Negroponte gets man at FBI

Our reader Ivo Skoric offers the following observation on news that National Intelligence Director John Negroponte will be appointing his personal intelligence overseer at the FBI:

Now that White House will have its man inside the FBI, actually a top intelligence official inside the FBI, there will be no Mark Felt opportunities any more. No more chances for an independent inquiry into the lawfulness of the political leadership. Deep Throat will remain a part of the imperfect Nixonian history. Not to be repeated under the totalitarian Bush regime.

From the New York Times:

Antiterror Head Will Help Choose an F.B.I. Official

Published: June 12, 2005

WASHINGTON, June 11 – Under pressure from the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has agreed to adopt the recommendations of a presidential commission and will allow the director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, to help choose a powerful intelligence chief at the F.B.I., Bush administration officials say.

The appointment would for the first time in the bureau’s history give an outsider a significant role in the selection of a high-level official at the F.B.I., an agency long regarded by its critics as fiercely protective of its turf and resistant to change. The intelligence chief, who will be chosen jointly by Mr. Negroponte and the director of the F.B.I., Robert S. Mueller III, would have the tentative title of associate director for intelligence and in effect be the third-ranking official at the bureau.

The F.B.I.’s acceptance of the new proposals represents a recognition within the bureau that it can no longer resist mounting pressures for change, after a series of scathing reports that have criticized it for intelligence lapses.

The recommendation to appoint a head of intelligence, along with other proposals for reorganizing at the F.B.I., were contained in a March 31 report from a commission chaired by Laurence H. Silberman, a federal appeals court judge, and Charles S. Robb, a former Democratic senator and governor of Virginia. The commission examined the performance of 15 of the country’s intelligence agencies and their prewar assessment of unconventional weapons in Iraq. The commission’s report contained dozens of recommendations affecting a number of agencies, but officials said a sharp debate had flared up in response to domestic security proposals affecting the F.B.I.

The White House has embraced the recommendations and set a deadline for the end of the month, and perhaps sooner, to announce its progress in putting them into effect.

See our last posts on Negroponte’s sinister past, his links to Central American death squads, and his probable hand in the Calipari affair. See also our in-depth feature on Negroponte.