Saturday, April 16, 2005
Posted by Unknown at 4/16/2005 10:05:00 AM
April 16, 2005 Panel Rebukes C.I.A. and F.B.I. for Shortcomings in Overhauls By SCOTT SHANE
WASHINGTON, April 15 - The presidential commission on intelligence has sharply criticized reform plans drafted by the C.I.A. and F.B.I. at the request of President Bush, saying that glaring shortcomings of both proposals illustrate "the difficulty of bringing about real change" in the nation's spy agencies. In a letter to the president, the commission particularly denounced the Central Intelligence Agency for proposing what it described as a vague and slow-paced schedule for changes, noting that some goals were set for 2011 and others had no deadline at all. "Both responses show that these agencies remain too comfortable with a 'business as usual' approach to intelligence gathering," said the March 29 letter to the president, signed by the commission's co-chairmen, Laurence H. Silberman and Charles S. Robb, and the seven other members. The letter said the faulty proposals from the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. "show how important - and how difficult" is the challenge awaiting John D. Negroponte, the veteran diplomat chosen by Mr. Bush as the first director of national intelligence. The commission also noted that a report requested by the president from the C.I.A. and the Pentagon on paramilitary operations was due in mid-February but still had not been received. A Pentagon spokesman said the report was "being coordinated" between the two agencies and would be completed soon. The panel's full report, made public on March 31, blistered the spy agencies for botched reporting on Iraqi unconventional weapons and said grave weaknesses remained in efforts to track Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs. The five-page letter to the president goes further, mounting what amounts to a pre-emptive strike on what it considers the agencies' lackluster proposals for their future. The agency reports, both of which are classified, were sent to the White House in response to a Nov. 18 order from the president. The commission's letter accuses the Federal Bureau of Investigation of failing to give its new intelligence directorate control over field operations. It says the C.I.A. was planning to leave too many case officers at headquarters instead of strengthening field operations in response to the president's directive to increase by 50 percent the number of case officers, who work for the Directorate of Operations, or D.O. "An increase of 50 percent in the D.O.'s numbers would still leave the C.I.A. with a thin overseas presence," the panel wrote. Paul Gimigliano, a C.I.A. spokesman, said the agency had found the commission's criticism "especially useful" because it was coming early in the agency's restructuring. To the complaint about a slow pace of change, Mr. Gimigliano replied, "To build the work force we need with overseas experience, language proficiency, cultural understanding and technical skills takes time." An F.B.I. spokeswoman said that the bureau's report was intended as only the first in a series of responses to the president, and that any omissions might be addressed in future reports. The panel's letter was posted on its Web site on March 31 but was reported publicly for the first time by The Washington Post on Friday. In another development, Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, released three partly declassified intelligence documents on Friday that he said showed that the agencies had largely debunked claims of links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq before the war began in March 2003. He said Bush administration officials continued to make such claims long after the agencies had discredited them. Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
Posted by Unknown at 4/16/2005 09:19:00 AM
BG: William Norman Grigg is trying to save right thinking conservatives from the Bush ruse. If Mr. Grigg only knew....
Posted by Unknown at 4/16/2005 07:16:00 AM