What Is “Inter-Agency Process”? It’s the Job Description of the DNI

By
November 16, 2012

Here’s the vital takeaway from all the vast reading you can do on what’s published about David Petraeus’ closed-door testimony today to House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

“The original talking points were much more specific about Al Qaeda involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists,” [Congressman Peter] King said, adding that the final version was the product of a vague “inter-agency process.” [Emphasis mine.]

Further, King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the Al Qaeda affiliates line “was taken out.”

Lawmakers are focusing on the talking points issue because of concern over the account U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice gave on five Sunday shows on Sept. 16, when she repeatedly claimed the attack was spontaneous — Rice’s defenders have since insisted she was merely basing her statements on the intelligence at the time.

Someone re-wrote the CIA report(s). CIA reports that came not from some faceless analyst in a cubicle, but from the desk of the then-Director of Central Intelligence, David Petraeus. And this was part of a vague “inter-agency process.”

Let me explain what “inter-agency process” means in this instance.

We want our various intelligence agencies to compare data and analysis, presumably to make sure we don’t miss signs of an impending attack like September 11, 2001. That’s why, after 9/11, the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was created in the first place. The effectiveness of such a move/position has been debatable since “DNI” was still but a vague concept. Well, whatever the debate points, the DNI does exist.  And, in a techno-bureaucratic sense, the Director of National Intelligence is a position superior and/or supervisory over the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). On paper.  In the Obama administration, the DNI is James Clapper.

The Director of National Intelligence, while in charge on paper, is primarily a facilitator – a bureaucrat. He runs no agency directly. In fact, it is generally understood that the office of the DNI generally keeps its nose out of the specific working matters of the CIA, DIA, NSA, etc. He’s a coordinator. And, he is an editor. He gathers the various intelligence reports and – as is the position’s responsibility and purpose – compares the data and presents to the President of the United States a (presumably) fuller picture of information and events.

DNI James Clapper was responsible for editing and merging information and constructing a report to the president. That’s his job. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is, by the very definition of his job description, “inter-agency process.” He serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

You know James Clapper… The guy who said he learned of Petraeus’ affair only on election night. Thought it so calamitous that he advised Petraeus to resign. But not calamitous enough to inform the White House until the next day, Wednesday - if you believe his public line of  reasoning (and the Easter Bunny). And not calamitous enough to tell the President of the United States until yet another day, Thursday.

Does anyone, regardless of politics, think that neither the DNI nor the President of the United States were aware of a months-long FBI investigation of the Director of Central Intelligence Agency until election Tuesday for one and the following Thursday for the other?

That explanation floated to the public is and always was a bunch of hooey. DNI Clapper was crafting a tale protecting his boss. Just as he took the intelligence from David Petraeus and the CIA on al-Qaeda involvement in the September 11 attack in Benghazi and crafted talking points that reflected views desired or preferred by his boss, President Obama.

Inter-agency process IS the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and it’s not at Langley. It’s at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Any questions?

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Comments:
  1. Xiaoding says:

    Well, how does this relate to the Director of Nationa Security, superior, inferior? Does the DNI serve at the pleasure of the President? Deos the DNI have to obey orders of the President, as opposed to the Director of National Security, who does not have to obey orders of the President?

  2. Steve says:

    No such animal as Director of National Security. All directors that do exist obey (lawful) orders of POTUS.

    • Ragspierre says:

      dingy has a problem with reality.

      He believes there are offices in the executive branch that are not responsible to the POTUS.

      • Xiaoding says:

        It’s called the National Security Council, idiots. Read a book sometime.

        • Xiaoding says:

          Oh, and sorry, Steve, the idot comment was for Rags. Romeny lost, Rags!

        • Steve says:

          The National Security Council has no “Director of National Security.” It’s a gaggle of national security professionals who collectively advise the President.

          I’ve read many books.

          • Xiaoding says:

            Ah, substitute “National Security Advisor” for that. There may be a gaggle of people therin, but there is only one advisor.

            Romney lost, Rags. Not the GOP, not conservatism, just Romney.

          • Ragspierre says:

            dingy, you don’t really need to prove you’re crazy. We can all see it.

            And aren’t you the one who goes around saying conservatism is dead? Pitiful.

        • Ragspierre says:

          ZOMG…!!! How embarrassing to be dingy!

          But, another day….

  3. Ragspierre says:

    “Does anyone, regardless of politics, think that neither the DNI nor the President of the United States were aware of a months-long FBI investigation of the Director of Central Intelligence Agency until election Tuesday for one and the following Thursday for the other?”

    Well, I can think of a lot of people who will SWEAR they DO believe that.

    Aside from that, however…

    SEVERAL people…including Holder…had a DUTY to brief Congress.

    So…. Hmmm….

  4. CWLsun says:

    The post is spot on.

    It’s like there are no administrators in the administration.

    Take one Amb. Rice [the cabinet member who was sent out by her boss to talk on the Sunday shows] video of her Sunday talk shows on 9/16

    How about ABCnews This Week with Jake Tapper

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxf77xQ_NLU&feature=related

    1. Stayed pretty much verbatim on talking point early in interview “currently available information”

    2. @4:20 became unequivocal as is her prerogative…it would seem….”lets be clear”

    3. Can’t miss talking point @6:40 “heavily armed mobsters”

    4. Every White House cabinet member involved (Rice, Clinton, Panetta, Holder) needs to be asked

    a. What information did they receive

    b. From who? What office? DNI?

    c. What questions did they ask as cabinet members about that information?

    d. What prerogatives did they take in going past those talking points as cabinet member?

    d. Dock their pay until the investigation is done.

    This is not that hard. Congressional committees involved could send out the questionaire to the 4 cabinet members involved and put the questions and answers online.

    And if the Pres. Obama wants to chime in, great. We are all ears.

  5. [...] now know who stuffed the sock puppet Susan Rice full of bull pokey,  from Steve, Riehl World News, background: “The original talking points were much more specific about Al Qaeda involvement. And [...]

  6. Patriot says:

    Keep f-ing that chicken, morons. As with the election, you are WINNING!

    • Ragspierre says:

      That is no way to refer to the POTUS.

      Whatever his manifold failings, he deserves his human dignity.

  7. Steve says:

    Reminder to Republicans – The Democrats DIDN’T Compromise after 2004 (after losing the election)

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2012/11/reminder-to-republicans-democrats-didnt.html

    • Patriot says:

      Totally. 4 more years of braying like deranged mental patients is certain to guarantee that the future unskewed polls will be in your favor, thereby earning you resounding electoral victories – just like in 2012!

      • Ragspierre says:

        Your mental problems obviously extend to short-term memory loss.

        Well, an APPARENT psychotic delusions.

        See…2010. AND we hold the states by a very nice majority.

        If you COULD think, you’d wonder why the red states are doing so well. IF…

  8. Captain Joe says:

    Anybody think that the Broadwell chick was sicked on Petreaus by some foreign intelligence service, like from Israel, or Russia? Looks more and more like Jill Kelley and her sister were also sicked on Petreaus and others at Centcom to extract intelligence or to put the poor slubs into compromising positions. Geez, I hope the Pentagon has some zipper control training scheduled for the flag officers.

  9. Patriot says:

    Haha. Yeah, the red states are doing so well because they are corporate welfare havens, and net drains of federal tax revenue. Moocher states, if you will. And If you think 2010 was a reflection of the broader electorate, you’re stupider than you look. See 2012.

    • Ragspierre says:

      Put up your support, you lying, hate-twisted POS.

      Support–

      1. Red states are “corporate welfare havens” and that is why they prosper

      2. Red states are “net drains of federal tax revenue” and that is why they prosper

      3. Support that the election of local Congressional representatives, state legislatures, statewide Senators, and statewide governors was not more representative of the broader electorate than a few point margin of victory for Barrachah.

  10. [...] World View is blogging on the “Inter-Agency Process” and the DNI. Go read [...]