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Full text of "The 9/11 Commission report [electronic resource] : final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States"

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13 



HOW TO DO IT? A DIFFERENT WAY OF 
ORGANIZING THE GOVERNMENT 



As presently configured, the national security institutions of the U.S. 
government are still the institutions constructed to win the Cold War. The 
United States confronts a very different world today. Instead of facing a few 
very dangerous adversaries, the United States confronts a number of less visi- 
ble challenges that surpass the boundaries of traditional nation-states and call 
for quick, imaginative, and agile responses. 

The men and women of the World War II generation rose to the challenges of 
the 1940s and 1950s. They restructured the government so that it could protect 
the country. That is now the job of the generation that experienced 9/11. 
Those attacks showed, emphatically, that ways of doing business rooted in a dif- 
ferent era are just not good enough. Americans should not settle for incremen- 
tal, ad hoc adjustments to a system designed generations ago for a world that no 
longer exists. 

We recommend significant changes in the organization of the government. 
We know that the quality of the people is more important than the quality of 
the wiring diagrams. Some of the saddest aspects of the 9/11 story are the out- 
standing efforts of so many individual officials straining, often without success, 
against the boundaries of the possible. Good people can overcome bad struc- 
tures. They should not have to. 

The United States has the resources and the people. The government should 
combine them more effectively, achieving unity of effort. We offer five major 
recommendations to do that: 

• unifying strategic intelligence and operational planning against 
Islamist terrorists across the foreign-domestic divide with a National 
Counterterrorism Center; 

• unifying the intelligence community with a new National Intelli- 
gence Director; 



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400 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

• unifying the many participants in the counterterrorism effort and 
their knowledge in a network-based information-sharing system that 
transcends traditional governmental boundaries; 

• unifying and strengthening congressional oversight to improve qual- 
ity and accountability; and 

• strengthening the FBI and homeland defenders. 



13.1 UNITY OF EFFORT ACROSS THE 
FOREIGN-DOMESTIC DIVIDE 

Joint Action 

Much of the public commentary about the 9/11 attacks has dealt with "lost 
opportunities," some of which we reviewed in chapter 1 1 . These are often char- 
acterized as problems of "watchlisting," of "information sharing," or of "con- 
necting the dots." In chapter 1 1 we explained that these labels are too narrow. 
They describe the symptoms, not the disease. 

In each of our examples, no one was firmly in charge of managing the case 
and able to draw relevant intelligence from anywhere in the government, assign 
responsibilities across the agencies (foreign or domestic), track progress, and 
quickly bring obstacles up to the level where they could be resolved. Respon- 
sibility and accountability were diffuse. 

The agencies cooperated, some of the time. But even such cooperation as 
there was is not the same thing as joint action. When agencies cooperate, one 
defines the problem and seeks help with it. When they act jointly, the problem 
and options for action are defined differently from the start. Individuals from 
different backgrounds come together in analyzing a case and planning how to 
manage it. 

In our hearings we regularly asked witnesses: Who is the quarterback? The 
other players are in their positions, doing their jobs. But who is calling the play 
that assigns roles to help them execute as a team? 

Since 9/11, those issues have not been resolved. In some ways joint work 
has gotten better, and in some ways worse. The effort of fighting terrorism has 
flooded over many of the usual agency boundaries because of its sheer quan- 
tity and energy. Attitudes have changed. Officials are keenly conscious of try- 
ing to avoid the mistakes of 9/11. They try to share information. They 
circulate — even to the President — practically every reported threat, however 
dubious. 

Partly because of all this effort, the challenge of coordinating it has multi- 
plied. Before 9/11, the CIA was plainly the lead agency confronting al Qaeda. 
The FBI played a very secondary role. The engagement of the departments of 
Defense and State was more episodic. 



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HOWTODOIT? 401 

• Today the CIA is still central. But the FBI is much more active, along 
with other parts of the Justice Department. 

• The Defense Department effort is now enormous. Three of its uni- 
fied commands, each headed by a four-star general, have counterter- 
rorism as a primary mission: Special Operations Command, Central 
Command (both headquartered in Florida), and Northern Command 
(headquartered in Colorado). 

• A new Department of Homeland Security combines formidable 
resources in border and transportation security, along with analysis of 
domestic vulnerability and other tasks. 

• The State Department has the lead on many of the foreign policy tasks 
we described in chapter 12. 

• At the White House, the National Security Council (NSC) now is 
joined by a parallel presidential advisory structure, the Homeland 
Security Council. 

So far we have mentioned two reasons for joint action — the virtue of joint 
planning and the advantage of having someone in charge to ensure a unified 
effort. There is a third: the simple shortage of experts with sufficient skills. The 
limited pool of critical experts — for example, skilled counterterrorism analysts 
and linguists — is being depleted. Expanding these capabilities will require not 
just money, but time. 

Primary responsibility for terrorism analysis has been assigned to the Ter- 
rorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), created in 2003, based at the CIA 
headquarters but staffed with representatives of many agencies, reporting 
directly to the Director of Central Intelligence. Yet the CIA houses another 
intelligence "fusion" center: the Counterterrorist Center that played such a 
key role before 9/11. A third major analytic unit is at Defense, in the Defense 
Intelligence Agency. A fourth, concentrating more on homeland vulnerabili- 
ties, is at the Department of Homeland Security. The FBI is in the process of 
building the analytic capability it has long lacked, and it also has the Terrorist 
Screening Center. 1 

The U.S. government cannot afford so much duplication of effort.There are 
not enough experienced experts to go around. The duplication also places extra 
demands on already hard-pressed single-source national technical intelligence 
collectors like the National Security Agency. 

Combining Joint Intelligence and Joint Action 

A "smart" government would integrate all sources of information to see the enemy 
as a whole. Integrated all-source analysis should also inform and shape strategies 
to collect more intelligence. Yet the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, while it 
has primary responsibility for terrorism analysis, is formally proscribed from hav- 



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402 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

ing any oversight or operational authority and is not part of any operational 
entity, other than reporting to the director of central intelligence. 2 

The government now tries to handle the problem of joint management, 
informed by analysis of intelligence from all sources, in two ways. 

• First, agencies with lead responsibility for certain problems have con- 
structed their own interagency entities and task forces in order to get 
cooperation. The Counterterrorist Center at CIA, for example, 
recruits liaison officers from throughout the intelligence community. 
The military's Central Command has its own interagency center, 
recruiting liaison officers from all the agencies from which it might 
need help. The FBI has Joint Terrorism Task Forces in 84 locations to 
coordinate the activities of other agencies when action may be 
required. 

• Second, the problem of joint operational planning is often passed to 
the White House, where the NSC staff tries to play this role. The 
national security staff at the White House (both NSC and new Home- 
land Security Council staff) has already become 50 percent larger since 
9/ 1 1 . But our impression, after talking to serving officials, is that even 
this enlarged staff is consumed by meetings on day-to-day issues, sift- 
ing each day's threat information and trying to coordinate everyday 
operations. 

Even as it crowds into every square inch of available office space, the NSC 
staff is still not sized or funded to be an executive agency. In chapter 3 we 
described some of the problems that arose in the 1980s when a White House 
staff, constitutionally insulated from the usual mechanisms of oversight, 
became involved in direct operations. During the 1990s Richard Clarke occa- 
sionally tried to exercise such authority, sometimes successfully, but often caus- 
ing friction. 

Yet a subtler and more serious danger is that as the NSC staff is consumed 
by these day-to-day tasks, it has less capacity to find the time and detachment 
needed to advise a president on larger policy issues. That means less time to 
work on major new initiatives, help with legislative management to steer 
needed bills through Congress, and track the design and implementation of the 
strategic plans for regions, countries, and issues that we discuss in chapter 12. 

Much of the job of operational coordination remains with the agencies, 
especially the CIA. There DCI Tenet and his chief aides ran interagency meet- 
ings nearly every day to coordinate much of the government's day-to-day 
work. The DCI insisted he did not make policy and only oversaw its imple- 
mentation. In the struggle against terrorism these distinctions seem increasingly 
artificial. Also, as the DCI becomes a lead coordinator of the government's 



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HOWTODOIT? 403 

operations, it becomes harder to play all the position's other roles, including 
that of analyst in chief. 

The problem is nearly intractable because of the way the government is cur- 
rently structured. Lines of operational authority run to the expanding execu- 
tive departments, and they are guarded for understandable reasons: the DCI 
commands the CIA's personnel overseas; the secretary of defense will not yield 
to others in conveying commands to military forces; the Justice Department 
will not give up the responsibility of deciding whether to seek arrest warrants. 
But the result is that each agency or department needs its own intelligence 
apparatus to support the performance of its duties. It is hard to "break down 
stovepipes" when there are so many stoves that are legally and politically enti- 
tled to have cast-iron pipes of their own. 

Recalling the Goldwater-Nichols legislation of 1986, Secretary Rumsfeld 
reminded us that to achieve better joint capability, each of the armed services 
had to "give up some of their turf and authorities and prerogatives." Today, he 
said, the executive branch is "stove-piped much like the four services were 
nearly 20 years ago." He wondered if it might be appropriate to ask agencies 
to "give up some of their existing turf and authority in exchange for a stronger, 
faster, more efficient government wide joint effort." 3 Privately, other key offi- 
cials have made the same point to us. 

We therefore propose a new institution: a civilian-led unified joint com- 
mand for counterterrorism. It should combine strategic intelligence and joint 
operational planning. 

In the Pentagon's Joint Staff, which serves the chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff, intelligence is handled by the J-2 directorate, operational planning by 
J-3, and overall policy by J-5. Our concept combines the J-2 andJ-3 functions 
(intelligence and operational planning) in one agency, keeping overall policy 
coordination where it belongs, in the National Security Council. 

Recommendation: We recommend the establishment of a National 
Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), built on the foundation of the 
existing Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). Breaking the 
older mold of national government organization, this NCTC should 
be a center for joint operational planning and joint intelligence, staffed 
by personnel from the various agencies. The head of the NCTC 
should have authority to evaluate the performance of the people 
assigned to the Center. 

• Such a joint center should be developed in the same spirit that guided 
the military's creation of unified joint commands, or the shaping of 
earlier national agencies like the National Reconnaissance Office, 
which was formed to organize the work of the CIA and several 
defense agencies in space. 



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THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 



NCTC — Intelligence. The NCTC should lead strategic analysis, 
pooling all-source intelligence, foreign and domestic, about transna- 
tional terrorist organizations with global reach. It should develop net 
assessments (comparing enemy capabilities and intentions against 
U.S. defenses and countermeasures). It should also provide warning. 
It should do this work by drawing on the efforts of the CIA, FBI, 
Homeland Security, and other departments and agencies. It should 
task collection requirements both inside and outside the United 
States. 

The intelligence function Q-2) should build on the existing TTIC 
structure and remain distinct, as a national intelligence center, within 
the NCTC. As the government's principal knowledge bank on 
Islamist terrorism, with the main responsibility for strategic analysis and 
net assessment, it should absorb a significant portion of the analytical 
talent now residing in the CIA's Counterterrorist Center and the DIA s 
Joint Intelligence Task Force — Combatting Terrorism (JITF-CT). 

NCTC — Operations. The NCTC should perform joint planning. 
The plans would assign operational responsibilities to lead agencies, 
such as State, the CIA, the FBI, Defense and its combatant commands, 
Homeland Security, and other agencies. The NCTC should not direct 
the actual execution of these operations, leaving that job to the agen- 
cies. The NCTC would then track implementation; it would look 
across the foreign-domestic divide and across agency boundaries, 
updating plans to follow through on cases. 4 

The joint operational planning function (J-3) will be new to theTTIC 
structure. The NCTC can draw on analogous work now being done 
in the CIA and every other involved department of the government, 
as well as reaching out to knowledgeable officials in state and local 
agencies throughout the United States. 

The NCTC should not be a policymaking body. Its operations and 
planning should follow the policy direction of the president and the 
National Security Council. 



Consider this hypothetical case.The NSA discovers that a suspected ter- 
rorist is traveling to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. The NCTC should 
draw on joint intelligence resources, including its own NSA counter- 
terrorism experts, to analyze the identities and possible destinations of 



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405 



these individuals. Informed by this analysis, the NCTC would then 
organize and plan the management of the case, drawing on the talents 
and differing kinds of experience among the several agency represen- 
tatives assigned to it — assigning tasks to the CIA overseas, to Homeland 
Security watching entry points into the United States, and to the FBI. 
If military assistance might be needed, the Special Operations Com- 
mand could be asked to develop an appropriate concept for such an 
operation. The NCTC would be accountable for tracking the progress 
of the case, ensuring that the plan evolved with it, and integrating the 
information into a warning. The NCTC would be responsible for being 
sure that intelligence gathered from the activities in the field became 
part of the government's institutional memory about Islamist terrorist 
personalities, organizations, and possible means of attack. 

In each case the involved agency would make its own senior man- 
agers aware of what it was being asked to do. If those agency heads 
objected, and the issue could not easily be resolved, then the disagree- 
ment about roles and missions could be brought before the National 
Security Council and the president. 



NCTC — Authorities. The head of the NCTC should be appointed by the 
president, and should be equivalent in rank to a deputy head of a cabinet 
department. The head of the NCTC would report to the national intelligence 
director, an office whose creation we recommend below, placed in the Exec- 
utive Office of the President. The head of the NCTC would thus also report 
indirectly to the president. This official's nomination should be confirmed by 
the Senate and he or she should testify to the Congress, as is the case now with 
other statutory presidential offices, like the U.S. trade representative. 



To avoid the fate of other entities with great nominal authority and 
little real power, the head of the NCTC must have the right to con- 
cur in the choices of personnel to lead the operating entities of the 
departments and agencies focused on counterterrorism, specifically 
including the head of the Counterterrorist Center, the head of the 
FBI's Counterterrorism Division, the commanders of the Defense 
Department's Special Operations Command and Northern Com- 
mand, and the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism. 5 
The head of the NCTC should also work with the director of the 
Office of Management and Budget in developing the president's 
counterterrorism budget. 



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406 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

• There are precedents for surrendering authority for joint planning 
■while preserving an agency's operational control. In the international 
context, NATO commanders may get line authority over forces 
assigned by other nations. In U.S. unified commands, commanders 
plan operations that may involve units belonging to one of the serv- 
ices. In each case, procedures are worked out, formal and informal, to 
define the limits of the joint commander's authority. 

The most serious disadvantage of the NCTC is the reverse of its greatest virtue. 
The struggle against Islamist terrorism is so important that any clear-cut cen- 
tralization of authority to manage and be accountable for it may concentrate 
too much power in one place. The proposed NCTC would be given the 
authority of planning the activities of other agencies. Law or executive order 
must define the scope of such line authority. 

The NCTC would not eliminate interagency policy disputes. These would 
still go to the National Security Council. To improve coordination at the White 
House, we believe the existing Homeland Security Council should soon be 
merged into a single National Security Council. The creation of the NCTC 
should help the NSC staff concentrate on its core duties of assisting the pres- 
ident and supporting interdepartmental policymaking. 

We recognize that this is a new and difficult idea precisely because the 
authorities we recommend for the NCTC really would, as Secretary Rums- 
feld foresaw, ask strong agencies to "give up some of their turf and authority in 
exchange for a stronger, faster, more efficient government wide joint effort." 
Countering transnational Islamist terrorism will test whether the U.S. govern- 
ment can fashion more flexible models of management needed to deal with 
the twenty-first-century world. 

An argument against change is that the nation is at war, and cannot afford 
to reorganize in midstream. But some of the main innovations of the 1940s and 
1950s, including the creation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and even the construc- 
tion of the Pentagon itself, were undertaken in the midst of war. Surely the 
country cannot wait until the struggle against Islamist terrorism is over. 

"Surprise, when it happens to a government, is likely to be a complicated, 
diffuse, bureaucratic thing. It includes neglect of responsibility, but also respon- 
sibility so poorly defined or so ambiguously delegated that action gets lost." 6 
That comment was made more than 40 years ago, about Pearl Harbor. We hope 
another commission, writing in the future about another attack, does not again 
find this quotation to be so apt. 



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13.2 UNITY OF EFFORT IN THE 

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY 

In our first section, we concentrated on counterterrorism, discussing how to 
combine the analysis of information from all sources of intelligence with the 
joint planning of operations that draw on that analysis. In this section, we step 
back from looking just at the counterterrorism problem. We reflect on 
whether the government is organized adequately to direct resources and build 
the intelligence capabilities it will need not just for countering terrorism, but 
for the broader range of national security challenges in the decades ahead. 

The Need for a Change 

During the Cold War, intelligence agencies did not depend on seamless inte- 
gration to track and count the thousands of military targets — such as tanks and 
missiles — fielded by the Soviet Union and other adversary states. Each agency 
concentrated on its specialized mission, acquiring its own information and then 
sharing it via formal, finished reports. The Department of Defense had given 
birth to and dominated the main agencies for technical collection of intelli- 
gence. Resources were shifted at an incremental pace, coping with challenges 
that arose over years, even decades. 

We summarized the resulting organization of the intelligence community 
in chapter 3. It is outlined below. 



Members of the U.S. Intelligence Community 

Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, which includes the Office 
of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Community Man- 
agement, the Community Management Staff, the Terrorism Threat Inte- 
gration Center, the National Intelligence Council, and other 
community offices 

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which performs human source 
collection, all-source analysis, and advanced science and technology 

National intelligence agencies: 

• National Security Agency (NSA), which performs signals 
collection and analysis 

• National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which 
performs imagery collection and analysis 



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THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 



• National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which develops, 
acquires, and launches space systems for intelligence collection 

• Other national reconnaissance programs 

Departmental intelligence agencies: 

• Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the Department of 
Defense 

• Intelligence entities of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and 
Marines 

• Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) of the Depart- 
ment of State 

• Office of Terrorism and Finance Intelligence of the Depart- 
ment ofTreasury 

• Office of Intelligence and the Counterterrorism and Coun- 
terintelligence Divisions of the Federal Bureau of Investiga- 
tion of the Department of Justice 

• Office of Intelligence of the Department of Energy 

• Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Pro- 
tection (IAIP) and Directorate of Coast Guard Intelligence 
of the Department of Homeland Security 



The need to restructure the intelligence community grows out of six prob- 
lems that have become apparent before and after 9/11: 

• Structural barriers to performing joint intelligence work. National intelli- 
gence is still organized around the collection disciplines of the home 
agencies, not the joint mission. The importance of integrated, all- 
source analysis cannot be overstated. Without it, it is not possible to 
"connect the dots." No one component holds all the relevant infor- 
mation. 

By contrast, in organizing national defense, the Goldwater- 
Nichols legislation of 1986 created joint commands for operations in 
the field, the Unified Command Plan. The services — the Army, Navy, 
Air Force, and Marine Corps — organize, train, and equip their peo- 
ple and units to perform their missions. Then they assign personnel 
and units to the joint combatant commander, like the commanding 
general of the Central Command (CENTCOM). The Goldwater- 
Nichols Act required officers to serve tours outside their service in 
order to win promotion.The culture of the Defense Department was 



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HOWTODOIT? 409 

transformed, its collective mind-set moved from service-specific to 
"joint," and its operations became more integrated. 7 

Lack of common standards and practices across the foreign-domestic divide.The 
leadership of the intelligence community should be able to pool infor- 
mation gathered overseas with information gathered in the United 
States, holding the work — wherever it is done — to a common stan- 
dard of quality in how it is collected, processed (e.g., translated), 
reported, shared, and analyzed. A common set of personnel standards 
for intelligence can create a group of professionals better able to oper- 
ate in joint activities, transcending their own service-specific mind-sets. 

Divided management of national intelligence capabilities. While the CIA 
was once "central" to our national intelligence capabilities, following 
the end of the Cold War it has been less able to influence the use of 
the nation's imagery and signals intelligence capabilities in three 
national agencies housed within the Department of Defense: the 
National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence 
Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. One of the lessons 
learned from the 1991 GulfWar was the value of national intelligence 
systems (satellites in particular) in precision warfare. Since that war, 
the department has appropriately drawn these agencies into its trans- 
formation of the military. Helping to orchestrate this transformation 
is the under secretary of defense for intelligence, a position established 
by Congress after 9/11. An unintended consequence of these devel- 
opments has been the far greater demand made by Defense on tech- 
nical systems, leaving the DCI less able to influence how these 
technical resources are allocated and used. 

Weak capacity to set priorities and move resources. The agencies are mainly 
organized around what they collect or the way they collect it. But the 
priorities for collection are national. As the DCI makes hard choices 
about moving resources, he or she must have the power to reach across 
agencies and reallocate effort. 

Too manyjobs.The DCI now has at least three jobs. He is expected to 
run a particular agency, the CIA. He is expected to manage the loose 
confederation of agencies that is the intelligence community. He is 
expected to be the analyst in chief for the government, sifting evi- 
dence and directly briefing the President as his principal intelligence 
adviser. No recent DCI has been able to do all three effectively. Usu- 
ally what loses out is management of the intelligence community, a 
difficult task even in the best case because the DCI's current author- 
ities are weak. With so much to do, the DCI often has not used even 
the authority he has. 



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410 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

• Too complex and secret. Over the decades, the agencies and the rules sur- 
rounding the intelligence community have accumulated to a depth 
that practically defies public comprehension. There are now 15 agen- 
cies or parts of agencies in the intelligence community. The commu- 
nity and the DCI's authorities have become arcane matters, 
understood only by initiates after long study. Even the most basic 
information about how much money is actually allocated to or within 
the intelligence community and most of its key components is 
shrouded from public view. 

The current DCI is responsible for community performance but lacks the three 
authorities critical for any agency head or chief executive officer: (1) control 
over purse strings, (2) the ability to hire or fire senior managers, and (3) the 
ability to set standards for the information infrastructure and personnel. 8 

The only budget power of the DCI over agencies other than the CIA lies 
in coordinating the budget requests of the various intelligence agencies into a 
single program for submission to Congress. The overall funding request of the 
15 intelligence entities in this program is then presented to the president and 
Congress in 15 separate volumes. 

When Congress passes an appropriations bill to allocate money to intelli- 
gence agencies, most of their funding is hidden in the Defense Department in 
order to keep intelligence spending secret. Therefore, although the House and 
Senate Intelligence committees are the authorizing committees for funding of 
the intelligence community, the final budget review is handled in the Defense 
Subcommittee of the Appropriations committees. Those committees have no 
subcommittees just for intelligence, and only a few members and staff review 
the requests. 

The appropriations for the CIA and the national intelligence agencies — 
NS A, NGA, and NRO — are then given to the secretary of defense. The sec- 
retary transfers the CIA's money to the DCI but disburses the national 
agencies' money directly. Money for the FBI's national security components 
falls within the appropriations for Commerce, Justice, and State and goes to the 
attorney general. 9 

In addition, the DCI lacks hire-and-fire authority over most of the intelligence 
community's senior managers. For the national intelligence agencies housed in 
the Defense Department, the secretary of defense must seek the DCI's concur- 
rence regarding the nomination of these directors, who are presidentially 
appointed. But the secretary may submit recommendations to the president with- 
out receiving this concurrence.The DCI cannot fire these officials. The DCI has 
even less influence over the head of the FBI's national security component, who 
is appointed by the attorney general in consultation with the DCI. 1 " 



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HOWTODOIT? 411 

Combining Joint Work with Stronger Management 

We have received recommendations on the topic of intelligence reform from 
many sources. Other commissions have been over this same ground. Thought- 
ful bills have been introduced, most recently a bill by the chairman of the 
House Intelligence Committee Porter Goss (R-Fla.), and another by the rank- 
ing minority member, Jane Harman (D-Calif). In the Senate, Senators Bob 
Graham (D-Fla.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have introduced reform pro- 
posals as well. Past efforts have foundered, because the president did not sup- 
port them; because the DCI, the secretary of defense, or both opposed them; 
and because some proposals lacked merit. We have tried to take stock of these 
experiences, and borrow from strong elements in many of the ideas that have 
already been developed by others. 

Recommendation: The current position of Director of Central Intel- 
ligence should be replaced by a National Intelligence Director with 
two main areas of responsibility: (1) to oversee national intelligence 
centers on specific subjects of interest across the U.S. government and 
(2) to manage the national intelligence program and oversee the 
agencies that contribute to it. 

First, the National Intelligence Director should oversee national intelligence 
centers to provide all-source analysis and plan intelligence operations for the 
whole government on major problems. 

• One such problem is counterterrorism. In this case, we believe that 
the center should be the intelligence entity (formerly TTIC) inside 
the National Counterterrorism Center we have proposed. It would 
sit there alongside the operations management unit we described ear- 
lier, with both making up the NCTC, in the Executive Office of the 
President. Other national intelligence centers — for instance, on 
counterproliferation, crime and narcotics, and China — would be 
housed in whatever department or agency is best suited for them. 

• The National Intelligence Director would retain the present DCI's 
role as the principal intelligence adviser to the president. We hope the 
president will come to look directly to the directors of the national 
intelligence centers to provide all-source analysis in their areas of 
responsibility, balancing the advice of these intelligence chiefs against 
the contrasting viewpoints that may be offered by department heads 
at State, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and other agencies. 



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412 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

Second, the National Intelligence Director should manage the national 
intelligence program and oversee the component agencies of the intelligence 
community. (See diagram.)" 

• The National Intelligence Director would submit a unified budget for 
national intelligence that reflects priorities chosen by the National 
Security Council, an appropriate balance among the varieties of tech- 
nical and human intelligence collection, and analysis. He or she would 
receive an appropriation for national intelligence and apportion the 
funds to the appropriate agencies, in line with that budget, and with 
authority to reprogram funds among the national intelligence agen- 
cies to meet any new priority (as counterterrorism was in the 1990s). 
The National Intelligence Director should approve and submit nom- 
inations to the president of the individuals who would lead the CIA, 
DIA, FBI Intelligence Office, NSA, NGA, NRO, Information Analy- 
sis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate of the Department of 
Homeland Security, and other national intelligence capabilities. 12 

• The National Intelligence Director would manage this national effort 
with the help of three deputies, each of whom would also hold a key 
position in one of the component agencies. 13 

• foreign intelligence (the head of the CIA) 

• defense intelligence (the under secretary of defense for intelli- 
gence) 14 

• homeland intelligence (the FBI's executive assistant director for 
intelligence or the under secretary of homeland security for 
information analysis and infrastructure protection) 

Other agencies in the intelligence community would coordinate 
their work within each of these three areas, largely staying housed in 
the same departments or agencies that support them now. 

Returning to the analogy of the Defense Department's organiza- 
tion, these three deputies — like the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air 
Force, or Marines — would have the job of acquiring the systems, 
training the people, and executing the operations planned by the 
national intelligence centers. 

And, just as the combatant commanders also report to the secre- 
tary of defense, the directors of the national intelligence centers — e.g., 
for counterproliferation, crime and narcotics, and the rest — also 
would report to the National Intelligence Director. 

• The Defense Department's military intelligence programs — the joint 
military intelligence program (JMIP) and the tactical intelligence and 
related activities program (TIARA) — would remain part of that 
department's responsibility. 



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414 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

• The National Intelligence Director would set personnel policies to 
establish standards for education and training and facilitate assignments 
at the national intelligence centers and across agency lines. The 
National Intelligence Director also would set information sharing and 
information technology policies to maximize data sharing, as well as 
policies to protect the security of information. 

• Too many agencies now have an opportunity to say no to change. The 
National Intelligence Director should participate in an NSC execu- 
tive committee that can resolve differences in priorities among the 
agencies and bring the major disputes to the president for decision. 

The National Intelligence Director should be located in the Executive Office 
of the President. This official, who would be confirmed by the Senate and 
would testify before Congress, would have a relatively small staff of several hun- 
dred people, taking the place of the existing community management offices 
housed at the CIA. 

In managing the whole community, the National Intelligence Director is still 
providing a service function. With the partial exception of his or her responsi- 
bilities for overseeing the NCTC, the National Intelligence Director should 
support the consumers of national intelligence — the president and policymak- 
ing advisers such as the secretaries of state, defense, and homeland security and 
the attorney general. 

We are wary of too easily equating government management problems with 
those of the private sector. But we have noticed that some very large private 
firms rely on a powerful CEO who has significant control over how money is 
spent and can hire or fire leaders of the major divisions, assisted by a relatively 
modest staff, while leaving responsibility for execution in the operating divisions. 

There are disadvantages to separating the position of National Intelligence 
Director from the job of heading the CIA. For example, the National Intelli- 
gence Director will not head a major agency of his or her own and may have 
a weaker base of support. But we believe that these disadvantages are out- 
weighed by several other considerations: 

• The National Intelligence Director must be able to directly oversee intel- 
ligence collection inside the United States.Yet law and custom has coun- 
seled against giving such a plain domestic role to the head of the CIA. 

• The CIA will be one among several claimants for funds in setting 
national priorities. The National Intelligence Director should not be 
both one of the advocates and the judge of them all. 

• Covert operations tend to be highly tactical, requiring close attention. 
The National Intelligence Director should rely on the relevant joint 



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115 



HOWTODOIT? 415 

mission center to oversee these details, helping to coordinate closely 
with the White House.The CIA will be able to concentrate on build- 
ing the capabilities to carry out such operations and on providing the 
personnel who will be directing and executing such operations in the 
field. 

• Rebuilding the analytic and human intelligence collection capabili- 
ties of the CIA should be a full-time effort, and the director of the 
CIA should focus on extending its comparative advantages. 

Recommendation: The CIA Director should emphasize (a) rebuild- 
ing the CIA's analytic capabilities; (b) transforming the clandestine 
service by building its human intelligence capabilities; (c) developing 
a stronger language program, with high standards and sufficient 
financial incentives; (d) renewing emphasis on recruiting diversity 
among operations officers so they can blend more easily in foreign 
cities; (e) ensuring a seamless relationship between human source col- 
lection and signals collection at the operational level; and (f) stress- 
ing a better balance between unilateral and liaison operations. 

The CIA should retain responsibility for the direction and execution of clan- 
destine and covert operations, as assigned by the relevant national intelligence 
center and authorized by the National Intelligence Director and the president. 
This would include propaganda, renditions, and nonmilitary disruption. We 
believe, however, that one important area of responsibility should change. 

Recommendation: Lead responsibility for directing and executing 
paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift 
to the Defense Department. There it should be consolidated with the 
capabilities for training, direction, and execution of such operations 
already being developed in the Special Operations Command. 

• Before 9/1 1, the CIA did not invest in developing a robust capability 
to conduct paramilitary operations with U.S. personnel. It relied on 
proxies instead, organized by CIA operatives without the requisite 
military training. The results were unsatisfactory. 

• Whether the price is measured in either money or people, the United 
States cannot afford to build two separate capabilities for carrying out 
secret military operations, secretly operating standoff missiles, and 
secretly training foreign military or paramilitary forces. The United 
States should concentrate responsibility and necessary legal authori- 
ties in one entity. 



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416 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

• The post-9/11 Afghanistan precedent of using joint CIA-military 
teams for covert and clandestine operations was a good one. We 
believe this proposal to be consistent with it. Each agency would con- 
centrate on its comparative advantages in building capabilities for joint 
missions. The operation itself would be planned in common. 

• The CIA has a reputation for agility in operations. The military has a 
reputation for being methodical and cumbersome. We do not know 
if these stereotypes match current reality; they may also be one more 
symptom of the civil-military misunderstandings we described in 
chapter 4. It is a problem to be resolved in policy guidance and agency 
management, not in the creation of redundant, overlapping capabili- 
ties and authorities in such sensitive work. The CIA's experts should 
be integrated into the military's training, exercises, and planning. To 
quote a CIA official now serving in the field: "One fight, one team." 

Recommendation: Finally, to combat the secrecy and complexity we 
have described, the overall amounts of money being appropriated for 
national intelligence and to its component agencies should no longer 
be kept secret. Congress should pass a separate appropriations act for 
intelligence, defending the broad allocation of how these tens of bil- 
lions of dollars have been assigned among the varieties of intelligence 
work. 

The specifics of the intelligence appropriation would remain classified, as 
they are today. Opponents of declassification argue that America's enemies 
could learn about intelligence capabilities by tracking the top-line appropria- 
tions figure.Yet the top-line figure by itself provides little insight into U.S. intel- 
ligence sources and methods. The U.S. government readily provides copious 
information about spending on its military forces, including military intelli- 
gence. The intelligence community should not be subject to that much disclo- 
sure. But when even aggregate categorical numbers remain hidden, it is hard 
to judge priorities and foster accountability. 

13.3 UNITY OF EFFORT IN SHARING INFORMATION 

Information Sharing 

We have already stressed the importance of intelligence analysis that can draw 
on all relevant sources of information. The biggest impediment to all-source 
analysis — to a greater likelihood of connecting the dots — is the human or sys- 
temic resistance to sharing information. 

The U.S. government has access to a vast amount of information. When 
databases not usually thought of as "intelligence," such as customs or immigra- 



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HOWTODOIT? 417 

tion information, are included, the storehouse is immense. But the U.S. gov- 
ernment has a weak system for processing and using -what it has. In interviews 
around the government, official after official urged us to call attention to frus- 
trations with the unglamorous "back office" side of government operations. 

In the 9/11 story, for example, we sometimes see examples of information 
that could be accessed — like the undistributed NSA information that would 
have helped identify Nawaf al Hazmi in January 2000. But someone had to ask 
for it. In that case, no one did. Or, as in the episodes we describe in chapter 8, 
the information is distributed, but in a compartmented channel. Or the infor- 
mation is available, and someone does ask, but it cannot be shared. 

What all these stories have in common is a system that requires a demon- 
strated "need to know" before sharing. This approach assumes it is possible to 
know, in advance, who will need to use the information. Such a system implic- 
itly assumes that the risk of inadvertent disclosure outweighs the benefits of 
wider sharing. Those ColdWar assumptions are no longer appropriate.The cul- 
ture of agencies feeling they own the information they gathered at taxpayer 
expense must be replaced by a culture in which the agencies instead feel they 
have a duty to the information — to repay the taxpayers' investment by making 
that information available. 

Each intelligence agency has its own security practices, outgrowths of the 
Cold War. We certainly understand the reason for these practices. Counterin- 
telligence concerns are still real, even if the old Soviet enemy has been replaced 
by other spies. 

But the security concerns need to be weighed against the costs. Current 
security requirements nurture overclassification and excessive compartmenta- 
tion of information among agencies. Each agency's incentive structure opposes 
sharing, with risks (criminal, civil, and internal administrative sanctions) but few 
rewards for sharing information. No one has to pay the long-term costs of over- 
classifying information, though these costs — even in literal financial terms — 
are substantial.There are no punishments for not sharing information. Agencies 
uphold a "need-to-know" culture of information protection rather than pro- 
moting a "need-to-share" culture of integration. 15 

Recommendation: Information procedures should provide incentives 
for sharing, to restore a better balance between security and shared 
knowledge. 

Intelligence gathered about transnational terrorism should be processed, 
turned into reports, and distributed according to the same quality standards, 
whether it is collected in Pakistan or in Texas. 

The logical objection is that sources and methods may vary greatly in dif- 
ferent locations. We therefore propose that when a report is first created, its data 
be separated from the sources and methods by which they are obtained. The 



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418 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

report should begin with the information in its most shareable, but still mean- 
ingful, form. Therefore the maximum number of recipients can access some 
form of that information. If knowledge of further details becomes important, 
any user can query further, with access granted or denied according to the rules 
set for the network — and with queries leaving an audit trail in order to deter- 
mine -who accessed the information. But the questions may not come at all 
unless experts at the "edge" of the network can readily discover the clues that 
prompt to them. 16 

We propose that information be shared horizontally, across new networks 
that transcend individual agencies. 

• The current system is structured on an old mainframe, or hub-and- 
spoke, concept. In this older approach, each agency has its own data- 
base. Agency users send information to the database and then can 
retrieve it from the database. 

• A decentralized network model, the concept behind much of the 
information revolution, shares data horizontally too. Agencies would 
still have their own databases, but those databases would be searchable 
across agency lines. In this system, secrets are protected through the 
design of the network and an "information rights management" 
approach that controls access to the data, not access to the whole net- 
work. An outstanding conceptual framework for this kind of" trusted 
information network" has been developed by a task force of leading 
professionals in national security, information technology, and law 
assembled by the Markle Foundation. Its report has been widely dis- 
cussed throughout the U.S. government, but has not yet been con- 
verted into action." 

Recommendation: The president should lead the government-wide 
effort to bring the major national security institutions into the infor- 
mation revolution. He should coordinate the resolution of the legal, 
policy, and technical issues across agencies to create a "trusted infor- 
mation network." 

• No one agency can do it alone. Well-meaning agency officials are 
under tremendous pressure to update their systems. Alone, they may 
only be able to modernize the stovepipes, not replace them. 

• Only presidential leadership can develop government-wide concepts 
and standards. Currently, no one is doing this job. Backed by the Office 
of Management and Budget, a new National Intelligence Director 
empowered to set common standards for information use throughout 
the community, and a secretary of homeland security who helps 



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HOWTODOIT? 419 

extend the system to public agencies and relevant private-sector data- 
bases, a government-wide initiative can succeed. 

• White House leadership is also needed because the policy and legal 
issues are harder than the technical ones. The necessary technology 
already exists. What does not are the rules for acquiring, accessing, 
sharing, and using the vast stores of public and private data that may 
be available. When information sharing works, it is a powerful tool. 
Therefore the sharing and uses of information must be guided by a 
set of practical policy guidelines that simultaneously empower and 
constrain officials, telling them clearly what is and is not permitted. 

"This is government acting in new ways, to face new threats," the most 
recent Markle report explains. "And while such change is necessary, it must be 
accomplished while engendering the people's trust that privacy and other civil 
liberties are being protected, that businesses are not being unduly burdened 
with requests for extraneous or useless information, that taxpayer money is 
being well spent, and that, ultimately, the network will be effective in protect- 
ing our security." The authors add: "Leadership is emerging from all levels of 
government and from many places in the private sector. What is needed now 
is a plan to accelerate these efforts, and public debate and consensus on the 
goals."' 8 



13.4 UNITY OF EFFORT IN THE CONGRESS 

Strengthen Congressional Oversight of Intelligence and Homeland 
Security 

Of all our recommendations, strengthening congressional oversight may be 
among the most difficult and important. So long as oversight is governed by 
current congressional rules and resolutions, we believe the American people 
will not get the security they want and need.The United States needs a strong, 
stable, and capable congressional committee structure to give America's 
national intelligence agencies oversight, support, and leadership. 

Few things are more difficult to change in Washington than congressional 
committee jurisdiction and prerogatives. To a member, these assignments are 
almost as important as the map of his or her congressional district. The Amer- 
ican people may have to insist that these changes occur, or they may well not 
happen. Having interviewed numerous members of Congress from both par- 
ties, as well as congressional staff members, we found that dissatisfaction with 
congressional oversight remains widespread. 

The future challenges of America's intelligence agencies are daunting. They 
include the need to develop leading-edge technologies that give our policy- 



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420 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

makers and warfighters a decisive edge in any conflict where the interests of 
the United States are vital. Not only does good intelligence win wars, but the 
best intelligence enables us to prevent them from happening altogether. 

Under the terms of existing rules and resolutions the House and Senate 
intelligence committees lack the power, influence, and sustained capability to 
meet this challenge. While few members of Congress have the broad knowl- 
edge of intelligence activities or the know-how about the technologies 
employed, all members need to feel assured that good oversight is happening. 
When their unfamiliarity with the subject is combined with the need to pre- 
serve security, a mandate emerges for substantial change. 

Tinkering with the existing structure is not sufficient. Either Congress 
should create a joint committee for intelligence, using the Joint Atomic Energy 
Committee as its model, or it should create House and Senate committees with 
combined authorizing and appropriations powers. 

Whichever of these two forms are chosen, the goal should be a structure — 
codified by resolution with powers expressly granted and carefully limited — 
allowing a relatively small group of members of Congress, given time and 
reason to master the subject and the agencies, to conduct oversight of the intel- 
ligence establishment and be clearly accountable for their work. The staff of 
this committee should be nonpartisan and work for the entire committee and 
not for individual members. 

The other reforms we have suggested — for a National Counterterrorism 
Center and a National Intelligence Director — will not work if congressional 
oversight does not change too. Unity of effort in executive management can 
be lost if it is fractured by divided congressional oversight. 

Recommendation: Congressional oversight for intelligence — and 
counterterrorism — is now dysfunctional. Congress should address this 
problem. We have considered various alternatives: A joint committee 
on the old model of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy is one. 
A single committee in each house of Congress, combining authoriz- 
ing and appropriating authorities, is another. 

• The new committee or committees should conduct continuing stud- 
ies of the activities of the intelligence agencies and report problems 
relating to the development and use of intelligence to all members of 
the House and Senate. 

• We have already recommended that the total level of funding for intel- 
ligence be made public, and that the national intelligence program be 
appropriated to the National Intelligence Director, not to the secre- 
tary of defense." 



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HOWTODOIT? 421 

• We also recommend that the intelligence committee should have a 
subcommittee specifically dedicated to oversight, freed from the con- 
suming responsibility of working on the budget. 

• The resolution creating the new intelligence committee structure 
should grant subpoena authority to the committee or committees. 
The majority party's representation on this committee should never 
exceed the minority's representation by more than one. 

• Four of the members appointed to this committee or committees 
should be a member who also serves on each of the following addi- 
tional committees: Armed Services, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, and the 
Defense Appropriations subcommittee. In this way the other major 
congressional interests can be brought together in the new commit- 
tee's work. 

• Members should serve indefinitely on the intelligence committees, 
without set terms, thereby letting them accumulate expertise. 

• The committees should be smaller — perhaps seven or nine members 
in each house — so that each member feels a greater sense of respon- 
sibility, and accountability, for the quality of the committee's work. 

The leaders of the Department of Homeland Security now appear before 88 
committees and subcommittees of Congress. One expert witness (not a mem- 
ber of the administration) told us that this is perhaps the single largest obstacle 
impeding the department's successful development. The one attempt to con- 
solidate such committee authority, the House Select Committee on Home- 
land Security, may be eliminated. The Senate does not have even this. 

Congress needs to establish for the Department of Homeland Security the 
kind of clear authority and responsibility that exist to enable the Justice Depart- 
ment to deal with crime and the Defense Department to deal with threats to 
national security. Through not more than one authorizing committee and one 
appropriating subcommittee in each house, Congress should be able to ask the 
secretary of homeland security whether he or she has the resources to provide 
reasonable security against major terrorist acts within the United States and to 
hold the secretary accountable for the department's performance. 

Recommendation: Congress should create a single, principal point of 
oversight and review for homeland security. Congressional leaders are 
best able to judge what committee should have jurisdiction over this 
department and its duties. But we believe that Congress does have 
the obligation to choose one in the House and one in the Senate, and 
that this committee should be a permanent standing committee with 
a nonpartisan staff. 



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422 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

Improve the Transitions between Administrations 

In chapter 6, we described the transition of 2000— 2001. Beyond the policy 
issues we described, the new administration did not have its deputy cabinet offi- 
cers in place until the spring of 2001, and the critical subcabinet officials were 
not confirmed until the summer — if then. In other words, the new adminis- 
tration — like others before it — did not have its team on the job until at least 
six months after it took office. 

Recommendation: Since a catastrophic attack could occur with lit- 
tle or no notice, we should minimize as much as possible the disrup- 
tion of national security policymaking during the change of 
administrations by accelerating the process for national security 
appointments. We think the process could be improved significantly 
so transitions can work more effectively and allow new officials to 
assume their new responsibilities as quickly as possible. 

• Before the election, candidates should submit the names of selected 
members of their prospective transition teams to the FBI so that, if 
necessary, those team members can obtain security clearances imme- 
diately after the election is over. 

• A president-elect should submit lists of possible candidates for 
national security positions to begin obtaining security clearances 
immediately after the election, so that their background investigations 
can be complete before January 20. 

• A single federal agency should be responsible for providing and main- 
taining security clearances, ensuring uniform standards— including 
uniform security questionnaires and financial report requirements, and 
maintaining a single database. This agency can also be responsible for 
administering polygraph tests on behalf of organizations that require 
them. 

• A president-elect should submit the nominations of the entire new 
national security team, through the level of under secretary of cabi- 
net departments, not later than January 20. The Senate, in return, 
should adopt special rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or 
reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission. 
The Senate should not require confirmation of such executive 
appointees below Executive Level 3. 

• The outgoing administration should provide the president-elect, as 
soon as possible after election day, with a classified, compartmented 
list that catalogues specific, operational threats to national security; 
major military or covert operations; and pending decisions on the pos- 



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HOWTODOIT? 423 



sible use of force. Such a document could provide both notice and a 
checklist, inviting a president-elect to inquire and learn more. 



13.5 ORGANIZING AMERICA'S DEFENSES IN THE 
UNITED STATES 

The Future Role of the FBI 

We have considered proposals for a new agency dedicated to intelligence col- 
lection in the United States. Some call this a proposal for an "American MI- 
5," although the analogy is weak — the actual British Security Service is a 
relatively small worldwide agency that combines duties assigned in the U.S. 
government to the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, the CIA, the FBI, and 
the Department of Homeland Security. 

The concern about the FBI is that it has long favored its criminal justice 
mission over its national security mission. Part of the reason for this is the 
demand around the country for FBI help on criminal matters. The FBI was 
criticized, rightly, for the overzealous domestic intelligence investigations dis- 
closed during the 1970s. The pendulum swung away from those types of inves- 
tigations during the 1980s and 1990s, though the FBI maintained an active 
counterintelligence function and was the lead agency for the investigation of 
foreign terrorist groups operating inside the United States. 

We do not recommend the creation of a new domestic intelligence agency. 
It is not needed if our other recommendations are adopted — to establish a 
strong national intelligence center, part of the NCTC, that will oversee coun- 
terterrorism intelligence work, foreign and domestic, and to create a National 
Intelligence Director who can set and enforce standards for the collection, pro- 
cessing, and reporting of information. 

Under the structures we recommend, the FBI's role is focused, but still vital. 
The FBI does need to be able to direct its thousands of agents and other 
employees to collect intelligence in America's cities and towns — interviewing 
informants, conducting surveillance and searches, tracking individuals, work- 
ing collaboratively with local authorities, and doing so with meticulous atten- 
tion to detail and compliance with the law. The FBI's job in the streets of the 
United States would thus be a domestic equivalent, operating under the U.S. 
Constitution and quite different laws and rules, to the job of the CIA's opera- 
tions officers abroad. 

Creating a new domestic intelligence agency has other drawbacks. 

• The FBI is accustomed to carrying out sensitive intelligence collec- 
tion operations in compliance with the law. If a new domestic intel- 
ligence agency were outside of the Department of Justice, the process 
of legal oversight — never easy — could become even more difficult. 



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424 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

Abuses of civil liberties could create a backlash that would impair the 
collection of needed intelligence. 

• Creating a new domestic intelligence agency would divert attention 
of the officials most responsible for current counterterrorism efforts 
while the threat remains high. Putting a new player into the mix of 
federal agencies with counterterrorism responsibilities would exacer- 
bate existing information-sharing problems. 

• A new domestic intelligence agency would need to acquire assets and 
personnel.The FBI already has 28,000 employees; 56 field offices, 400 
satellite offices, and 47 legal attache offices; a laboratory, operations 
center, and training facility; an existing network of informants, coop- 
erating defendants, and other sources; and relationships with state and 
local law enforcement, the CIA, and foreign intelligence and law 
enforcement agencies. 

• Counterterrorism investigations in the United States very quickly 
become matters that involve violations of criminal law and possible 
law enforcement action. Because the FBI can have agents working 
criminal matters and agents working intelligence investigations con- 
cerning the same international terrorism target, the full range of inves- 
tigative tools against a suspected terrorist can be considered within 
one agency. The removal of "the wall" that existed before 9/11 
between intelligence and law enforcement has opened up new 
opportunities for cooperative action within the FBI. 

• Counterterrorism investigations often overlap or are cued by other 
criminal investigations, such as money laundering or the smuggling 
of contraband. In the field, the close connection to criminal work has 
many benefits. 

Our recommendation to leave counterterrorism intelligence collection in the 
United States with the FBI still depends on an assessment that the FBI — if it 
makes an all-out effort to institutionalize change — can do the job. As we men- 
tioned in chapter 3, we have been impressed by the determination that agents 
display in tracking down details, patiently going the extra mile and working 
the extra month, to put facts in the place of speculation. In our report we have 
shown how agents in Phoenix, Minneapolis, and New York displayed initiative 
in pressing their investigations. 

FBI agents and analysts in the field need to have sustained support and ded- 
icated resources to become stronger intelligence officers. They need to be 
rewarded for acquiring informants and for gathering and disseminating infor- 
mation differently and more broadly than usual in a traditional criminal inves- 



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HOWTODOIT? 425 

tigation. FBI employees need to report and analyze what they have learned in 
ways the Bureau has never done before. 

Under Director Robert Mueller, the Bureau has made significant progress 
in improving its intelligence capabilities. It now has an Office of Intelligence, 
overseen by the top tier of FBI management. Field intelligence groups have 
been created in all field offices to put FBI priorities and the emphasis on intel- 
ligence into practice. Advances have been made in improving the Bureau's 
information technology systems and in increasing connectivity and informa- 
tion sharing with intelligence community agencies. 

Director Mueller has also recognized that the FBI's reforms are far from 
complete. He has outlined a number of areas where added measures may be 
necessary. Specifically, he has recognized that the FBI needs to recruit from a 
broader pool of candidates, that agents and analysts working on national secu- 
rity matters require specialized training, and that agents should specialize within 
programs after obtaining a generalist foundation. The FBI is developing career 
tracks for agents to specialize in counterterrorism/counterintelligence, cyber 
crimes, criminal investigations, or intelligence. It is establishing a program for 
certifying agents as intelligence officers, a certification that will be a prerequi- 
site for promotion to the senior ranks of the Bureau. New training programs 
have been instituted for intelligence-related subjects. 

The Director of the FBI has proposed creating an Intelligence Directorate 
as a further refinement of the FBI intelligence program. This directorate would 
include units for intelligence planning and policy and for the direction of ana- 
lysts and linguists. 

We want to ensure that the Bureau's shift to a preventive counterterrorism 
posture is more fully institutionalized so that it survives beyond Director 
Muellers tenure.We have found that in the past the Bureau has announced its 
willingness to reform and restructure itself to address transnational security 
threats, but has fallen short — failing to effect the necessary institutional and cul- 
tural changes organization- wide. We want to ensure that this does not happen 
again. Despite having found acceptance of the Director's clear message that 
counterterrorism is now the FBI's top priority, two years after 9/11 we also 
found gaps between some of the announced reforms and the reality in the field. 
We are concerned that management in the field offices still can allocate peo- 
ple and resources to local concerns that diverge from the national security mis- 
sion.This system could revert to a focus on lower-priority criminal justice cases 
over national security requirements. 

Recommendation: A specialized and integrated national security 
workforce should be established at the FBI consisting of agents, ana- 
lysts, linguists, and surveillance specialists who are recruited, trained, 
rewarded, and retained to ensure the development of an institutional 



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426 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

culture imbued with a deep expertise in intelligence and national 
security. 

• The president, by executive order or directive, should direct the FBI 
to develop this intelligence cadre. 

• Recognizing that cross-fertilization between the criminal justice and 
national security disciplines is vital to the success of both missions, all 
new agents should receive basic training in both areas. Furthermore, 
new agents should begin their careers with meaningful assignments 
in both areas. 

• Agents and analysts should then specialize in one of these disciplines 
and have the option to work such matters for their entire career with 
the Bureau. Certain advanced training courses and assignments to 
other intelligence agencies should be required to advance within the 
national security discipline. 

• In the interest of cross-fertilization, all senior FBI managers, includ- 
ing those working on law enforcement matters, should be certified 
intelligence officers. 

• The FBI should fully implement a recruiting, hiring, and selection 
process for agents and analysts that enhances its ability to target and 
attract individuals with educational and professional backgrounds in 
intelligence, international relations, language, technology, and other 
relevant skills. 

• The FBI should institute the integration of analysts, agents, linguists, and 
surveillance personnel in the field so that a dedicated team approach is 
brought to bear on national security intelligence operations. 

• Each field office should have an official at the field office's deputy level 
for national security matters.This individual would have management 
oversight and ensure that the national priorities are carried out in the 
field. 

• The FBI should align its budget structure according to its four main 
programs — intelligence, counterterrorism and counterintelligence, 
criminal, and criminal justice services — to ensure better transparency 
on program costs, management of resources, and protection of the 
intelligence program. 2 ' 

• The FBI should report regularly to Congress in its semiannual pro- 
gram reviews designed to identify whether each field office is appro- 
priately addressing FBI and national program priorities. 



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HOWTODOIT? 427 

• The FBI should report regularly to Congress in detail on the qualifi- 
cations, status, and roles of analysts in the field and at headquarters. 
Congress should ensure that analysts are afforded training and career 
opportunities on a par with those offered analysts in other intelligence 
community agencies. 

• The Congress should make sure funding is available to accelerate the 
expansion of secure facilities in FBI field offices so as to increase their 
ability to use secure email systems and classified intelligence product 
exchanges. The Congress should monitor whether the FBI's 
information-sharing principles are implemented in practice. 

The FBI is just a small fraction of the national law enforcement commu- 
nity in the United States, a community comprised mainly of state and local 
agencies. The network designed for sharing information, and the work of the 
FBI through local Joint Terrorism Task Forces, should build a reciprocal rela- 
tionship, in which state and local agents understand what information they are 
looking for and, in return, receive some of the information being developed 
about what is happening, or may happen, in their communities. In this rela- 
tionship, the Department of Homeland Security also will play an important 
part. 

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 gave the under secretary for informa- 
tion analysis and infrastructure protection broad responsibilities. In practice, this 
directorate has the job to map "terrorist threats to the homeland against our 
assessed vulnerabilities in order to drive our efforts to protect against terrorist 
threats." 2 ' These capabilities are still embryonic. The directorate has not yet 
developed the capacity to perform one of its assigned jobs, which is to assim- 
ilate and analyze information from Homeland Security's own component 
agencies, such as the Coast Guard, Secret Service, Transportation Security 
Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and 
Border Protection. The secretary of homeland security must ensure that these 
components work with the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection 
Directorate so that this office can perform its mission. 22 

Homeland Defense 

At several points in our inquiry, we asked, "Who is responsible for defending 
us at home?" Our national defense at home is the responsibility, first, of the 
Department of Defense and, second, of the Department of Homeland Secu- 
rity. They must have clear delineations of responsibility and authority. 

We found that NOPvAD, which had been given the responsibility for 
defending U.S. airspace, had construed that mission to focus on threats com- 
ing from outside America's borders. It did not adjust its focus even though the 
intelligence community had gathered intelligence on the possibility that ter- 



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428 THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT 

rorists might turn to hijacking and even use of planes as missiles. We have been 
assured that NORAD has now embraced the full mission. Northern Com- 
mand has been established to assume responsibility for the defense of the 
domestic United States. 

Recommendation: The Department of Defense and its oversight 
committees should regularly assess the adequacy of Northern Com- 
mand's strategies and planning to defend the United States against 
military threats to the homeland. 

The Department of Homeland Security was established to consolidate all 
of the domestic agencies responsible for securing America's borders and 
national infrastructure, most of which is in private hands. It should identify 
those elements of our transportation, energy, communications, financial, and 
other institutions that need to be protected, develop plans to protect that infra- 
structure, and exercise the mechanisms to enhance preparedness. This means 
going well beyond the preexisting jobs of the agencies that have been brought 
together inside the department. 

Recommendation: The Department of Homeland Security and its 
oversight committees should regularly assess the types of threats the 
country faces to determine (a) the adequacy of the government's 
plans — and the progress against those plans — to protect America's 
critical infrastructure and (b) the readiness of the government to 
respond to the threats that the United States might face. 



We look forward to a national debate on the merits of what we have recom- 
mended, and we will participate vigorously in that debate.