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Inquiry Expected To Call For Oversight Position of US Intelligence Agencies


The leaders of a congressional inquiry into the September 11 terrorist attacks last year on the United States are reviewing their findings, and preparing a list of recommendations. They are expected to call for a new Cabinet position to oversee the work of the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies.

Senator Bob Graham, the co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says a Cabinet-level official should keep watch on the entire intelligence community.

The Florida Democrat said the idea of creating a new national director of intelligence has been suggested before. "That has been a consistent recommendation of commissions, which have looked at the intelligence community over the last several years," Mr. Graham said.

Mr. Graham told the CBS television program, Face the Nation, that a persistent problem before September 11 was the inability of certain intelligence agencies to coordinate information. He said, people simply were not talking to each other.

"I believe that that problem would be substantially alleviated, if there was somebody in charge, who could assure that all the agencies were on the same page (working to the same end), and all participating as a team, as opposed to a dozen separate agencies," Mr. Graham said.

Senator Graham predicted the committee will make about 20 recommendations overall. And there are indications the panel could vote to formally endorse the list later this week.

Committee members will finish their work, as an independent commission takes over the task of investigating the terrorist attacks. The commission, which is being led by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, is expected to pick up the inquiry where the congressional panel left off.

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