Republicans call for dismantling CIA

Aug. 23, 2004 at 7:08 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Nine Republican U.S. senators have called for a security and intelligence reorganization that would effectively shut down the CIA.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate intelligence committee announced the plan Sunday, and said eight other committee Republicans backed it.

The proposal calls for the removal of three of the agency's main directorates, to be turned into separate entities reporting to separate directors. The Pentagon would lose control of three of its largest operations as well, including the ultra-secret National Security Agency.

"No one agency, no matter how distinguished its history, is more important than U.S. national security," Roberts said. "We are not abolishing the CIA. We are reordering and renaming its three major elements."

The plan was welcomed by the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who has endorsed the changes advocated by the Sept. 11 commission, the Washington Post said. Campaign spokesman Rand Beers said in a statement the proposal "is very similar to the reforms offered by John Kerry but needs to become bipartisan to be fully successful."

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