Intel Czar: Needed or Not?

President Bush (searchendorsed on Monday two of the main recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission (search), including naming a national intelligence director and creating a National Counterterrorism Center.

"[The commission's] recommendations are thoughtful and valuable. My administration has already taken numerous actions consistent with the commission's recommendations. Today we're taking additional steps," Bush said in a Rose Garden announcement.

"Today, I am asking the Congress to create the position of a national intelligence director (search)," he said. "The national intelligence director will serve as the president's principal intelligence adviser and will oversee and coordinate the foreign and domestic activities of the intelligence community."

Bush's decision to embrace the recommendations, with some changes, are the first steps since the report that the president has taken to revamp the nation's intelligence-gathering system to help thwart terrorist attacks. The commission's report, released late last month, highlighted lapses in intelligence that left America vulnerable to the 2001 terror attacks.

Intel czar: needed or not?

A sample of your responses:

If all agencies are to report their respective findings to one central location for the sake of having one entity put the puzzles together, why not?
Gerald S.
Wesley Chapel, FL.

The Intel Czar will be like your Plantar’s wart...the head of ALL them tentacles! HA!! Plantar’s warts are worthless, so are Czars.
Rhonda O.

The President's job is to protect the American people and the Constitution. We are a nation of checks and balances. One person controlling all budgets of 15 intel departments? Where is the balance? What if his children were threatened? God forbid what if he was bought and paid for by foreign sources?
B. E.

It has always been the job of the national security advisor to coordinate the information generated by the CIA, the FBI and other intelligence groups. If Condoleeza Rice had been performing her job efficiently before 9/11 and before the decision to go to war in Iraq, there wouldn't be a need for a new position of intelligence czar!
Carol B.
Cleveland, Ohio
We don't need an Intel Czar. Just another high salary for the taxpayer to pay. We have more people in government than we need. Let's cut some programs instead of adding more.
Joyce H.

No, we certainly don't need another layer of incompetent bureaucracy in the decision-making. We need more people who can think "out-side of the box."
Ron E.
Junction City, KS

I thought that the development of the Homeland Security Office was supposed to be doing what the intel czar is now supposed to be doing. Where is the difference in the two?
Kathy W.
Audubon, New Jersey

We do not need an "intel czar," that responsibility should fall to the National Security Advisor and the National Security Counsel. Why incorporate another level of bureaucracy?
Royce S.
San Antonio, TX

Only in Washington would it seem a good idea to solve a bureaucratic problem by adding another layer to the bureaucracy.
Jeff E.
Lexington, KY

President Bush said yesterday that he would like to set up the intelligence czar in a similar role as the chairman of the joint chiefs. This sounds like a good model.
Michael E.
Mokena, IL

C'mon, guys. An intelligence "czar" without authority or a budget is just a hollow shell. This is Bush's way of pretending to follow the 9/11 recommendations. And we're pretending that this person would not be subject to political influences? He's going to ignore the thoughts of the President who could fire him? Ha.
Roger T.
Wheeling, WV

I feel the whole intelligence czar idea is a bad idea. It will pasteurize the intelligence, and limit dissenting points of view. Having multiple perspectives and multiple reporting structures allows for a greater verity of information for the president to work from. Also having all the money funneled through one person is giving that person far to much power with out the oversight necessary for such a powerful position. If this position is created, how much power is going to be taken away from the president?
Cody M.
Newport News VA

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