Cultural Revolutions

Key Proposals

President Bush announced in September that he would partially support key proposals for intelligence reform made by the September 11 Commission, which, in its final report, recommended a sweeping restructuring of the U.S. intelligence apparatus.  The commission called for the appointment of a National Intelligence Director (NID) who would have full authority over the personnel and budgets of the various intelligence agencies.  It further proposed that the NID would be located in the Office of the President and that a National Counterterrorism Center be created.  One of the key issues the commission’s proposals sought to address was intelligence “stovepipes,” interagency breakdowns in information sharing.  The commission’s list of possible changes included consolidating a number of congressional intelligence-oversight committees and transferring responsibility for covert paramilitary operations to the Pentagon (now within the purview of the CIA).

President Bush backed the idea of creating an NID but stated that the NID post should not be located in the Office of the President and would have authority over only the nonmilitary part of the intelligence budget.  The President further stated that the NID should not have control over intelligence-agency personnel appointments.  Instead, the NID would appear to duplicate the theoretical coordination powers of the current director of Central...

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