Suggested reading: Bin Laden implications, comment on secrecy policy, and Koch brothers dealt a setback

How about some reading that has nothing to do with the backpack burglar?

You can start with this report from the Congressional Research Service: “Osama bin Laden’s Death: Implications and Considerations.”

The degree to which OBL’s death will affect AQ and how the U.S. responds to this event may shape the future of many U.S. national security activities. Implications and possible considerations for Congress related to the U.S. killing of OBL in Pakistan are addressed in this report. As applicable, questions related to the incident and U.S. policy implications are also offered. They address:

• Implications for AQ (core, global affiliates, and unaffiliated adherents)

• Congressional Notification

• Legal Considerations

• National Security Considerations and Implications for the Homeland

• Military Considerations

• Implications for Pakistan and Afghanistan

• Implications for U.S. Security Interests and Foreign Policy Considerations

Not a lot of answers, but it’s a good overview of the mess we’re in.

Looking for more active participation? Suggestions for ways to reshape the system of classifying and declassifying government data are being solicited by the Public Interest Declassification Board, an entity which I would guess is unknown to most people.

According to a press release dated May 9:

The Public Interest Declassification Board (the Board) invites the public to participate and submit their suggestions on how to reform the secrecy system. On the Board’s Transforming Classification blog, launched on March 16, 2011, the Board posted eight draft recommendations on how to transform the classification and declassification system over an eight week period and invited public comments. Over 60 responses have been posted on the blog to date.

In the latest blog entry, the Board solicits public suggestions on how to transform the classification and declassification system. Once submitted, the Board will post these suggestions on the blog for public comment.

Go directly to the blog or access it via the Board’s web site. The Board will accept submissions through May 13, 2011, and comments on all blog posts though June 4.

Public Citizen is calling attention to a federal court ruling in Utah dismissing a lawsuit by Koch Industries (yes, the Koch brothers outfit) against a youth group that posted a satirical press release about the Koch’s funding of conservative causes.

Public Citizen explains:

Through this lawsuit, Koch Industries seeks to unmask the identities of our clients-environmental activists who used an Internet spoof to bring public attention to Koch’s controversial role in bankrolling climate-change denial. Our clients created a press release purporting to announce a decision by Koch to stop funding organizations that deny the scientific consensus on climate change, and posted the release on a website ( designed to look like Koch’s. Although the site was up for only a few hours-and not a single reporter was actually fooled by the spoof-it succeeded in drawing additional media attention to Koch’s political activities. Koch was not amused. It filed this lawsuit and, without attempting to provide the defendants with notice, sought to expose their identities by obtaining subpoenas directed to the company that hosted the website. Although this case arises out of a harmless prank, it raises serious constitutional issues.

Click here for the court’s ruling.

3 responses to “Suggested reading: Bin Laden implications, comment on secrecy policy, and Koch brothers dealt a setback

  1. “nothing to do with the backpack burglar” which was covered in last nites local news as if it just happened.

  2. I find it very, very interesting the David Koch is a major PBS donor. Why does it take his money?

    • Because he offers it? Seriously, major non-profits can’t be too choosy these days. Plus, they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

      But at least they get the money if they “do.” 🙂

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