Regarding the Purpose and Composition of the Commission to Investigate the Use of Civilian Contractors by U.S. Intelligence Organizations

Concerns have arisen regarding the practice, employed by several U.S. intelligence organizations, of contracting U.S. civilians for short-term use in covert operations.

This Commission, under the direction of James Ed, is hereby chartered to investigate this practice in the greatest possible depth, determining, from analysis of specific details of covert operations, what the real and potential disadvantages of this practice are. The Commission is to evaluate this practice in light of its financial costs, the risks to security, the importance to operations as now conducted, and other matters pertaining to practical efficacy of operations. The report of the Commission is intended to assist high-level officials in U.S. intelligence organizations in making decisions about the continuance, reform, or elimination of this practice.

The report of the Ed Commission was written only for high-level staff of U.S. intelligence organizations, and was not intended for the public. Certain material in the report must remain secret for reasons of privacy, and some material must be kept secret to protect our nation's security. The release of the report of the Ed Commission involved careful consideration of the security of government operations referenced. The real names of U.S. intelligence organization staff still in the employ of the United States are never used in the report, and other individuals' names may be surpressed or changed.

The Ed Commission members were selected based on prior or current service in different U.S. intelligence agencies, and all remain active in the service of the U.S. Government. Their names, for reasons of their privacy, and in the interest of national security, cannot be made part of the public record.