Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7298-2003Feb26.html 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 matters. "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. 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