TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

President Barack Obama meets with NCTC Director Michael Leiter, center right, leadership andanalysts in the secure video teleconference room at the National Counterterrorism Center inMcLean, Va, Oct. 6, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)could undermine the chain of command between the Secretary of Defense andfield commanders, especially during a time of crisis. To counter this criticism,the Bush Administration pushed for compromises that protected the Pentagon’ssphere of authority while still creating a national intelligence authority to focus,guide, and coordinate the Intelligence Community.It remains unclear whether the IRTPA has enhanced US intelligence capabilitiesand lowered US vulnerabilities to terrorist attack. For instance, theODNI’s Inspector General in early 2009 publicly released a scathing reportfaulting the Office for evolving into a bureaucratically bloated organizationthat has so far failed to achieve its overall mission. 18 The report stated:• “Many ODNI employees understand the objectives of IRTPA but donot know how the ODNI is implementing those objectives.” Also,“the majority of the ODNI and IC employees (including many seniorofficials)…were unable to articulate a clear understanding of theODNI’s mission, roles, and responsibilities with respect to the IC.” 19• The ODNI staff ’s authorities are perceived to remain unclear, encouragingsome agencies “…to go their own way, to the detriment of theunified and integrated intelligence enterprise envisioned by IRTPA.”Compounding this issue is the fact that IC computer systems are“largely disconnected and incompatible.” 2016 Trials by Fire: Counterterrorism and the Law

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