The tragic incidents of September 11, 2001, radically manifested the ambit of action and effective backlash of terrorism. This scenario made national security and protection of citizens a major concern for the American government. American government took all substantial and accelerated measure to meet the requirements of this crucial period of history. This situation required a high level investigation and surveillance network and far reaching reforms for the intelligence institutions and intelligence community.
The establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and promulgation of Patriot Act were apt and appropriate counter-measures adapted by the U. S. to the terrorism defiance. The government further explored other avenues to develop a perfect security model and indulged other community groups i. e. scholars, scientists, and technologists with their intellectual and technological capabilities.
Another measure adopted by the American government is promulgation and enactment of Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, famously known as Patriot Act. This Act authorizes law enforcement agencies to take appropriate measure against any activity of terrorism. It further eases out some of the legal and constitutional impediments from the way of these law-enforcing institutes.
Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist, American Law Division discuses the objectives and effectiveness of this Patriot Act in The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report for Congress report entitled "The USA PATRIOT Act: A Sketch," The report describes the Patriot Act as an apt and appropriate measure to acts of terrorism, providing the authority to surveillance agencies and law enforcement officials “to track and intercept communication”.
It further authorizes Treasury Office to locate and embark upon the corrupt practices for foreign money laundering. It removes the unnecessary hurdles for officials and produced new efficient procedural measures and strict penalties for terrorists and criminals involved in terrorist activities. (ALCU) The recommendations of the 9/11 commission report suggested certain other measures o curb the terrorist activities and to reform the intelligence structure. This report further proposed to modify the exiting National Security Act of 1947.
Although some of the commission’s recommendations were implemented quickly thorough various presidential executive orders but Congress hankered after a comprehensive and updated law to empower, reform and restructure the intelligence community. This congressional effort manifested itself in the form of “Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (2004). The Act recognized the need for a new type of coordinator, more influential and commanding than the previous holders responsible for national security.
So this act erected the post of a “Director of National Intelligence (DNI). This director would be responsible for planning, assigning and execution of policies and duties through various intelligence communities. Another distinctive feature of this Director of National Intelligence was that both foreign and domestic intelligence were subordinated to the DNI. This ended the controversies over these issues and ended a wide chasm of information sharing between these international and local domains.
The 9/11 Commission Report: A critical Appraisal: The catastrophic events of 9/11 incited for the need of a comprehensive and detailed investigation into the causes of the event and the loopholes in the intelligence community that made such a disaster possible. An autonomous and independent “National Commission on Terrorist Attack upon United States” (famously known as 9/11 commission) was formed to look into the matter. The 9/11 commission report highly recommended the need for the appointment of a powerful “Director of Intelligence”.
The DNI would be vested with executive, administrative and budgetary powers to manage the intelligence community effectively. In addition to establishment of this office of DNI, 9/11 commission report suggested certain other novel proposal. For example, it proposed that National Intelligence Director will be subordinated by three Deputy NID sans each of them will manage the affairs of homeland security, defense intelligence and foreign intelligence. Each of he deputies will further hold the positions of senior deputies in FBI, Defense Department and CIA respectively.
The recommendation of establishment of a powerful DNI office was based on the reality that in past intelligence community was divided into various domains and was working without any real information sharing and effective operational co-ordination between different tiers of intelligence community. This centrality of power will increase the effective in major action areas like “intelligence and warning; border and transportation security; domestic counterterrorism; protecting critical infrastructures; defending against terrorism; and emergency preparedness and response”.
The first three areas are related to avoidance of attack in the American territory and its interest worldwide while latter activities include minimizing the defenselessness of America to terrorist attacks and reduction of harms and damages from these terrorist activities. Immediate Presidential Efforts in the light of 9/11 Commission Recommendations and its Implications on Intelligence Community: President Bush implemented several recommendations of the 9/11 commission report when hi signed four executive orders on surveillance and security issue.
For example, executive order 13355 “Strengthened Management of Intelligence Community” made the existing structure of DCI more powerful. The executive order not only maximized the authority of DCI’S in the light of 9/11 commission report recommendations, but it also broadened the scope of DCI office. This order stated hat DCI will be responsible to provide intelligence against all threats to United States emerging domestically or internationally. This all threats phrase encompasses the scope of the DCI powers.
Hitherto, DCI used to work in a limited domain but from the promulgation of the executive, he was made responsible for tackling all threats, local or foreign. This was a necessity for high level and agile co-ordination between different facets of intelligence and surveillance community. DCI was further allowed to monitor the Defense department expenditure on operational intelligence and his discretion was made imperative for the appointment of heads of other security agencies and originations.
The purpose of these orders was to eases out some of the legal and constitutional impediments from the way of these law-enforcing institutes. The initiatives recommends following measures for effective and efficient counterterrorism; centrality of working association and active alliances between different agencies, vigorous interpretation and timely decision-making strategies to sustain the active alliances’ information sharing and collective problem solving. Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act:
Although Congress and Senate has proposed and legislated various amendments to National Security Act of 1947 in order to modify it according to the modern needs but this Act was too obsolete to serve the purpose. In a “Letter to congressional leaders on the proposed "Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004", President Bush pointed out the basics of a neded act for contrerterrorism in this way; My most solemn duty is protecting the American people, and reforming and strengthening our Nation's intelligence capabilities will help ensure the safety of our country.
I call on Congress to pass an intelligence reform bill this week. An overarching principle for these needed reforms has been to create a strong Director of National Intelligence with full budget authority while preserving the chain of command within departments and agencies. We are very close to a significant achievement that will better protect our country for generations to come, and now is the time to finish the job for the good of our national security. Therefore, I want to reiterate my views on some issues of concern to Members. (Bush, 2004,I)
Finally, Congress came out with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. This Act incorporated the idea of Director National Intelligence (DNI); initially proposed by 9/11 Commission Report. According to the Act, the new executive of National Intelligence will not only coordinate between various manifestation of intelligence community but will further act as a link between foreign and domestic intelligence communities. In reality, this Act took the same steps as were implemented by the Presidential order on national security following 9/11 Commission report. Director of National Intelligence:
While describing the objectives of designating a new National role of DNI, President Bush said; The Director will lead a unified intelligence community and will serve as the principal advisor to the President on intelligence matters. The DNI will have the authority to order the collection of new intelligence, to ensure the sharing of information among agencies and to establish common standards for the intelligence community's personnel. It will be the DNI's responsibility to determine the annual budgets for all national intelligence agencies and offices and to direct how these funds are spent.
These authorities vested in a single official who reports directly to me will make all our intelligence efforts better coordinated, more efficient, and more effective. (Bush, 2004, II) Integration of Local and Foreign Intelligence Community: Another key step to eliminate the differentiation between domestic and foreign intelligence was redefinition of the concept of National Intelligence. According to this act, National Intelligence denotes “all intelligence, regardless of the source from which derived and including information gathering within and outside United States”.
This integration enables DNI to formulate common policy and develop common technological and security parameters for he whole intelligence community. These theoretical tools (promulgated by the Act as stated above) will capacitate the intelligence community to coordinate effectively and will remove information sharing hazards. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Another important aspect of the act was the creation of National Counterterrorism Center that will have far reaching impact on the intelligence community.
This center will collect information from various intelligence sources and will share it with other law enforcement agencies in order to evolve effective and agile count measures to curb he terrorist acts. This center will act as a primary organization for the analysis of intelligence information and assigning the task counter terrorism to the most suitable agency/agencies. This clearly indicates that NCTC is not merely a surveillance center but it has effective place in the interpretation of intelligence information and evolving the countermeasures for the most appropriate agency to take action.
The Director of NCTC will be responsible to DNI in intelligence and budgetary matters but he is also answerable to President in the matter pertaining to planning of joint counterterrorism operations. Another important feature of NCTC is that is has been capacitated to define the counterterrorism mission, to define the objective to be achieved in a particular mission, inter-organizational coordination between various tiers of intelligence community and task assignment to specified agency or agencies.
This “strategic operational planning” will be monitored by the NCTC director who will work in close collaboration with other intelligence gathering organizations to implement the strategic operational planning”. (Page 08) The establishment of NCTC with all above stated parameters points out only one prime objective i. e. the integrations of information gathering exercise by the intelligence community and its effective use by law-enforcement agencies.
As a next step to improve the capability of intelligence community and to increase its operational effectiveness, Director National Intelligence is further empowered to set up national intelligence centers. These national intelligence centers will tackle intelligence priorities at the regional and national issues and to harmonize these priorities with the intelligence needs. Their major concern area is identification and an all-pervasive analysis of the intelligence information and to keep DNI aware of the requirement information collection and productions requirements.
The principle behind these national intelligence centers is to ensure the close monitoring at the domestic level. Another important provision in the Act is the DNI’S responsibility to develop a all-inclusive training program for the Intelligence community ion order to prepare them according to the needs of the times. In order to decipher the intelligence information, a linguistic capability is important, so DNI has to equip the intelligence community with thee linguistic requirements.
It is further included in his duty to establish a common training structure. This provision will to harmonize the mental processes of the intelligence community and will be helpful in the integration of information collection and analysis. As the threat of terrorism is on rise, so more personnel are required to be recruited in the intelligence community. DNOI is authorized to evolve an Intelligence Community Scholarship Program, to offer college grants in exchange for service within the intelligence community.