admin on March 1st, 2006
This article by Scott Shane published in the New York Times on February 28, 2006 makes an excellent companion piece to the essay described below in the January 23. 2006 entry. You will have to register with the NY Times to see the entire article, but the first few paragraphs capture the gist of the story:
February 28, 2006
Year Into Revamped Spying, Troubles and Some Progress
By SCOTT SHANE
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 — A year after a sweeping government reorganization began, the agencies charged with protecting the United States against terrorist attacks remain troubled by high-level turnover, overlapping responsibilities and bureaucratic rivalry, former and current officials say.
Progress has been made, most of the officials say, toward one critical goal: the sharing of terrorist threat information from all agencies at the National Counterterrorism Center. But many argue that the biggest restructuring of spy agencies in half a century has bloated the bureaucracy, adding boxes to the government organization chart without producing clearly defined roles.
John O. Brennan, the interim director of the center until July, said the Bush administration was “still struggling” with the redesign.
“I still don’t see an overarching framework that assigns roles and responsibilities to each agency in counterterrorism,” said Mr. Brennan, who spent 23 years at the Central Intelligence Agency. He was replaced as head of the National Counterterrorism Center by John Scott Redd, a retired vice admiral selected by President Bush in June.
Mr. Brennan, now head of an intelligence contractor, said he remained “a strong believer” in the center but feared that it could end up “just another layer on top of everything else.”
His concerns are widely echoed in Washington, where John D. Negroponte is approaching the end of his first year as the first director of national intelligence, a job created by Congress in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. Mr. Negroponte is scheduled to testify about threats to national security before the Senate Committee on Armed Services on Tuesday.
Among the critics is Steven Simon, a former National Security Council official in the Clinton administration and a co-author of two books on terrorism. “If people weren’t fighting each other or scrambling for resources or trying to clarify who does what,” Mr. Simon said, “they could be doing more to make us safe.”