Intelligence czar

Monday, August 9, 2004

The Hays (Kan.) Daily News

Reforming the federal bureaucracy is not done easily nor swiftly, even after a tragedy of 9-11 proportions.

Almost immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, one problem was clear: The nation's different intelligence agencies did not communicate well. In fact, they operated almost as adversaries sometimes. So, they did not share information that might have set off more alarm about the threat of a domestic attack.

Last week, almost three years later, the Sept. 11 commission warned that the United States remains vulnerable to terrorist attack for the same reason. ...

That was not much different from ... the ideas that surfaced in the days and weeks immediately after the attacks.

So, now can we do something? Can we knock down the walls of bureaucracy that threaten our very existence? Some Washington lawmakers and the Bush administration are wary of any sweeping restructuring. Critics fear that the creation of a new job would just add another layer to the bureaucracy. At the same time, they say that one person cannot do it all. ...

What the government needs to do is complete and refine the concept of homeland security and consolidate the 15-some intelligence agencies under the position Bush already has tried to create to try to fix the stratification that left the country vulnerable to terrorism.

A vulnerability, we are told, that still remains.

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