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President Should Be Chief of Intelligence

August 26, 2004

Re "Proposal to Abolish CIA Riles Intelligence Leaders," Aug. 24: With all the bureaucratic blather that we're hearing now about how to improve the intelligence community by adding a "czar," one important fact has been forgotten: We already have a chief of intelligence; he's called the president, and so far he has been an abysmal failure in protecting our country.

Why add another bureaucrat who can be blamed for the president's failures? Let's just change presidents.

William Bergmann

Hollywood

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President Truman dissolved the Office of Strategic Services after World War II because he did not want to run the risk of having an "American Gestapo." Subsequently he had the CIA created because he recognized the need of acquiring foreign intelligence, but a mandate stated that the responsibility of the CIA was to be totally foreign and the FBI would have the responsibility for domestic matters.

Giving the president the power to appoint one man as czar over all of our intelligence, both domestic and foreign, even with congressional oversight committees, is a risk to the way of life that we take for granted. Contemplate the dark side of such an appointment in the hands of someone hungry for power. Such people do exist here in our own country.

Irwin R. Langs

Canoga Park

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