Friday, 21 August 1987 Washington, DC

which must be signed by persons with security clearances, represents the latest attempt by the Administration to blur the lines of national security information. The first section of Standard Form 189 states that, "As used in this Agreement, classified information is information that is either classified or classifiable under the standards of Executive Order 12356, or any other executive order or statute that prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of information in the interests of national security." Irate members of Congress, led by feisty Rep. Jack Brooks (D-TX), complain that "classifiable" could mean almost anything. The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which drafted the nondisclosure agreement, sought to calm its critics by issuing a definition of "classifiable information" as information "which, as a result of negligence, time constraints, error, lack of opportunity or oversight, has not been marked as classified." ISOO declares that one of its major functions is to respond to complaints concerning the administration of the information security system. This office, however, decided to conduct a study to determine how many persons holding security clearances are even aware of the existence of ISOO. 33% never heard of ISOO, 33% thought it dealt with Eskimo problems, and the other one of those polled declined to answer on the grounds that it might be classifiable.

The dispute over "classifiable information" is reminiscent of the attempt by John Poindexter to place controls on "sensitive but unclassified information" (WN 14 Nov 86). Indeed, one of the concerns raised by SF 189 is that attitudes in the National Security Council have not really changed under Frank Carlucci.

The bill to authorize appropriations for the supercollider (H.R. 3228) would restore the funds requested by DOE after President Reagan approved building the machine (WN 30 Jan 87). That totals $35M in FY 88, which begins on 1 Oct. Of that amount $25M is for continued R&D, and another $10M for construction components requiring long lead time. The research subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee had proposed eliminating the $10M construction money and suggested language that would withhold Congress's authority to go ahead. The new bill (WN 14 Aug 87) would give the full amount and "such sums as may be necessary for FY 89 and subsequent years." Meanwhile, committee chairman Robert Roe (D-NJ) asked Ralph Hall (D-TX), chairman of the committee's international panel, to lead a group to CERN and DESY, as well as to European ministries, to explore sharing SSC construction costs. Besides Hall, the group consists of the committee's senior Republican, Manuel Lujan (NM) and James Scheuer (D-NY), Tim Valentine (D-NC), Jim Chapman (D-TX) and Ron Packard (R-CA). They leave 23 Aug and return 1 Sep.

Bob Park can be reached via email at
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