National Clandestine Service - Creation of The National Clandestine Service

Creation of The National Clandestine Service

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001, a report by the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the report released by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, identified serious shortcomings in the Intelligence Community's HUMINT capabilities, ranging from the lack of qualified linguists to the lack of Community-wide information sharing. These efforts resulted in the passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act in 2004, which created the position of the Director of National Intelligence and tasked the CIA's Director with developing a "strategy for improving the human intelligence and other capabilities of the Agency."

In 2004, Senator Pat Roberts, the Senate Intelligence Committee's Chairman, drafted the 9/11 National Security Protection Act in which he proposed that the Directorate of Operations be removed from the CIA and established as an independent agency known as the National Clandestine Service. The NCS' creation was also recommended by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Commission's investigation found that HUMINT capabilities had been severely degraded since the end of the Cold War and were ill-suited for targeting non-state actors such as terrorist organizations. The Commission also noted that HUMINT operations were poorly coordinated between the various federal entities who conducted them and encouraged the development of better methods of validating human sources, in light of the revelations about the source known as Curveball.

Beginning its study of the Intelligence Community in 1995, a non-governmental group, which included former National Security Agency Director William E. Odom, former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Harry E. Soyster, former DIA Director and current Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, and former General Counsel for the CIA and the NSA Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, issued a report, first in 1997 and in an updated form in 2002, which recommended the NCS' creation.

The CIA announced the NCS' creation in a press release on October 13, 2005. Contrary to Senator Roberts' proposal, the NCS would be a component of the CIA, rather than an independent executive branch agency.

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