Feeds

Congress moots intelligence overhaul bill

Another layer of federal bureaucracy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The intelligence overhaul bill that the 9/11 Commission inspired, and the President says he wants, but has done little to promote, might just squeak through Congress this week.

After passing the Senate, it got tied up in the House last week due to Republican intransigence. The idea of placing another layer of federal bureaucracy over the various military, paramilitary, and civilian agencies involved in intel and national security has struck some conservatives as a recipe for monumental intelligence foul-ups. The idea of shifting some military support organizations, like the National Security Agency (NSA), for example, to civilian control, likewise strikes several members as bogus.

Supporters of the legislation point out that unless someone has overall authority, it will be impossible to force these agencies to work and play well with others. Someone has got to ensure that information gets to those most in need of it and most able to use it, as quickly as possible. No one argues with that; the question is whether another federal bureaucracy is the way to get it done.

This weekend, the President used his weekly radio address to lobby for the bill. Of course, he had no choice. After campaigning on a platform of, essentially, "vote for us or terrorists will kill you," he is in no position to reject any major package with counterterrorist airs, however ill conceived it might be.

"The many elements of our intelligence community must function seamlessly, with an overriding mission: to protect America from attack by terrorists or outlaw regimes," the President said. He characterized the bill as "a strong new law [that will] make America more secure".

And if his last-minute appeal fails, no one can say he didn't take a swing at it. ®

Related stories

All terror attacks use false passports, claims Interpol chief
ID scheme, IT the key to Blunkett's new terror laws
How good is UK.gov at its own security agenda?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.