The Dark Side [home]
  • home
  • interviews
  • analysis
  • discussion

[Back to Top]

In 2004, Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act which created the Office of the Director for National Intelligence (DNI) to oversee and coordinate all intelligence collection in order to advise the Congress and the White House. As a result of this reorganization, the director of the CIA no longer reports directly to the president.
(Click on boxes for more information.)

Defense
CIA
Energy
Justice
Treasury
Homeland Sec.
State

Executive Branch

While the DNI works most closely with the president and National Security Council (NSC), it also receives oversight from the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), the President's Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, dni.gov

close box

Legislative Branch

Congress oversees the DNI primarily from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). These bodies, which seat 15 and 19 members respectively, determine appropriations for intelligence on a yearly basis and conduct inquiries and investigations into intelligence activities. In addition, the SSCI must approve presidential appointees including the Director of Central Intelligence, the DNI, and the Principle Deputy DNI.

Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, dni.gov

close box

DNI: Director of National Intelligence

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Opened in April 2005, the office oversees 16 agencies in the intelligence community, coordinates a national strategy for Congress and the White House and controls the intelligence budget. President Bush appointed John D. Negroponte director and he serves as the president's primary intelligence briefer - a role previously held by the director of Central Intelligence.

The office of the DNI is supported by deputy directors for analysis, collection, customer outcomes and management, and by the work of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the National Counter Proliferation Center (NCPC), the National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) and National Intelligence Council (NIC). The NIC, which formerly reported to the Director of Central Intelligence, is the agency responsible for producing the National Intelligence Estimate.

Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, dni.gov

close

CIA: Central Intelligence Agency

The CIA is the only member of the intelligence community that doesn't fall under the oversight of a larger cabinet seat. The CIA's focus is collecting intelligence and conducting clandestine operations for counterintelligence overseas. Its analysis is used by the military, policymakers, defense planners and law enforcement. As of June 2006, Director Gen. Michael Hayden oversaw four directorates: Intelligence, Science and Technology, Support, and the National Clandestine Service. As part of the restructuring under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Hayden as Director reports to the DNI, John Negroponte, rather than directly to the president.

Source: cia.gov

close box

DIA: Defense Intelligence Agency

Reporting to both the DNI and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Steven Cambone, the DIA produces and manages foreign military intelligence for policymakers, defense planners, and the military.

Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, dia.mil

close box

NRO: National Reconnaissance Office

Staffed by both Department of Defense and CIA personnel, the NRO builds and operates reconnaissance satellites for intelligence-gathering and military planning. The director of the NRO reports to both the Secretary of Defense and the DNI.

Source: nro.gov

close box

NSA: National Security Agency

As part of the Defense Department, the head of the NSA reports to both the DNI and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Steven Cambone. The agency is responsible for the nation's cryptology - to keep U.S. information secure, and to crack the codes of foreign nations - using and developing the latest technology and what is said to be the largest staff of mathematicians in the country as well as analysts, engineers, linguists, and computer scientists.

Source: nsa.gov

close box

INR: Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Part of the State Department, the INR analyzes intelligence for the purposes of U.S. diplomacy. It makes sure that intelligence activity works toward supporting the nation's foreign policy and national security, and it also examines international issues related to boundaries and geography.

Source: state.gov

close box

NGA: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Reporting to both the DNI and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Steven Cambone, the NGA develops precise imagery and geospatial data collected from space for civilian and military purposes.

Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, nga.mil

close box

Energy

The Department of Energy's Office of Intelligence manages information related to international energy issues as well as foreign nuclear weapons and materials. The office reports to the Secretary of Energy and the DNI.

Source: energy.gov

close box

TFI: Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

Part of the Treasury department, the TFI uses information from the intelligence, financial, and justice communities to analyze how criminals and terrorists utilize money, and it develops policy and takes initiatives to hinder terrorist actives by manipulating their access to funds.

Source: treasury.gov

close box

FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation

In late summer 2005, the FBI announced that it was forming a National Security Branch (NSB) to merge its counterterrorism, counterintelligence and intelligence operations. The head of the NSB reports to the DNI. The branch's responsibilities include utilizing all of the FBI's intelligence resources, recruiting a specialized workforce, and providing the FBI's national security strategy.

Source: fbi.gov

close box

DEA: Drug Enforcement Agency

The DEA formed its National Security Intelligence Section to become the most recent addition to the national intelligence community. Building on the DEA's strengths of finding terrorism ties to the drug trade, the office shares relevant intelligence from its investigations with the rest of the community and reports to the DNI.

Source: dea.gov

close

DHS: Department of Homeland Security

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis within the DHS serves to gather intelligence from the intelligence community and field operators in order to identify current and future threats to the nation. It advises the secretary of Homeland Security as well as state, local, federal and private officials when appropriate.

Source: dhs.gov

close box

USCG: United States Coast Guard

Within the Coast Guard, the Intelligence directorate reports to both the Department of Homeland Security and the DNI. As part of both the armed services and law enforcement, the Coast Guard collects intelligence on a variety of fronts, including drug interdiction and port security, that are useful to the intelligence community.

Source: intelligence.gov

close box

ISR: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

Part of the U.S. Air Force, the ISR's primary function is for military operations, but it shares its information with the intelligence community. Using technology on the ground, at sea, in the air, and in space, it collects information, which it then packages for its various customers in the military and in government.

Source: intelligence.gov

close box

MI: Army Military Intelligence

Collecting a broad range of intelligence necessary for the battlefield, Army MI shares its findings with the intelligence community. Its senior officer, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, oversees human intelligence, measurement and signature intelligence, imagery intelligence, signal intelligence, and counterintelligence and security countermeasures.

Source: intelligence.gov

close box

USMC: United States Marine Corps

Marine Corps Intelligence has a primary focus on supporting USMC operations in warfare, and it shares its knowledge with the intelligence community. The Marine Corps Director of Intelligence oversees human and technical reconnaissance and surveillance, general military and naval intelligence duties, human intelligence, counterintelligence, imagery intelligence, signals intelligence, and tactical exploitation of national capabilities.

Source: intelligence.gov

close box

Navy: Naval Intelligence

As the country's oldest continuously operating intelligence service, Naval Intelligence is the primary source for maritime-related intelligence for the Department of Defense. It also shares its information with the intelligence community, drawing on its resources at sea, including information on international merchant shipping and commercial fishing.

Source: intelligence.gov

close box


Source: Carroll Publishing, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Appendix C: Intelligence Primer from the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (March 2005)

home + introduction + interviews + analysis + discussion + readings & links
cheney's network + cia's realignment + paths to power + producer's chat + site map + dvd/vhs & transcript
press reaction + credits + privacy policy + FRONTLINE series home + wgbh + pbs

posted june 20, 2006

FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of wgbh educational foundation.
cheney background photo copyright © corbis
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS