Here is what caught our eye in the world of intelligence this week:
CIA Director Brennan will establish ten new mission centers as a part of his planned bureaucratic overhaul of the Agency with the hopes of breaking down institutional barriers between case officers and analysts. The new centers will focus on issues such as weapons proliferation and the Middle East, and will require thousands of employees to be reassigned. In addition to the centers, an entirely new directorate will join the existing four and be responsible for all of the agency’s digital operations including cyber threats and “data warehousing.”
Though the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was a model for much of the restructure, Brennan also cited the military as an influence; praising its design of having a single commander in charge of all operations for a particular region.
General David Petraeus reached a plea deal with the Department of Justice after he admitted to giving classified data to his lover. The former CIA director and military commander plead guilty to one count of “unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.” The materials in question were his “black books”: personal notebooks that contained classified notes about meetings, strategy, and intelligence capabilities as well as the identities of officers under cover. Petraeus will avoid jail time; however he will face a $40,000 fine along with a possible two year probation.
A new report released by the ODNI claims some detainees at Guantanamo Bay will seek to “reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities” if they are transferred. Inmates who are transferred to countries where there are ongoing conflicts or active recruitment by terrorist organizations are said to “pose particular problems.” The report does claim that the enforcement of transfer conditions may deter or delay recidivism, though some detainees who are determined to reengage “will do so regardless of any transfer conditions.” Currently, 122 detainees remain at the facility after President Obama made a late push last year to transfer more inmates; though he still wishes to close the prison completely to fulfill a campaign promise.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that lawmakers in Congress will be to blame if they fail to reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The section, which allows the NSA to collect bulk phone records, is set to expire on June 1st. He expressed his concern that if Section 215 expires and some preventable incident were to happen it would be blamed “exclusively on the intelligence community,” rather than those responsible for ending the program. Clapper has acknowledged the possibility that the section may expire though, and says the NSA will then have to turn to private companies for records.
Photo: David Petraeus’ 2011 swearing in ceremony at the CIA with VP Biden, flanked by his wife Holly and General Clapper and John Brennan. (CIA)