1978 January 24

President Carter Imposes Stricter Controls on CIA


President Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12036 on this day, which imposed restrictions and other reforms on the U.S. intelligence community. One restriction included continuing President Gerald Ford’s ban on U.S. officials involvement in the assassination of the leaders of foreign governments. It expanded the ban on assassinations by closing “loopholes,” stating, “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” Carter’s order was designed to strengthen and expand Executive Order 11905, which was signed by Gerald R. Ford on February 18, 1976. It also created the National Foreign Intelligence Board (now the National Intelligence Board); banned any CIA electronic surveillance in the U.S.; and made the FBI the only intelligence community agency allowed to conduct physical searches within the U.S.

Carter’s restrictions on the CIA were quickly undone by President Ronald Reagan and his CIA Director William J. Casey, beginning in 1981. Both Reagan and Casey rejected the idea of limits on the CIA in the fight against international terrorism.

Read President Carter’s signing statement: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=31111

Learn more about President Carter’s civil liberties record: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama (2012)

Learn more about Carter’s post-presidential work at the Carter Center: http://www.cartercenter.org/index.html

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!