Intelligence Reform: The Heritage Foundation's Research

Report Homeland Security

Intelligence Reform: The Heritage Foundation's Research

October 20, 2004 8 min read
The Heritage Foundation

Putting Off 9/11 Reform Law is the Right Answer
by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
Three cheers for the Congress. House and Senate conferees did the right thing in not rushing to compromise on a bill to address the reforms proposed by the 9/11 Commission. The pressure of rushing a bill through conference before the election presented too great a risk of ending up with a bad law. It is more important to get these reforms right than to get them fast.

Intelligence Reform Needs To Enhance Our Legal Capacity To Combat Terrorism

by Paul Rosenzweig
The House and Senate are now attempting to reconcile their Intelligence Reform bills. Senate negotiators appear to have taken the position that the House's amendments to the Senates basic bill should be rejected as "extraneous." But intelligence reform is too important for politics and too important to rush. Every one of the competing provisions should be considered on its own merits and accepted or rejected on that basis.


The Senate and House 9/11 Reform Bills Both Miss the Mark

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
The House and Senate Bills need to be fixed in conference to resolve four issues: Both (1) create new and unnecessary bureaucracy, (2) interfere with the capacity of the National Intelligence Director (NID) to provide independent assessments to the President and to oversee the intelligence community, (3) undercut the missions of the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security, and (4) lack adequate safeguards to protect civil liberties while providing more aggressive antiterrorism tools.


Enhanced Information Sharing Is Vital to the Success of the National Intelligence Director

by Paul Rosenzweig and James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
It would be absurd to create a National Intelligence Director to coordinate intelligence activities but to deny him the essential tools to accomplish that mission. A clear mandate for enhancing information sharing must be in the final bill that is sent to the President.


What a Comprehensive Intelligence Bill Should Contain

by Edwin Meese III, Larry M. Wortzel, Ph.D., Peter Brookes, and James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
Congress should not pass legislation that overburdens a National Intelligence Director with too many roles and responsibilities, misses other opportunities to improve the performance of intelligence collection (particularly for sharing information and protecting civil liberties), or neglects additional reforms that may strengthen and improve the capacity of individual agencies to do their jobs.


Avoiding a Rush to Failure

by Edwin Meese III and James Jay Carafano
The chance to fundamentally restructure our national security apparatus comes along rarely. Once done, the energy needed to push reform dissipates. Flaws can go uncorrected for decades. Four issues are crucial: (1) Do the reforms preserve civil liberties? (2) Do the reforms address modern threats? (3) Do the reforms assure the independence of the National Intelligence Director? (4) Do the reforms help integrate intelligence operations at all levels?


Make Information-Sharing Authority Permanent

by Paul Rosenzweig
As Congress considers these proposed changes, it should bear in mind the most important lesson of September 11-that the purpose of any reorganization is to assist in "connecting the dots" of intelligence information. To assure that this occurs, Congress must take steps to make the critical information-sharing authority contained in the USA Patriot Act permanent. If Congress does not act, vital aspects of that new legal authority will lapse in 2005.


Preventive Detention and Actionable Intelligence

by Paul Rosenzweig and James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
One of the gaping holes in America's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 is that we have not yet undertaken the difficult task of defining a legal regime in which actionable intelligence may be acted upon. Other countries, most notably the United Kingdom, have faced similar terrorist threats and have developed legal structures that permit the government to act upon intelligence information (through preventive detention) while also ensuring (through burden of proof standards, procedural protections, and oversight) that civil liberties are not infringed upon. We should follow, generally, the English model.


The Patriot Act Reader

by Paul Rosenzweig, Alane Kochems, and James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
The Patriot Act has come to symbolize an overstepping of the executive branch's power. Unfortunately, that image is based largely on misinformation. This Special Report describes specifically what powers the Patriot Act grants, the need for these powers, the safeguards built into the Patriot Act, and how it has been used so far.


Sufficiency of Time, Attention, and Legal Authority

by Edwin Meese, III
In this congressional testimony, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese discusses the management of the intelligence community, the role of a National Intelligence Director, and Congress's responsibility to provide adequate oversight of intelligence activities.


Before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.

In this congressional testimony, Carafano names his concerns with the 9/11 Commission's proposals for intelligence reform.


Intelligence Recommendations Bear Scrutiny

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
Most of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations on intelligence reform are spot-on, but two-the proposals to create a National Counterterrorism Center (NCC) and an independent national intelligence director (NID)-bear closer scrutiny. Although a national center is needed, creating an NCC directly under the NID might weaken, rather than enhance, the intelligence community's ability to provide the nation with more responsive, accurate, effective, and useful strategic intelligence. Instead, the NCC should be located in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


The Case for Intelligence Reform: A Primer on Strategic Intelligence and Terrorism from the 1970s to Today

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.

Strategic intelligence is the first line of defense for combating terrorism. To prepare for the future, Congress should undertake responsible intelligence reform focusing on ways to reduce bureaucracy, institutionalize effective information sharing, and improve the capacity of the Intelligence Community to collect information on 21st century threats. Congress must also provide agencies with the resources they need to get the job done right.


What the 9/11 Commission's Report Should Contain: Four Recommendations for Making America Safer

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., and Paul Rosenzweig
The 9/11 Commission's proposals should address four key areas: implementing responsible intelligence reform, reauthorizing the "sunset" provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, promoting new technologies that can provide both better security and enhanced protection of civil liberties, and improving congressional oversight.


An Agenda for Responsible Intelligence Reform

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
A survey of the Heritage Foundation's earlier research on intelligence reform.


Terrorist Intelligence Centers Need Reform Now

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
After reform, many intelligence functions will rightly remain outside of the DHS, but information-sharing is of such importance that the DHS needs effective oversight of all critical intelligence integration and analysis programs. The DHS needs the responsibility, organization, and resources to be the effective integrator of terrorist intelligence that Congress envisioned when creating the new department.


The SAFE Act Will Not Make Us Safer

by Edwin Meese III and Paul Rosenzweig
Too much of the debate on the Patriot Act has focused on the Act not as it truly is but as people perceive it to be. Most of the proposals for reform mistake the appearance of potential problems and abuse (the myth) with the reality of no abuse at all. This paper looks into the reality of the Act and its implementation and considers a proposed alternative, the SAFE Act.


A Patriotic Day: 9/11 Commission Recognizes Importance of the Patriot Act

by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., and Paul Rosenzweig
During the 9/11 Commission's hearings, present and former government officials and even the Commissioners themselves emphasized the importance of one new tool adopted after September 11: the USA Patriot Act. They agree that the Patriot Act is an essential weapon in the nation's global war on terrorism. Congress should take note and act to reauthorize provisions in the law due to expire next year.


Anti-Terrorism Investigations and the Fourth Amendment After September 11: Where and When can the Government go to Prevent Terrorist Attacks?

by Paul Rosenzweig

Securing Freedom And The Nation: Collecting Intelligence Under The Law

by Paul Rosenzweig


The Need to Protect Civil Liberties While Combating Terrorism: Legal Principles and the Total Information Awareness Program by Paul Rosenzweig and Michael Scardaville


Principles for Safeguarding Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism

by Paul Rosenzweig


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