Goss Wants CIA as Domestic Stasi
Rep. Porter Goss, President Bush’s nominee to head the CIA, recently introduced legislation that would give the president new authority to direct CIA agents to conduct law-enforcement operations inside the United States—including arresting American citizens.
The legislation, introduced by Goss on June 16 and touted as an "intelligence reform" bill, would substantially restructure the U.S. intelligence community by giving the director of Central Intelligence (DCI) broad new powers to oversee its various components scattered throughout the government.
But in language that until now has not gotten any public attention, the Goss bill would also redefine the authority of the DCI in such a way as to substantially alter—if not overturn—a 57-year-old ban on the CIA conducting operations inside the United States.
The language contained in the Goss bill has alarmed civil-liberties advocates. It also today prompted one former top CIA official to describe it as a potentially "dramatic" change in the guidelines that have governed U.S. intelligence operations for more than a half century.