House Poised to Grant Arrest Powers to CIA, NSA

The House version of the 2007 intelligence authorization bill would grant CIA and NSA security personnel the authority to make arrests for “any felony” committed in their presence, no matter how remote from the foreign intelligence mission it might be, the Baltimore Sun reported today.

Section 423 of H.R. 5020 “appears…to grant to CIA security personnel powers that have little to do with the primary mission of ‘executive protection,’ and potentially creates a pretext for use or abuse of these powers for the purposes of general domestic law enforcement — something no element of the CIA has ever been empowered to perform,” wrote Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight in a letter to members of the House Intelligence Committee opposing the provision.

Section 432 of the bill grants similar authority to NSA security personnel.

The bill also includes measures intended to increase penalties for unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

See “Congress cracking down on U.S. leaks” by Siobhan Gorman, Baltimore Sun, April 25.

No Responses to “House Poised to Grant Arrest Powers to CIA, NSA”

  1. Brendan Bugar April 25, 2006 at 1:53 PM #

    Those who are working for the intelligence community should have the ability to coordinate with other agencies and law enforcement to curb actions seen as threatening to our nations security. A well coordinated effort would be the key in assisting our communities along with our local and state governments on the continuing domestic isues such as drug trafficing. Infringing upon the authority at the local and state levels is a delicate matter. The authority to make commercial arrests would have to lie in the hands of the local and state law enforcers. Given the proper screening, information provided by the public should be properly handled by those within the local and state levels of law enforcement. This is Democracy at its finest.

  2. PW April 25, 2006 at 5:08 PM #

    This really opens the door to Stalinism at its finest. Nothing to be proud of. Many thanks to Secrecy News for making sure information about this bill is seen and (one can hope!) acted on.

  3. Matt April 25, 2006 at 5:41 PM #

    Hmm not to be rude, but is this comment for another thread? From the information provided here, I don’t really see anything here that backs your reasoned argument of Federal and Local cooperation.
    Instead this seems to be another Federal Powergrab to institute extra powers. It doesn’t alarm you that the CIA could now arrest your for any crime committed in their midst.
    Well, color me skeptical of this ideas benefits.

  4. Larry Swadner April 26, 2006 at 2:05 PM #


    Either you are a plant or are totally confused about the basis of our government. This is a clear abuse of power, and points the way clearly to complete control of the populace at every level. Democracy = mob rule…republic = freedom!

  5. GUYK April 26, 2006 at 7:22 PM #

    I have contended for years that the right wing is as dangerous as the left wing. I understand the need to be able to track and investigate terrorists. Maybe the problem is we have too gotdam many security agencies and they all should be combined into one. But a CIA or NSA making an arrest is just too much for me to swallow. Either they are intelligence gatherers or law enforcement but damn sure not both.

  6. Comrade Martin April 27, 2006 at 2:15 AM #

    Just a quick note on comment from PW: This isn’t like Stalinism. Stalinism was perversion of Socialism by means of revisionism, a negative product of Vanguardist Socialism.

    No, Bush is just an Imperialist leader, representative of the ultra-reactionary sector of the Capitalist class. Should a depression or recession come around the bend, you can bet Fascism will come about without question from the administration.

  7. faslify April 27, 2006 at 3:50 PM #

    okay, a CIA guy could bring you down and give you to a private contractor to torture you (it wasn’t us, it was the rent-a-cop!).

    but what is an NSA guy gonna do? throw a slide-rule at you? mess up your credit score later that night? come on, give me a break.

  8. Morgan-LynnLamberth April 27, 2006 at 7:19 PM #

    Renditions, spying on peaceful groups and FISA violations show the contempt of the Cheney Bush administration for human rights. Congress must weigh in on these matters and set things right. [We should combat left and right weirdos!]

  9. Denis April 30, 2006 at 1:19 PM #

    Its kinda like the DoD police. According to OPM an 0083 is a police officer yet they have no arrest authority. HR 1841 was supposed to give them arrest powers wich would in turn help prevent crime. I cant understand what the hurt is if your job requires you to carry a firearm and handcuffs and you have the RIGHT training. Civilians can make a citizens arrest but also the point of abuse is here. Oh well, cant win em all. Semper Fi

  10. John December 29, 2006 at 7:19 PM #

    DoD police do have arrest powers. The confusion is that they use the word, “apprehend” which means “to arrest”.

  11. Brendan June 10, 2011 at 12:09 AM #

    It is the overall objective of our governing power. Its not intended to oppress but to provie a sound structure and under a Democratic Republic style style. Lets not allow for further corruption huh?