Message from the Director: Executive Order 12333
Statement to Employees by Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency Mike Hayden on Executive Order 12333
July 31, 2008
Yesterday, President Bush signed a revised version of Executive Order 12333, the document that broadly defines the roles and responsibilities of the members of our Intelligence Community. The Order, originally issued in 1981, has been modified over the years. But the changes to our Community since the intelligence reform legislation of 2004 made an updated text a priority for our government.
Put briefly, the new passages formally outline the goals and duties of the Director of National Intelligence, and place a powerful emphasis on inter-agency collaboration. Both of those developments are positive. The DNI manages the Intelligence Community, providing strategic guidance without executing operational tasks. Sound coordination among American agencies is an absolute prerequisite to successful intelligence collection—one in which CIA has both an obvious interest and extensive expertise.
The Executive Order also reaffirms CIA’s statutory authorities and its leadership in fields ranging from human intelligence to covert action abroad. That includes counterintelligence and the conduct and coordination of foreign intelligence relationships. CIA has over decades earned its central place in the Community. The Agency’s raw information and its finished analysis, its technology and its global support—its thinking and its actions—contribute decisively to the security of our nation. The depth and variety of talent, and the way in which one specialty reinforces another in a setting free of departmental influence, make the Agency a unique asset for the United States.
Intelligence is, at its core, a practical calling. Issues such as operational coordination and the management of foreign liaison relationships can indeed be complex. But in our profession, the guiding standard is one of common sense. The best solutions are those that get the job done most effectively. That, by definition, means a strong voice for those on the front lines, those who do the day-to-day substantive work of intelligence. CIA has unique capabilities and an unsurpassed commitment to make our Intelligence Community as successful as it can be.
We have been deeply involved from the start in the redraft of the Order. We will play an equally active role in its implementation. In the meantime, all Agency employees, especially those in the field, should continue to act in accord with current directives, MOUs, MOAs, and so on. We will let you know if and when any adjustments might be needed.
Most important of all, keep in mind that Executive Order 12333 gives us a framework under which we will remain focused on what matters most—our essential work.