Presidential Decision Directive 39
Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD 39) is a 1995 order by President Bill Clinton, setting U.S. policy for counterterrorism. While it not been fully declassified, its states U.S. policy to "deter, defeat, and respond vigorously to all terrorist activities and against our citizens, or facilities...domestically, in international waters or airspace or on foreign territory."
Many of its principles appear to remain in effect, although affected by organizational changes, such as the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and replacing the Director of Central Intelligence with the Director of National Intelligence.
Assignment of responsibilities
It assigned a number of responsibilities to various agencies and officials, although the full list remains classified.
- Chief law enforcement officer and Cabinet committee chair: U.S. Attorney General
- Head of the investigative agency for terrorism: Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Reduction of vulnerability of non-military facilities and personnel abroad: Secretary of State
- Reduction of vulnerability of nmilitary personnel: Secretary of Defense
- Reduction of vulnerability of airports, aircraft, passengers, shipping, and transportation facilities: Secretary of Transportation
- Prevention of illegal traffic in weapons and explosives, protecting the President and designated officials, and controlling movement of assets of use to terrorists: Secretary of the Treasury.
- Leading the United States intelligence community: Director of Central Intelligence
The Departments of State and Justice shall use all legal means to exclude, deport, or other methods to remove aliens who pose a terrorist threat.
Return by Force
- See also: Extraordinary rendition, U.S.
When terrorists wanted for violation of U.S. law are at large overseas, their return for prosecution shall be a matter of the highest priority. ... If we do not receive adequate cooperation from a state that harbors a terrorist whose extradition we are seeking, we shall take appropriate measures to induce cooperation. Return of suspects by force may be effected without the cooperation of the host government, consistent with the procedures outlined in NSDD-77 which shall remain in effect."
NSD-77, issued by George H. W. Bush, a directive whose title remains classified, was summarized by the 9/11 Commission staff as "If extradition procedures were unavailable or put aside, the United States could seek the local country's assistance in a rendition, secretly putting the fugitive on an airplane to the United States or some third country."
- Bill Clinton (June 21, 1995), Presidential Decision Directive 39: U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism, The White House
- The Director of National Intelligence now heads the intelligence community
- Stephen Grey (2006), Ghost plane: the true story of the CIA torture program, Macmillan, ISBN 0312360231, p. 136