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Bill Clinton creates counter-intelligence Czar

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Lame duck US President Bill Clinton has spent his final days in office appointing as many federal bureaucrats as he can and drafting Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs) which, if he were facing a long political haul ahead, he would not risk doing.

Friday it was revealed that the Gigolo-in-Chief has established a cabinet-level counterintelligence Czar by means of a new PDD, who will be charged with overseeing the disposition of sensitive information among the several branches of the federal bureaucracy, the military and private industry.

This is a dream come true for FBI Director Louis Freeh, who has strained hard to move federal law-enforcement into the mainstream of the nation's professional (read 'military') spook cadres, and stick his nose deeper in the doings of such private-sector businesses as defence contracting and heavyweight high-tech. Freeh is said to be a big supporter of the scheme.

The office is desperately needed, we are told, to address the breakdowns of inter-agency intelligence communication which botched the investigation into Los Alamos researcher Wen Ho Lee, and most recently prevented the captain of the USS Cole from receiving timely threat assessments as he chugged into Yemen, only to have his ship attacked by a suicide bomber and seventeen of his sailors needlessly killed.

The Czar, who may well be named before Clinton leaves office, will have a board of advisors including the FBI director, the deputy secretary of defence, the deputy director of Central Intelligence, and a representative from the US Attorney General's office. The new Czar will report to the White House National Security Council (NSC), and his office will operate out of CIA headquarters.

Sounds like a positively Nixonian blend.

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