Observations on the world today.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

How Brilliant Am I? 

Yahoo! News - 9/11 Panel to Seek New Cabinet Intel Post
The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks will recommend a new Cabinet-level post to oversee the nation's 15 intelligence agencies and control their budgets, say two people familiar with the panel's final report.

The report to be released Thursday makes the case for a director of national intelligence by detailing intelligence failures by the CIA and the FBI that enabled the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to occur, they say. The two would only speak on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public.

Putting in place a Cabinet official for intelligence would be the most drastic step in structuring the intelligence agencies since the CIA was created after World War II.

The CIA director now has loose authority over those agencies. But the commission in a preliminary report found that the director did not hold enough power, because the Pentagon controls more than 80 percent of the nation's intelligence budget. As a result, CIA requests to other agencies are often ignored.

Advocates say the plan for a Cabinet official for intelligence is gaining momentum as the Bush administration faces criticism for going to war with Iraq based on flawed intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The idea of a new intelligence chief is fiercely opposed by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
I suggested almost exactly this ten days ago:
CIA/NSA/FBI coordinator Leon Fuerth
That last position is my own creation. This is a position which is under Homeland Security. It is a unique office unto itself charged with managing all ongoing investigations in an overseer only capacity and then reporting to Homeland Security whenever a potential conflict arrises. This way, the integrity of the "wall" (which believe it or not, does serve a purpose) is maintained, but episodes where investigations trample on each other are minimized.
So not only am I sympatico with the 9/11 commission, it turns out that Someone else has had the same idea, although I didn't know it at the time:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has advocated the creation of a director to oversee all facets of the nation's intelligence.
Great minds...


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