Friday, May 19, 2006

State Department Proposed Rule on the Reporting of International Agreements

Bushy is at it again...trying to hide things from us.

Basically, this proposed rule will allow the State Department, who is required by law to publish an annual list of international treaties and agreements (with certain limitations), to exclude a wide array of documents from publication and/or conveyance to the Congress.

It is further proposing not to publish certain categories of international agreements in the compilation entitled ‘‘United States Treaties and Other International Agreements’’ or in the Treaties and Other International Acts series. These categories of agreements are of a highly
technical or specialized nature and are of limited interest to the public. Further, the regulations are proposed to be amended to reflect adjustments to certain internal procedures within the State Department on the reporting of international agreements to Congress.

The qualifing phrase "of a highlytechnical or specialized nature and are of limited interest to the public" will allow the exclusion. Also, the governing statutes (
1 USC 112(a)(b)) allow the exclusion from reporting international agreements/treaties based only upon Presidential determination using the following: "the public disclosure of the text of the agreement would, in the opinion of the President, be prejudicial to the national security of the United States." The law also requires that if the President does invoke this option, the fact that he did so must be published in the Federal Register.

The proposed rule would also allow, in reporting to the Congress, the ommission of information explaining "the negotiations and the effect of the agreement."

As the statute currently read, the following International Agreements are exempt from publication (
22 CFR 181.8):

(1) Bilateral agreements for the rescheduling of
intergovernmental debt payments;
(2) Bilateral textile agreements concerning the
importation of products containing specified
textile fibers done under the Agricultural Act
of 1956, as amended;
(3) Bilateral agreements between postal administrations
governing technical arrangements;
(4) Bilateral agreements that apply to specified
military exercises;
(5) Bilateral military personnel exchange agreements;
(6) Bilateral judicial assistance agreements that
apply only to specified civil or criminal
investigations or prosecutions;
(7) Bilateral mapping agreements;
(8) Tariff and other schedules under the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade and under the Agreement of the
World Trade Organization;
(9) Agreements that have been given a national security
classification pursuant to Executive Order No. 12958
or its successors; and
(b) Agreements on the subjects listed in paragraphs (a) (1)
through (9) of this section that had not been published
as of February 26, 1996.
(c) Any international agreements in the possession of
the Department of State, other than those in paragraph
(a)(9) of this section, but not published will be made
available upon request by the Department of State.

The proposed rule would include the following after the above list:

(10) Bilateral agreements with other
governments that apply to specific
activities and programs financed with
foreign assistance funds administered
by the United States Agency for
International Development pursuant to
the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended,
and the Agricultural Trade Development
and Assistance Act of 1954, as
(11) Letters of agreements and
memoranda of understanding with other
governments that apply to bilateral
assistance for counter-narcotics and
other anti-crime purposes furnished
pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act,
as amended;
(12) Bilateral agreements that apply to
specified education and leadership
development programs designed to
acquaint U.S. and foreign armed forces,
law enforcement, homeland security, or
related personnel with limited,
specialized aspects of each other’s
practices or operations; and
(13) Bilateral agreements between
aviation agencies governing specified
aviation technical assistance projects for
the provision of managerial, operational,
and technical assistance in developing
and modernizing the civil aviation

What are you trying to hide while sticking your nose further up our collective ass?


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