News | Aug. 25, 2021

DIA celebrates intelligence oversight principles

By DIA Public Affairs

The Defense Intelligence Agency recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of one of the Defense Department’s most consequential policy documents — the revised Department of Defense Manual 5240.01, “Procedures Governing the Conduct of DoD Intelligence Activities.”

DoDM 5240.01 ensures DIA personnel do not infringe on the privacy rights of U.S. persons and conduct their activities within legal and constitutional frameworks, as established by DoD Directive 5240.01 and Executive Order 12333, which authorize DoD intelligence components to collect, retain and disseminate information about U.S. persons. Importantly, these documents provide an oversight mechanism, which strike a balance between the need for essential information and the constitutional rights of all U.S persons.

On August 6, DIA Office of Oversight and Compliance Director Brent Evitt celebrated the anniversary of the manual’s issuance with a cadre of the Agency’s intelligence oversight officers. The event recognized the impact of DoDM 5240.01 on the Agency’s intelligence by furthering a culture of compliance and transparency within the DoD and Intelligence Community.

Compliance strikes at the core of the DIA oath. Every DIA officer takes an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution when they join the Agency. That oath includes defending the rights of all Americans to engage in constitutionally protected activities, and promising not to collect information about them simply because they exercise those rights.

During the celebration, Evitt underscored the importance of the manual to American governance. “The manual is the ultimate expression of how we self-regulate in our American democracy, and it is an amazing representation of our American values.”

Evitt continued, “The fact that we all take our intelligence oversight obligations so seriously should make us feel good about the overall health of our Government. We aggressively pursue our intelligence mission because we are DIA. We aggressively protect the privacy and civil liberties of our fellow Americans because we are all U.S. persons. As Americans and DIA officers, we accept the challenge of doing both things very, very well.”

Evitt closed the celebration by commending the diligent efforts of all DIA officers in the pursuit of accountability.