The 9/11 Commission looks set to recommend creating a director of national intelligence who would oversee all the current intelligence agencies, thus ending the situation where everyone thinks the CIA director is in charge, but the Secretary of Defense actually handles much of the money. A different, but essentially the same, idea that’s been kicking around for a while was just to actually put the CIA director in charge of things. As I say, this is an idea that’s been kicking around for quite some time. Bush asked Brent Scowcroft to come up with some ideas about intelligence reform, and this is what he came up with, but instead of doing it the administration classified the report.
Why do that? Well it certainly wasn’t because he was blinded by some kind of dogmatic rightwing hatred of rationalizing the intelligence bureacracy. No. The reason is one man: Don Rumsfeld. The reform plan is bad for the Secretary of Defense, so the SecDef didn’t like it. So far, so good. But the question remains, why would Bush listen to Rumsfeld on this? The answer, or so it seems to me, is that Rumsfeld is buddies with Cheney, and the president simply doesn’t have the strength, intelligence, or wherewithal to understand when his erstwhile advisors are giving him advice that is purely self-interested and neither in the interests of the country, nor the Bush administration.