Bureaucratic battles hurt CIA

Heads of state — from the time of Chinese military genius Sun Tzu in the fifth Century B.C., to our first commander-in-chief, George Washington, and many modern presidents — have understood the role good intelligence plays in achieving military and diplomatic success. Now, in this fast-moving and dangerous 21st Century, as the need for good intelligence becomes even more critical, bureaucratic battles in our nation’s capital threaten to cripple our capabilities.

Things started out well in the aftermath of WW II, when President Truman recognized that good foreign intelligence would be essential if the U.S. was to meet the challenges of the Cold War. In 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act, establishing the Central Intelligence Agency and the post of “DCI” or Director of Central Intelligence. The CIA director was to serve as both head of the CIA and as the DCI; in theory ensuring coordination of all foreign intelligence activities.

Unfortunately, recurrent bureaucratic jealousies and turf battles have at least partially crippled every DCI since Truman first named Rear Adm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter to that post in 1947. This is not to say that the CIA has not achieved some laudable successes in fulfilling its core mission. However, those successes — such as the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 — often have been overshadowed by intelligence failures precipitated by turf battles and funding fights between civilian and military intelligence offices. The flawed intelligence in Iraq prior to and during the 2003 invasion stands as a prime example of the cost for such failures.

Of course, virtually every president has denied responsibility for failures of intelligence; despite evidence often leading directly to the Oval Office, where occupants either refused to listen to sound intelligence advice, or failed to support the DCI’s efforts to rein in military or Department of Defense intelligence offices.

In typical Washington fashion, the Congress and President George W. Bush “solved” the problem of DCI “failures” by simply abolishing the post of DCI and replacing it in 2004 with another bureaucracy — the Directorate of National Intelligence headed by a new intelligence “czar,” the DNI. Bush predicted the new office would ensure that foreign intelligence became “more unified, coordinated, and effective” — exactly what the DCI was supposed to do.

Now that we’ve lived for five years under a DNI instead of a DCI, where are we? Sadly, we’re actually worse off. We have all the bureaucracy that was and remains the CIA still competing for funds and the ear of the president with the myriad military and Department of Defense-related intelligence components. This process now competes with the DNI and intelligence offices and functions within the new Department of Homeland Security.
In the prior Bush administration, these jealousies and competing interests were artificially restrained as a result of the troubling control exercised by Vice President Cheney, who operated as his own combined DNI-DCI. In the new Obama administration, without the hand of a strong vice president pulling those levers, these impediments are once again boiling to the surface.

The war between CIA chief Leon Panetta and DNI Dennis Blair has reached the point where the DNI is asserting the power to name the individuals heading CIA stations in particular countries. Allowing such an unprecedented move undercutting the responsibility of the CIA director to manage his own agency would reduce him to little more than a figurehead. While such a result might please the DNI and the Secretary of Defense, it would actually exacerbate the serious problems already plaguing our foreign intelligence community.

If Obama does not move quickly to make clear that the role of the DNI is to provide overall coordination and prioritization of intelligence gathering and analysis — and not to micromanage the CIA — things will go from bad to worse; with potentially catastrophic consequences in hot spots around the globe.

19 comments Add your comment


June 15th, 2009
9:14 am

Mr Barr, I saw what Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did to the intelligence gathering that keeps our nations safe from foreign and domestic enemies. How can I believe Obama is going to be different with all the special left wing activist pulling at his tail coats.

For me, it is plain we have lost this crucial element of security for the next four years.


June 15th, 2009
9:21 am

The entire Department of Homeland Security should be dismantled. It is nothing but a massive and cumbersome beauracratic boondogle devised to consolidate absolute control over the populace.

[...] Bob Barr posits that spy agencies need firm direction. [...]

Tyler Durden

June 15th, 2009
12:33 pm

Sadly, these already inefficient operations were further handicapped by W’s powergrab on behalf of his boss, Cheney. Now that Obama inherited this mess (among the hundreds of other failed policies and directives under Dubya), we can only hope that he has the wisdom and discipline to return some semblance of balance and functionality to these crucial posts. Unfortunately, with so many other distractions, a wise person wouldn’t hold their breath awaiting a positive transformation. After all: it took 8 years to get into this mess…

Will Jones - Atlanta

June 15th, 2009
1:28 pm

Former CIA officer Barr fails to mention in his CIA recap that a Federal District Court Jury determined that the CIA assassinated John Kennedy, to send us to die for the 5% Roman Catholic false-elite in Vietnam which owned 95% of that little country’s wealth. (Viz. http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F2/824/916/122053/).

Besides ending the Vatican’s correspondent bankers’ control of our money supply (Exec Order 11,110), who fraudulently created the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank now being shored up through welfare fascism at the expense of the Middle Class, President Kennedy’s NSAM263 had ordered our military withdrawal – and the concomitant loss of contracts to profit Mafia-front corporations – so Hitler’s banker’s (Prescott Bush) protege Richard Nixon, and George H.W. Bush led a team of Roman Catholics from the Knight of Malta-led CIA and assassinated Our President to send 58,000 of us to die fighting the Southeast Asian manifestation of the Jeffersonian Whig Revolution.

Barr’s personal failures and hypocrisies pale next to his unwillingness or inability to recognize or enunciate the proven fact that closet-queen draft-dodger W. committed 9/11 after being fraudulently appointed president by only the Roman Catholics’ votes on the Supreme Court.

He is no man and no American.


June 15th, 2009
2:18 pm

Will Jones – Atlanta….Are you ok?


June 15th, 2009
2:52 pm

Will Jones-Atlanta, are you ok? You are babbling incoherently.

Will Jones - Atlanta

June 16th, 2009
12:49 am

Anonymous “McAmnesty” would rather live a lie permitting treason to prosper in America than face the simple truth and establish justice in the Land.

Any who read “The New Pearl Harbor,” by a PhD Emeritus Professor, a scholar of proven integrity, knows Bush and Cheney committed 9/11. Read the book then get back with your “honest” critique.

Max Cleland quit the 9/11 Commission after having been issued the book, and thereby proved his integrity.

You do the same by identifying yourself and responding honestly, as a patriotic American, rather than as myrmidon of what America’s Founder identified as “the real Anti-Christ.”

Think dignifying Thomas Jefferson, a Prophet of the Creator, is “beneath” you? That “Annuit Coeptis,” “Novus Ordo Seclorem,” and “E Pluribus Unum,” The Creed of all true and faithful Americans, is fantasy?

Then just drop dead, for you are a lie and no American.

Cleland is the man to be Governor of Georgia! Enough of the Gay Old Pervert closet-queens and fakers dancing to the Devil’s tune leading America back into Babylon’s fold.

Obama is but a start. Let’s we in Georgia give him a hand and make Max elect, just as we helped Our Author and Founder Thomas Jefferson create America to begin.


June 16th, 2009
9:00 am

“The flawed intelligence in Iraq prior to and during the 2003 invasion stands as a prime example of the cost for such failures.” C’mon, Bob. The intelligence wasn’t “flawed”. The POLICY was flawed. You confirm this a few paragraphs later in discussing VP Cheney’s habit of customizing the intelligence reports of professional analysts so that said reports suited his need to consolidate power at the Executive level. Let’s recap: Bush and Cheney wanted war with Iraq. When the CIA and others could not produce any linke between Iraq and 9/11 or WMD’s, they ignored this and asked (demanded) the CIA and others produce the non-existent links. They then trotted Colin Polin out before the U.N. to state their (flawed) case. Well, well all know how the invasion and occupation of Iraq has played out. When things went south, they cited “flawed intelligence” and threw George Tenet and many competent CIA officers and analysts under the proverbial bus, but saw fit to then award Tenet the “Medal of Freedom”? You (Sun Tzu and George Washington) are correct Mr. Barr; the value of good intelligence cannot be overstated. As such, the value of politically driven intelligence is, as the saying goes, what it is. Did you expect anything less from a couple of shameless draft-dodgers?

Chris Broe

June 16th, 2009
9:23 am

Cheney categorically denies he hopes we suffer another 911 as a direct consequence of Osama’s first 100+ days. I totally believe him. He’s a patriot first, and an ex-prez second.

If we do get hit again, what will 300 million Americans do without Cheney in Charge? One need look no further than the panic scene in the movie Airplane, when the passengers realize that nobody is flying the plane.

Can Cheney run for prez again in ‘12? I hope so. If not, we’re finished as a cohesive country with laws, and civil codes, and local statutes and ordinances, and everything.

and a strong defense, and low taxes for corporations, and reduced entitlements, and good roads, and everything

and apple pie, and baseball and mom……

Cheney, we hardly knew ye….


June 16th, 2009
9:47 am

Will Jones- sorry, you lost it the instant you threw out a CIA/Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory. I recommend subtlety if you decide to take the conspiracy route in the future.

Will Jones - Atlanta

June 16th, 2009
7:54 pm

It isn’t “theory,” Jimbo, a duly empaneled Federal District Court Jury deliberated after hearing the evidence and determined that the CIA and E. Howard Hunt (in fact provably led by Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush) assassinated John Kennedy six weeks after NSAM263 ordered our military’s withdrawal from the papal fiefdom of Vietnam.

If you rule out “conspiracy” you willingly blind yourself to thousands of convictions a year in U.S. courts, as well as the prophetic wisdom of America’s Founder, Author, and Prophet, Thomas Jefferson…as well as Holy Scripture.

Grow up and learn of greater minds’ teachings and stop being a pollyanna.

The Oath requires all in the Military to “defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” You think we should only protect the Constitution from enemies, foreign?

Wise up or admit you’re part of the Roman Anti-Christ’s “Fifth Column” which killed Kennedy and King, cheated a draft-dodging closet queen into the White House whose grandfather was Hitler’s banker, and committed 9/11 (Viz. http://www.angelfire.com/biz/hankramey/The%20New%20Pearl%20Harbor.pdf ).

Only the good are tested. Do you want to be anything but comfortable with evil?

Dave R.

June 17th, 2009
6:00 am

Either Will Jones – Atlanta has had too much to drink, or not enough.

Will Jones - Atlanta

June 17th, 2009
7:14 am

“Dave R.” would rather employ “ad hominem” than intelligence, in forming his argument.

Speak to the facts presented. Have you read the free book, issued to the original members of the 9/11 Commission to understand why Max Cleland may have found it “fishy?”

Do you care for the People’s constitutional protections and the righteous rule of law in Truth and Justice?

There is no sin in your refraining from an attempt to participate in intelligent public discourse if your parents didn’t raise you to be intelligent. Or perhaps you’re of the sectarian faction whose draft-dodging “leaders” committed the cited and proven treason?

Annuit Coeptis

Death for Treason


June 17th, 2009
8:09 am

Will Jones – Atlanta should probably be watched very carefully. Sounds like one of those Timothy McVeigh type incidents just waiting to happen.


June 17th, 2009
8:11 am

So Will Jones – Atlanta….enlighten us. How was George H.W. Bush “provably” involved in the assassination of JFK?

Dave R.

June 17th, 2009
10:36 am

Actually, Will Jones, I have seen no FACTS presented. Merely baseless accusations by a lunatic.

Now, if you wish to provide said facts, I’m willing to read them.

Otherwise, adjust the tin foil on your head so you can get the new digital TV signals. Maybe a dose of Dr. Phil can get you straightened out.

Will Jones - Atlanta

June 17th, 2009
3:29 pm

Cindy, Thanks for asking. My blog, with the info, is theamericanfundament.blogspot.com if my comments keep bouncing off here.

Bush as VP was asked by a female reporter for the Dallas Morning News where he was when he learned of JFK’s assassination. He said he couldn’t recall. Richard Nixon (for whom Jack Ruby -Rubenstein – worked on the HUAC), and E. Howard Hunt are the other two known Americans born before 1959 who also couldn’t recall correctly their whereabouts at that time. Both were involved in the assassination.

Two FBI memos have 1) put Bush in the CIA, which a Jury of citizens in Florida determined committed the crime (from JE.Hoover 29nov63); and, 2)on the phone to the FBI seventy-five minutes after the assassination on the subject of the assassination.

It is no coincidence that his father was Hitler’s banker, that he cheated his closet-queen son into the Texas Air Guard to avoid Vietnam, nor that it was his son whom the Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court cheated into the WH to commit 9/11.

Baptists, Freemasons, Seventh Day Adventists, Whigs and patriotic Americans all know Rome is the Anti-Christ from whom we escaped to create American Exceptionalism. The same families, descended of the caesars and popes, have been sitting in the same castles on the same hills for two and three thousand years. Known there as the Black Aristocracy, they financed the rise of Hitler through their American collection plates to try to fend off the European revolution against “tsar and pope,” led by Marxists, that Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson led in America, as Whigs, against King and Pope.

This is why in Our Creed is Novus Ordo Seclorem. There was no “old” secular order, but there is the old sectarian order, or “Ancien Regime” of king and pope: history’s “default” social order of caesaropapism.

America is profoundly removed from rule of monarch, boss, chieftain, or pontiff.

As heirs of Our Founders it is We, the People, sovereign, under only G-d Almighty and none other.

When the closet-queen draft-dodger Bush claimed Jesus as his favorite political philosopher he was committing treason against the New Secular Order where reason and logic must be employed in the Public Common that all citizens of all faiths or none can agree or disagree on non-sectarian values.

America is the New Israel. G-d has blessed all mankind through Our Nation made up of all nations of the world – “E Pluribus Unum” – a fulfillment of ancient prophesy marking the Land of Promise to be a safe haven to the Jewish remnant most recently visited by Rome with the Holocaust.

Righteousness must prevail for us to resecure the Covenant we can hope is intact with Obama in office, full of grace, and anointed.

None above the age of 2 or 3 cannot recall his or her whereabouts upon hearing of John Kennedy’s assassination. Bush “can’t” because he and his fellow fascists serving Rockefeller, the Roman Anti-Christ and Satan committed the crime to send 58,000 of us to die shoring up the pope’s colonial regime in Vietnam under threat by one who admired Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolution…just as W., orchestrated a coup against Hugo Chavez, a follower of Bolivar – who sent his son to study with Mr Jefferson in Virginia – because of Chavez’ threat to Rome’s Venezuelan ruling “latifundial” false-elite.

Read the Jefferson-Adams “postroad correspondence” if you care to put your “hand in the wallsocket of G-d.” Our Founders were anointed prophets. There is no reason for all true Americans to deny themselves that selfsame blessing from the One Creator known to them.


June 29th, 2009
9:21 am

Thank you Will Jones. One of the few people with a brain posting here. Keep up the good work. Perhaps when the NWO slaps some of these other complainers upside the head, they might look back at your writing and realize that maybe you had something worthy to say. I read your posts above and you are about the only one who is precisely on target. Thanks again!