Crowning an Intelligence Czar Would Be a Dumb move.(LETTERS)

Article excerpt


I was taken aback after reading "Pentagon wants intelligence czar" (Page 1, Wednesday) because the United States already has one: the director of Central Intelligence (DCI), whose position and authority as head of the 13-member Intelligence Community (IC) is often unremarked and forgotten in media coverage.

This awesome responsibility seems to be overshadowed by the DCI's other role as director of the CIA. Therefore, the DCI manages the CIA in addition to serving as head of the Intelligence Community. The CIA is responsible to the president through the DCI and accountable to the American people through Congress' intelligence oversight committees.

As far as the Defense Department is concerned, all aspects of military intelligence are consolidated under the aegis of the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The DIA was established in 1961 to eliminate duplication of effort in the military services' independent intelligence operations and to provide a single point of management. The DIA director is a three-star military officer who serves as principal adviser and reports directly to both the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The DIA director also chairs the Military Intelligence Board, which coordinates activities of the defense intelligence community, most of whom are also IC members. As far as military intelligence is concerned, this DIA director is as czarlike as it gets.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), in addition to the deputy secretary of defense, has four undersecretaries of defense (comptroller; acquisition, technology and logistics; personnel and readiness; and policy). …