Panel Fears Shortcomings Remain in Intelligence; Cites Slow Reforms at FBI, Lack of Coherent Vision

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Dinan, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The intelligence community lacks a coherent vision in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks while the FBI has moved too slowly on key reforms, according to a panel looking into how the September 11 commission's recommendations have been followed.

One of the former commissioners said the FBI's recent performance raises questions about whether the commission should have recommended creating a separate domestic intelligence agency outside of the FBI. That proposal was supported by many lawmakers, but rejected by the commission in its report last summer.

"We have been taken aback," said Jamie S. Gorelick, who had been deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration and is one the 10 former members of the September 11 commission. The ex-commissioners are now operating as privately as the 9-11 Public Discourse Project, which met for the first time yesterday.

Miss Gorelick said the commissioners were worried about reports that the FBI continued to spend money on a computer system for two years after warnings were raised about that system's viability and by other reports on the agency's performance over the past few years.

She and other panelists said the legal wall between intelligence gathering and investigations that existed from the 1980s up until the terrorist attack has been dismantled, but said the FBI culture remains a problem.

John Gannon, a CIA veteran who once served as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, told the new panel yesterday that the FBI still treats intelligence analysts as second-class citizens. …