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POLITICS: House and Senate Approve Intelligence Overhaul

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posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 06:57 PM
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A bill proposing a drastic overhaul of US intelligence agencies has passed the House of Representatives today after a weeks-long delay. The proposed legislation includes the naming of a single "National Intelligence Director" who will oversee intelligence-gathering and a restructuring of the current 15 agencies involved. The final vote was 336-75 in favor. On Wednesday, the Senate passed the legislation as well with a vote of 89-2.
 



www.cnn.com
The legislation, drawn from recommendations made by a independent commission that reviewed intelligence failures that led up to the September 11, 2001, attacks, would overhaul the U.S. intelligence community. It would put most assets and budgets under the newly created post of national intelligence director.

The bill stalled November 20 when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter and House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner persuaded House Speaker Dennis Hastert not to bring it to the House floor for a vote.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.




WASHINGTON - Congress on Wednesday replaced a U.S. intelligence network geared to the Cold War fight against communism with a new structure requiring military and civilian spy agencies to join forces against the nation's newest enemy — networks of terrorists intent on waging a holy war against America.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the legislation 89-2, one day after the House easily pushed through the compromise strongly endorsed by President Bush.
Bill


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Riding along with the reorganization are provisions aimed at reducing the terrorism threat. Airline baggage screening procedures will be improved and federal wiretaps will be easier to obtain in some cases. The US Border Patrol will also see an increase in personnel by more than 2,000 officers.

The bill stalled in the House for two weeks when Duncan Hunter, R-Calif, expressed concern that the position of National Intelligence Director could grant too much power to the individual holding it.


[edit on 8-12-2004 by Banshee]




posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 07:27 PM
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A thread here called "Who Owns Us?" or maybe "United States of America, Inc." was trashed this week because it duplicated another thread - but it contains critical information about intelligence agencies that might help us to better understand the implications of this centralization.


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PS. Excellent find Banshee. ...We need to watch this one along with the observations about InterNet censorship that came out following your Tenet news story...

The screws are indeed tightening.

[edit on 7-12-2004 by soficrow]



posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 05:24 PM
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The Senate has passed the overhaul bill 89 to 2.




WASHINGTON - Congress on Wednesday replaced a U.S. intelligence network geared to the Cold War fight against communism with a new structure requiring military and civilian spy agencies to join forces against the nation's newest enemy — networks of terrorists intent on waging a holy war against America.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the legislation 89-2, one day after the House easily pushed through the compromise strongly endorsed by President Bush.
Bill



posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 06:57 PM
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Impotent figure?

The Pentagon's allies in Congress fought long and hard against losing control and in the end gained assurances that the chain of command would not be broken and the military would not find itself losing out.
So exactly how much control will the new director really have?
The devil will be in the detail: exactly how will authority will be divided in practice between the new director and the Pentagon?

Can the new official really set tasking across all the different agencies, or will he instead become an impotent figure, setting priorities but without the budgetary clout to force people to carry them out?

Others also ask whether it is dangerous to create a director figure who does not have his own institution like the CIA behind him.
Could he end up a floating manager without real institutional clout who is too distant from the people in the field doing their job?

21st century intelligence

The next question is how much energy the process of re-organising consumes. One parallel may be with the Department of Homeland Security, where multiple agencies were pulled together but have taken a long time to adapt and learn to work together.
Some fear that a similar upheaval might distract the intelligence community from its day-to-day work.

And the last major question is how much difference, broad institutional re-organisation will really mean to people on the ground.
The inquiries into problems over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction made clear that the failure was not one of the wrong structure but one of not having enough spies on the ground and not analysing the intelligence in a sufficiently balanced way.

These are problems that Porter Goss, the new chief of the CIA, is trying to address, but which are quite independent of the reforms that Congress has been passing.
Before this week America's intelligence structure had barely changed since the start of the Cold War.

Reformers hope that the new structure will be one capable of dealing with the very different trans-national threats of the 21st century.
But it may take some time before it is clear just how much difference reform has really made...



posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 09:07 PM
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Banshee, yet again another good post.

Here we go folks - get ready for the ride......



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