Jewish World Review August 4, 2004 / 17 Menachem-Av 5764
Is there a way to make the new national intelligence director position non-political?
Kudos to President Bush for adopting one of the 9/11 commission's most sweeping recommendations, the creation of a national intelligence director and of a counterterrorism center. I would hope there's some way, though, to make the position non-partisan. As horrifying as the warnings themselves are to hear, Democrats accuse the current Department of Homeland Security of issuing the warnings for political gain.
And it would be even more frightening if the Democrats were right. While Secretary Ridge has committed not to attend any GOP fundraisers or other partisan events, and that's a good first step, his was still clearly a political appointment. There has got to be a better way to immunize this new position from politics.
The same way the highest-level military officials are supposed to be non-political, this job is too important to allow any of the decisions or assessments to be tainted or even to be seen as tainted by politics. I don't believe Secretary Ridge is so corrupted by politics that he would issue terror warnings just to change the discussion of the day.
But with ferocious partisan circling on both sides ready to make everything about politics, when it come to terrorism, there has got to be a way to steal their political chum.
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