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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Kissinger on intel czar


Kissinger said that while he believed the 9/11 commission had done a great public service, he did not agree with all of the commission's recommendations and he did not think that the country should act on the recommendations before the November presidential election. Particularly, he worried that by creating a single intelligence chief, dissenting views in the intelligence community would be stifled. "It is important to separate analysis from policy," said Kissinger, who said that he believed military intelligence should remain close to the tactical needs of the commanders. "Uniting all the intelligence services under one leader creates too powerful a structure."
This echos a lot of my fears about this position. Disenting views are valuable, and having multiple sources of intelligence is one way of protecting that. I do think that the head of the CIA does need some more budget authority, and I do think that better communication between the various intelligence agencies needs to be established, but one all powerful man in charge of security, especially as relates to terrorism which will have large domestic componants in dangerous. Our country was lucky to survive J. Edgar Hoover's accumulation of power. Keeping that sort of thing from happening should be remembered in intelligence reform.


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