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National Intelligence Director: Confusing Top White House Officials

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posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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While White House officials applaud the impending confirmation of John Negroponte to the new position of National Intelligence Director, none of them seem to be quite certain of their job relationship to him, or his duties, or where he falls in the chain of command, or what effect he can have over their branch, or what new problems will arise. In regards to the new position, the following quotes from officials have been stated:


from Director of CIA, Porter Goss
"It's got a huge amount of ambiguity in it, I don't know by law what my direct relationship is with John Negroponte, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or other top officials involved with intelligence."
(source: My Way News article "CIA Director Goss Amazed at His Workload")



from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
Adding another layer of bureaucracy, he said, could place "new barriers and filters" between the Defense Department's intelligence offices and the field commanders who rely on their data. He added that he prefers having separate agencies that can focus on their specialties rather than a "single and preeminent national intelligence organization."
(source: Washington Post article "Rumsfeld: Use Caution in Reform of Intelligence")



from Former Director of CIA, John E. McLaughlin
"Speed and agility are not promoted by complicated wiring diagrams, more levels of bureaucracy, increased dual hatting or inherent questions about who is in charge," McLaughlin said. "I believe that short, clear lines of command and control are required in whatever structure you establish, regardless of what you call its leader."
(source: Washington Post article "Rumsfeld: Use Caution in Reform of Intelligence")



from Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers
"As we get more and more clarity on the gaps and deficiencies in our intelligence today, we have to guard against creating new problems, and the details matter very much."
(source: Washington Post article "Rumsfeld: Use Caution in Reform of Intelligence")



Even the very author of the very bill itself has her concerns...


from Senator Dianne Feinstein
"I am concerned the bill presently contains ambiguities that, if left in, will cause confusion in the future."
(source: Congressional Record Proceedings and Debates of the 108th Congress, 2nd Session)



So what is known? The duties of the National Intelligence Director, as far as I am able to pin down from news articles, are:



  • Principal Advisor on "intelligence issues"
  • Brief the President on a daily basis.
  • Authority over the combined $40bil budgets of the 15 U.S. Intelligence Agencies.
  • "Understanding Global Intelligence"
  • Authority to order collection of new intelligence.
  • Information Sharing between the agencies.
  • "Establishment of common standards" for the agencies.

Sources For Duties:
www.usvisanews.com...
www.cnn.com...



If these duties seem a bit vague to you, then you aren't the only one. However, there is one person who isn't confused at all about the new position.



"The Director's responsibility is straightforward and demanding. John will make sure that those whose duty it is to defend America have the information we need to make the right decisions"
(Source: President Bush at the Republican National Committee - February 17, 2005)


I know I'm feeling warm and fuzzy already...




posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 10:27 AM
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I fail to see the confusion here. Its pretty simple. CIA carries on normally..FBI carries on normally. Both heads report to this guy, he combines the intel and talks to president. Simple. If theres something that both sides are working on, he can connect the dots.

I think that this is more whining on the parts of both heads, than any real confusion. Neither one wants to answer to anybody. Well, thats tough! They blew it on 9/11 and showed thier inepttitude. We need this.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by spliff4020
I fail to see the confusion here. Its pretty simple. CIA carries on normally..FBI carries on normally. Both heads report to this guy, he combines the intel and talks to president. Simple. If theres something that both sides are working on, he can connect the dots.


That is only part of his duties, keep in mind he also has full control of all their budgets, which is to date, unprecedented. None of the respective agenies have ever had control of more than 20% of their budget. Each agency works differently, and has needs unique to their respective missions, how is one person supposed to know how to properly allocate all the funds without intimately knowing the inner workings of each institution.

Additionally, the position is being touted as one of the most powerful in the nation, because he has authority over all the agencies. What happens when one agency manages to match his political or personal goals and another one doesn't? Favoritism will inevitably be shown. Whereas before they were independant agencies, each with their own allies and enemies, they now all fall under the umbrella of one controller, who can change leadership at the levels that count, on the fly, to match his own agenda.

In regards to the FBI (and other agencies), they do not carry on normally: they are being restructured as we speak to fit the bill. This can be seen not only in my earlier reference to the minutes from the 108th Congress 2nd Session, but also in the dozens of CIA managerial level that have either been fired or resigned in the last year.

Let's not also forget the immense security risk this poses. Whereas before, if someone managed to get ahold of the the Director of the CIA, (or some other agency), they only got the head of one branch of our intelligence. The damage that could be done would be based only on that branch's resources. Now, with all that power and information invested in one man, all it would take is capturing him, to learn even more than the President himself would know.


Originally posted by spliff4020
I think that this is more whining on the parts of both heads, than any real confusion. Neither one wants to answer to anybody. Well, thats tough! They blew it on 9/11 and showed thier inepttitude. We need this.


Pointing out ambiguities they have not been made aware of, that will directly affect their jobs, is anything but "whining". These people do not need to be kept in the dark about what's happening. It's not just the head of the FBI and CIA that are complaining, it's the Defense Secretary, the Air Force, the very author of the bill that created the position...

People keep saying that 9/11 proved the incompetance of the intelligence branches. These are the same people who point out that the Police and Fire departments did a poor job with their communication, that the builders of the Towers did a poor job with their choice of insulation, that the President did a poor job of consoling the country, that the funds allocation did a poor job of compensating the families...

To me, it's disgusting. Where were these people before 9/11? It's so much easier to throw blame around than it is to actually do sometime constructive. There was a whole committee thrown together to do nothing more than drag person after person through the mud, and try to wreck their careers. And people like yourself ate it all up, nodded, and called them incompetant.

The truth is, no one could have predicted 9/11. The idea of hijacking a plane and using it as a flying suicide bomb for the sheer purpose of killing as many innocent people as possible, without ransom, without demands, without warning, was completely alien to us. The idea that a plane could have been taken with nothing but box-cutters was ridiculous enough to consider...

Even as late as yesterday, driving home, I was struck by the sheer stupidity and soulessness of it. They didn't ask for anything, they didn't make any demands, they didn't even try to get out of it alive... and there were enough of them to pull it off with four planes. All for the sole purpose of killing as many innocents as possible...

Who could ever do such a thing? What could they possible gain to benefit from it?

Perhaps somewhere, in the back room of some office paid to do nothing but think up possible scenarios, someone brainstormed the idea that someone might, in utter madness, highjack a jet and fly it into a building on purpose, put it on a list, and the probability was put at nearly zero. It had never happened before...at least not to my knowledge or anyone else's that I know. But a coordinated effort of four planes? No... no one, not even the FBI could have predicted that.



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