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overseer, to stay a part of the process, “to have a seat at the table,” congressional committees

must have jurisdiction over an executive branch agency or program. As may be seen

in this case, jurisdictional concerns were paramount largely because Members sincerely

wanted to play a part in guiding NIMA’s evolution over time.

THE CREATION OF NIMA:

CONGRESS’S ROLE AS OVERSEER

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee... we can no longer afford redundant

capabilities in several different agencies… I will move immediately to consolidate the

management of all imagery collection, analysis, and distribution. In my judgment both

effectiveness and economy can be improved by managing imagery in a manner similar to

the National Security Agency’s organization for signals intelligence. 369

—Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Candidate John Deutch

WHY NIMA?

The consolidation of imagery promised by John Deutch during his testimony to the

SSCI, in his confirmation hearings for the position of Director of Central Intelligence,

was a direct reference to the concept of a National Imagery and Mapping Agency. Deutch

agreed with those who wanted to assemble all or part of as many as eight agencies or programs

into a single, focused imagery agency. The pieces to be assembled would include:

Defense Mapping Agency (DMA),

Central Intelligence Agency’s National Photographic Interpretation

Center (NPIC),

Central Imagery Office (CIO),

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Imagery Processing, .

Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO),

Defense Intelligence Agency’s Photographic Interpretation

Section (DIA/PGX),

Defense Dissemination Program Office (DDPO) and

Central Intelligence Agency’s imagery-related elements/programs.

According to Leo Hazlewood, then CIA Deputy Director for Science and Technology,

Deutch’s announcement “came as a complete surprise to the bureaucracy at Langley’’

(CIA headquarters). 370 Senior leadership there thought the NIMA idea had died in the

early 1990s, due to Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) General Colin Powell’s opposition.

Deutch brought the idea back to life in April 1995.

369 U.S. Congress, Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence, Confirmation Hearings of John Deutch, 94th

Congress, 1st sess., 26 April 1995, 1, 8 and 9.

370 Leo Hazlewood, Deputy Director, NIMA Implementation Team, interview by the author, 6 October 2000

220

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