03 August, 2008

EO 12333

Executive Order 12333, issued by Ronald Reagan, is the formal unclassified blueprint for missions and elements of the American intelligence community. It has been amended several time since. The most recent amendment of EO 12333 was issued by the White House last week. If you are an intel geek, you might want to compare the current form to what what came before.

Making a side-by-side of the various forms of EO 12333 is pretty tedious. Fortunately, Cryptome has been following it for years, and has versions that indicate what has been struck out. added. and changed over the years. Some things are clear at first glance:
  • the Director of Central Intelligence, and the CIA as an agency, are in relative decline
  • the Vice President has had growing power to directly task intel elements
  • the concern with WMD is growing
  • the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and its Director, are in a relative rise
  • there are still problems with getting budgets, personnel, and info-sharing coordinated under the Director of National Intelligence
  • there are "elements" or organizations in the intelligence system that are mentioned in an oblique manner, or only described in the most general terms, which means the "community" has some parts that are too classified to talk about
  • the DNI is gaining the critical power to fire the "subordinate" directors (although I suspect it would never be a straightforward as the order suggests).
What can you find?

UPDATE: Fascinating analysis and comments from a man who knows what he's talking about is found here.

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