Thursday, April 19, 2018
Politics

U.S. intelligence comes from these 17 agencies

The U.S. intelligence community received a lot of attention during the 2016 presidential campaign after the hacks into the Democratic National Committee and emails belonging to associates of Hillary Clinton.

But what exactly is the "intelligence community"? It's not just an amorphous term for all U.S. intelligence officials. It's a veritable alphabet soup of 17 agencies and offices. The group includes agencies strictly focused on intelligence as well as the intelligence arms of other government agencies and of the military. Its total budget in 2015 was $66.8 billion.

Here are the 17 offices:

1. Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Created by Congress in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the office coordinates intelligence collection and sharing among U.S. intelligence agencies. The director is the head of the intelligence community and the principal advisor to the president, National Security Council and Homeland Security Council on intelligence matters related to national security.

2. Central Intelligence Agency

The CIA is the most recognized intelligence agency, known for spying on foreign governments and conducting covert operations, including funneling money to opposition groups in other countries to sway elections or oust certain foreign leaders.

3. National Security Agency

Once so secret it was referred to as "No Such Agency," the NSA is the largest and perhaps most technologically sophisticated of all the intelligence agencies. It focuses on signals intelligence — monitoring, collecting and processing communications and other electronic information — and cracking secret codes. It also protects U.S. information systems from outside penetration. The NSA oversees PRISM and other mass surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. It is believed to employ more mathematicians than any other organization in the country — a fact not all math whizzes are happy about.

4. Defense Intelligence Agency

The Pentagon's top spy agency, the DIA is the primary entity responsible for collecting and analyzing intelligence on foreign militaries, with support from the intelligence offices of all the military branches. The DIA shares this information with military leaders, fighters and defense policymakers in order to "prevent and decisively win wars," according to its mission statement.

5. Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI has both law enforcement and intelligence functions. On the intelligence side, it aims to protect the U.S. against terrorism, cyberattacks and foreign intelligence operations and espionage. It maintains the government's terrorist watch list and has been involved in the interrogation of "high-value" detainees, sometimes clashing with the CIA.

6. Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research

This bureau collects and analyzes intelligence on global affairs and advises the secretary of State and other diplomats. It conducts foreign opinion polls and tracks and analyzes issues that may undermine U.S. foreign policy objectives, such as weapons proliferation, human trafficking and drug smuggling. Though it's one of the smallest intelligence agencies, its assessment on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was not as inaccurate as that of other agencies.

7. Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis

The scope of "homeland security" includes emergency preparedness, border control, transportation security and biodefense (Ebola and SARS, for example), among other issues. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis is charged with gathering intelligence in these areas and sharing it with state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners through a network of "fusion centers."

8. Drug Enforcement Administration Office of National Security Intelligence

The DEA is the government's watch guard for drugs that are illegally manufactured, distributed or dispensed. It is also responsible for the seizure and forfeiture of assets connected with illicit drug trafficking. The Office of National Security Intelligence assists law enforcement with investigations and prosecutions. Most recently it has focused on the threat posed by a surge in heroin and counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl.

9. Department of the Treasury — Office of Intelligence and Analysis

Intelligence gathering at the Treasury dates back to its beginning, when Secretary Alexander Hamilton sent a tax official in disguise to investigate the Whiskey Rebellion under way in western Pennsylvania. Today the Office of Intelligence and Analysis sits within the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which works to prevent sanctioned countries, money launderers, terrorists, drug kingpins and purveyors of weapons of mass destruction from parking or moving their money through the U.S. financial system.

10. Department of Energy Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence

Even the Department of Energy has an intelligence office. It traces its origin to the Manhattan Project, when the Atomic Energy Commission was charged with analyzing the Soviet Union's atomic weapons program. Today the office's role is to provide technical intelligence on foreign nuclear weapons, energy security, science and technology, and nuclear energy, safety and waste.

11. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Supporting the Defense Department, this agency is the principal provider of geospatial intelligence — analysis and information about Earth's natural and man-made features and geo-tagged activities. This "GEOINT" is used for combat, humanitarian and disaster relief, border and transportation security and security planning for special events. One of the agency's claims to fame is pinpointing the Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding.

12. National Reconnaissance Office

The NRO was a secret agency for 31 years, until its existence was declassified in 1992. The office designs, builds and operates the nation's reconnaissance satellites, providing the Pentagon, CIA and others precision navigation, early warning of missile launches and near real-time imagery to support anti-terrorism activities. On the civilian side, the satellites help survey damage from natural disasters and support environmental research.

13. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

The Air Force's intelligence branch, organized into the 25th Air Force, uses airplanes, drones and satellites to identify hideouts, bunkers, mobile launchers and weapons caches. It is also responsible for code-breaking activities within the Air Force. All that surveillance takes up a lot of digital space — in 2013, one wing alone received 20 terabytes of data daily, processed 460,000 hours of video and disseminated 2.6 million images.

14. Army Military Intelligence

The Army's intelligence branch intercepts electronic communications and provides maps, ground imagery and information on foreign forces to assist fighters in the battlefield.

15. Office of Naval Intelligence

The Navy's intelligence branch keeps tabs on foreign scientific and technological research, analyzes the structure, tactics and readiness of foreign naval forces, and tracks merchant shipping to identify illicit activity.

16. Marine Corps Intelligence

The Marine Corps' intelligence officers create military maps, intercept and translate radio and electronic signals, analyze images collected from sensors and carry out counterintelligence.

17. Coast Guard Intelligence

The Coast Guard, part of the military and the Department of Homeland Security, protects and defends more than 100,000 miles of coastline and inland waterways. On an average day, the Coast Guard conducts 45 search-and-rescue cases, seizes 874 pounds of cocaine, interdicts 17 migrants and helps move $8.7 billion worth of goods, according to its website. Its intelligence office helps with criminal investigations and provides other national agencies with intelligence from domestic and foreign ports, coastal waters and offshore.

Comments
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

BROOKSVILLE — Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Don Barbee this week submitted his resignation — effective Jan. 7 — to run for an open circuit judge seat.Barbee, who is in the middle of his second term, said he made the move "with a tremendo...
Published: 04/17/18
Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victorie...
Published: 04/16/18
Spokesman: Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health

Spokesman: Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health

HOUSTON — Former first lady Barbara Bush is in "failing health" and won’t seek additional medical treatment, a Bush family spokesman said Sunday. "Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors...
Published: 04/15/18
Trump assails Comey in tweetstorm, calls for ex-FBI director to be imprisoned

Trump assails Comey in tweetstorm, calls for ex-FBI director to be imprisoned

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked James Comey in a fusillade of tweets Sunday morning, calling for the former FBI director to be imprisoned as Trump served up a number of his favorite theories and alleged misdeeds without evidence.Trump’s ...
Published: 04/15/18
President Trump’s approval rating is back near first-100-day levels

President Trump’s approval rating is back near first-100-day levels

President Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at 40 percent in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, slightly more than his 36 percent approval rating when last measured in January. It’s also the highest he’s enjoyed in Post-ABC polling since his fi...
Published: 04/15/18
Gun rights advocates holding rallies at state capitols in US

Gun rights advocates holding rallies at state capitols in US

DOVER, Del. — Gun rights supporters — many carrying rifles and ammunition — gathered at state capitols across the U.S. on Saturday to push back against efforts to pass stricter gun-control laws that they fear threaten their constitutional right to be...
Published: 04/15/18
Trump, Abe to meet as U.S.-Japan relationship shows strains over N. Korea, trade

Trump, Abe to meet as U.S.-Japan relationship shows strains over N. Korea, trade

President Donald Trump will welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Mar-a-Lago this week in an effort to shore up their relationship amid strains in the U.S.-Japan alliance ahead of Trump’s potential summit with the leader of North Korea.Abe is...
Published: 04/14/18
Haley warns that US forces ‘locked and loaded’ if Syria stages another chemical attack

Haley warns that US forces ‘locked and loaded’ if Syria stages another chemical attack

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations told the Security Council on Saturday that the United States is "locked and loaded," ready to launch another military strike if the Syrian government ever uses chemical weapons again."I spoke to the president...
Published: 04/14/18
Trump uses phrase that haunted Bush: ‘Mission Accomplished!’

Trump uses phrase that haunted Bush: ‘Mission Accomplished!’

WASHINGTON — As he declares the U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria a success, President Donald Trump is adopting a phrase that a previous president came to regret — "mission accomplished." On Saturday, Trump tweeted: "A perfectly executed strike last ...
Published: 04/14/18