WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE?
"Common sense is not so common" (Voltaire)
Intelligence is different from information-processing. It's not the sort of brain intelligence, or small-letter i intelligence that psychologists study. Intelligence is "secret knowledge of an enemy, the kind of knowledge which stands independently of the means by which it is obtained and the process by which it is distilled" (Troy 1991). Intelligence is the same as "foreknowledge, a kind of prophecy-like craft, which is always on alert, in every part of the world, toward friend and foe alike" (Dulles 1963). Intelligence is never an end in itself, but always directed toward other ends, such as winning a war, coming out ahead of the competition, or aiding the investigation of crime, in which case the title "intelligence analyst" is practically synonymous with "crime analyst." Intelligence is also a social science, since it tries to analyze and predict political, economic, and social behavior. Social science is value-free, and intelligence is somewhat similar in trying not to be completely partisan or political. Like criminology, intelligence tries to be policy-relevant as "the collection and analysis of intelligence information relevant to a government's formulation and implementation of policy to further its national security interests and to deal with threats from actual or potential adversaries" (Shulsky & Schmitt 2002). Intelligence can be thought of as a PROCESS (the means by which secret information is collected, analyzed, and disseminated), as a PRODUCT (the analyses, reports, and briefings that are useful or actionable), and an ORGANIZATION (a collection of units or agencies that carry out intelligence work). As a process, intelligence is illustrated below:
In law enforcement as well as government in general, the way it's usually put is by saying intelligence is a staff, not a line function. Organizational theorists might call it an aide-de-camp function. This means that intelligence is almost always an add-on, luxury item for most organizations. It also means that intelligence organization usually involves a community of equals or loose confederation of agencies trying to work together on common priorities. Hence, the word "community" instead of "system" is frequently encountered, as in the entity known as the intelligence community (IC), consisting of about 15 agencies that try to work together (see graphic below). Criminal justice, has of course, always strived to work as a system, and it's ironic that people-processing organizations tend to organize in terms of systems while information-processing ones do not.
Centralized or systematized intelligence is of fairly recent origin. It also remains fairly elusive. The "central" in CIA was never intended to be "central" in the sense of supporting ALL interdepartmental and intergovernmental goals. It was only intended to be the place which looked at things no one else was looking at. The problems with implementing a system characteristic play out in the problems with how to head the agency. For many years, the systemic aspects were personified by a DCI (Director of Central Intelligence, head of the CIA), but since the 9/11 Commission, a new position of DNI (Director of National Intelligence) was established to ensure greater inter-agency coordination. Traditional management responsibilities include the responsibility of providing intel to policymakers and commanders (mid-level desk officers are also included), and this is primarily accomplished via the coordination of NIEs (National Intelligence Estimates) and other intelligence products. The preparation of NIEs is supported by a NIC (National Intelligence Council), a group of senior analysts who are substantive experts from the public and private sector. Within the NIC, some senior analysts are known as NIOs (National Intelligence Officers) and are in charge of various topics, like Africa, East Asia, Economics and Global Issues, Europe, Intelligence Assurance, Latin America, Military Issues, Near East and South Asia, Russia and Eurasia, Terrorism, Transnational Threats, Warning, and Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation. NIOs work for the DCI (or DNI) in the latter's capacity as head of the IC, not as head of the CIA. NIOs do not require Senate confirmation and come from a variety of backgrounds, such as from academics and the private sector.
The CIA of yesteryear is gone. The DCI position was established to be the President’s principal advisor with regards to national security intelligence since the 1947 National Security Act. It placed the DCI in charge of the CIA and made him the titular head of the U.S. intelligence community. Over the years, the CIA was an easy target of criticism, being accused of everything from AIDS to crack cocaine to missing the breakup of the Soviet Union (all untrue). However, it did fail to predict the attacks of 9/11, incorrectly assessed Iraq’s WMD program, and more recently has suffered from leaks and petty jealousies. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 removed the DCI from a prominent role, and replaced him with a Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who not only has the President’s ear, but also has budgetary control over the Intelligence Community (something the DCI never had).
Additional capabilities and responsibilities exist within a number of agencies which provide strategic intelligence or carry out what might be called "security studies." For example, under the National Foreign Intelligence Program, there are several tactical military intelligence and security organizations, as well as those responsible for security responses to transnational threats, including terrorism, cyber warfare and computer security, covert proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, narcotics trafficking, transnational crime, and international organized crime. In fact, some 56 government bureaus exist which produce intelligence reports related to national security and/or foreign policy; some 50 agencies have some kind of jurisdiction over protecting the nation's vital interests; and some 46 agencies are producers or consumers of homeland security intelligence "fused" with foreign intelligence. All in all, intelligence is a vast enterprise which spends at least more than thirty billion dollars a year trying to be successful at staying one step ahead of any adversaries.
Intelligence is information for action, in its most basic form, consisting of: (1) strategic foreign intelligence, or information relating to the capabilities, intentions, and activities of foreign powers; (2) counterintelligence, which is information or activities conducted to protect against espionage and the penetration of US assets by foreign intelligence services; and (3) covert action, which are clandestine activities designed to influence events abroad without the role of the United States being apparent. Intelligence plays a crucial role at achieving national security goals. For example, as Silver et. al. (2005) point out, intelligence can help maintain world peace and order by reducing the risks of international conflict. It can also help the United States better compete, politically and economically. It can greatly assist diplomatic and military efforts to stop the spread of unconventional weaponry. And finally, it plays a self-evident role in defending or protecting the United States and its allies by combating the threats of terrorism, transnational crime, and other sources of international violence.
|Note: the above graphic comes from the NIC website dated April 2004, and doesn't include the Coast Guard, which would be the 15th agency listed between the Marine Corps and National Geospatial Intelligence. It also doesn't reflect the NID position or other reforms added in December 2004 by passage of S.2774. A more modern graphic appears below:|
Although one can make almost anything out of organization charts, it should be noted that there's nothing represented here which would suggest a strict chain-of-command. One should know that some IC agencies were created by statute, others as cabinet-level agencies, and others as tied to the military, and the whole thing is mostly run by Executive Orders. There is little to no proof that the "Intel as tool of the Executive branch" thesis is true. The whole intelligence community collectively works for the notions of national security and vital interests. The opposing notion has little standing, although Chief Executives sometimes hold it dear, and often get in trouble for it, as when a President says something like a NIE ought to be declassified -- true, they have that authority -- but events like the Valerie Plume affair make it clear that sometimes -- to counter leaks from elsewhere -- a President will violate one principle of intelligence to salvage another. Executive privilege plays a big role in intelligence, but there are countervailing principles. One such countervailing principle is that intelligence must never be classified or declassified for political purposes.
Many principles, or best practices, derive from the way intelligence officials (or workers in any job) "read the minds" (so to speak) of their superiors. It doesn't take a genius to know what the boss likes, especially when intuition is supported by strong patriotism. A common way for the process to work is that word comes down (usually from the National Security Advisor or someone on the National Security Council) that the President has directed or is thinking about planning to detect the intentions and capabilities or what-have-you of some identified group which represents a threat to our national security or vital interests. Hundreds of national security planners then go to work devising plans based on the best intelligence that can be gathered and analyzed. All the military-related bureaus tend to think along the lines of hard-line plans, and all the political bureaus under White House jurisdiction tend to think along political lines. Bureaus like the CIA will think along all the alternative lines, like what is in the best economic interests or has psycho-political implications. After a period of time, about a dozen or so "good" plans emerge and come to the attention of various supervisors. These plans must then go through three stages involving the following suborganizations:
Stage 1 -- the Deputies' Committee, made up of the No. 2s, or Vice-Presidents of the main national security agencies. This Deputies Committee or Council generally consists of people with titles like "undersecretary," "deputy," or "chief of staff."
Stage 2 -- the Principals' Committee, made up of the U.S. Vice President, National Security Advisor, head of the CIA (now ODNI), Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense.
Stage 3 -- the approval of the President himself, and it is incumbent upon the Vice President to pass something along.
Only when a plan has passed all three stages is it signed off on, and if there is an actual "plan" in the document, signoff will typically be accompanied by a Presidential Directive, Presidential Decision Directive (PDD), or Executive Order as a fully "actionable" intelligence plan.
The process is regulated by all three branches of government: by the executive branch via Justice Department signoff (the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review) on IC agency procedures; by the legislative branch via select committee oversight, particularly the Senate Select Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee (where the continuing controversy has been whether these committees can compel the executive branch to release classified information); and by the judicial branch via FISA's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and judicial relief via FOIA requests (although doctrine in Totten v. US (1875) and the "state secret privilege" in US v. Reynolds (1953) tend to limit the judiciary from an active role in intelligence law). In addition, whistleblowers and leaks tend to permeate the system, serving a type of regulatory function. Personnel rules, regulations, and discipline also tend to be rather stringent for employees of intelligence agencies.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND VITAL INTERESTS
A number of items fall under the definitional umbrella of national security, but what exactly does the term mean? The U.N. Charter defines national security as "safety from foreign coercion or intimidation." The Federalist Papers define it as "safety from a variety of circumstances and protection of freedom-loving people everywhere." The Constitution mentions it within the international law of maritime regulation and law of the sea. History is replete with precedents, both legal and otherwise, where the scope of America's definition of national security has evolved over the years. For a better understanding, let's start with the classic statement of the Monroe Doctrine (1823) where President James Monroe said:
THE MONROE DOCTRINE
While true under the Monroe Doctrine, the U.S. lays claim to all the Western Hemisphere, it is further true the U.S. regards its security tied to world peace as a whole. The classic statement of this is the Truman Doctrine (1947), which created a policy of containment when President Truman asked Congress to fund Turkey and Greece in their fight against communist insurgents:
THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE
Numerous other treaties and alliances spell out the nature and character of American national security. Regional treaties, like NATO, SEATO, and CTO, consider an attack against one to be an attack against all, and it was SEATO that provided the basis for unilateral "police action" in Vietnam, as well as NATO and CTO which provided the basis for multinational force against Yugoslavia and Iraq. Territorial-based notions of national security tend to operate under a "domino theory" that if one country falls, neighboring countries will be next. Modern versions of domino theory exist involving esoteric fields like geostrategic economics, which takes into consideration airspace, water currents, meteorological uniqueness, as well as a number of other globalization factors.
Another approach to national security relies upon claims to indispensable resources, "strategic resources," or vital interests in other words. It is historically apparent that what America considers "vital" is any resource, mineral or otherwise, for which shortage has military or economic implications. These ideas are often expressed in the Inaugural Addresses of incoming Presidents, such as with Kennedy (1961) and Carter (1980):
THE KENNEDY DOCTRINE
THE CARTER DOCTRINE
More recent Presidents have expressed their own doctrines. President Reagan, for example, declared the support of backing anti-guerrilla forces throughout the world, and President Clinton advocated a doctrine of isolating enemies from participation in the world community. It's far too easy to dismiss these doctrines as rhetoric or as excuses for American imperialism. There are fundamental values and ideals at stake. The principles that guide intelligence don't exist in some legal shadow world. They come from the guiding vision of chief executives. In a very real sense, what matters are the actions carried out in the name of principle, and the hard part is figuring out a principled response to the degree of threat to vital interests, which might be referred to as national security dangers. For classification purposes, such dangers can be grouped as follows:
|A Rank Order of National Security Dangers|
destroying whole societies
|Devastation||mass destruction or death|
|Domination||controlling whole populations|
|Subversion||making weak or corrupt|
|Deprivation||forcing industrial shortages|
|Aggravation||differences of opinion|
No one would seriously advocate military attack in retaliation for embarrassment or differences of opinion. However, no one wants to wait stoically for annihilation while weapons of mass destruction are being stockpiled. Each nation is expected to use negotiation via its diplomacy system to prevent aggravations, humiliations, and grievances from escalating, but only democracies tend to honor this system, as a variety of other political systems ignore it. Islamic groups tend to take action in the face of humiliation; and fascist or totalitarian groups are notorious for acting militarily on differences of opinion. There is a need in intelligence for scaling the aggressive intent of a foreign adversary, since aggressive movements may be indirect or preparatory steps toward greater danger. There may also be a need to preempt threats before they escalate.
Preventive preemption, or preemptive prevention (it doesn't matter which word comes first) is the Bush Doctrine which comes from a speech at West Point on June 1, 2002 along with a spreading democracy corollary which comes from his second Inaugural Address on Jan 20, 2005. Preventive preemption requires policymakers to assess threats, decide if conflict is inevitable, and then make decisions about the level of risk the nation is prepared to accept and whether it is better to fight now while the costs are relatively low, or wait and possibly confront a more dangerous adversary later. Differences of opinion exist about legitimacy of the Bush Doctrine (see Brownlie 1963; Byers 2002; or Ramraj et al. 2005). It is somewhat similar to a notion of deterrence, but the correct terminology is dissuasion. Dissuasion refers to a situation where there is only one superpower left in the world, called a hyperpower, and dissuasion suggests that military strikes by this hyperpower will be so technologically and operationally advanced, that potential competitors and enemies will abandon all threats. Dissuasion is, in many ways, a hyperpower's way of playing asymmetric warfare. The spreading democracy corollary, unless backed up by aggressive foreign policy, is simply a hyperpower's way of spreading hope.
THE BUSH DOCTRINES
|SPREADING DEMOCRACY: The idea that the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny and dictatorships in every nation and culture.|
|NON-NEUTRALITY: The idea that today's terrorists threaten all nation-states as well as international justice, and no neutrality can be permitted (you are either with us or against us); that states who support or host terrorists are the de facto enemy of the United States and can face American military action.|
There have been 20 preventive wars launched by the great powers over the last three centuries. Pearl Harbor, for example, was a preemptive strike. Democracies tend to avoid them, and politicians are often concerned that voters will toss them out of office if they over-reach. The current US-UN regime (if it could be called that) is based on the preferance for an alliance or coalition, but America's history of unilateral action has also relied upon strategies of destabilization, deterrence, and dissuasion. As Walzer (2000) puts it, first strikes can be justified before the moment of imminent attack if the point of "sufficient threat" has been reached. This concept has three dimensions: "a manifest intent to injure, a degree of active preparation that makes that intent a positive danger, and a general situation in which waiting greatly magnifies the risk." This explanation highlights the connections between the notion of "threat" and the term "vital interests." The following are the standard vital interests of any country, particularly the United States:
Protecting the territory and population of the homeland
Preventing the emergence of a hostile coalition
Ensuring freedom of the seas, lines of communication, airways, and space
Ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources
Deterring and defeating aggression against allies and friends
THE LAW OF SILENT WARFARE
There are many quaint customs regarding intelligence law, or the "law of silent warfare" as it is sometimes called. Although the United States is fairly unique among nations in the statutory establishment of civilian intelligence agencies, many intelligence activities are recognized as military activities under international law. During wartime, intelligence is an accepted practice governed by the laws of war as are any intrusions into foreign territory. It is safe to say that no nation invites or permits spying against itself. Spies are punished, not so much as violators of international law, but to make that method of collecting intelligence dangerous, difficult, and as ineffective as possible. The Hague IV Convention (1907) and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) both recognize the legitimate right of nations to employ spies. Getting caught for spying in peacetime is a criminal offense; getting caught for spying in wartime is a war crime offense. These penalties exist to serve as disincentives to spying, not because spying is completely banned or outlawed. In fact, Article 31 of the Hague Convention actually prohibits conviction of a spy for a previously successful mission if captured during a subsequent mission.
Not all spies are prosecuted. The most common defense is diplomatic immunity. Agents with diplomatic status enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution. When diplomats get caught spying, they are deemed persona non grata, asked to leave, or sometimes kidnapped and exchanged under some spy or diplomatic exchange program. Counterintelligence is a different ballgame where the effort is to check on one's own people for leaks, moles, and double agents. As such, counterintelligence creates the potential for more violations of civil and criminal law, such as domestic eavesdropping.
Oversight committees exist in both houses of Congress over intelligence; i.e., the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. These OVERSIGHT committees make it their business to see that funds are not specifically used to overthrow the governments of other nations. Oversight also has some investigative authority to force the President to turn over classified information not normally revealed to Senators or Congressmen. There are also oversight mechanisms in place within the Executive Branch. Just as the FBI is legally supervised by the Attorney General, other agencies, like the CIA and NSA, have counterparts in the form of General Counsels or Inspector Generals. In addition, the National Security Council and two other boards, the PFIAB (President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board) and PIOB (President's Intelligence Oversight Board), exercise oversight functions. The NSC does this by considering many different points of view. PFIAB and PIOB audit IC agency policies and procedures. Other laws exist which are related to terrorism and homeland security, but many of these are only indirectly related to intelligence law.
SECRECY AND SECURITY
Secrecy and security are important. The intelligence community works with lists the same way homeland security works with databases. Certain federal employees and certain employees in the private sector are required to have security clearances because their job requires them to have access to classified documents. A "need to know" must accompany the possession of a security clearance, and in this way, information is not only controlled but channeled. The standard intelligence community approach to security clearance involves an all-or-nothing "risk avoidance" approach (compared to a risk management approach which might be found in homeland security). Security extremes are the norm. Various work takes place in secured facilities by secured individuals with secure documents. The occupant of any such job would be said to have much more than a "sensitive" position, defined as "any position, by virtue of its nature, could bring about a material adverse effect on national security." At any given time, there are about 3 million people with security clearances. In addition, there are about 2 million security clearances in the hands of private contractors and consulting firms. Contractors participate in what is called the industrial security program administered by the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO) which is part of the Joint Information Systems Technology (JIST), a military agency. Manufacturers of technology (broadly defined as computer technology and anything that could be used for military purposes) must abide by regulations set down by the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) which maintain a number of lists: Commerce Control List (CCL), Entity List, Denial List, and Debarred List.
One out of every thirty Americans has some sort of security clearance. It has been estimated that one out of every thousand can be expected to compromise the secrets they are entrusted with. Some need money, some can be blackmailed, some are disgruntled, and some are just sloppy. American industry is a prime target for espionage as well as domestic terrorism and white collar crime. A security clearance is technically a license issued by a department head of a department, division, or agency of the federal government, and the type of security clearance one can be approved for also depends upon the department, division, or agency involved. Wikipedia has a really good article on Classified Information Systems, with illustrations, and Wikileaks can be a real eye-opener. Although there are dozens of different types of security clearances (see Security Clearance Central for a complete list), the basic six are:
The SENSITIVE label exists in a number of settings, particularly military, law enforcement, and homeland security settings. Technically, it is a handling instruction, as opposed to a true classification marking, but use of it does mean that the information is exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act. Generally speaking, sensitive material should be treated as if it were classified CONFIDENTIAL. This means it cannot be discarded in the open trash, made available to the general public, or posted on an uncontrolled website. It can, however, be shared with individuals with a need to know the content, while still under the control of the individual possessing the document or product. For example, anything stamped U//FOUO may be shared with family members and close friends, but such material should eventually be returned to the appropriate office and be properly retained or destroyed. Wherever possible, U//FOUO information should not be passed over unencrypted communications lines. Bowman (2007) suggests that all the caveats at the SENSITIVE level be called "controlled unclassified," but he does admit that there are many confusing practices out there.
The CONFIDENTIAL label is perhaps the most commonly encountered security classification, and it is most often seen in military contexts or when there is some military-related aspect to the information. It was George Washington himself who set up the confidential level of classification. It is widely used in non-military contexts too. About the only difference between RESTRICTED and CONFIDENTIAL is the shade of blue color used on cover sheets, with "restricted" usually having a more "baby blue" color associated with it. Whereas other classifications will almost always involve a background check by the Defense Investigative Service, clearance programs for a confidential classification may be operated by the agencies themselves, like the FBI or the State Department. Theoretically, then, any organization which does background checks on its people can use the CONFIDENTIAL label. Sometimes one hears the confidential level referred to as "ordinary secret," but once one gets into the truly "secret" levels, it's a whole other ball game.
The SECRET and TOP SECRET categories were added around 1950, and were originally intended for non-military applications such as scientists working on government projects. Further, these two levels were intended to allow quick upgrading and downgrading of information. Top secret classifications almost always have some amount of military involvement in the clearance process, as these types of licenses are typically found in agencies like the CIA or NSA. One of the differences between secret and top secret is how "expansive" the background check is, i.e., how far and deep the investigation goes (aka "full scope") into your dependents, friends, and relatives. SCI classification is only cleared for a few people, and the background investigation process as well as the continual monitoring is extremely intensive. The amount of time it takes to receive a security clearance is usually 6 months to a year, if all goes well. Rarely if ever are temporary clearances granted while waiting for the review process to conclude.
Certain countries and entities within countries are barred completely from receiving any information of vital interest to the United States. These "lists" are similar to lists of parties which have been denied export of technology from the U.S. They are effectively under an EMBARGO, and some obvious examples include Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Syria. Suspect countries which require a permit to do business with are called Tier 3 countries. Tier 3 designation lists are put out by State (for human rights violations), Commerce (for economic violations), and a number of other cabinet agencies. The names of known spies are routinely included on a Denied Persons List, and an even more interesting list is the Entity List, which are essentially organizations a little too closely linked to foreign intelligence services. A sample of the Entity List appears below:
ENTITIES PROHIBITED FROM U.S. BUSINESS
1. Beijing Institute of Control Devices
2. Northwestern Polytechnical University (Shanghai)
3. Xiangdong Machinery Factory
4. Bhabha Atomic Research Center (India)
5. Ben Gurion University (Israel)
6. Allied Trading Company (Pakistan)
7. ANZ Importers and Exporters (Pakistan)
8. Pakistan Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology
9. Baltic State Technical University (St. Petersburg)
10. Grafit (Moscow)
11. INOR Scientific Research Center (Moscow)
Secrecy and security can be dysfunctional if taken to extremes. Information in the possession of the federal government is frequently stovepiped and/or jealously guarded. Bowman (2007) is typical of those who have taken the intelligence community to task for this. The basic problems involve over-classification and overly-long duration of classification. A good deal of information that is classified is legacy (or old) information that would harm little more than the reputation of the United States if it got out. Other information is "born classified" which means that no classifying authority needs to act upon it to make it classified. Examples include the so-called "Q" clearance used by the Energy Department with atomic weapon information. In a post-9/11 era where the emphasis is upon "sharing" intelligence, it would seem that fundamentally new methods of classification should be looked into.
SELECTED AGENCY FOCUS: THE CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency's primary mission is to collect, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior US Government policymakers in making decisions relating to the national security. The Central Intelligence Agency may also engage in covert action at the President's direction in accordance with applicable law. The CIA carefully selects well-qualified people in nearly all fields of study. Scientists, engineers, economists, linguists, mathematicians, secretaries, accountants and computer specialists are but a few of the professionals continually in demand. Much of the Agency’s work, like that done in academic institutions, requires research, careful evaluation, and writing of reports that end up on the desks of this nation’s policymakers. Applicants are expected to have a college degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Some 95% of CIA employees are technicians and academics ("nerds" and "buffs"). Only 5% of CIA personnel ("spooks") are engaged in what is traditionally seen as spying and covert operations. "Nerds" (about 50% of CIA personnel) tend to the electronic data-gathering equipment. "Buffs" (about 45% of CIA personnel) are experts in various kinds of information; for example, if you were an expert on Siberian geography, Indonesian politics, undersea topography, microwave propagation, etc., then the CIA would be interested in recruiting you.
The number of employees and budget of the CIA cannot be publicly disclosed. However, the budget was $26.6 billion in fiscal year 1997 and $26.7 billion for fiscal year 1998, two years in which those figures leaked out. The Central Intelligence Agency does not give public tours of its buildings, except limited ones for academic and civic groups. The CIA releases millions of pages of documents each year. Much of this is material of historical significance that has been declassified under Executive Order 12958 (a presidential order outlining a uniform system for handling national security information) or the Freedom of Information Act. The Agency handles thousands of cases each year and maintains the CIA’s Electronic Document Release Center at www.foia.ucia.gov to release this information to the public and to provide guidance for requesting information. Some released information of significant public interest or historical value is also available at the National Archives and Records Administration. Specific copies of any previously declassified records are available directly from the CIA office. Many documents, including the CIA World Fact book, reports on foreign economic or political matters, maps, and directories of foreign officials are also available in hard copy. Most CIA publications are classified, however, and are not publicly available.
By law, the CIA is specifically prohibited from collecting foreign intelligence concerning the domestic activities of US citizens. Its mission is to collect information related to foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence. By direction of the President in Executive Order 12333 of 1981 and in accordance with procedures issued by the Director of Central Intelligence and approved by the Attorney General, the CIA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against US citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities. The CIA's procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed, and, depending on the collection technique employed, the sanction of the Attorney General and Director of Central Intelligence may be required. These restrictions on the CIA have been in effect since the 1970s. Likewise, only the president can direct the CIA to undertake covert action, and such actions usually are recommended by the National Security Council when the NSC judges that foreign policy objectives may not be fully realized by normal diplomatic means and when military action is deemed to be too extreme an option. Once tasked, the Director of Central Intelligence must notify the intelligence oversight committees of the Congress. With terrorism, the CIA works with friendly foreign governments and shares pertinent information with them. The CIA also plays a crucial role in combating drug trafficking by providing intelligence information to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the State Department
The CIA is organized as follows. The Directorate of Operations (DO) is involved in travel and the study of different cultures, although in late 2005, a White House plan was approved creating a new National Clandestine Service (NCS) which will incorporate the agency’s Directorate of Operations and supervise the CIA's HUMINT operations and coordinate, but not direct, similar activities undertaken abroad by other parts of the IC, including the FBI and DoD agencies. This new unit within the CIA (the NCS) will have at least two deputy directors; one responsible for managing the CIA's own clandestine service; a second DD/NCS will coordinate overseas operations and ensure that agencies do not overlap one another in recruitment or operations, and also supervise establishment of common standards for training all HUMINT collectors in tradecraft, including recruitment, vetting and handling of assets. The NSC unit will also have a special unit responsible for covert operations and another branch responsible for providing scientific and technological support. This change is supposed to streamline the relationship between ODNI & DCI, beef up HUMINT, and allow the FBI & DOD to do more of their own thing. Other major directorates include the Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T) which is involved with technology that is always ahead of being state of the art. The Directorate of Intelligence (DI) is involved with analysis and writing reports. The Directorate of Administration (DA) employs specialists as well as generalists of many different talents. The CIA divides its geographic responsibilities among three regional offices. They include: the Office of Asian, Pacific, Latin American, and African Analysis (APLAA), Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis (NESA), and the Office of Russian and European Analysis (OREA).
Oversight on the Legislative side is conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). These two committees, along with the Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, and the Armed Services Committees, are responsible for authorizing the programs of the CIA and other intelligence agencies and overseeing their activities. The CIA also works with the Appropriations Committees. On the Executive side, it is answerable to the National Security Council, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and the Intelligence Oversight Board. The National Security Council, like the CIA, was established under the National Security Act of 1947. The NSC advises the President on domestic, foreign, and military issues that relate to national security and provides guidance, review, and direction on how the CIA gathers intelligence. The President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense are permanent members of the National Security Council; the Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are its advisers. Members of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) are men and women from the private sector who are appointed by the President on the basis of their achievements, experience, and independence. The Intelligence Oversight Board, established in 1976, ensures intelligence collection is done properly and responsibly. Its members assist the President in guaranteeing that any highly sensitive intelligence activities are legal and in accord with presidential directives.
Prior to creation of the ODNI position, the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) was the primary adviser to the President and the National Security Council on national foreign intelligence matters. He or she is the head of the Central Intelligence Agency and of such other staff elements as are required for the discharge of his Intelligence Community responsibilities. It appears under recent reforms that the DCI (sometimes abbreviated D/CIA) is in charge of day-to-day operations while the ODNI is in charge of strategy. The various deputy director offices are described next. The Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) acts for and exercises the powers of the Director in his absence or disability. The Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Community Management (DDCI/CM) develops the budget for collection, and also overseeing analysis. The Executive Director (EXDIR) is the Agency's Chief Operating Officer, and manages the CIA on a daily basis. The Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support (ADCI/MS) coordinates with the various Joint Force commanders. The Chairman of/and National Intelligence Council concentrate on the substantive problems of particular geographic regions of the world such as economics and weapons proliferation by producing National Intelligence Estimates. The Deputy Director for Administration (DDA) is the senior business manager. The Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) manages the production and dissemination of all-source intelligence analysis on key foreign problems. The Deputy Director for Operations (DDO) has primary responsibility for the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence, including human source intelligence, but in late 2005, it appears the DDO is being incorporated into a DD/NCS (Deputy Director of National Clandestine Service). The Deputy Director for Science and Technology (DDS&T) is responsible for creating and applying innovative technology to meet today's intelligence needs. The General Counsel serves as the legal adviser to the DCI and is responsible for the conduct of all the Agency's legal affairs. The Inspector General promotes efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability in the administration of Agency activities.
SELECTED AGENCY FOCUS: THE NSA
In 1952, President Harry Truman attached his signature to a seven-page presidential memorandum, and the National Security Agency was born. Everything about it, including its name (No Such Agency), was initially ultra-secret and classified. Gradually, power, money, and influence came its way, mostly on account of opportune budget requests. By 1980, the NSA was the largest agency in the Intelligence Community, employing more people (70,000) than all the employees in the rest of the agencies combined. The modern NSA develops and uses "bleeding edge" technology, surveillance and intercept equipment that is supposed to be at least 5 years ahead of anything found in the corporate sector.
The NSA is relatively (not completely) free from legal restrictions because it wasn't established by Congress like the CIA was with the National Security Act of 1947. That the NSA was created through an executive order rather than by Congress is purely a constitutional issue. The NSA never needed approval from Congress because the purpose of the NSA is a function of the executive branch in terms of national security. Had Congress wished to create the NSA, they would have had no constitutional basis to do so. The NSA is guided by a series of executive orders called United States Signals Intelligence Directives, or USSIDs. USSIDs are classified, some more than others, but none are releasable to the public. NSA employees, whether military or civilian, are strictly monitored to prevent the possibility of intelligence collection on U.S. citizens. The only two people who can authorize the collection of intelligence on any U.S. citizen are the Attorney General and the President. The NSA is also directed in its operations by the CIA, its major customer for information outside of the military services. Ten units comprise the NSA organizational structure.
The OFFICE OF SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE (DDO) encompasses the entire spectrum of signals intelligence, from intercept to cryptanalysis, and traffic analysis (diplomatic systems, telephone, Internet). It monitors all communication, from friend or foe. Employees in the DDO unit are scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who work in one of the four areas of signals intelligence. The NSA is the world's largest employer of mathematicians. All kinds of signals are collected: 1. Communications Signals Analysis -- studies any emission that transmits information; 2. Electronic Signals Analysis -- the study of ELINT and RADINT; 3. Telemetry -- signals back and forth between projectiles and bases; 4. Signals Conversion -- determining the location of signals disguised by such techniques as spectrum-spreading or frequency-hopping. Once a signal has been "netted", classified, and reconstructed, it goes to the cryptanalytic division if it is encrypted. The NSA employs a number of crypto-linguists to decipher at least ninety-five languages. Computers are programmed to flag target words, including those on a "watch list", and count the frequency of particular words or characters. The NSA operates a worldwide network of listening stations (ESCHELON), in cooperation with Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, which is capable of scanning e-mails, faxes, telexes, and telephone calls, searching for particular words.
The OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY (COMSEC) provides the methods, principles, and equipment to protect any classified U.S. communications, including command and control, voice, data, teletype, and telemetry. It furnishes and maintains the scrambler phones and crypto machines found in government offices and limousines. The OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING (R & E) is responsible for pushing the limits of technology so that the NSA stays at least 5 years ahead of the curve. They are constantly performing experiments and tests on such innovative things as using the salt in the atmosphere as one big antennae, or advances in quantum computing. The OFFICE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND COMPUTER SERVICES supervises probably the greatest concentration of supercomputers the world has ever known, headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland. NSA computers are all linked together in what is called a "brute force" network, and are capable of spitting out solutions in nanoseconds. This unit also guarantees the functionality of CRITCOM, designed to flash intelligence warnings to the President within no less than ten minutes of a critical world event. The OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION is a recruiting office which goes from college to college, looking for engineering wizards, mathematicians, and language majors, who may be promising employees. The OFFICE OF INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS manages all outside contracts the NSA makes with builders and corporations. The OFFICE OF PLANS AND POLICY (DDPP) is essentially a staff and support position. The OFFICE OF PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES (DDPR) assists with public relations and the needed diplomacy and tact in dealing with conflicts and power struggles between the branches of the military, and other U.S. organizations that are consumers of intelligence. The OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL is the NSA lawyer's office. The NATIONAL CRYPTOLOGIC SCHOOL is regarded by many as the most selective institution of higher education in the country, offering a wide range of certificate and degree programs. Other NSA organizations include the Crypto-Mathematics Institute, the Computer Information Sciences Institute, and the International Affairs Institute.
SELECTED AGENCY FOCUS: THE DIA
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was established in 1961 to coordinate all the intelligence activities of the military services. The DIA serves as the intelligence agency for the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the Secretary of Defense, but during war, takes on a more active role in providing battlefield intelligence to theatre commanders. The DIA relies extensively on the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) for satellite information, the NSA for cryptoanalysis, and the CIA for human intelligence. Traditionally, the DIA has lived within the shadow of the CIA, but in 1995, it was authorized to operate its own agents and actions overseas. The DIA is always headed by an admiral or general. Its HQ is the Pentagon, and the main Analysis Center is at Bolling Air Force Base. Since 1991, the DIA has operated its own television network, a closed circuit, encrypted telecast only available at about 1,000 offices around the world, including all military bases. The telecasts are similar to a CNN news channel. The DIA has also in recent years been involved in providing assistance to U.N. peacekeeping forces and to U.S. antidrug agencies like the DEA and FBI. About 60% of DIA staff are civilians, and it has become a good entry-level job area for college students interested in intelligence work.
The DIA is organized into 4 units: The National Military Production Center -- responsible for threat assessments to aerospace, maritime, and ground establishments; The National Military Intelligence Collection Center -- responsible for the military attaché system and HUMINT; The National Military Intelligence Systems Center -- responsible for information services, reference & libraries, computer support; The Defense Intelligence College -- responsible for postgraduate education in intelligence curriculums (MS in strategic intelligence), training of attaches, and seminars. Renamed the Joint Military Intelligence College in 1993.
The DIA is a rather large collection of many organizations, some of which are high-profile. They generally release their intelligence in the form of CD-ROMs which often contain spectacular artwork and graphics. Besides the weapons capability of enemies, the DIA is also involved with Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), Geographic Imagery, Zoology, Entomology, and handbooks on Poisonous Snakes, Small-Caliber Ammunition Identification Guide, Paraphysic R&D, Parapsychology Research, Controlled Offensive Behavior, and identification of Global Threats and Challenges.
SELECTED AGENCY FOCUS: THE FBI
The FBI is part of the Intelligence Community, but not normally an intelligence gatherer. It's mandated by federal law to be the "lead" or agency out in front during any investigation of espionage. It is therefore America's premiere counterespionage agency, which is similar to the CIA's counterintelligence function abroad. The difference is that the FBI use law enforcement mechanisms to prevent secrets from falling into the hands of enemy agents, and do not use deception, disinformation, or other countermeasures to feed false secrets into the hands of enemy agents. The FBI can arrest people, but typically not outside the United States. The CIA, on the other hand, cannot arrest people, but can operate outside the United States. The ban on geographical jurisdiction is not applied very strictly. For the FBI, the restriction has been lifted to allow FBI agents to operated in foreign embassies as "attaches", and certain FBI agents are allowed to make arrests overseas and bring the suspect to trial in the United States.
The Bureau's involvement in intelligence work goes back to World War I, when it assisted Army Intelligence in rounding up spies and saboteurs, as well as establishing a system of informants known as the Protective League, which consisted of American citizens (vigilantes) who spied and snitched on suspected German infiltrators. The Bureau then had remarkable success at recruiting "Junior G-men" during Prohibition. The FBI had an excellent snitch system in place to deal with bootleggers and the rise of organized crime, but there was a growing law enforcement movement over in Treasury, so the duty of enforcing Prohibition did not really fall in the FBI's lap. As the story goes, a young file clerk named J. Edgar Hoover made a name for himself as a zealous pursuer of anarchists, radicals, and subversives. In 1924, he became director of the FBI, and never ceased to zealously pursue such people until 1972. In the hands of Hoover (and reportedly, also with the approval of President Roosevelt), the FBI became a counter-subversion agency. Such domestic intelligence (or internal state security) activities are basically incompatible with a constitutional democracy.
For example, Congress banned wiretapping in 1934, but the FBI continued to use it because Hoover interpreted the law to not prohibit wiretapping per se, but the disclosure of information obtained by wiretapping. The FBI also pioneered the use of blacklisting, or putting together numerous "FBI files" on millions of people: celebrities, heroes, politicians, teachers, anyone in a position of public influence. Hoover also authorized the use of surreptitious entry, or break-ins, what in tradecraft is called a "black bag job" to obtain copies of files or materials or to plant bugs and telephone wiretaps. Hoover got called on the carpet for this in 1966, and promised to stop it; and of course, President Nixon got caught on it with Watergate in 1971. In a little known act by President Reagan in 1981, the government re-established in itself the power to conduct black bag jobs, provided that they had Attorney General approval. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) also holds hearings to approve break-ins when considered necessary for national security reasons.
Hoover seemed to have it out for two groups in society: college professors and black revolutionaries. He also had a thing against Jehovah's Witnesses because they wouldn't salute the flag. The FBI's COINTELPRO (for Counterintelligence Program) was launched in 1956 and was a spying on college campuses operation (aka CODE NAME CHAOS) which collected the names of over 7,000 students and professors suspected of being communist sympathizers. Many of these professors were criminal justice professors, a discipline that was starting to emerge in the 1960s, and Hoover apparently didn't want this discipline to emerge at all since he thought anything to do with training or education in law enforcement needed to stay in the hands of law enforcement. In 1993, Congress authorized the FBI to go to Russia and help them fight organized crime using their counterintelligence skills. In 1994, the FBI scored a coup with catching a spy in the CIA called Aldrich Ames. In response, President Clinton immediately make the FBI the primary agency for counterintelligence as well as counterespionage in a memorandum. The FBI was elevated to the point where one of their representatives would be rotated in as head of the Intelligence Community every four years. It is important to note that the FBI can operate overseas now.
J. EDGAR HOOVER
|From 1924 to 1972, Hoover (the Boss) was the FBI, and the most powerful man in government, with a dossier on every important person in society. He possessed a Bachelors and Masters of law degree from George Washington University, and was a bachelor who lived with his mother until her death in 1938, and then lived there alone. Claims that he was a closet homosexual were never proven. Hoover had President Roosevelt's blessing for just about anything, but Truman stood up to Hoover. Hoover constantly used the existence of mistresses to pressure Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. The Nixon administration trusted Hoover at first, but then developed its own apparatus, and Hoover died in office shortly after the Nixon reelection. Most of his personal records were destroyed. Hoover knew how to run an excellent publicity campaign. His name and by-line became synonymous in the nations' newspapers and magazines as the relentless hunter of spies and crooks. Many of the magazines we see today, like Popular Detective, etc., are a remnant of that era and the Hoover legacy. As anyone who's seen the cover of these things knows, they are especially lurid and appeal to a sexy mystique about detective work that probably wouldn't be there if it wasn't for Hoover. His ability to leak information to the press was the source of his power. Hoover capitalized on August Vollmer's success with crime labs, and for awhile, the FBI crime lab was the best in the world. Subsequent directors have struggled with restructuring the agency.|
THE ELEMENTS OF INTELLIGENCE
Getting back to the definition of intelligence, it might be helpful to lay out what types of activities intelligence is involved in. Shulsky & Schmitt (2002) make the case that there are four (4) "elements" of intelligence: collection; analysis; covert action; and counterintelligence (or CI). Collection refers to the gathering of raw data, through espionage, technical means, other sources, open sources, and any other manner. Analysis refers to the processing of information to make it useful to policy makers and military commanders. In the vast majority of cases, the information to be processed is only fragmentary, so it is the job of the analyst to make judgments about the capabilities and intentions of the enemy on the basis of partial information. To some extent, this is the same as forecasting or estimation. A basic tenet or principle in intelligence studies is that you keep your collection people separate from your analysis people because you don't want one group biasing the other group.
Covert action seeks to influence the politics, economics, or social phenomena of an enemy or ally by influencing the course of events, either directly or indirectly. It can range from a planned campaign of persuasion or propaganda to a full-fledged paramilitary operation. Covert action has been described by many experts as "an activity midway between diplomacy and war." A basic tenet or principle in intelligence studies is that your covert action teams should not be a regular part of the intelligence community.
Counterintelligence seeks to protect a society (and especially its intelligence capabilities) against any harm that might be inflicted by hostile intelligence services. Counterintelligence, or CI, involves denying certain information to enemies. Counterintelligence is the broader term which encompasses counterespionage. Counterespionage involves actions taken to apprehend or neutralize enemy agents. Both CI and counterespionage are forms of security. CI also has two other responsibilities: to engage in deception operations, which mislead the enemy or provide them with false information; and two, to safeguard the integrity of the collection and analysis functions. In this latter sense, CI acts much like an internal affairs unit in criminal justice.
Avoiding the Burden of the Carter Doctrine in Perspective
FISA and the Fourth Amendment
Is There a Clinton Doctrine of National Security
Loyola Univ.'s Strategic Intel Page
Project WhistleStop: The Truman Doctrine Archive
Proposals for Reform within the Intelligence Community
The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
Website of the Rome Statute International Criminal Court
Crimes by the CIA
Philip Agee on the CIA
CIA Document Release Center
CIA Employment Page
CIA Web Site Search
CNN In-depth Report on NSA
Federation of American Scientists
Map of Eschelon Network
Defense Intelligence Agency
Joint Military Intelligence College
The FBI & National Security 1993-1998 Director's Report
FBI Employment Page
FBI Record System Classification Codes
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Last updated: Mar. 19, 2013
Not an official webpage of APSU, copyright restrictions apply, see Megalinks in Criminal Justice
O'Connor, T. (2013). "What Is Intelligence," MegaLinks in Criminal Justice. Retrieved from http://www.drtomoconnor.com/4125/4125lect01.htm.