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From: Otis Willie
Subject: Administration Begins to Rewrite Decades-Old Spying Restrictions
Organization: The American War Library
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 01 Dec 2002 19:11:56 EST
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 00:11:56 GMT
Administration Begins to Rewrite Decades-Old Spying Restrictions
(EXCERPT) By DAVID JOHNSTON
his article was reported by David Johnston, James Risen, Neil A. Lewis
and written by Mr. Johnston.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 — The Bush administration, in its fight against
terrorism, is slowly chipping away at the wall that has existed for
nearly three decades between domestic law enforcement and
international intelligence gathering in an effort that senior
officials said was vital to waging war against Al Qaeda and other
The barrier between domestic and overseas intelligence gathering was
erected when the Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1947. It
was significantly hardened in the 1970's in response to Congressional
investigations that produced revelations of widespread abuses by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and the intelligence agency.
But since the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the Bush
administration has waged a different kind of war, mostly under the
existing rules. Now, senior government officials have concluded that
the changes made so far have not addressed the fundamental flaws of
the old rules, leaving the United State still vulnerable to
The changes are coming about in part because of Congressional
criticism of the performances of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. before the
terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The two agencies will
also be under the scrutiny of an independent commission created this
week to examine their activities before the attacks.
The administration and Congress had already been reviewing ideas to
overhaul intelligence and law enforcement that have been considered
untouchable for a generation.
One is the creation of a domestic espionage agency; another is the use
of the military in United States law enforcement. There is no
agreement yet on new structures or whether the basic mandates and core
operations of the central agencies will be changed.
The biggest change to date came on Monday when President Bush signed a
law creating a Department of Homeland Security with its own
intelligence unit. The unit is designed to start operations as a
small, analytical office, but it has the potential to gr...
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