The 2008 Amendments to Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities

Modernizing the IC “Charter”
The 2008 Amendments to Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities

Stephen B. Slick

During his final year in office, President George W. Bush approved significant amendments to the decades-old executive order that organized, directed, and imposed limits on US intelligence activities. The product of extensive debate and coordination within the executive branch, these amendments to Executive Order (EO) 12333 were intended to clarify ambiguous provisions in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004.

Passed in response to the 9/11 attacks, the IRTPA established the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and granted authorities the office would require to lead a more closely integrated Intelligence Community (IC) and to institutionalize relationships and practices intended to improve counterterrorism and counterproliferation efforts.

Amendment of the order, which was originally issued in 1981, required the resolution, after intense debate within the Executive Branch, of complex substantive, bureaucratic, and legal issues. It also involved a process to build consensus for a final text within the “federated” US intelligence and national security communities.

This account, by the senior director for intelligence programs and reform on the National Security Council (NSC) staff at the time, is intended to offer insights for intelligence professionals who operate under the provisions of the order and for students of the efforts to restructure and reform US intelligence that have been underway almost continuously since the end of World War II.

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Posted: Jul 17, 2014 03:02 PM
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2014 03:02 PM