17 February 2005

DNI: Gods Speed...

President Bush on Thursday named his top representative in Iraq John Negroponte as the new DNI or director of national intelligence, a position created as part of the investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The role of national intelligence chief emerged an investigation into lapses before the Sept. 11 attacks prompted Congress to overhaul the nation's intelligence efforts in 50 years. As part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Bill of 2004 and in response to what members saw as failures in communication between the country's intelligence agencies, Congress called for one position to direct national intelligence.

The new position will oversee 15 agencies including the CIA, according to Reuters, and as its chief Negroponte will be charged with giving the president daily intelligence briefings.

"If we're going to stop the terrorists before they strike, we must ensure that our intelligence agencies work as a single, unified enterprise," the president said.

If we are forecasting a terrorist strike in the US as Porter Goss and company are predicting, then Mr. Negroponte has accepted the job between a "bomb and a hard place."

In a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, CIA Director Porter Goss said the United States still faces threats from Islamic extremists groups such as al Qaeda, who are using the war in Iraq to recruit terrorists from around the world.

With an annual budget estimated at $4 Billion, we are going to eventually find out why all of the intelligence in the universe will not prevent another attack on the American Homeland. In the mean time, the private sector itself should be spending more time and money on preparing their respective employees, suppliers and stakeholders in the event of another attack on our economy. If business waits for government to protect its assets, critical infrastructure or overall well being, business will again be disappointed if and when an attack occurs.

If you are the CEO or Chairman of the Board, what are you going to do to protect your people, processes, systems and supply chain assets from an event as predictable as the next major earthquake? It's only a matter of when. Not what or how.

As President Bush so kindly stated to John Negroponte today at the press conference podium: "Gods Speed".

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