Wednesday, June 27, 2007

CIA Releases Historical Documents

The CIA has released two collections of previously classified historical documents. The first collection, called "Family Jewels," contains responses to a 1973 directive from then Director James Schlesinger asking CIA employees to report activities that "might be inconsistent with the Agency's charter."

The second collection, the CAESAR-POLO-ESAU papers, focuses on Soviet (CAESAR) and Chinese (POLO) leadership hierarchies, and Sino-Soviet relations (ESAU) from 1953 to 1973.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy

In a letter and report to the President regarding the Virginia Tech tragedy, Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Margaret Spelling, Secretary of the Department of Education, and Alberto O. Gonzales, Attorney General, make recommendations on the following themes:
  • Critical Information Sharing Faces Substantial Obstacles
  • Accurate and Complete Information on Individuals Prohibited from Possessing Firearms is Essential to Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands
  • Improved Awareness and Communication are Key to Prevention
  • It is Critical to Get People with Mental Illness Services They Need
  • Where We Know What to Do, We Have to be Better at Doing It
The report recommends action at both the federal and state/local levels in each of these areas.

See our prior post on this topic.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Congressional Earmarks Database

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has established a website to provide information about earmarks. According to the OMB, earmarks are "funds provided by the Congress for projects or programs where the congressional direction (in bill or report language) circumvents the merit-based or competitive allocation process, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the Executive Branch to properly allocate funds." Earmarks can be included in appropriation bills and in authorization bills.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stability and Security in Iraq

Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq, a quarterly report from the Defense Department released in June 2007, is the first report to measure progress and setbacks in Iraq since the new strategy devised by General Petraeus was adopted. Quarterly reports from July 2005 through November 2006 and March 2007 are also available.

Monday, June 11, 2007

"A Botanic Garden for the Nation, The United States Botanic Garden"

A beautiful new publication was recently released on GPO Access. Senate Document 109–19 — A Botanic Garden for the Nation, The United States Botanic Garden is available as a pdf file or for purchase from GPO (Government Printing Office).

A virtual tour of the Garden and more information about the gardens and conservatory are available on the United States Botanic Garden website.

G8 Summit

For information, news and documents from last week's G8 Summit see the website at Wondering who the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations (G8) are? They are:
  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Russia
  • also represented is the European Commission
See the White House information page and the Secretary of State information page on the Summit.

See news coverage of the Summit at:

New York Times