Kerrey believes intel. changes will come

July 25, 2004 at 12:03 PM

WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- The need to remake the U.S. intelligence establishment is clear, former Sen. Bob Kerrey said Sunday, even in the face of bureaucratic resistance.

"It's very difficult for people to give up authority" in Washington, Kerrey, a member of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States, said on ABC's ThisWeek. But he seemed confident the changes will eventually be made.

In its final report, the commission recommended the appointment of a national intelligence director, who would report directly to the president and who would oversee the disparate elements of the U.S. intelligence community.

This change, Kerrey and former U.S. Navy Secretary John Lehman said, was necessary to break up the "group think" the commission report identified as a principal problem in the pre-9/11 period.

Kerrey acknowledged the idea has been met with stiff resistance from the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland security and the Central Intelligence Agency. But he said he believes the changes will occur.

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