Wash. Post: intelligence shake-up


Richard Moore


GOP Senators Look to Shift Spy Management From CIA 

By Walter Pincus 
Washington Post Staff Writer 
Saturday, October 1, 2005; A09 

Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
want to strip from the CIA its primary role as manager of
overseas collection of human intelligence, suggesting that
Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte take over
that responsibility.

The CIA's Directorate of Operations, the agency's clandestine
arm, which now coordinates spying overseas by all U.S.
intelligence agencies, in the past "did not effectively
exercise the authorities of the national HUMINT [human
intelligence] manager often focusing instead on its own
structure and operations," the committee majority said in its
report on the fiscal 2006 intelligence authorization bill
released late Thursday.

Citing past failures in averting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
and in overstating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the
Republican majority said U.S. spying operations "have lacked
strong leadership and effective mechanism to resolve

The Republicans, led by Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.), the panel
chairman, urged Negroponte "to directly manage and oversee the
conduct of HUMINT operations across the intelligence
community," saying the need is "imperative" because the
Pentagon and the FBI are placing "greater emphasis" on spying.

Democrats on the committee opposed the suggestion, calling it
in their section of the report a "misguided solution" and
noting that the CIA has recently reached agreements with the
FBI and Pentagon to "avoid confusion and ensure smooth
coordination" of spying operations at home and abroad. They
also noted that the DNI -- a position created by Congress last
year to oversee and coordinate the government's intelligence
community -- "was not established as a new bureaucracy to
assume the responsibility for day-to-day intelligence

The Republican call for change comes as a plan by CIA Director
Porter J. Goss to create a CIA coordinator for all human
intelligence carried out abroad by U.S. agencies, including
the Pentagon and FBI, sits in Negroponte's office awaiting his
approval. Though the proposal originated with the President's
Commission on Intelligence, there is no timetable for
Negroponte to make that decision, an official in Negroponte's
office said yesterday.

The majority report accompanies the Senate version of the
intelligence authorization bill, which carries about $44
billion for the 15 agencies and Office of the Director of
National Intelligence. It will now go to the Senate Armed
Services Committee and later to the Senate floor for a vote.
The report explains various sections of the bill and includes
a broad committee review of the intelligence community, its
weaknesses and strengths. The House has already passed its
version of the measure. The Democrats' remarks were carried as
"additional views" in the report.

The report includes two additional indications of the
Pentagon's sharply increasing activities in the intelligence
field at home and abroad.

While the CIA is waiting for DNI approval of its plan for
coordinating intelligence activities overseas, the Pentagon
has created a Defense Humint Management Office to coordinate
increased spying activities by the Defense Intelligence
Agency's human intelligence section, as well as clandestine
operations by the separate services, area commanders and
counterintelligence arms. One role for this office, which will
be run under the supervision of Undersecretary for
Intelligence Stephen A. Cambone, will be to "deconflict"
intelligence operations, meaning to ensure that activities by
various Pentagon groups do not overlap or interfere with each
other, a Pentagon official said.

The committee report recommends that the new office have
authority to direct and control all Defense Department
collection of information from human sources -- as opposed to
technical sources such as electronic intercepts -- in the
United States and overseas.

Another proposal reflected increased Pentagon interest in
intelligence operations in the United States involving
American citizens. The proposal included in the bill would
give a "limited" exemption to defense intelligence personnel,
allowing them to recruit sources and collect personal
information on U.S. citizens clandestinely, without disclosing
they worked for the government, when "significant" foreign
intelligence is being sought. They would have to coordinate
such collection with the FBI.

A similar exemption was sought last year and dropped from the
bill because of opposition in the Senate Armed Services
Committee, said a senior congressional staff member. This year
the committee said, "Current counterterrorism and other
foreign intelligence operations highlight the need for greater
latitude to assess potential intelligence sources, both
overseas and within the United States." The panel noted the
limited exemption is similar to that enjoyed by the CIA "when
assessing and recruiting sources."

The committee said it "will closely monitor the DoD's [Defense
Department's] use of the authorities provided."

In other areas, the panel approved establishment of a DNI
inspector general with authority to investigate matters in any
of the 15 agencies that make up the intelligence community.
That person would be nominated by the president and subject to
Senate confirmation.

Another proposal would require that the deputy director of
central intelligence be a civilian and not an active-duty
military officer, as is now the case. The committee said Vice
Adm. Albert M. Calland III could continue to serve until
President Bush nominates a successor or he retires.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company 



"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"