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Home > SPJ News > SPJ Supports Amendment to Disclose Intelligence Spending Information

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SPJ Supports Amendment to Disclose Intelligence Spending Information

FOI Alert Volume 5 Issue 11 (1999-2000)
5/18/2000


U.S. Congressman Tim Roemer has submitted an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2001 Intelligence Authorization Bill, H.R. 4392, requiring the public disclosure of aggregate intelligence appropriations figures for the last fiscal year (FY 1999). The amendment would declassify the total amount of last year’s intelligence spending and would be an important step in peeling away the concern for secrecy that shrouds the CIA and other intelligence operations.

Society of Professional Journalists President Kyle Elyse Niederpruem has endorsed the amendment, which could be voted on as early as Friday, May 19. You can register your support for the amendment by contacting Roemer, the congressmen copied on Niederpruem’s letter and your own congressional representative.

Niedepruem’s letter is attached, and addresses for Roemer and other congressmen are included. For a copy of the proposed amendment, contact Julie Grimes, SPJ communications director, at jgrimes@spj.org or 317/927-8000 ext. 216.


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Letter from Niederpruem to Congressman Roemer

May 16, 2000

By Facsimile and U.S. Mail
The Honorable Tim Roemer
2352 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-1403

Dear Congressman Roemer:

As national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, I write to endorse your amendment to H.R. 4392, the Intelligence authorization bill for FY 2001. Your proposal would require the public disclosure of aggregate intelligence appropriations data for FY 1999.

The Society has long believed that the secrecy that surrounds this country’s intelligence spending is unwarranted and unjustified. Publication of accurate aggregate figures will serve to educate citizens about the conduct of government and promote accountability in public officials. We do not believe that the release of information of such a generalized nature will in any way imperil national security. Congressional action in this area would amount to an important step in peeling away the solicitude for secrecy that shrouds the CIA and other intelligence operations.

The Society is a voluntary non-profit journalism organization representing every branch and rank of print and broadcast journalism. SPJ is the largest membership organization for journalists in the world, and for more than 90 years, SPJ has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced freely, fully, and in the public interest.

Please feel free to contact me if the Society can be other further assistance to you in your efforts to secure the passage of your amendment to H.R. 4392.


Sincerely,

Kyle Elyse Niederpruem
President
Society of Professional Journalists

cc:
The Honorable David Dreier
The Honorable John Joseph Moakley
The Honorable Porter J. Goss
The Honorable Julian C. Dixon


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Contacts

The Honorable Tim Roemer
2352 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-1403

The Honorable David Dreier
237 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-2305

The Honorable John Joseph Moakley
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Voice: 202-225-8273
Facsimile: 202-225-3984

The Honorable Porter J. Goss
108 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2536

The Honorable Julian C. Dixon
U.S. House of Representatives
2252 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-7084

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Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
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