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Bush Calls For Creation Of National Intelligence Director

In a Rose Garden news conference President Bush highlighted his administrations quick action on the 9/11 Commission report, by announcing the adoption of key recommendations from the commission, as well saying that a variety of smaller announcements in the coming days will cover the rest of the recommendations.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Monday endorsed creation of a national intelligence czar and counterterrorism center - his first steps in revamping the nation's intelligence-gathering system to help prevent a repeat of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"We are a nation in danger," Bush said as he announced his position during an appearance with top administration national security figures in the White House Rose Garden.

Bush thus embraced, with some changes, two key recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, which outlined lapses in intelligence that left America vulnerable to the attacks.

The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton have insisted that the center and the national intelligence director position be placed in the executive office of the president to give the White House clout in dealing with all the nation's intelligence agencies. Bush said he wants them set up outside the White House.

"I don't think the person should be a member of my Cabinet," Bush said. "I will hire the person and I can fire the person. ... I don't think that the office should be in the White House, however, I think it should be a stand-alone group to better coordinate."

Given the politics of the use of intelligence, having the director as a member of the cabinet sounds good on paper, but would open any president to charges of unduly influencing the interpretation of the intelligence.


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Comments (3)

We already have an intellig... (Below threshold)

We already have an intelligence czar, the Director of Central Intelligence. The law(s) setting up the CIA made DCI the officical inteligence hub, the NSA, the DIA, all the alphabet agencies are required to report to, and report through, the DCI.
The only difference between current policy and the reccomended policy is that DCI is not cabinet level. Given the ease of a President has in ignoring a cabinet officer, it's a distinction without a difference.

Additionally, there's the N... (Below threshold)

Additionally, there's the National Security Advisor, who coordinates with the DCI and two Cabinet Secretaries.

But what do I know? I thought the Office-cum-Department of Homeland Security was an unnecessary innovation -- instead there should have been established a body similar to the National Security Council, with DOJ and FBI in place of SecState and DCI.


Ditto for me, McGehee: I th... (Below threshold)

Ditto for me, McGehee: I thought the NS Advisor was the intelligence clearing house. I guess I don't read enough Clancy novels & such.






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