[ISN] White House Finds Homeland Security Jobs a Tough Sell

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Feb 26 2003 - 22:57:23 PST

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    By Brian Krebs
    washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
    February 27, 2003
    Just two days before 22 federal agencies are set to move to the new 
    Department of Homeland Security, the White House has yet to fill three 
    top positions responsible for protecting the nation's physical and 
    digital infrastructure and managing the department's 
    intelligence-gathering activities. 
    The vacant posts are in DHS's Directorate for Information Analysis and 
    Infrastructure Protection (IAIP), a terrorist threat assessment and 
    warning unit that includes five cybersecurity divisions previously 
    scattered across other federal agencies. March 1 is the deadline for 
    most federal agencies reassigned to DHS to have completed the move to 
    the department. 
    The Bush administration's top pick for the IAIP undersecretary 
    position, former Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper, 
    turned down the job last month. Two assistant secretary positions -- 
    one charged with managing intelligence gathering and the other 
    responsible for infrastructure protection -- also must be filled. 
    Confusion about the IAIP's mission and authority is handicapping the 
    White House search, according to people who have been approached to 
    fill the positions, as well as observers closely following the massive 
    homeland security reorganization. 
    As envisioned in the Homeland Security Act, IAIP is to serve as the 
    gathering place for all information related to possible threats to the 
    homeland. The architects of the law believed that a central 
    clearinghouse for intelligence data would help avoid a repeat of 
    events that led to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, where 
    anti-terror agencies missed clues and failed to share information. 
    But recent Bush administration actions are casting doubt on IAIP's 
    mission. Earlier this month, the president announced that a new terror 
    threat intelligence center would be created and run by Central 
    Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet, signaling that DSH's role 
    in intelligence assessment would be limited. 
    One former Bush administration official approached about a key post 
    within IAIP said he declined the job "when it became obvious that 
    there was not going to be a serious investment of resources" in the 
    division's intelligence-gathering mission. The source asked that his 
    name not be printed. 
    Another former high-ranking Bush administration official who walked 
    away from one of the top three positions in the division described 
    working at IAIP as "the ultimate thankless job, where the people in 
    charge will be raked over the coals by Congress the next time things 
    go wrong." 
    "An even bigger concern is there seems to be a real lack of clarity as 
    to what the directorate's mission is, and when you factor those two 
    elements together it adds up to a real turkey," said the official, who 
    asked not to be named. 
    James B. Steinberg, former deputy national security adviser under the 
    Clinton administration, called the IAIP recruiting problems 
    unsurprising, adding that the creation of the threat integration 
    center under CIA leadership leaves the undersecretary for IAIP with a 
    great deal of accountability but little authority on intelligence 
    "Anyone qualified enough who would want to lead IAIP would naturally 
    want to be where the action is, but with the administration's decision 
    to put intelligence squarely in the hands of (the director of the 
    CIA), I can't imagine why anybody would think IAIP is going to be 
    where the action is," said Steinberg, who is currently vice president 
    and director of foreign policy studies at The Brookings Institution. 
    "It's clear from this move that the administration sees a very limited 
    role for the directorate." 
    "Whoever takes this job is probably not going to be the guy in the 
    room with the president, or if you are, it's going to be only because 
    the CIA or FBI invited you," said Stewart Baker, former general 
    counsel at the National Security Agency. 
    Until the administration sorts where IAIP ranks in the intelligence 
    community, anyone who takes the helm at IAIP will be playing from a 
    weak hand, Baker said. "It's like drawing the queen of spades in game 
    of Hearts: If you're not careful, everyone will decide you're the one 
    who didn't do his job." 
    The White House has also had trouble competing with the private sector 
    for talented help, according to friends and close associates of 
    several potential nominees who turned down assignments at IAIP. 
    Most of the qualified candidates the administration has approached are 
    20- to 30-year veteran military and intelligence officers who have 
    since taken lucrative consulting jobs in the private sector. For many, 
    returning to work for the government would mean not only much smaller 
    salaries, but the loss of their government pensions -- since Uncle Sam 
    generally prohibits "double dipping," or collecting pensions while on 
    the government's active payroll. 
    "In some cases it's like asking people to take at least a 40 percent 
    pay cut to come back and work for the government," said Mark Rasch, 
    former head of the Justice Department's computer crimes unit and now 
    senior vice president and chief security counsel for security vendor 
    Solutionary Inc. "That's almost never an attractive option." 
    Such considerations likely played a role in influencing Clapper to 
    turn down the IAIP top position. A retired Air Force lieutenant 
    general who currently serves as director of the National Imagery and 
    Mapping Agency, Clapper was hired at NIMA under a benefits and salary 
    package comparable to that of a private-sector contractor. He did not 
    explain why he declined the job, but former co-workers say Clapper 
    would have had to sacrifice his pension and his generous salary at 
    NIMA to take a job with the new department. 
    Sources inside the Bush administration and outside observers who 
    closely track the intelligence community said John Grimes, a top 
    executive at Raytheon's intelligence and information systems unit, is 
    a possible choice for the undersecretary job or for assistant 
    secretary for infrastructure protection. Grimes was formerly deputy 
    assistant secretary of defense under the previous two administrations. 
    The same sources said Paul Redmond, the former chief of CIA 
    counterintelligence whose work led to the uncovering of CIA spy 
    Aldrich Ames, is on the short list of candidates for assistant 
    secretary for information analysis. Redmond is currently finishing up 
    a report to Congress on the damage done to U.S. intelligence efforts 
    by Robert Hanssen, the FBI counterintelligence expert convicted of 
    spying for Russia. 
    Both Grimes and Redmond acknowledged being contacted by the White 
    House about the positions but declined to comment further. 
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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