Post editorial: reining in intelligence community will require more than "business as usual"
In today's edition of The Post, an editorial discusses the growth of intelligence programs in light of director of national intelligence nominee James R. Clapper Jr.'s varying remarks about the Top Secret America series. Here's an excerpt:
To their credit Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta acknowledged in interviews with The Post that the spending binge since the Sept. 11 attacks is unsustainable and that programs need to be scrubbed. James R. Clapper Jr., President Obama's nominee for director of national intelligence (DNI), also seemed to recognize the problem. Writers Dana Priest and William M. Arkin quoted him as saying that "there's only one entity in the entire universe that has visibility on all [top secret programs] -- that's God."
Yet in his confirmation hearing before the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday, Mr. Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who has headed two Pentagon intelligence agencies, sounded curiously complacent about the complex he is taking on. Dismissing the Post's detailed reporting as "sensationalism," he defended the bloat, saying "one man's duplication is another man's competitive analysis." He said that the article's description of a profligate expansion of private contractors "is in some ways a testimony to the ingenuity, innovation and capability of the contractor base."
What do you think of Clapper's remarks in the Top Secret America series and before the Senate Intelligence Committee?
Do you think U.S. intelligence agencies—and the greater intelligence community—need to change? If so, what should be done?
July 22, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
| Tags: Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, Senate Intelligence Committee, intelligence agencies, opinion
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