evisceration of important provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act that seek to provide an orderly process guaranteeing government openness in some of its operations.

Source: NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 10, #18; April 28, 2004).

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(3) Government Secrecy Classifiction Activity on the Increase

According to the annual report to the president prepared by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) -- an executive branch agency housed in the National Archives and Records Administration that oversees classification and declassification activity in the executive branch -- there was a marked increase in national security secrecy activity last year. Executive branch agencies classified a total of more than 14 million new documents. ISOO reported a total of 14,228,020 classification decisions by executive branch agencies in fiscal year 2003, up from 11,271,618 classification actions in FY 2002. This represents a 25% rise over the previous year's production of classified documents.

According to Steve Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, a group that monitors government secrecy activities, "The report confirms what many people have suspected that the volume of official secrecy is expanding."

Critics contend that the government's classification system is applied to significant quantities of information unnecessarily, and that in this process, actually contributes to damaging national security. The ISOO report implicitly acknowledged the merits of that argument. "Allowing information that will not cause damage to national security to remain in the classification system, or to enter the system in the first instance, places all classified information at needless increased risk," states the report.

The report also states that "ISOO has asked all agency heads to closely examine efforts to implement and maintain the security classification system at their agencies... This effort includes ensuring that information that requires protection is properly identified and safeguarded and, equally important, that information not eligible for inclusion in the classification system remains unclassified or is promptly declassified." The report also notes that "Many senior officials will candidly acknowledge that the government classifies too much information...although often times the observation is made with respect to the activities of agencies other than their own."

Thanks to the Federation of American Scientists, a copy of the new ISOO annual report for fiscal year 2003 is available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/isoo/2003rpt.pdf.

Source: NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 10, #18; April 28, 2004).

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(4) How Americans Get in Touch With Government

Americans' use of the Internet to access government information is growing rapidly, according to a new study.

The report, "How Americans Get in Touch With Government," showed a 50 percent growth from 2002 to 2003 in the number of Americans who visited a federal, state or local government Web site or contacted a government official online. Still, people who reported they had contacted government within the past year said they preferred telephone or in-person visits to the Web or e-mail by a 53 percent to 37 percent margin.

The report was based on a survey of almost 3,000 Americans by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

For the full story by Elizabeth Newell, see : GovExec.com Today, May 26, 2004.

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(5) Turnabout Is Fair Play?:
The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003

In February the State Department released its annual reports on human-rights abuses in 196 countries and regions. As part of this release, the State Department issued a 50,000-word report on China documenting extra-judicial killings, religious persecution, torture, and the detention of 250,000 Chinese in "reeducation-through-labor" camps.

Not to be outdone, China's State Council a week later released The Human Rights Record of the United States, 2003. The report, reproduced in full in the ruling party's official People's Daily, begins, "As in previous years, the United States once again acted as 'the world human rights police' by distorting and censuring ... the human rights situations across more than 190 countries and regions in the world, including China. And just as usual, the United States once again 'omitted' its own long-standing malpractice and problems of human rights in the 'reports.' Therefore, we have to, as before, help the United States keep its human rights record." With a smattering of items drawn from U.S. news reports and Web sites, China highlights America's chronic problems — a high murder rate, a huge and rapidly growing prison population, increases in child poverty, and a rising number of people without health insurance — and fleshes out the story with anecdotes of Patriot Act abuses, school shootings, and police brutality. Political freedom is said to be a sham: "The presidential election, often symbolized as U.S. democracy, in fact is the game and competition for the rich people." As for the First Amendment, "the so-called 'freedom of press' ... speech and expression of opinion in the United States is amid a crisis," exemplified by the Jayson Blair scandal and NBC's decision to fire Peter Arnett for comments unsympathetic to the U.S. on Iraqi state television. The report accuses the United States of "sabre-rattling and launching wars," and lavishes particular attention on civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003," Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, March 1, 2004, highlighted in Atlantic Monthly Online, June 2004.

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(6) Tax Pirates of the Caribbean

It's old news by now that U.S. corporations like to run subsidiary companies in those nations (mainly of the small and tropical variety) that levy little or no corporate income tax. But it's particularly galling when major federal contractors do so—and according to a new General Accounting Office report (GAO-04-294, Feb. 2004), fifty-nine of the nation's 100 largest publicly traded government contractors reported running at least one subsidiary in a "tax haven" country in 2001. Four of the fifty-nine are actually incorporated in such countries — one in Panama and three in Bermuda, including the scandal-plagued Tyco International. (Another thirty-five are incorporated in Delaware, whose famously pro-corporate laws and courts could be said to make it the Bermuda of the United States.)

The report is careful to note that "the simple existence of a subsidiary in a tax haven country does not signify that a corporation has established that subsidiary primarily for ... reducing its overall tax burden." Still, a few examples seem particularly suspicious — such as Xerox's ten subsidiaries in Bermuda, and Boeing's ninety-six foreign subsidiaries, twenty-four of them in the Virgin Islands. Then there is the Delaware-incorporated Halliburton, which received more than $500 million in government contracts in 2001, even as it was running some thirteen foreign subsidiaries out of the Cayman Islands.

Source: Information on Federal Contractors With Offshore Subsidiaries, courtesy of Senator Dorgan of North Dakota and Atlantic Monthly Online, June 2004.

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(7) Impact of NAFTA on Top 100 Companies in the U.S.

Senator Dorgan of North Dakota (a Democrat who opposed the NAFTA legislation) recently asked the Congressional Research Service to identify the top 100 companies to lay off U.S. workers because of NAFTA, from 1994 to 2002 (the latest year for which data was available). The result is a CRS Memorandum entitled Top 100 Companies Reporting and Certified as Suffering NAFTA-related Job "Losses", dated Dec. 1, 2003.

In short, these 100 companies alone -- many with familiar names -- accounted for an estimated 201,414 U.S. jobs lost during the period analyzed.

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(8) Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal
How Bush Sold Us A War

While reviewing approval plan books for selection, I came across the following title Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us A War by John Prados (New York: New Press, 2004, 375pp.) that might be of interest to documents librarians.

According to the publisher's blurb on the back, "as the world concludes that President Bush had little justification for his war on Iraq, Hoodwinked makes publicly available for the first time the primary source documents that show how intelligence on Iraq was consistently distorted, manipulated, and ignored by the administration."

Compiled by National Security Archive analyst John Prados, these documents are reproduced, fully annotated, and placed in the context of a detailed narrative of the events leading up to the conflict. Expanded sections examine the four most contentious issues: the Iraqi nuclear program, unmanned aerial vehicles, uranium from Niger, and the question of Saddam Hussein's links to Al Qaeda and 9/11.

Via these "smoking gun" documents, Prados offers readers a firsthand view of what may be the biggest government deception since Watergate, bringing out incontrovertibel evidence that we were had.

Documents include:

The book is available at many libraries near you, through interlibrary loan, or for sale from various vendors including Amazon.com.

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(9) GPO Hunts Fugitives

Government Printing Office officials are looking for so-called fugitive documents and plan on sending a Web crawler out to find them.

As more federal agencies publish government information on Web sites without notifying GPO, important documents that should be indexed, catalogued and preserved for public access in the Federal Depository Library Program have instead become "fugitive" documents, according to GPO officials.

Their answer to the problem is to use Web crawler and data-mining technologies to find them. GPO officials request that companies with those technologies submit proposals by June 2 for services they describe as "Web harvesting" in a recent solicitation for bids.

They are seeking a harvesting service that can locate and capture fugitive government publications in all possible formats, including HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Corp. Word and Excel. The service must be able to capture only those documents that conform to GPO's criteria and eliminate duplicates of documents that the agency already has in its databases, the solicitation states.

Source: Florence Olsen, GPO Hunts Fugitives, Federal Computer Week Online, May 20, 2004.

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(10) Congressional Research Service Publications

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the reference and research arm of the Library of Congress and as such produces a variety of in-depth policy analyses and research on every subject of interest to Congress, including background analyses; scientific, economic and legislative analyses; legal research and legislative histories. Athough legislation has been introduced to make these reports available to the public several times, nothing has passed yet. However, since CRS reports are such a good reference source and come in government documents discussions fairly frequently, I am repeating the following article which appeared in Red Tape back in 2001, with a few additions of course.

Many larger university libraries such as Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, MSU and Northwestern have purchased retrospective collections of CRS publications. You can always check their online catalogs for holdings information. The title to look for is Major Studies of the Legislative Reference Service/Congressional Research Service. The original microfilm collection covers reports from 1916-1975, and annual supplement collections have been released since then. The following indexes come with the set.

For a fee, Penny Hill Press will provide CRS reports and issues briefs on demand although the service is not cheap. However, you can use their online directory to identify titles and then request them for free through your favorite Congressperson or try contacting one of the larger university libraries and ask about interlibrary loan.

GalleryWatch.com has entered into a partnership with Penny Hill Press to offer access to all numbered Congressional Research Service (CRS) documents and Electronic Briefing Books, from January 2003 to the present. The services are available on a subscription basis via the web through http://www.GalleryWatch.com or on DVD-ROM. The website subscriptions feature continuous updates while the DVD-ROMs are available on a quarterly updated subscription basis or as annual archive editions. An index to CRS reports back to 1995 will also be available for internet subscribers. Additional information can be found at http://www.CRSdocuments.com.

There are many other additional web sites that have begun selectively listing copies of CRS reports and issue briefs on the web. One of the most extensive collections is one provided by the National Library of the Environment. The web page provides a search engine as well as a directory of 28 different topics to choose from if you like to browse. A few of the titles spotted include:

The Federation of American Scientists also posts CRS reports and issue briefs covering areas of interest to them. Some of the larger collections provided include: GlobalSecurity.Org’s CRS Report Collection. A small, useful collection of reports related to national security and weapons (very similar to the FAS site listed above). The material is also arranged by hemisphere. : http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/report/crs/index.html

Open CRS. American taxpayers spend nearly $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, a "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events. Yet, these reports are not made available to the public in a way that they can be easily obtained. A project of the Center for Democracy & Technology through the cooperation of several organizations and collectors of CRS Reports, Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports already in the public domain and encourages Congress to provide public access to all CRS Reports. http://www.opencrs.com/

University of North Texas Library. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) does not provide direct public access to its reports, requiring citizens to request them from their Member of Congress. Some Members, as well as several non-profit groups, have posted the reports on their Web sites. This site aims to provide integrated, searchable access to many of the full-text CRS reports that have been available at a variety of different Web sites since 1990. http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/index.tkl

The U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Center Collection on international relations:
http://fpc.state.gov/c4763.htm

The U.S. Embassy (Rome) Collection:
http://italy.usembassy.gov/policy/crs/default.asp

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(11) Patterns of Global Terrorism Report Withdrawn

"The State Department acknowledged Thursday it was wrong in reporting terrorism declined worldwide last year, a finding that was used to boost one of" Bush's "top foreign policy claims -- success in countering terror," AP reports. Department spokesman Richard Boucher said "statements by senior administration officials claiming success were based 'on the facts as we had them at the time; the facts that we had were wrong.'"

"Secretary of State Colin Powell also denied the errors were the result of an effort to make the administration look good," CNN.com reports.

Sources: "Powell Blames Terror Error on New System", USA Today Online, June 10, 2004; "State Department Retracts Terrorism Assertion", CNN Online, June 10, 2004.

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(12) GPO Struggling with the Issue of Fugitive Documents

The Federal Depository Library Program has fallen behind in cataloging and preserving access to government documents published only on the Web. As a result, public access to those publications is spotty at best.

"This is not a problem; this is a crisis," said Daniel Greenstein, head of the California Digital Library, which serves the 10 universities in the University of California system. He said information is disappearing from government Web sites at an alarming rate.

At the Government Printing Office, which runs the depository library program, officials are struggling with the problem, known as fugitive documents, said Judith Russell, superintendent of documents. Fugitive documents are electronic publications that remain outside the federal depository collections in 1,300 libraries nationwide.

To capture those publications automatically, GPO officials may turn to Web-harvesting technologies. In May, agency officials published a notice asking vendors to submit information about Web-crawler and data-mining technologies that could assist in locating fugitive government publications.

Source: Florence Olsen, "A Crisis for Web Preservation: Fugitive Documents Published on the Web are Not Being Preserved", FCW.com, June 21, 2004.

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(13) Bush Administration Documents on Interrogation

The following is a summary of White House, Pentagon and Justice Department documents about interrogation policies released by the Bush administration on June 22, 2004.

The Bush Administration has been battered recently by speculation over to what extent they had approved interrogation techniques in regards to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and in Afghanistan, where several detainees have died in custody recently.

Moral issues aside, it's a fascinating time to be a documents librarian when secret/classified documents seem to appear in the newspapers on an almost daily basis!

Jan. 22, 2002: Justice Department Memo to the White House and Pentagon Counsels (3.3MB)
A 37-page memo written by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee and addressed to White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and the Pentagon's general counsel, William J. Haynes II. Bybee argued that that the War Crimes Act and the Geneva Convention did not apply to al Qaeda prisoners and that President Bush had constitutional authority to "suspend our treaty obligations toward Afghanistan" because it was a "failed state." Bybee, then head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, has since become a federal judge.

Feb. 1, 2002: Letter to President Bush From the Attorney General (49KB; from FindLaw)
The memo by Attorney General John D. Ashcroft summarized the Justice Department's position on why the Geneva Convention did not apply to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. The memo was Ashcroft's personal response to the State Department position that, as a matter of law, the Geneva Conventions protected Taliban soldiers. Ashcroft warned that if the president sided with the State Department, American officials might wind up going to jail for violating U.S. and international laws.

Feb. 7, 2002: Justice Department Memo to the White House Counsel (49KB; from FindLaw)
A memo written by Jay S. Bybee, then head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, advised White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales that the president had "reasonable factual grounds" to determine that Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan were not entitled to prisoner of war status.

Feb. 7, 2002: Memo Signed by President Bush (130KB)
Bush's presidential memorandum to members of his national security team said he believed he had "the authority under the Constitution" to deny protections of the Geneva Conventions to combatants picked up during the war in Afghanistan, but that he would "decline to exercise that authority at this time." The memo settled the dispute between the State and Justice departments over the issue.

Feb. 26, 2002: Justice Department Memo to the Pentagon's General Counsel (2.5MB)
A memo to the Pentagon's general counsel, William J. Haynes II, written by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee examined constitutional questions related to detainees captured in Afghanistan, including the admissibility of statements made in interrogations.

Aug. 1, 2002: Justice Department Memo to the White House Counsel (864KB; from FindLaw)
A memo to White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales from Jay S. Bybee of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel concluded that techniques used to interrogate al Qaeda operatives would not violate a 1984 international treaty prohibiting torture. Bybee also concluded that the interrogation of al Qaeda members was outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, but warned that a "rogue prosecutor" could choose to investigate U.S. interrogation techniques because the international court "is not checked by any other international body, not to mention any democratically-elected or accountable one."

Aug. 1, 2002: Justice Department Memo to the White House Counsel (27.5MB; from FindLaw)
The memo from Jay S. Bybee, head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, to White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales found that torturing terrorism suspects might be legally defensible. Bush administration officials said on June 22, 2004 -- when the document was publicly released -- that the memo's conclusions were overbroad and would be rewritten.

Dec. 2, 2002: Defense Department Memo Regarding "Counter-Resistance Techniques" (780KB)
A memo written by the Pentagon's general counsel, William J. Haynes II, on Nov. 27 and approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Dec. 2 summarized specific interrogation techniques that could be used at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; this document also includes a series of related memos on interrogation techniques.

A related one-page summary document (56KB) issued to reporters by Bush aides on June 22, 2004, reviewed which specific techniques were approved and used.

Jan. 15, 2003: Rumsfeld Memo to the Head of U.S. Southern Command (47KB)
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's memo rescinded his approval for some interrogation techniques for Guantanamo Bay. The memo allowed commanders to seek Rumsfeld's direct approval to use the tougher techniques if they are "warranted in an individual case" but would require a "thorough justification."

Jan. 15, 2003: Rumsfeld Memo to the Pentagon Counsel (53KB)
The defense secretary's memo to William J. Haynes II, the Pentagon's general counsel, asked Haynes to convene a working group to examine all aspects of interrogation policies. The memo also was referenced in Rumsfeld's memo to the head of U.S. Southern Command dated the same day.

Jan. 17, 2003: Memo From the Pentagon Counsel to the General Counsel for the Air Force (56KB)
Pentagon general counsel William J. Haynes II designated Mary L. Walker, the general counsel for the Air Force, to head the working group Rumsfeld requested in his Jan. 15 memo.

April 4, 2003: Report of the Pentagon Working Group (6.7MB)
The 85-page report requested by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in January reviewed "legal, historical, police and operational considerations" and made recommendations to the Pentagon on what techniques should be approved.

April 16, 2003: Rumsfeld Memo to the Head of U.S. Southern Command (1.6MB)
The defense secretary, acting on the working groups' recommendation, restates which specific interrogation techniques are approved for Guantanamo Bay and which require his direct approval. The document also includes excerpts from the Army Field Manual.

Source: Washington Post, June 23, 2004.

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(14) Report on Educator Sexual Misconduct in Schools Released

A draft report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education and released on June 30th concludes that far too little is known about the prevalence of sexual misconduct by teachers or other school employees, but estimates that millions of children are being affected by it during their school-age years.

Written in response to a requirement in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the 156-page report -- Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature -- by a university-based expert on schoolhouse sexual misconduct concludes that the issue "is woefully understudied" and that solid national data on its prevalence are sorely needed.

Yet despite the limitations of the existing research base, the scope of the problem appears to far exceed the priest abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, said Charol Shakeshaft, the Hofstra University scholar who prepared the report.

The best data available suggest that nearly 10 percent of American students are targets of unwanted sexual attention by public school employees—ranging from sexual comments to rape—at some point during their school-age years.

Source: Caroline Hendrie, "Sexual Abuse by Educators Is Scrutinized", Education Week, March 10, 2004. U.S. Department of Education Press Release, June 30, 2004.

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(15) Workforce3 One Debuts

The Labor Department recently launched a new interactive Web site to help individuals, employers and others discuss and learn about national workforce issues, such as skills and training.

The site, called Workforce3 One, was created to promote a program that was launched in 2001 to help community colleges, public workforce agencies and employers produce workers with skills that are most in demand.

The site, http://www.workforce3one.org, will provide Webinars, which are live online seminars with experts or virtual classroom sessions, on expanding industries, partnership opportunities, current workforce skills and skill gaps. It will also provide updated research and information databases with best practices and discussion forums, and other virtual tools.

Labor, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and the National Association of Workforce Boards collaborated on the site.

Source: Dibya Sarkar, Federal Computer Week, July 2, 2004.

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(16) GPO Undergoing Transformation

Government Printing Office officials have begun an ambitious effort to transform the agency and re-examine its mission in light of dramatic technological change in the printing industry, General Accounting Office auditors reported today.

The report shows that GPO has experienced steep declines in printing volumes and revenues from document sales. The declines are a direct outcome of federal agencies publishing more and more of their documents on the Web or bypassing GPO when they print and distribute information.

The report, however, states that officials have made progress in carrying out a number of GAO recommendations to help the agency change with the times. Chief among the recommendations is for GPO to make information distribution, rather than printing, its primary mission.

Under Bruce James, the public printer, GPO has taken steps to reorganize its workforce. GAO auditors commended the agency for progress in that area, and suggested that GPO officials focus more on managing information technology and improving financial management practices.

Sources: Florence Olsen, Federal Computer Week, July 1, 2004; GAO Highlights; and Government Printing Office: Actions to Strengthen and Sustain GPO's Transformation GAO-04-830, June 30, 2004.

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(17) ERIC Update (June 2004)

"The redesigned system opening to the public on September 1 will provide users with increased search capabilities utilizing simple, streamlined retrieval methods to access the existing ERIC bibliographic database (1966-2004). For example, users will be able to quickly refine search results through the use of the ERIC thesaurus, ERIC identifiers, or a list of electronically harvested concepts. In addition, popular search features such as 'show more documents like this one' and "save my searches" will also be available."

"On October 1, 2004, ERIC will introduce, for the first time, free-of-charge full-text non-journal ERIC resources. These materials include more than 105,000 full-text documents authorized for electronic ERIC distribution during 1993 - July 2004, previously sold through E*Subscribe from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS). EDRS, which also sells the ERIC microfiche, is scheduled to shut down operations on September 30, 2004."

"In December, ERIC will add new bibliographic records and full-text journal and non-journal resources from 2004. Newly indexed materials that are not available free-of-charge will be made accessible through database links to commercial sources. ERIC will continue to add features and enhancements in 2005."

Source: ERIC Home Page.

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(18) Over 50 Years of Presidential Commercials

Yes, the election is still months away, but couldn't you do with just a few more Presidential campaign commercials? Of course you could. Especially when the feature folks you haven't seen in years. The American Museum of the Moving Image is offering The Living Room Candidate : Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952-2004, and it's available at http://livingroomcandidate.movingimage.us .

When you visit the site, you'll get a list of election years. Choose a year and you'll get an overview of the campaign, links to the candidates (how they campaigned, their platforms) and the results. On the far right you'll see thumbnails of the ads for both parties. Click on the thumbnail to play the ad.

Ads may be played in high or low bandwidth, in Windows Media Player or Real. You may also choose to play the video in an external player. Transcripts are available for the commercials.

If you're less interested in a timeline, you can also view commercials by type (from "backfire" to "real people"), or issue (from civil rights to welfare.) The site also offers "The Desktop Candidate," an overview of how candidates today are using the Internet.

Source: ResearchBuzz #291, July 8, 2004. Reproduced with permission of ResearchBuzz.

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(19) GAO Becomes Government Accountability Office

The General Accounting Office is no more. Well, at least the name of the congressional audit agency no longer exists. When President Bush signed the GAO Human Capital Reform Act into law yesterday, a provision in the bill changed the GAO to the Government Accountability Office.

Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.), chairwoman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service and Agency Reorganization, sponsored the bill, HR 2751.

GAO's new name will more descriptively and accurately reflect the mission and work of the organization, the bill said. The change takes effect immediately.

Source: Jason Miller, Government Computer News, July 9, 2004.

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(20) GPO Access Congressional Hearings Web Pages
Now Offer Browsing Capability

GPO is pleased to announce a new browse feature on the GPO Access Congressional Hearings Web pages. In our continuing effort to increase the accessibility of the resources available on GPO Access, users can now browse the catalog of House or Senate hearings, by Congress, beginning with the 105th Congress (1997-1998). The Browse Hearings page is available at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/help/index.html.

Source: Cynthia Etkin, Telephone: 202-512-1114; GOVDOC-L, July 13, 2004.

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(21) Cheney v. U.S. District Court:
Supreme Court Sends Case Back to Lower Court

On June 22, the Supreme Court, by a 7-2 decision, sent the case, Richard B. Cheney et al. v U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, concerning access to the details of Vice President Cheney's Energy Task Force, back to a lower court stating it acted "prematurely." See <http://www.arl.org/info/ctcases/cheney.pdf.

Two organizations, the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, in separate suits, are seeking access to information concerning the Energy Task Force convened by Vice President Cheney under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The Vice President has refused to make public the records of the Energy Task Force. The White House claims that the courts and Congress have no right of access to this information. The two cases, now combined, argue that the Energy Task Force, which is comprised of government employees, sought advice from non-governmental officials associated with energy firms such as Enron. The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch prevailed in both the lower court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Of key importance to the library community and others in the public and private sectors is how and when the public may gain access to information by advisory groups relating to federal policies. This case has major implications well beyond the Energy Task Force deliberations. Tom Susman of Ropes & Gray notes, "While this is not a typical FOIA (or even a typical FACA) case, the underlying integrity of the FACA – and hence the issue of public access to minutes and materials of advisory committees – is at stake."

On June 24, ARL and other organizations issued a press release. Key statements about the Supreme Court decision by these organizations include:

"While it is disappointing that the Supreme Court declined to take this opportunity to embrace the principle of openness in Cheney v. United States District Court, it is heartening that the Court did not side with the administration, and instead remanded the case to the lower court."
"It declined to address the argument raised by the Vice President that his office is categorically exempt from discovery."
"Instead of exempting the Vice President from discovery altogether, it identified a number of factors -- the nature of the case, the breadth of the discovery sought and the narrowness of the legal question to which the discovery would be relevant -- that suggest a role for the district court in narrowing discovery from the Vice President."
..."We (ARL and other organizations) are pleased the Court made these choices:"
Please visit http://www.arl.org/info/amibriefs/cheneyamicus.pdf to see the joint amicus brief submitted by ARL and others in support of the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch.

Source: ARL Directors Federal Relations E-News, July 8, 2004.

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(22) Freedom of Information Act Anniversary

July 4, 2004 marked the 38th anniversary of President Johnson signing the Freedom of Information Act into law. To commemorate the event, the George Washington University's National Security Archive posted on its website interesting FOIA facts. Here one can learn that last year over 4,000 news stories were released as a result of federal, state, and local freedom of information acts. Included among these were revelations about bacteria infested meat, misuse of government funds, conflicts of interest in the personal finances of public officials, technical flaws in space equipment, and many more. In 2002 over 2.4 million people used FOIA; critics say this cost the government over $300 million. With an estimated increase of use in 2003, the United States Census Bureau projects that FOIA will cost approximately $1.03 per person -- a relatively low expense, the archives implies, for ensuring an open and honest government. For more information including directions on how to use FOIA, tap into: http://www.nsarchive.org.

Source: National Coalition for History Washington Update, Vol. 10, no. 29, July 8, 2004.

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(23) House Narrowly Rejected Amendment to Curtail FBI Peeks at Library Records

Last Thursday, July 8, 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly rejected an amendment by Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, to an appropriations bill, that would prohibit the use of funds authorized under the USA PATRIOT ACT from being used by the FBI to acquire library circulation records, library patron lists, library Internet records, bookseller records, or bookseller customer lists. The vote on the Sanders amendment to H.R. 4754 was 210 to 210 with one voting "present", and reportedly with the vote taking held open for another 23 minutes in order to get Republican members to change their vote. Sanders said that even if the amendment passed government officials could still obtain those records by court order through probable cause. See news article at http://12.130.86.87/mld/mercurynews/9110759.htm. See also pages H5348-H5383 of the Congressional Record, vol. 150 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r108:FLD001:H55349:) and (a href="http://www.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2004_record&docid=cr08jy04-99.pdf">http://www.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2004_record&docid=cr08jy04-99.pdf.)

Source: Rick McKinney, Federal Reserve Board Library, Washington DC 20551; GOVDOC-L, July 15, 2004.

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(24) Report from the Field: The USA Patriot Act at Work

The Justice Department issued a "show and tell" report on July 13th on how it has used specific provisions of the anti-terrorism law known as the USA PATRIOT Act to pursue terrorists, criminals, pedophiles and pornographers.

The 29-page report provides examples of how law enforcement has employed the tools authorized under the law to more quickly and easily access information in their hunt for terrorists and criminals. About a third of the report is devoted to how the PATRIOT Act's provisions on surveillance have streamlined the process for pursuing targets. The rest of the report focuses on how the act enables authorities to better share intelligence, use enhanced criminal laws to prevent terrorism and operate more efficiently in their investigations.

Attorney General Ashcroft used the report to bolster his case that Congress should not overturn any sections of the law, which was written after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He compared the legal tools that the law provides with the high-tech gadgets that American soldiers have used in the war against terrorism.

"Like the smart bombs, laser-guided missiles and Predator drones employed by our armed forces to hunt and kill al-Qaida in Afghanistan, the PATRIOT Act is just as vital to targeting the terrorists who would kill our people and destroy our freedom here at home," Ashcroft said.

Ashcroft was joined by Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner, who called attention to Section 215, which was not addressed in the report. House members, led by Rep. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., tried unsuccessfully to repeal that section late last week by attaching language to the FY05 Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill.

The amendment, which failed on an unusually rancorous 210-210 vote, would have prevented the government from using any funds to demand records from Internet service providers, bookstores and libraries.

Sensenbrenner said the provision enabled investigators to track a man who had bound and gagged an 88-year-old woman and kept her in a shed in his home state of Wisconsin.

Judiciary ranking member John Conyers, D-Mich., blasted the report for not mentioning Section 215. Other critics of the act said the report sidestepped other controversial sections of the law, such as one provision that gives investigators expanded access to personal information such as medical data.

The report appears to be an attempt to rally support for the statute. There are currently 12 bills in Congress seeking to overturn provisions that civil liberties advocates and lawmakers say provide too much investigatory power. Ashcroft said he chose to release the information in response to requests from numerous lawmakers from both parties.

Source: Sarah Lai Stirlan, National Journal's CongressDailyAM, July 14, 2004.

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(25) Will the Public Receive Free Access to NIH Sponosred Research?

Richard K. Johnson, Director, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition) recently sent the following communication to directors of SPARC member libraries.

"I want to alert you about an important development. Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved an important provision in connection with the FY 2005 National Institutes of Health (NIH) appropriation. The Committee Report accompanying the FY 2005 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill recommends that NIH provide free public access to research articles resulting from NIH-funded research. The Report calls on NIH to offer access to authors' final manuscripts (as accepted for journal publication) and supplemental materials via PubMed Central six months after publication. If the grantee used NIH funds to pay any publication charges (e.g., page or color charges, or fees for digital distribution), PMC access would be immediate. The Report instructs NIH to inform the Committee by December 1, 2004 how it intends to implement the policy.

This proposal is a reasoned, incremental step that balances the interests of taxpayers and publishers. We believe it will enhance the nation's return on investment in NIH research and contribute to the translation of bench science into clinical practice.

SPARC and its allies are working to ensure that the proposal is endorsed in the Senate. In the coming days I will share with you additional information, including steps you can take to demonstrate your support."

Source: ARL-SPARCMEM, July 15, 2004.

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(26) News from Orlando: Director's Update

DIRECTORS' WEB PAGE

The Office of Information Dissemination (Superintendent of Documents) has recently launched a prototype Web site specifically tailored for library directors at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/directors. This Web sie is designed to provide high-level headline information specifically for directors of Federal depository libraries, including recommended readings and a handy reference to researching key information. Staff within the Office of Education and Development under the Superintendent of Documents will provide oversight and bear responsibility for this website, and welcome any comments or additions you may have. Please send them to Dr. Larry A. Blevins, Director of the Office of Education and Development, at lblevins@gpo.gov.

FDL-DIRECTORS-L

FDL-DIRECTORS-L, a listserv specifically designed for Federal depository library directors, has just been established. Feedback from previous meetings with directors indicated their interest in being notified and kept current with strategic planning, digital initiatives and other high level depository-related issues. To join this private list for directors only, point your Web browser to http://listserv.access.gpo.gov/arhcives/fdl-directors-l.html, click on "Join or leave the list (or change settings)", and fill out and submit the form.

RECOMMENDED READING LIST

GPO is working with the Federal depository community on several new initiatives involving access to and preservation of print and digital Federal Government documents. GPO is also planning for the future of its Sales Program. These initiatives are part of the overall agency strategic planning effort. The documents accessible via the link below describe some of the major initiatives that are going on in the Office of Information Dissemination and throughout GPO. http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/reading.html

The documents listed below will help you undersand some of the major initiatives that are going on in the Superintendent of Documents organization and throughout GPO.

  1. Shared Repositories. GPO is encouraging the movement toward shared repositories, or shared housing agreements, that allow libraries to eliminae some fo the redundancy among their collections. Though still in the early stages, these initiatives are very important since they assure active preservation of the comprehesnive sets of tangible publications that can be more readily preserved. GPO contacted with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) for the deelopment of a Decision Framework for federal Document Repositories that can be used to evaluate the level of assurance provided by such repositories based on their physical characeristics, resources, governance, and other factors. The discussion draft is available at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/decisionmatrix.pdf.

  2. Collection of Last Resort. GPO has developed a draft plan for a collection of last resort - a secure "dark archive" that will become, overtime, a comprehensive collection of tangible and electronic titles that will backstop the regional depository collections and future shared repositories. In reviewing other initiatives, like JSTOR, it has become clear that multiple "light archives" are not sufficient to protect these assets. The highest level of assurance comes from a collection of last resort that -- as the name implies -- is not used unless all other resources have failed. Through this collection, GPO will support permanent public access to U.S. Government publications in all formats. The Collection will include preservation copies of tangible titles as well as preservation and access copies of digital objects. The draft plan is updated with comments received to date at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/about/reports/cir0604draft.pdf.

  3. Managing the FDLP Electronic Collection: A Policy and Planning Document. GPO's plans for the preservation and access to digital information via the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) are articulated in Managing the FDLP Electronic Collection, 2nd Edition, June 2004, available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/about/reports/ecplan2004rev1.pdf. This new edition incorporates advances in the theory, technology, and practice of managing digital collections. The FDLP Electronic Collection (EC) consists of preservation copies in dark archives and access copies maintained by GPO or its partners in light archives for the convenience of reference. Comments are invited on this draft plan, and can be emailed to Judy Russell at jrussell@gpo.gov.

    GPO is currently reviewing its FDLP procedures to identify areas in its instructions to Depository Libraries needing updating or revision to reflect the impact of an electronic FDLP on their operations.

  4. The National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications: Initial Planning Statement. GPO's National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications will be a comprehensive catalog containing descriptions and locations of U.S. Government unclassified publications in all formats. GPO's initial planning statement on the National Bibliography is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/about/reports/natbib0604.pdf. Comments are invited on this plan, and may be emailed to Gil Baldwin at ebaldwin@gpo.gov.

  5. Digitization of the Legacy Government Documents Collection. GPO has made a commitment collaborate with the library community to digitize the entire legacy collection of U.S. government documents -- an estimated 2.2 million print publications totaling approximately 60 million pages -- in order to make sure that those documents are available, in the public domain, for permanent public access. The intent is to make sure that the entire collection is digitized for preservation purposes, with a variety of access files derived from the digital preservation masters.

    In March GPO hosted a meeting of experts on preservation digitization to discuss current specifications for the creation of digital preservation masters. The report on that meeting includes a proposed set of minimum specifications for digitizing documents from the legacy collection. The report is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/about/reports/preservation.html.

  6. Strategic Planning. At the Depository Library Council meeting, the Public Printer presented "Keeping America Informed in the 21st Century: A First Look at the GPO Strategic Planning Process." That presentation has been revisited based on input received during the discussion at the Council meeting, and the revised remarks are available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/proceedings/James.DLC.04192004.revised.pdf. You should note that the title has been amended to include the phrase "A Work in Progress" to reflect the fact that the document will continue to evolve as GPO receives comments from its library partners and other stakeholders.

  7. Future of the GPO Sales Program. In March GPO convened a meeting of representatives from the library community, federal agency publishers, and the information industry to discuss the future of the GPO Sales Program. The basic objective of this meeting was to get advice and feedback on how to build a sustainable economic model for the GPO Sales Program that will generate $30 to $50 million in additional revenue for GPO annually. The model must be one that is acceptable to publishing agencies, complements free public access to government information through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), and avoids inappropriate competition with commercial publishing. The report on the meeting is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/about/reports/econmodel.html.

  8. Recent Congressional Testimony. On April 28th, the Public Printer, Bruce R. James, testified before Congress at two hearings. The links below provide the full text of his written statements.
    "There are few posts in the Government and few Federal agencies that have stood the test of time as well as that of the Public Printer and the GPO. My objective is to uphold the tradition of the office while providing the leadership required to guide the GPO into a new era, to ensure that it remains as relevant and necessary to the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public in the 21st century as it was for the first 140 years of its existence." -- From Public Printer's Office -- Statement before the Committee on House Administration on the Transformation of the U.S. GPO to Meet the Demands of the 21st Century : http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cr/testimoney/oversight.pdf
    "I'm pleased to report that 2003 was an extraordinarily eventful and productive year for the GPO. With funding from the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for 2004 and the approval of the Joint Committee on Prnting, we conducted a highly successful voluntary separation incentive program that allowed us to reduce our workforce level by more than 300 positions, or 10%, yielding annual savings of $21.7 trillion. Together with our efforts to shutter GPO's failing retail bookstores, which will generate savings of $1.5 million in the first year, andthe other steps we have taken to better manage our operations, our finances are being restored to a positive basis." -- From Public Printer's Office Statement before the Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations on the Appropriations Request of the U.S. GPO for FY2005 : http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cr/testimony/4_28_94.pdf
    Statement of Linda D. Koontz, director, information management, entitled: Government Printing Office : Technological Changes Create Transformation Opportunities. General Accounting Office (GAO) Statement before the Committee on House Administration on the Transformation of the U.S. GPO to Meet the Demands of the 21st Century
    Recent Speeches of the Superintendent of Documents. Speeches from the spring Depository Library Council Meeting andthe IS&T Archiving Conference are available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/about/speeches/index.html. Other speeches will be linked from this page from time to time.

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