Summary of ACLU Analysis of 9/11 Commission Recommendations on Intelligence Reform

Document Date: July 30, 2004

National Intelligence Director, Counter-Terrorism Center must be accountable, not political

  1. Intelligence director should not be White House official, but should be independent office, and counter-terrorism center should not be in White House.
  2. Intelligence director should be subject to Senate confirmation and should have a fixed term, like FBI Director and new Director of the CIA.

Make sure a “”top cop,”” not a “”top spy”” remains in charge of domestic surveillance

3. Head of FBI intelligence operations must report to FBI Director and Attorney General, not intelligence chief;

4. FBI Director and Attorney General should be required to make and enforce guidelines prohibiting spying on First Amendment protected activity;

5. Powers of intelligence director and counter-terrorism center should be specified by statute, and other activities barred. Explicit, enforceable language should make clear intelligence director does not have effective control of domestic surveillance, whether directly or through counter terrorism-center.

6. No “”covert operations”” on American soil – use of domestic intelligence must be bound by legal system;

Reduce excessive secrecy, improve accountability

7. Restore presumption against classification for no good reason in prior Executive Order;

8. Amend Freedom of Information Act to provide that exemptions for new categories of unclassified, but nonpublic, information must be balanced against public interest in disclosure;

9. Enact legislation (e.g., S. 436) increasing public reporting on use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that governs FBI national security wiretaps, secret searches, and records demands within United States;

10. Enact Lott-Wyden bill (S. 2672) establishing bipartisan classification review board, and make clear Senate is prepared to release information on board’s recommendation if President is intransigent;

11. Intelligence committees must hold more open hearings, and open all legislative hearings;

12. Make intelligence budget public;

13. New and stronger committees to oversee intelligence community and Department of Homeland Security must allow for oversight by other relevant committees. Judiciary committees must have concurrent jurisdiction over domestic spying and other actions affecting constitutional rights.

Enact legislation (e.g., S. 2628) to provide specific protections for national security whistleblowers.

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