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 Home > News & Policies > June 2005

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 29, 2005

Memorandum for the Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of OMB, Director of National Intelligence, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

SUBJECT: Strengthening the Ability of the Department of Justice to Meet Challenges to the Security of the Nation

The United States Department of Justice has a vital role in the protection of the American people from threats to their security, including threats of terrorist attack. The Department of Justice and its subordinate elements, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have made substantial progress toward strengthening their national security capabilities and coordinating effectively with other elements of the Government with related responsibilities, but further prompt action is necessary to meet challenges to the security of the United States.

The Report of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (March 31, 2005) (chapter 10) recommended:

To ensure that the FBI's intelligence elements are responsive to the Director of National Intelligence, and to capitalize on the FBI's progress, we recommend the creation of a new National Security Service within the FBI under a single Executive Assistant Director. This service would include the Bureau's Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Divisions and the Directorate of Intelligence. The service would be subject to the coordination and budget authorities of the DNI as well as the same Attorney General authorities that apply to other Bureau divisions.

The Department of Justice's primary national security elements the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, and the Counterterrorism and Counterespionage sections should be placed under a new Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

I approve the above recommendations of the Commission and direct the Attorney General to implement them, coordinating with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and as appropriate, the heads of other agencies. In implementing such recommendations with respect to the FBI, the Attorney General shall:

  1. Combine the missions, capabilities, and resources of the counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence elements of the FBI into a new National Security Service headed by an Executive Assistant Director or other senior FBI official of an equivalent or higher level of authority, experience, and responsibility;

  2. Obtain the concurrence of the DNI before an individual is appointed as the head of the FBI's National Security Service;

  3. Assign to the FBI's National Security Service, subject to the authority of the Director of the FBI, principal responsibility within the FBI for the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence to further enhance the security of the Nation;

  4. Ensure that the FBI National Security Service's intelligence activities, both at headquarters and in the field, are funded through the National Intelligence Program (except to the extent otherwise agreed by the Attorney General and the DNI, or directed by the President) consistent with the DNI's statutory authorities;

  5. Develop procedures to ensure the DNI, through the head of the FBI's National Security Service, can effectively communicate with the FBI's field offices, resident agencies, and any other personnel in the National Security Service, to ensure that the activities of the service are appropriately coordinated, consistent with the authorities of the Attorney General and the DNI granted by law or by the President; and

  6. Establish programs to build an FBI National Security Service workforce, including special agents, intelligence analysts, and as appropriate, other personnel, necessary to the effective performance of the national security missions of the FBI.

The Attorney General, after coordination with the DNI, shall submit a report to me, through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, within 60 days of the date of this memorandum setting forth steps taken to implement this memorandum and further steps planned to implement it, including a schedule with milestones for completion of implementation. In addition, within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, the Attorney General shall prepare, coordinate with the DNI, and submit, in the same manner as described above, a report of progress in implementing this memorandum.

The Attorney General shall implement this memorandum subject to the availability of appropriations and in a manner consistent with applicable law, including the Constitution and laws protecting the freedom and information privacy of Americans.


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