By 2nd Lt Lindsay Cargin
19th Operations Support Squadron Intelligence
Since the implementation of the Patriot Act in 2001, many people are under the impression that DoD agencies are constantly gathering information on all U.S. persons, all the time. However, this is not the case.
A Presidential Executive Order, a DoD regulation, and AFI 14-104 define the intelligence oversight program that helps protect the rights of all U.S. personnel by ensuring that U.S. Intelligence activities are conducted legally, properly, and do not infringe on or violate the rights of any U.S. person.
So, who is a U.S. person and therefore protected by intelligence oversight? A U.S. person is considered a U.S. citizen, an alien known by the DoD intelligence community considered to be a permanent resident alien, an unincorporated association substantially composed of U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, or a corporation incorporated in the U.S. unless it is directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.
Knowing who is protected is half the battle. As professional Airmen, we also need to understand that the DoD intelligence oversight program has two main objectives.
The first objective is the prevention of violations against U.S. persons during the intelligence gathering process and thus ensuring their constitutional rights. It is the program’s mission to ensure the DoD can conduct intelligence and counterintelligence operations while still protecting the rights of all U.S. persons. And with the use of intelligence oversight monitors, including having our own here at Little Rock AFB, the DoD continues to enhance the awareness and understanding of the activities intelligence organizations may or may not do in order to ensure the protection of U.S. persons while completing the mission.
The second objective of this program is to provide guidelines if this prevention fails. After identifying any possible violations, the DoD investigates and reports any found discrepancies in order to prevent further violations from occurring.
So what should an Airman do if they believe activities are being conducted that could be considered a violation of intelligence oversight? That Airman needs to report the incident either through their chain of command, their intelligence oversight monitors, the inspector general, the judge advocate general, or any other legal authority. Any questions about the intelligence oversight program here at Little Rock may be directed to the 19th Airlift Wing intelligence oversight monitors at 987-7016.