President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board: Wikis


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The President's Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) is an advisor to the Executive Office of the President of the United States. According to its self-description, it "...provides advice to the President concerning the quality and adequacy of intelligence collection, of analysis and estimates, of counterintelligence, and of other intelligence activities."[1]

The PIAB, through its Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB), also advises the President on the legality of foreign intelligence activities.



The agency, originally known as the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities (PBCFIA), was created in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower[2]. President John F. Kennedy later renamed it to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) on May 4, 1961.[3] Most recently, the agency was renamed yet again by president George W. Bush to its present form on February 29, 2008.[4]

Most of the board's work is secret, but one very public investigation involved the loss of U.S. nuclear secrets to China from the Los Alamos National Laboratory during the 1990s.[5]


Intelligence Oversight Board

President Gerald Ford created the IOB following a 1975-76 investigation by Congress into domestic spying, assassination operations, and other abuses by intelligence agencies. His executive order doing so went into effect on March 1, 1976.[6] In 1993, the IOB became a committee of the PFIAB, under Executive Order #12863.

One of the IOB's functions is to examine violations of the laws and directives governing clandestine surveillance. Thirteen cases involving FBI actions between 2002 to 2004 were referred to the IOB for its review. [7]

In an executive order issued on February 29, 2008, President George W. Bush terminated the IOB's authority to oversee the general counsel and inspector general of each U.S. intelligence agency, and erased the requirement that each inspector general file a report with the IOB every three months. The order also removed the IOB's authority to refer a matter to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation, and directed the IOB to notify the president of a problem only if other officials are not already "adequately" addressing that problem.[6]


During the administration of George W. Bush, the PIAB had 16 members selected from among distinguished citizens outside the government who were qualified "on the basis of achievement, experience, independence, and integrity." The members were not paid.[8]

PIAB membership is generally considered public information; for example, the Clinton Administration posted the names of the members on a PFIAB web page.[8]

PFIAB Membership under president George W. Bush

In August 2002, Randy Deitering, the executive director of PFIAB, confirmed the membership list released by the White House press office in October 2001:[9]

PIAB Membership under president Barack Obama

The entire PIAB membership that served under the administration of George W. Bush resigned as part of an agreed-upon move in the presidential transition of Barack Obama. The board vacancies were expected to be filled in the near future.[10] As of September, 2009, no seats had been filled.[11]

In October of 2009, Barack Obama appointed Chuck Hagel, former United States Senator from Nebraska, and current University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren as PIAB co-chairs. [12]


PIAB chairpersons have been:[13]

See also


  1. ^ PIAB Official Website.
  2. ^ Executive Orders (1956)
  3. ^ Executive Orders (1961)
  4. ^ Executive Orders (2008)
  5. ^ Bill Getrz, "Covert board called crucial to presidents", The Washington Times, June 16, 2008, Page A1
  6. ^ a b Charlie Savage, "President weakens espionage oversight: Board created by Ford loses most of its power", Boston Globe, March 14, 2008
  7. ^ Dan Eggen, "FBI Papers Indicate Intelligence Violations: Secret Surveillance Lacked Oversight", Washington Post, 23 October 2005
  8. ^ a b David Corn, "Who's On PFIAB?--A New Bush Secret", The Nation (blog), August 14, 2002, retrieved March 15, 2008
  9. ^ David Corn, "Who's On PFIAB-A Bush Secret...Or Not? UPDATED" The Nation (blog), August 14, 2002, retrieved March 15, 2008
  10. ^ Texas oilman Ray Hunt is no longer serving as a presidential adviser on intelligence issues
  11. ^ Is Obama Quietly Eliminating an Intelligence Oversight Board?
  12. ^ Office of the Press Secretary (2009-10-28). "Remarks by the President Before Meeting with the President's Intelligence Advisory Board Co-Chairmen and Senior Leadership of the Intelligence Community". Press release. Retrieved 2009-12-04.  
  13. ^ PFIAB Chairpersons, The White House website, retrieved March 14, 2008

External links


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