On the Record

Intelligence and a Power-Play

Ivo H. Daalder

DAVID BROWN, anchor: At first, he didn’t seem to be buying the idea, but today President Bush said
he supports giving, and I quote here, “full budgetary authority to a new
national intelligence director or NID.” This was one of the recommendations of
the 9-11 Commission. But with more than a dozen agencies and departments doing
intelligence work, what does full budgetary authority really mean? Ivo Daalder
of The Brookings Institution, a former member of the National Security Council,
says you might think of this as Washington’s code language for serious power and
genuine accountability.

IVO DAALDER: Exactly. I mean, it–you already
had in the director of Central Intelligence a person who nominally was in
control of the 15 different intelligence agencies that are spread out throughout
the government, but he didn’t have control over the money that went to those
agencies and he didn’t have control over the people who ran those agencies.

BROWN: The acting CIA director, though, said, `Look, the existing CIA chief
could do everything the 9/11 panels recommended without creating a whole new
layer of bureaucracy. All it would take is Congress giving him that authority.’
Why not stick all intelligence functions under an existing roof?

DAALDER: What the 9-11 Commission concluded, and I think rightly so, is
that the concurrent CIA director, or the director of Central Intelligence,
really has three different jobs and he can’t do all three at the same time. He’s
the director of the Central Intelligence Agency; he is the director of the
intelligence community, that is, he oversees not only the CIA but also the 14
other intelligence community agencies that exist; and then third, he is the
president’s principal adviser on intelligence matters.


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