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National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)

2004 - 2009

Materials arranged chronologically.

Curl, Joseph. "Bush Signs Intelligence Orders." Washington Times, 28 Aug. 2004. []

On 27 August, 2004, President Bush signed a executive order granting the DCI "many of the functions" of the proposed national intelligence director. According to a senior administration official, the move gives "the CIA director temporary authority over budgetary issues" at NSA, DIA, and NRO.

Another executive order creates "a new National Counterterrorism Center (NCC) tasked with enhancing information sharing among intelligence agencies." The DCI "will appoint the NCC director, with the approval of the president, and oversee the new agency." See also, Dan Eggen, "Bush Gives CIA Director More Power," Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2004, A1.

Reuters. "Key facts: U.S. Intelligence Bill." 7 Dec. 2004. []

"The following are the highlights of legislation that would enact key intelligence reforms.... The legislation:

"* establishes the new Director of National Intelligence post to oversee the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies. The director is to be approved by the Senate and will have control over much of the budget for U.S. spy agencies. The Pentagon retains control over battlefield assets.

"* establishes the National Counterterrorism Center to coordinate terrorism-related intelligence and conduct 'strategic operational planning,' which will include the mission, objectives, tasks and interagency coordination."

Pincus, Walter. "Counterterrorism Policies in Conflict, Report Says." Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2005, A7. []

According to a report released by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), President Bush's executive order of August 2004 "that established the new National Counterterrorism Center [NCTC] and the intelligence reform legislation that he signed in December [2004] have created conflicts in counterterrorism policy that need to be resolved.... In what the report calls a 'possibly stark contradiction,' the law specifies that the NCTC director is to report directly to Bush on 'planning and progress of joint counterterrorism operations,' and to the director of national intelligence [DNI] on budgetary and other issues."

Pincus, Walter. "Counterterrorism Center Awaits Presidential Action: Director and Chain of Command Are Needed by June 17." Washington Post, 3 Jun. 2005, A21. []

"The legislation that established the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) requires the organization to begin operations by June 17." However, it "is waiting for President Bush to name its director and settle whether that person will report directly to the president or go through Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte." At present, longtime CIA official John O. Brennan is serving as acting NCTC director.

VandeHei, Jim. "Bush Taps Admiral as Chief of Counterterrorism Center." Washington Post, 11 Jun. 2005, A4. []

On 10 June 2005, President Bush "nominated retired Vice Adm. John Redd ... to run the National Counterterrorism Center" (NCTC). Redd commanded the Fifth Fleet, was deputy administrator and chief operating officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, and served as executive director of the Silberman-Robb presidential commission on U.S. intelligence in Iraq.

Bedard, Paul. "Washington Whispers: Bingeing on Terrorism Analysts." U.S. News & World Report, 15 May 2006, 16.

DNI John Negroponte "is adding 75 more analysts ... from other agencies" to the ranks of the National Counterterrorism Center. "He eventually wants to hire several hundred more to double the analyst ranks of the secretive operation."

DeYoung, Karen. "A Fight Against Terrorism -- and Disorganization." Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2006, A1. []

A new strategy for combating terrorism is now on President Bush's desk. "The highly classified National Implementation Plan for the first time set government-wide goals and assigned responsibility for achieving them to specific departments and agencies. Written by officials at the National Counterterrorism Center ... the 160-page plan aspires to achieve what has eluded the Bush administration in the five years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: bringing order and direction to the fight against terrorism."

Gardner, Frank. "The US Counter-Terror Nerve Centre." BBC, 5 Dec. 2006. []

The reporter visits "one of America's newest and most secret establishments: the National Counterterrorism Center, the NCTC.... The data flow here is enormous: more than 6,000 reports come through every day from satellite, electronic and human intelligence sources.... It is here..., three times a day, every day, that America's specialists in counter-terrorism gather to share information."

DeYoung, Karen. "Terror Database Has Quadrupled In Four Years: U.S. Watch Lists Are Drawn From Massive Clearinghouse." Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2007, A1. []

The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) is the nation's central list of terrorists and terrorism suspects. It "is a storehouse for data about individuals that the intelligence community believes might harm the United States. It is the wellspring for watch lists distributed to airlines, law enforcement, border posts and U.S. consulates." But in addressing the problem of information sharing, "TIDE has spawned others. Ballooning from fewer than 100,000 files in 2003 to about 435,000, the growing database threatens to overwhelm the people who manage it.... TIDE has also created concerns about secrecy, errors and privacy. The list marks the first time foreigners and U.S. citizens are combined in an intelligence database."

Waterman, Shaun. "Military Intelligence Pulled from NCTC Ops Center." United Press International, 29 Mar. 2007. []

"For more than four months there have been no representatives of military intelligence in the 24-hour operations room" at the National Counter-Terrorism Center. According to NCTC spokesman Carl Kropf, three DIA representatives "were withdrawn from the operations center" in November 2006. "A representative of Northern Command ... had been withdrawn earlier," he told UPI.

National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Press Release. "Vice Adm. Albert 'Bert' M. Calland III, National Counterterrorism Center's Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning, to Retire." 27 Apr. 2007. []

D/NCTC VADM (Ret.) John “Scott” Redd on 27 April 2007 "announced that Vice Adm. Albert M. 'Bert' Calland III, Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning, will retire on July 1, 2007."

Shrader, Katherine. "Terror-Fighting Center Chief Steps Down." Associated Press, 17 Oct. 2007. []

The head of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Vice Adm. (Ret.) John Scott Redd, announced his resignation on 17 October 2007. "Redd said he is stepping down [in November] to have a long-delayed surgery and spend more time with ... his family." NCTC Deputy Director Michael Leiter will be acting head when Redd leaves.

O'Harrow, Robert, Jr. "Controversy Snarls Upgrade of Terrorist Data Repository." Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2008, A1. []

In a 21 August 2008 letter, Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), chairman of the House Science and Technology subcommittee on investigations and oversight, asked the ODNI inspector general to investigate "the technical failure and mismanagement" of the Railhead project. The program, launched in 2006 at an anticipated cost of $500 million over 5 years, is supposed to improve and eventually replace the current Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). Operated at the National Counterterrorism Center, TIDE "serves as the central repository of information about more than 400,000 suspected terrorists around the world."

Kingsbury, Alex. "Michael Leiter Works to Keep Tabs on Terrorists." U.S. News & World Report, 14 Aug. 2009. []

Michael Leiter is head of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). "One of NCTC's chief roles is coordinating the intelligence that the United States gathers and seeing that it is distributed to those who need it across all branches of government."

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