by Alan Simpson
The 9/11 Commission has spoken, the House and Senate have listened to the parade of notable authorities, past and present, and the members of every committee have postured to the electorate in their televised hearings. Noble goals have been set, the intelligence system is broken, has repeatedly failed and desperately needs reforming and making work.
From high every herald is calling "Intelligence Failures" and the wise are nodding in agreement. Years after he should have been fired, the Director of the CIA has resigned and the organization is under scrutiny like never before.
Will this result in an all powerful Intelligence Czar, wielding great powers and striking fear in the hearts of all those who dare challenge the mighty power of Washington.
Nah, it will never happen!
There is a force more powerful than Al Qaeda, an army greater than all the military might the generals can muster. It is the power of the Washington Bureaucracy.
Take a look at the failed Black Hole known as the Department of Homeland Security. So mighty is the force of the Washington Bureaucracy that this SuperNova is sucking in contracts, buildings, personnel and funds that cause Economists to dream of the days under Clinton when there was a budget surplus, probably for the last time in our lifetimes.
Has the SuperNova known as the Department of Homeland Security achieved its goals. Hell no, it's a mess. It has just created more levels of inefficiency for more Government Employees. Wasn't Tom Ridge supposed to coordinate all intelligence concerning terrorist threats, and wasn't he supposed to bring a new slick well funded power house to create a secure homeland.
Well it has made a lot of Consultants very rich, and brought back a lot of disgraced ex-military and intel types to advise companies, cities and counties.
Homeland Security has screwed up every other department and agency it absorbed, and things that took weeks now take months, even years.
The same will happen if an Intelligence Czar is created. The existing intelligence agencies will dig in their heels, and resist change, especially where their budgets are concerned.
Leading the charge will be the Pentagon, that huge consumer of taxes and benefactor of giant corporations offering second careers to retired military experts, or more accurately purchasing officers with the inside knowledge to swing contracts.
They will never allow their huge budgets to be under the control of civilians with the intention of chasing bearded men who attack the US. They will never allow the lucrative contracts for equipment to be placed in jeopardy by people who want to spend the money placing Agents in the camps of our enemies.
This new Czar will be like the Clinton Y2K Czar, John Koskinen. He was given the task of saving America from the looming computer crisis, but with no budget, and no staff. Fortunately everything was corrected before the deadline and he went on to take a stab at sorting out the District of Columbia. The potholes outlasted him.
We won't talk about the Drug Czar who was supposed to win the war against Drugs under Bush 1. It's difficult to see a white flag against the white walls of the White House.
Unless this proposed Intelligence appointment is given a large degree of control including of the purse strings, then it defeats the object of appointing an extra coordinator in a sea of coordinators. Putting it bluntly the position requires the ability to kick ass, and allocate funds, over the objections of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and his Jewish Mafia.
That will never happen under this administration.
Proof of the degree of co-operation is seen in the discredited Office of Special Lies where Wolfowitz et. al. created their own intelligence agency to feed them the information they wanted to hear to start the ill advised war.
That was not supposed to be possible under the current structure, and a new structure will not deter the Pentagon doing just what they want. Money talks and the only way to have everyone reading the same sheet of music is to appoint a Director with real clout.
That of course threatens the cozy and lucrative little empires built up over many years. Years of climbing the promotion ladder, and fixing the job to suit the individual will be all for nothing, as the structure will be changed, and new people, with new ideas will try and make changes.
The rush to protect and serve after 9/11 will become "Let's not be too hasty and rush into change." until the public forgets and the Status Quo is preserved.
So just leave everything as it is and give the Director of the CIA, that is the Central Intelligence Agency budget control over every aspect of intelligence gathering, except in a battlefield situation. Or else let the Secretary of Defense oversee all intelligence gathering and analysis.
No person, or organization works effectively for two bosses. That is the problem at the root of the intelligence failures, and they have occurred on a far too regular basis for decades. Remember Pearl Harbor?
The goal should be initially to streamline the existing process, and make the component parts far more efficient in a rapidly changing world.
But Al Qaeda is a rank amateur when it comes to fighting turf wars, and the legions of faceless bureaucrats will prevail when their demise is what creating an effective, efficient intelligence system will cost.
Sadly we can look forward to more intelligence failures in the future, but with bigger staffs, and much bigger budgets at the agencies concerned.