Friday, September 05, 2008

U.S. Spy Agencies Prepare for Administration Change

Ben Bain writes on

The next president will inherit the new structure, which includes the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) as the head of that community, and a workforce that has gotten younger and larger since 2001.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) received an ODNI briefing Sept. 2, and ODNI has also offered one to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). President Bush recently authorized ODNI to begin briefing the candidates on topics at their request, said Tom Fingar, ODNI’s deputy director for analysis. As senators, both candidates have already had clearance to access to intelligence assessments.

“One of the bottom line realities is that [ODNI] has never before been through a transition,” Fingar said last week at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance’s Analytic Transformation 2008 conference in Orlando, Fla. “And simple questions like how many and which members of the senior staff are expected to hand in letters of resignation or expected to stay on into the next administration or to be around for just a period of transition,” have no precedent.

Roughly 55 percent to 60 percent of the people in the intelligence community have joined just since the 2001 attacks, and many on ODNI’s staff are on detail from other agencies, Fingar said.

More here.


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