Obama issues 19 secret directives

WASHINGTON — USA TODAY REPORTS:

A one-digit correction to President Obama’s directive on hostage policy Wednesday had the effect of disclosing the existence of a previously unknown — and still-secret — Obama order on national security.

The hostage policy was originally released Wednesday as a presidential policy directive numbered PPD-29. When the White House corrected that number to PPD-30, it meant Obama had issued a secret directive as PPD-29 sometime in the past 17 months.

Obama signed PPD-28, an order on electronic eavesdropping in the wake of revelations by Edward Snowden, in January 2014.

So what is PPD-29? No one’s talking. A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment of the existence of classified PPDs Wednesday.

“The only reason we know about it is the sequential numbering of the directives, and realizing they skipped a few,” said Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, which tracks the directives.

PPD-29 isn’t the first to be tacitly acknowledged only by a missing number. Of the 30 PPDs issued by Obama, 19 have not been released. And for 11 of those, the White House has not disclosed even the subject of the order.

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Obama has issued 19 secret directives


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