- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2005

REUTERS NEWS AGENCYPresident Bush yesterday made clear to the heads of the often competing U.S. spy agencies that his new top intelligence adviser was in charge of restructuring and coordinating their departments.?I’ve relied on his candid judgment to help solve complicated problems,? Mr. Bush said at a ceremonial swearing-in of John D. Negroponte as the country’s first director of national intelligence.?Our nation is at war, and John is making sure that those whose duty it is to defend America have the information we need to make the right decisions,? Mr. Bush said.?He’s ensuring that our intelligence agencies work as a single, unified enterprise. And he’s serving as my principal intelligence adviser,? Mr. Bush told an audience that included Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, CIA Director Porter J. Goss and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.One of the main criticisms about the performance of the intelligence agencies related to the September 11, 2001, attacks was poor coordination and information sharing.When the position of director of national intelligence was created, critics said the law did not clearly state what authority the official had and whether it was strong enough to neutralize turf battles among the Pentagon, CIA and FBI.U.S. intelligence agencies also were criticized for their prewar assessments that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were found after the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.Mr. Bush made clear that Mr. Negroponte, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and his deputy, Gen. Michael Hayden, would take on restructuring the intelligence community.?In the days ahead, Ambassador Negroponte and General Hayden will continue the structural reforms of our intelligence community that began after September the 11th, 2001,? Mr. Bush said.A majority of recommendations of the commission that investigated the September 11 attacks have been implemented, and the administration is reviewing the recommendations of another commission on weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Bush said.Mr. Negroponte said he viewed his new position as ?a challenge.? But, he added, ?I am reassured by the fact that I will be supported by tens of thousands of patriotic professionals in the intelligence community who have dedicated their lives, often at great personal risk, to the defense of our country and all that it stands for.?

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