Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News observes that one of the consequences of George Tenet's resignation is likely to be a shift toward the Department of Defense of what he calls "the center of gravity of the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy."  If this is so, it would appear to increase the importance of the person who holds the post of "Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight [ATSD(IO)]," charged with "the independent oversight of all intelligence, counterintelligence, and intelligence-related activities in the Department of Defense."  Yet Mr. Aftergood is unable to ascertain who it is who presently holds that position....

INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT IN THE PENTAGON
By Steven Aftergood

Secrecy News
June 3, 2004

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

As a result of the sudden resignation of the energetic and influential Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, the center of gravity of the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy is likely to shift even further towards the Department of Defense. It follows that effective oversight of military intelligence will become even more urgent.

One of the venues for intelligence oversight in the Pentagon is the little-known Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight.

"The Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight [ATSD(IO)] shall serve as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for the independent oversight of all intelligence, counterintelligence, and intelligence-related activities in the Department of Defense," according to the newly reissued charter for the position.

"In this capacity, the ATSD(IO) shall ensure that all intelligence activities performed by any of the DoD Components are conducted in compliance with Federal law, Executive orders, Presidential directives, and DoD Directives System issuances."

See the newly reissued Department of Defense Directive 5148.11, "Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight," May 21, 2004:

      http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/5148_11.pdf

Whether by design or not, this intelligence oversight office has not left much of a public footprint. Even the identity of the current office holder is not immediately obvious. But the ATSD (IO) does have an official web site here:

      http://www.dod.mil/atsdio/

"The assistant is just what his title implies, which is that he is in a direct-report status relative to the secretary of defense," said Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone at an April 7 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"He, that person, that office, does not report to my office; nor do I have any authority over that office . . . because in fact you do want to have an independent eye looking at that kind of question," said Mr. Cambone.