He’ll control an unaccountable drone program, and the prison at Guantanamo Bay. His FBI, including a network of 15,000 paid informants, already has a record of spying on mosques and activists, and his NSA’s surveillance empire is ubiquitous and governed by arcane rules, most of which remain secret. He will inherit bombing campaigns in seven Muslim countries, the de facto ability to declare war unilaterally, and a massive nuclear arsenal — much of which is on hair-trigger alert.
CIA director John Brennan on Friday announced a major organizational overhaul of the intelligence agency, including the creation of an entirely new fifth wing to be known as the “directorate of digital innovation”.
The changes were designed to improve handling of cyber threats and the use of digital technology, streamline management, enhance recruiting and training and encourage intra-agency information sharing, Brennan said in a memo posted on the CIA website and in a briefing with reporters.
“Never has the need for the full and unfettered integration of our capabilities been greater,” Brennan said in the memo, comparing the restructuring to the agency’s post-9/11 “response to the emergence of global terrorism”.
In addition to the creation of the digital directorate, Brennan’s blueprint establishes 10 new “mission centers” to pool expertise and operations on a particular region or threat. Four longtime agency directorates – the organizational bones of the agency, historically – would remain in place, although two would take on different names.
The reorganization announced Friday follows major shifts in the CIA’s role and operations after 9/11, when the agency took up drone warfare and was reinvented, in some analyses, as a paramilitary organization.