Tuesday, March 30, 2004

What's in a Name 

Special Adviser to the President for Cyberspace Security and Chairman, President's Critical Infrastructure Board
This was Richard Clark's official job title in the Bush Administration. If this doesn't sound like a "he's a good guy and we don't want to toss him out on his ear but need a place to stick him away" made-up title then I've never heard one. Looking through his biography, I see he was a player in the State Department's Intelligence and Analysis branch.

As I remember it from a few years ago (and it may have changed since), a National Intelligence Estimate required the agreement of four agencies: CIA, DIA, NSA and State I&A. At the time, I remember a great deal of dissatisfaction the first three had with the last, largely because they felt that State Department policy unduly influenced the analysis part of I&A. It seemed just too convenient that their analysis always backed up whatever policies and actions the department had already decided upon. I will admit my bias, but I have always suspected I&A folks, especially high mucketty-mucks, as providing a little too much wag and not enough dog.

Roger Simon asks a valid question concerning titles and qualifications. I will go a bit further and ask if we are seeing the Peter Pricipal in action?

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