Saturday, August 7, 2004

Report and Reform

I've yet to read the entire 9/11 Commission Report, just what I can here and there on the internet, but what I have read is the plan of reform. The FBI took less of a hit in the report than the CIA, much in part to Director Mueller, but together they face a huge challenge... the proposed appointment of a national intelligence director.

Now, I am not one to shoot down ideas pertaining to our national security, but why do we need yet another director of intelligence? There are over a dozen intelligence agencies in operation today, including the recently created cabinet post of Homeland Security. It seems to me the lofty ideal of joint intelligence is far from reach with the rivalry amongst the CIA, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security (not to mention the NSA, NGA, NRO, DIA...and the list goes on).

With the resignation of Director Tenet earlier this summer, which I've yet to come to terms with, there is not only a void, but the questions hangs over our heads as to how effective our current intelligence community really is right now.

The proposal of a National Counterterrorism Center to direct the so-called "war on terror" is ponder-worthy, but my fear is the budget and monetary control will be in the hands of the Pentagon, the Pentagon that is so closely linked to the direct agenda of the president.

Hopefully the Marshall Public Library will come through for me and the 9/11 Report will soon be in my hands (don't hold your breath on that one), but until then please bear with me!


Nick Speth said...

Hey, I'm most of the way through the report as well, and I agree. It seems impossible to me that the new intelligence Czar would, as you say, have any real power other than to "jawbone" the various services to play nicely.

Anyway, from what the first chapter of the commission report tells us of the actual 9/11 event, the chain of command was too short, not too long, to respond. This is from the actual report:

"A shootdown authorization was not communicated to the NORAD air defense sector until 28 minutes after United 93 had crashed in Pennsylvania. Planes were scrambled, but ineffectively, as they did not know where to go or what targets they were to intercept. And once the shootdown order was given, it was not communicated to the pilots. In short, while leaders in Washington believed that the fighters circling above them had been instructed to 'take out' hostile aircraft, the only orders actually conveyed to the pilots were to 'ID type
and tail.'"

Frankly I'm a little disappointed at how eagerly a lot of my fellow conservatives are jumping on the idea that a new bureaucracy would fix the problems. The answer, my friends, is in streamlining, not in oversight.

Nick Speth said...

Change "too short, not too long" to "too long, not too short" in that last post. Sorry if I confused you.

Tara A. Rowe said...

I'm never been one too just jump on the "bandwagon," no matter what that bandwagon may be, and the ideal of an intelligence "czar" as you stated Nick is not quite the idea I would have had in mind. Thank you for that insert from the Report as well as your insight. I'm just going to have to buy the Report at the rate the public library is going! Thanks again.