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April 29,2004

National Intelligence Reforms

Background: The attacks on the United States on September 11,2001 exposed severe
shortcomings in our intelligence capabilities. We did not have effective access in
countries where we have no official presence; we were unable to penetrate hard targets
like terrorist organizations operating abroad or cells established in the United States.

Our investigations have confirmed grave dysfunctions in our national security

intelligence establishment. They are of two kinds, structural and cultural.

The structural problems are the simplest to understand and their remedies
straightforward. The government agencies charged with foreign and domestic intelligence
are the creatures of a different age with laws, regulations and organization fashioned for
external wars and internal threats of the last century where strict separation of foreign and
domestic activities was desired.

That legacy of nation-state focus, legislated walls and compartmentalized information

cannot deal with the kinds of transnational threats operating seamlessly at home and
abroad with speed and agility. Our most senior intelligence officials do not have
authorities, access and accountability to do what is expected of them. Nor do they have
the power to make the great organizational changes necessary to correct these problems.

The Commission therefore recommends specific sweeping organizational changes.

More important than organizational reform is dealing with the second category of
dysfunction we have broadly defined as cultural; process over output; bureaucratic
careerism; groupthink; a law enforcement rather than preventive mindset; deep aversion
to covert operations; fear of abusive litigation. These problems cannot be solved by
organizational changes however bold. They can be changed only by appointing,
confirming and supporting proven leaders of talent and experience to the top positions of
the intelligence establishment. It is they who must sweep away the irrational security,
classification and career path obstacles to create a new, agile innovative career
environment in which excellence not mediocrity will flourish.

To accomplish such change these leaders must have new community wide authorities
over personnel policies, certain budgets and appropriations, and security classifications
and clearances.

Some of these changes can be done by executive order, many will require legislation, and
to succeed all will require major changes in Congressional oversight. We are making
specific recommendations for congressional oversight reform.

To implement its recommendations, the Commission believes the President should

establish, through Executive Order, a six-month Intelligence Transition Task Force to: 1)


help develop legislation to implement the reforms; 2) develop a strategy for

implementing the reforms; and 3) report to the board on the status of the implementation.
This Task Force would report to a board consisting of the White House Chief of Staff, the
National Security Advisor and the Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence
Advisory Board. The Task Force should include selected commissioners from the 9/11
and Iraq commissions and a staff selected from the law enforcement and intelligence

The Commission recommends the following:

1) Establish a National Intelligence Authority (NIA), which would be headed by a
Director of National Intelligence (DM). Confirmed by the Senate, with Cabinet rank
(Executive Level One), without a cabinet department. The United States Intelligence
Community as it is currently organized would be disbanded.
a) The National Intelligence Authority would include the existing and planned
capabilities of: the CIA; the FBI National Security Intelligence Service, the
national imagery capabilities of the NGA; the national signals intelligence
capabilities of the NSA; the national imagery, signals, and communications
acquisition programs and infrastructures of the NRO; the advanced science and
technology capabilities of the CIA, NSA, and NRO; other specialized national
collection activities; and the all-source analytic capabilities of the CIA and the
b) The mission of the DNI is to oversee and direct the global network of human and
technical systems and organizations to collect, analyze and disseminate national
intelligence to the President and the members of the National Security Council,
whether the information originates within the United States or abroad. He/she is
to have the powers and authorities necessary to bring about such changes as may
be required to accomplish that mission.
c) The DNI would have the authority to nominate to the President the Director of
CIA, the Directors of NSA, NGA and NRO with concurrence of the SECDEF,
and Director of FBI's National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) with
concurrence of the Attorney General.
d) An executive office for executing his/her responsibilities would support the DNI
with such functions as: personnel management, security policy, information
technology policy, budget and financial control, an inspector general,
institutionalized lessons learned reviews, and support to customers, particularly
the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.
e) Establish the position of Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) which would be the
senior career intelligence professional (Executive Level Two) who would support
the DNI in his role as the President's senior intelligence executive and who would
be responsible for conveying intelligence to the President, the NSC and the DSC.
The CNI would serve for a two year term renewed every two years for three
consecutive terms.
i) The National Intelligence Authority would be organized by national security
missions established by the President. Each mission area (e.g., global

terrorism, WMD proliferation, counterintelligence, China, Russia, emerging

threats, etc.) would be led by a Director General of National Intelligence. The
Director Generals would report to the Chief of National Intelligence. The
Director Generals would be the government's highest-ranking intelligence
official (Executive Level Three) responsible for their mission area and
responsible for both analysis and operations.
ii) The national intelligence agencies - CIA, NSA, NGA, NRO, NSIS, and other
national capabilities - would be responsible for training, equipping, and
manning the national intelligence mission areas and supporting the Director
Generals of National Intelligence. The heads of these agencies would report
to the Director of National Intelligence (Figure One).
2) Integrate Domestic Intelligence while ensuring civil liberties by creating within FBI
an independent National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) with complete access to
all investigative intelligence and without law enforcement culture. Director of NSIS
to be selected by DNI, with concurrence of FBI.
3) Establish an NIA Chief of Intelligence Personnel to establish NIA-wide standards of
recruitment, training, certification and promotion to provide flexible assignments and
career paths across intelligence agencies and areas; to ensure the regular infusion
throughout the ranks of agents, analysts, and managers of thinkers from diverse
disciplines and professions with and without the government; to establish reserve
programs similar to the uniformed services, and generally to foster innovation and
creativity and stifle bureaucratic careerism.
4) Strengthening competitive analysis to ensure the President and senior national
security officials receive accurate, timely, complete and well-vetted intelligence
products; as well as the complete vetting of government views and improved analytic
quality control measures. Strengthen the tradecraft of all-source, strategic
intelligence analysis within the CIA, DIA and other analytic components on
transnational topics through: required overseas tours by analysts, additional training
in transnational issues, significant financial incentives for skills development, as well
as financial incentives to recruit linguists, additional analysts with area or scientific
a) Strengthen and keep independent, departmental intelligence elements like the
Defense Intelligence Agency, the military service intelligence units and the State
Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Strengthen their capability
through the setting of priorities, overseas tours, training in transnational issues,
and language training.
b) Establish an Executive Research Service (300 positions) separate from the
National Intelligence Authority and the policy departments. It would direct the
collection, translation, analysis and production of national security-related
research solely on the basis of openly available information. It would be
responsible to the National Security Council. It would contract out research and
build research relationships with academia and research organizations.


5) Fixing the information sharing problems among the intelligence and law enforcement
communities that have come to light from the investigation of the September 11
a) A new approach of managing and sharing "meta-data" should be established to
combine information about intelligence reporting, open sources and law
enforcement cases into one database. This meta-data would provide "pointers" to
the content generated by, and protected within, the intelligence collection
agencies including the FBI. This meta-data file would be available to all analysts
for research. [This approach is similar what was recommended by the Scowcroft
Review and the Markle Foundation Task Force on Creating a Trusted Information
Network for Homeland Security]
b) Establish the position of NIA Chief Information Officer, independent of any
intelligence agency, reporting to the DNI, for oversight of all major IT systems
and the establishment of standard IT protocols across intelligence and law
enforcement agencies to facilitate seamless, real time information integration.
c) The NIA/CIO would execute a strategy to phase out legacy systems, acquire
compatible replacement systems, make recommendations to the DNI on
information security and approve all major information technology acquisitions in
the NIA.
6) Establish an NIA Chief of Security responsible for developing a common set of
security rules, guidelines and programs across the National Intelligence Authority to
allow for improved information sharing, the breakdown of unnecessary
compartmentation, the increased protection of vital sources and methods and a
streamlining of the background investigation process for new hires.

9/11 Classified Information

8) Strengthen DNI financial controls over the National Intelligence Authority by

establishing an appropriation for national intelligence and developing the associated
financial systems for managing that appropriation.
a) Declassify the aggregate budget amount for national intelligence. Details of the
appropriations act would be classified and reported in a consolidated classified
annex to the President's Budget prepared at the direction of the DNI.
b) Establish a "National Intelligence Appropriations Act" that would include
funding for: 1) the Intelligence Community Management Account, 2) the Central
Intelligence Agency, 3) the National Security Agency, 4) the National Geospatial-
Intelligence Agency, 5) the National Reconnaissance Office, 6) the FBI's
National Security Intelligence Service, and 7) other national intelligence
capabilities not identified above.

c) The National Intelligence Appropriations Act would be made to the Director of

National Intelligence, who would be held accountable for executing those funds
and their oversight. To meet this responsibility, the DNI would appoint a Chief
Financial Officer (CFO) for the National Intelligence Authority.
d) The CFO would allocate resources to the national intelligence agencies in
accordance with OMB apportionment guidelines, the DNI's direction, and the
authorization and appropriations acts.