The White House, President George W. Bush

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 23, 2004

Memorandum for the Secretary of State, The Secretary of Defense, The Attorney General, and The Director of Central Intelligence

SUBJECT: Review of Organizational Responsibility for the Conduct of Certain Operations

The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States recommended:

Lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Defense Department. There it should be consolidated with the capabilities for training, direction, and execution of such operations already being developed in the Special Operation Command.

The Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence jointly shall review matters relating to this recommendation and submit to me within 90 days, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, their written advice on whether and to what extent implementation of the recommenda-tion is in the interest of the United States and what changes to law, executive orders, other presidential guidance, or policies would be necessary to implement such advice. Their review should include, but not be limited to, consideration of similarities and differences in the missions, legal authorities, funding, and support infrastructures of the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency with respect to operations to which the recommendation refers. A copy of the report will be provided to the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Commission will advise me on the report, particularly with respect to any matters concerning countering the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.

In the course of their review, they shall obtain as necessary legal advice from the Attorney General and advice concerning potential effects on U.S. foreign relations from the Secretary of State.


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Source: The White House