Photo Linked From: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/images/issue/photos/060320/20qa.jpg
USNews reporter David E. Kaplan profiled Stephen Aftergood in the March 20, 2006 issue.
Excerpted from "One Man Against Secrecy: Newsletter Editor Works to Limit Classified Information" by Dana Priest (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14488-2003Nov25.html):
Around lunchtime on Sept. 26, a security officer at the Space Vehicles Directorate on Kirtland Air Force Base shot an e- mail to Steven Aftergood, who was sitting in his frayed tweed chair at his computer, in his office on K Street.
"Questions/concerns have been voiced by our scientists and engineers regarding material on your web," the officer informed him. "Please advise on your collection methods and who provides authorization to you allowing publication of what is presently on your web site."
"Collection methods?" Aftergood chuckled, then responded: "Authorization for publication of material on our web site is contained in U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1.
"If you have other specific concerns, let me know."
Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, is an army of one, the David in an era of Goliath-strength government stealth.
Armed with a pocket-size copy of the Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act and an investigator's patience for source-building, Aftergood is out to slay what he sees as the arbitrariness of the U.S. system for classifying documents to keep them secret.
To do that, he asks foundations and donors for $150,000 a year ("in a good year") to keep his online newsletter, Secrecy News (www.fas.org/sgp/index.html), and staff of one -- himself -- going. He often scoops the national media with anecdotes about government attempts to keep information secret.