Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What's Next for Intelligence? Rep. John Kline discusses the promise and perils of reform.

OpinionJournal - The Western Front

Rep. John Kline is from a district which includes the South Metro of the Twin Cities (not my district). He had a very tough battle to get into office in dealing with a what I think was a liar and cheat for a Democrat who would do anything to stay in office. Thank goodness John Kline was finally successful. I was at a fundraiser for him last fall and this man is an example of why we as Americans do need military experience representing us and the military.

From Miniter:

The intelligence reform bill signed into law last year is only part of what needs to be done. And there are still a lot of pitfalls that could make our intelligence gathering ability worse.

Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican in his second term, isn't a household name. But he's the rare lawmaker who has looked through the intelligence lens from both ends and knows a lot about "unconventional threats." He served 25 years in the Marine Corps, including as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and he commanded Marine aviation in terror hot-spot Somalia in the 1990s. He knows the need for good, actionable intelligence. In the 1980s the Marines assigned him to the White House, where he carried the briefcase full of missile launch codes--the nuclear "football"--for President Reagan.

The danger of this skewed view of intelligence came to the fore last year, as Congress pushed through its overhaul of the intelligence community. A provision in that bill would have broken the chain of military command in disseminating intelligence and have forbidden the secretary of defense from talking to the president on some intelligence matters. Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, became the public face of opposition to the bill. Mr. Kline was one of a handful of lawmakers who also dug in their heels until that provision was stripped out. Killing provisions like that, he told me, was one of the reasons why he ran for Congress.

It's interesting because further into the story we find out that through bureaucrats this could still be watered down from the writing of the regulations to implement the reforms.

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