Friday, May 6, 2005

The United States’ first director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, has appointed four deputies from within the intelligence and foreign policy bureaucracy, drawing fire from reform advocates.

Mr. Negroponte picked two career CIA operations officers, a State Department intelligence analyst and a career foreign service officer as the new agency’s first deputies, a senior intelligence official said yesterday.

“The sweet spot in all this is that we now have senior people whose sole job is the smooth functioning of the intelligence community,” said the official who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity.

Several defense and intelligence officials privately voiced concern about the selections, saying they do not include people willing to push ahead with intelligence reforms in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks and intelligence failures related to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

“All these appointees share a common outlook — opposition to both the WMD commission and 9/11 reforms,” said a defense official. “Not a single outsider has been brought in. It’s tragic.”

According to senior intelligence officials, the appointees are:

cState Department intelligence director Thomas Fingar, a China specialist, who will become the new deputy DNI for analysis. He will oversee all U.S. intelligence analysis and reports.

• A CIA operations directorate official currently at the White House National Security Council staff, David Shedd, who will become the chief of staff to Mr. Negroponte, the officials said. Mr. Shedd worked with Mr. Negroponte and was involved in Latin American covert operations in the 1980s.

• Another CIA directorate official, Mary Margaret Graham, will become the deputy DNI for collection, the top post in charge of managing all human and technical spying activities.

• Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, the Foreign Service officer, was selected as deputy DNI for management.

“As we are setting up the new office of the director of national intelligence (DNI), we are spending a lot of time searching for good people, and it is imperative we get the right people for these jobs,” Mr. Negroponte said in a statement.

The DNI office was created under intelligence reform legislation designed to better coordinate activities of the 15 agencies and departments that make up the U.S. intelligence community.

Its analysis branch will be in charge of producing the president’s daily intelligence digest, as well as taking over the National Intelligence Council, formerly under the CIA director, that produces national intelligence estimates — consensus reports of all agencies on specific subjects.

Intelligence officials critical of Mr. Negroponte’s choices said they will protect the status quo within the intelligence bureaucracy, rather that reshaping agencies to meet new challenges.

An official said the selection of Mrs. Graham, in particular, was a snub of Charles Allen, a gifted intelligence officer who for years has been in charge of managing intelligence collection at the CIA.

“She has no experience at all in this complex area,” the official said.

Plans for the new DNI office, currently located at the New Executive Office Building near the White House and at the National Counterintelligence Center in Tysons Corner, were disclosed yesterday by the senior official.

Over the next several months, the DNI will include a staff of about 300 people and will move into temporary offices at Bolling Air Force Base. As many as 1,000 people will work for the DNI when the office is fully set up in the next year or two.

The counterterrorism center will soon begin operating a 24-hour watch center at its offices in Tysons Corner, the senior official said.

Mr. Negroponte, former U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, and Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, the principle deputy DNI, are the president’s main intelligence advisers under reform legislation passed last year.

In addition to the deputy DNIs for analysis, collection and management, a deputy for “customer outreach” will interact with policy-makers, the military, and law enforcement and homeland security officials.

The office will include the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive and a chief information officer who will be in charge of both information security and intelligence sharing.

The senior official said the new office is studying the recommendations of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, known as the WMD commission, but has not adopted its recommendations.

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