An overhaul of 12333

A major overhaul of Executive Order 12333 has been authorized by the White House. The effort, led by Intelligence Director Mike McConnell will rewrite the Reagan-era presidential order which outlines the fundamental guidance of intelligence agencies. The White House believes this is necessary to help all 16 spy agencies work more closely together, and to reflect the changes in the intelligence agencies post 9/11.

The national intelligence director has won White House approval to begin revising an executive order that lays out each spy agency’s responsibilities and the government’s protections against spying on Americans.

The Reagan-era 1981 presidential order is woven into the culture at the 16 spy agencies and spells out their powers. It also provides fundamental guidance to protect against spying on Americans, prohibitions against human experimentation and the long-standing ban on assassination.

Some officials familiar with Intelligence Director Mike McConnell’s plans, speaking only on condition of anonymity because the deliberations remain internal, said his intent is solely to update the policy to reflect changes in the intelligence community since Sept. 11, 2001, including the creation of his own office.

But other officials, who also spoke on condition they not be identified, said opening the order to changes could lead well beyond that. They said the exercise could threaten civil liberties protections approved by President Reagan following intelligence abuses in the 1970s, and that intelligence agencies will be tempted to expand their powers. […]

The effort to redo the executive order comes as McConnell has been pushing a skeptical Democratic Congress to overhaul a landmark law that provides the rules of the road for foreign intelligence investigations on U.S. soil, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Lawmakers have demanded more information about government surveillance before they act, but the administration has thus far been unwilling to respond to all of their requests.

Unlike the surveillance law, the White House can change an executive order without congressional or judicial approval.

Source: AP via Fox

17 Responses

  1. Good grief. The procedures have not been updated since 1981, there are agencies and methods that exist now that did not exist at that time, we are in an actual war, and people are bitching about updating the procedures? If these people worked for Wells Fargo, I suppose they would insist that the rules for stage coach stations be followed regardless of the fact that those rules are irrelevant because there are no longer stage coaches and Wells Fargo does not haul passengers.

  2. Marcus Luttrell, Navy SEAL, was on Fox this morning with the book he had written about his SEAL team being ambushed, and him being the Lone Survivor. He is not fond of the asinine rules of engagement that the lawyers/politicians have decided upon:

    Looking back, during our long journey in the C-130 to Afghanistan, I was more acutely aware of a growing problem which faces U.S. forces on active duty in theaters of war all over the world. For me, it began in Iraq, the first murmurings from the liberal part of the U.S.A. that we were somehow in the wrong, brutal killers, bullying other countries; that we who put our lives on the line for our nation at the behest of our government should somehow be charged with murder for shooting our enemy.

    It’s been an insidious progression, the criticisms of the U.S. Armed Forces from politicians and from the liberal media, which knows nothing of combat, nothing of our training, and nothing of the mortal dangers we face out there on the front line. Each of the six of us in that aircraft en route to Afghanistan had constantly in the back of our minds the ever-intrusive rules of engagement.

    These are drawn up for us to follow by some politician sitting in some distant committee room in Washington, D.C. And that’s a very long way from the battlefield, where a sniper’s bullet can blast your head, where the slightest mistake can cost your life, where you need to kill your enemy before he kills you.

    And those ROE are very specific: we may not open fire until we are fired upon or have positively identified our enemy and have proof of his intentions. Now, that’s all very gallant. But how about a group of U.S. soldiers who have been on patrol for several days; have been fired upon; have dodged rocket-propelled grenades and homemade bombs; have sustained casualties; and who are very nearly exhausted and maybe slightly scared?

    How about when a bunch of guys wearing colored towels around their heads and brandishing AK-47s come charging over the horizon straight toward you? Do you wait for them to start killing your team, or do you mow the bastards down before they get a chance to do so?

    That situation might look simple in Washington, where the human rights of terrorists are often given high priority. And I am certain liberal politicians would defend their position to the death. Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them. Anytime.

    However, from the standpoint of the U.S. combat soldier, Ranger, SEAL, Green Beret, or whatever, those ROE represent a very serious conundrum. We understand we must obey them because they happen to come under the laws of the country we are sworn to serve. But they represent a danger to us; they undermine our confidence on the battlefield in the fight against world terror. Worse yet, they make us concerned, disheartened, and sometimes hesitant.

    I can say from firsthand experience that those rules of engagement cost the lives of three of the finest U.S. Navy SEALs who have ever served. I’m not saying that, given the serious situation, those elite American warriors might not have died a little later, but they would not have died right then, and in my view would almost certainly have been alive today.

    I am hopeful that one day soon, the U.S. government will learn that we can be trusted. We know about bad guys, what they do, and, often, who they are. The politicians have chosen to send us into battle, and that’s our trade. We do what’s necessary. And in my view, once those politicians have elected to send us out to do what 99.9 percent of the country would be terrified to undertake, they should get the hell out of the way and stay there.

    This entire business of modern war crimes, as identified by the liberal wings of politics and the media, began in Iraq and has been running downhill ever since. Everyone’s got to have his little hands in it, blathering on about the public’s right to know.

    Well, in the view of most Navy SEALs, the public does not have that right to know, not if it means placing our lives in unnecessary peril because someone in Washington is driving himself mad worrying about the human rights of some cold-hearted terrorist fanatic who would kill us as soon as look at us, as well as any other American at whom he could point that wonky old AK of his.

  3. Prosecute parents of obese children for neglect, says doctor. So the nanny state wants to go even farther toward criminalizing weight. There comes a point when a hearty “f**k off” is in order.

  4. Daily Fred Thompson Facts from Frank J.

  5. According to a poll of right wing blogs, the GOP leadership doesn’t get it’s base.
    /and I concur

  6. Nope, they don’t understand at all why we would prefer to see the laws getting enforced before we give the country away to all comers.

  7. Ann Coulter is hilarious. And right.

  8. TV viewing tip. The Snuke episode airs on SouthPark at 9p.m. central.
    Yep. Ann has a knack, don’t she?

  9. She do.

    Digit-saving biometrics
    Fingerprint-reading biometric ID systems are becoming more widespread. But they have a serious disadvantage. Unscrupulous thieves armed with a sharp knife need only steal your finger to beat the system.

    The Japanese consumer electronics company Sony may have the answer, however, based on the ability of infrared light to penetrate further into the skin than visible light.

    The company’s biometric system uses an infrared camera to record the unique pattern of capillaries just beneath the skin, which can only be seen when blood is pumping through them. When this blood flow is cut off – when the finger is cleaved from the body, for example – the pattern disappears and the finger can no longer be used for identification. Thumbs up to Sony for this one.

    Yikes, I hope they do that with the eyeball readers, too.

  10. What about plucked eyeballs on retinal scanners?

  11. That’s why I hoped they would also do that with the retinal scanner. I’d rather a thief cut off a finger than an eyeball.

    /But I’d prefer to keep all my original parts, unless I get them upgraded by a surgeon. With lots and lots of anesthesia.

  12. Snukes…check back in thirty.

  13. My daughter ran over my tan hairless cat today. She buried him so I wouldn’t have to see it.

    We left to get a Happy Meal to make a little boy happy (although I certainly wasn’t hungry) and on our way to McDonald’s saw a man lying on a bench on the basketball court at the school. “Hey, something about him doesn’t look right. If he’s still there when we come back, we need to call 911.” On the way back, though, distracted by grief, we forgot to look. Two hours later when she again left the house (and I made sure my remaining cats were nowhere NEAR her car, and the dogs were locked up), she gave me a call and told me that an ambulance was there, and the man wasn’t on the bench.

    I hope it wasn’t another dead body.

  14. […] part of a broader meeting on an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate. (Oh yeah, and Bush, Rice, national security chief Mike McConnell, etc. are really going to be paying […]

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