19 July 2004
White House Report, July 19: Intelligence-gathering
Administration seeks intelligence reforms
The Bush administration has taken a number of steps to improve
U.S. intelligence-gathering and intelligence-analysis capabilities
and remains open to "ideas that build upon the reforms that we're
already implementing," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told
reporters July 19.
The bipartisan 9/11 Commission is scheduled to release its final
500-page report during the week of the July 19. The report is expected
to include recommendations for improving U.S. handling of intelligence
in the fight against terror.
McClellan cited past reforms saying, "We worked to create the
Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), we worked to pass the
Patriot Act, to knock down the wall between law enforcement and
intelligence. And we also are continuing to work to transform the
FBI, so that its primary mission is counterterrorism now."
McClellan also cited bolstering human intelligence, increasing
investments in technologies, and enhancing ways to share information
as steps needed to improve intelligence capabilities.
"[T]he president's number one priority is to protect the American
people," said McClellan, "and he's made it very clear, if there
are additional ideas out there that can improve our intelligence
gathering and help us better protect the American people, he is
very much in favor of moving forward on those ideas. "
When asked about possible connections between Iran with al-Qaeda,
McClellan said, the president had concerns about Iran.