Covert board called crucial to presidents

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The report stated that since the Sept. 11 attacks and the failures related to intelligence on Iraq, “the efficiency of U.S. intelligence came under intense scrutiny, with a particular focus on the resources, methods, and coordination - or, more fittingly, lack thereof - among various intelligence agencies.”

“The one institution that is not blinded by preconceived ideas or institutional links and that can be of great use in thinking through these issues is the PFIAB,” the report states.

“The board can be useful in helping the president steer U.S. intelligence in the right direction in its exploitation of new technology, adoption of new methods of analysis, and reorganizations to deal with the new intelligence environment the United States faces.”

The report, “The President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board: Learning Lessons from its Past to Shape Its Future,” was written by former intelligence and national security officials Kenneth M. Absher, Michael Desch and Roman Popadiuk.

Mr. Absher is a former CIA official. Mr. Desch is a former congressional and administration national security official. Mr. Popadiuk was an ambassador and National Security Council staff official during the Reagan administration.

All are associated with the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, at Texas A&M; University.

About the Author
Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon ( He has been with The Times since 1985.

He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.

Mr. ...

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