Tags: U.S. | Considering | New | Spy | Agency

U.S. Considering New Spy Agency

Sunday, 17 November 2002 12:00 AM

The paper said that there was "high-level debate" on the idea, reflecting "widespread concern that the FBI had been unable to transform itself from a law enforcement agency into an intelligence-gathering unit able to detect and thwart terrorist plans in the United States."

It said that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller was opposed to the creation of a new agency, although the new body wouldn't replace the bureau but would have "the primary role in gathering and analyzing intelligence about Americans and foreign nationals in the United States." Mueller has said he believes that the bureau is capable of doing the job.

The newspaper said that top national security officials discussed the proposal for about two hours on Monday in a meeting chaired by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Among those attending were White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card; Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; CIA Director George Tenet; U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Mueller.

An unidentified administration spokesman told the Post that no conclusions had been reached in the meeting and that a new agency was just one option under consideration. The newspaper said that further meetings on the subject are planned.

According to the Post, the White House wants to get a Department of Homeland Security launched first.

The Homeland Security legislation will create a new Cabinet-level department merging 170,000 employees and 22 federal agencies. The latest version of the bill was approved by the House of Representatives 299-121 on Wednesday night.

The bill to create that department moved closer to congressional approval on Friday, when the Senate voted 65-29 to limit debate on it.

Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said the bill will come to a vote on Monday.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The paper said that there was "high-level debate" on the idea, reflecting "widespread concern that the FBI had been unable to transform itself from a law enforcement agency into an intelligence-gathering unit able to detect and thwart terrorist plans in the United...
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2002-00-17
Sunday, 17 November 2002 12:00 AM
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