Following the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission (and the lead of John Kerry), Bush announces his support for a National Intelligence Czar:
In an announcement in the Rose Garden at the White House, Mr. Bush also said that he would adopt another commission recommendation, the creation of a national counterterrorism center, which the commission sought to conduct strategic analysis of intelligence, plan and assign intelligence operations, and oversee what intelligence is collected.
“This new center will build on the analytical work — the really good analytical work — of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center,” Mr. Bush said in referring to an office that already exists, “and will become our government’s knowledge bank for information about known and suspected terrorists.”
The president added that his administration had already taken steps that had made the United States safer since the attacks. “Yet we are still not safe,” Mr. Bush said.
“Today I am asking Congress to create the position of a national intelligence director,” he said. “The person in that office would be appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and will serve at the pleasure of the president.”
But the intelligence director will not be a cabinet post, he said, in a departure from what the 9/11 commission had urged.
“I don’t think the person should be a member of my Cabinet,” Mr. Bush said. “I will hire the person and I can fire the person.” At the same time, the president said, “I don’t think that the office should be in the White House, however, I think it should be a stand-alone group to better coordinate.”
Given our record with government czars, there are reasons to be skeptical.