[Clips] Yet Another Agency in Charge of Domestic Intelligence?

R. A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Sun Feb 19 15:27:25 PST 2006

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  Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 17:51:33 -0500
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  From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com>
  Subject: [Clips] Yet Another Agency in Charge of Domestic Intelligence?
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  Congressional Quarterly


  Feb. 17, 2006 - 8:03 p.m.

  Yet Another Agency in Charge of Domestic Intelligence?

  By Jeff Stein, National Security Editor

  It took me a half dozen e-mails and telephone calls over three days to just
  to confirm that yes, the Directorate of National Intelligence, or DNI, the
  new-ish uber-spooks body - has opened an office to deal with state and
  local law enforcement.

  And it took me a few more inquiries before the DNI gave up the name of its
  head, Michael Tiffany, though nothing more.

  Mind you, this is not classified information. Forget about denying public
  information to a pesky reporter: State and local cops have to know who's in
  charge of state and local law enforcement issues, right?

  Finally, I Googled Michael Tiffany and eventually found out that he had
  spent 36 years with the New York Police Department, the last nine as chief
  of intelligence. He also did a turn in the Bronx as as deputy chief of

  A prince of the city. Probably a good guy to have in the job: He talks cop.

  But the difficulty I had just prying out Tiffany's name mirrors the
  challenge - and frustration - law enforcement officials have over who's in
  charge of homeland security information flow at the federal level.

  Up until now, they only had to worry about DHS and the FBI, who fight like
  parents in front of the kids. (Can anybody forget that morning in 2004 when
  John Ashcroft was proclaiming a dire new al Qaeda threat and going Orange
  while Tom Ridge was on the Today Show pooh-poohing it?)

  Now there's a new Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for
  Homeland Security and Law Enforcement to add to their speed dialers. Who
  gets top billing now between the DHS, DNI and FBI?

  Let's leave out the CIA, the National Counterterrorism Center, the 87
  regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces, the new regional intelligence fusion
  centers, the Pentagon's Northern Command and myriad military intelligence
  agencies, for now.

  It's a "three-way battle," says an intelligence expert with intimate
  knowledge of the federal intelligence agencies involved, as well as with
  the thinking of state and local police.

  "I detect a new tension," says this person, whose views are shared by
  multiple congressional sources, "between the information sharing office at
  DNI, which has the responsibility for policy development and
  implementation, and . . . the intelligence shop of DHS."

  "So once again we have these new offices, new bureaus and new legislation,
  but also new layers. And they're still kind of wondering, out in the
  homeland, who the hell's in charge of what and who's telling us what and
  when and are we speaking with one voice?"

  Carl Croft, the DNI's chief spokesman, said there's really nothing to worry
  about: Tiffany is running a policy shop, not directing the flow of

  Tiffany's office "doesn't reach down to local agencies - that's the
  responsibility of DHS and the Justice Department," Croft said, "but we
  coordinate matters."


  "We give information to [DHS] to share with their [law enforcement]
  counterparts. They have the responsibility to reach down, not us."

  Tiffany may indeed ultimately bring cohesion to the information-sharing
  mess. But in the meantime, as one of many apprehensive intelligence experts
  said, "It's a continued exacerbation of who in the federal government is
  responsible for talking to us on this stuff."

  "If John Doe calls from the DNI office and says, 'I'm in the DNI's office
  and I'm here to help you figure out your information-sharing problems,'
  they're likely to hear, 'Great, buddy, get in line. I'm in contact with a
  guy from DHS and I'm in contact with another part of the DNI's office
  saying they're doing the same thing.'"

  No Illusions

  Charlie Allen, the legendary CIA man who quietly arrived at DHS last summer
  and got himself the new title of Chief Intelligence Officer, has no
  illusions about how hard it is to wrest control of the homeland security
  information flow that the FBI and CIA have appropriated for themselves. And
  now comes another threat from DNI.

  So far, Allen is tossing bouquets in public to all his rivals, starting
  with John D. Negroponte, the career ambassador who runs the DNI.

  "And let me say," Allen told the House Homeland Security Intelligence,
  Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment Subcommittee on Feb. 15,
  "that Ambassador Negroponte has reached out to homeland security and to me,
  and we work as full partners on counter terrorism issues.

  "I'm also working very closely with Admiral Scott Redd, who heads the
  National Counterterrorism Center. We have a very smooth and close operation.

  "Our partnership with the FBI continues to be strong. We reach out daily to
  the bureau at all levels and work closely on a broad range of threats,"said
  Allen, who spent 54 years at the CIA. He also said he's stepped up
  coordination with police all over the country.

  "Finally, our experts are helping the DNI to meet the objectives of his
  national intelligence strategy," Allen said, "by ensuring that we have an
  integrated DHS intelligence enterprise to address threats broadly to the

  A Big Beast

  Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and bulky former FBI agent, does a
  good Brian Dennehy when he gets worked up about intelligence.

  Rogers is a fan of Allen but skeptical about the proliferation of U.S.
  intelligence agencies and personnel, which he derides as "a battle of the

  "My only fear is that Allen wants to get bigger, " said Rogers, fidgeting
  in his chair during a recent interview in his office.

  "I'm disappointed in where DNI is going," Rogers continued. "I've yet to
  see value added to what they're doing."

  He bemoans the hundreds of new intelligence bureaucrats at the DNI and
  elsewhere. "Did they add any case agents, operations overseas?" he asked.
  "I don't see how they're helping catch one terrorist."

  The DNI, he concluded, is "a big beast."

  Across town, Negroponte was assuring his Georgetown University audience
  that DHS was a valued member of the U.S. intelligence family. DHS, he said,
  was fortunate to have "Mr. Charlie Allen, the most experienced intelligence
  professional in the United States government."

  Backchannel Chatter

  Airport III: A book coming next June says the feds deflected attention from
  their own intelligence failures by shifting early blame for the Sept. 11
  attacks to the Argenbright airport security firm. Scapegoat, by
  Washington-based writers Joseph and Susan Trento, also quotes an
  Argenbright security guard at Dulles International who says he intercepted
  a group of five "suspicious" men in airline worker uniforms as they tried
  to enter a secure area the night before the hijackings. The feds dismissed
  his and others' similar stories at Dulles, according to book galleys made
  available to SpyTalk.

  Gold SWATS: Seems everybody has a counterterrorist force these days,
  including the U.S. Mint. With Ft. Knox and a handful of other facilities
  holding $100 billion in Treasury and "other Government assets," according
  to its Web site , the Mint SWATS have plenty to sweat. Its members "are
  required to successfully complete a certified Special Weapons and Tactics
  (SWAT) training program," the site says. "Special Response Teams train on a
  regular and recurring basis at each of the field facilities," and can be
  scrambled for special events.

  CIA vs. FBI: The legendary estrangement of the FBI and CIA, so glaringly on
  display in the Sept. 11 commission's report on intelligence failures, takes
  a novel twist in a Michigan congressional race, where Mike Rogers is being
  challenged by ex-CIA officer Jim Marcinkowski. In an odd stab at
  celebrityhood, his bio says, "It was in the CIA where Jim first met Valerie
  Plame, a classmate whose identity as an undercover CIA officer would later
  be exposed by the Bush White House."

  R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
  The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
  44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
  "... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
  [predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
  experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
  Clips mailing list
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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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