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Back to business


The GOP convention is over. The Labor Day holiday weekend is over. That means it's time to get back to business in Washington.Sen. Pat Roberts is in the middle of it all, as Congress gets down to the business of reforming the nation's intelligence agencies in the wake of the 9-11 Commission report.Hearings on Roberts' proposal to dismantle the CIA get under way today."Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., wants Congress to transfer the nation's major intelligence gathering from the CIA and the Pentagon to control by a new national intelligence director," the [Associated Press][1] reports."Some people have opposed the idea, with Roberts saying Tuesday his plan 'has been deemed by some as radical and others as bold -- not as many 'bold' as 'radical.''"But former Rep. Lee Hamilton, the vice chairman of the Sept. 11 commission, did not reject the idea when asked about it at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, calling the idea 'a very bold move. It's a lot bolder than we made.'"The commission wanted 'achievable and pragmatic' goals, and didn't consider change on the scope that Roberts did, Hamilton said Tuesday."Not everybody's a fan."You know, a lot of damage can be done in the name of reform, if one gets in a hurry and doesn't think it through carefully," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in an interview with the [Washington Times][2]"The defense secretary, speaking to editors and reporters of The Washington Times, said consolidating the 14 agencies under a single director could lead to more 'group think' among intelligence analysts than already exists. "'You don't want to have everything the same. You want competitive analysis. You want all source analysis. You want a competition of ideas. And it's the policy-maker's job to sort through all that,' Mr. Rumsfeld said." According the the article, though, "Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said at a hearing on reform yesterday that recent intelligence failures 'have created a unique window of opportunity for enactment of real and lasting reform.'"The New York Times' [William Safire,][3] though, says Roberts' committee is using reform as a means of covering up its own oversight failures.Safire calls the Intelligence Committee "the Mr. Magoo brigade that is desperate to cover up its oversight misfeasance. (Its secret report in 2001 about the killing of 17 sailors aboard the U.S.S. Cole is too embarrassing to be unclassified.) This 'break up the Yankees' plan by the Republican Pat Roberts sets up three separate C.I.A.'s - stripping intel from the Pentagon, further dispiriting the crew at Langley and busting up the F.B.I. But Democrats are hooting because it dares to deviate from the blueprint laid down by the lionized 9/11 panel."Much, much more to come on the issue.Is Jerry Moran in hot water?That's what a Washington D.C. gossip column published by The Hill suggests.[Albert Eisele and Jeff Dufour][4] say Denny Hastert, speaker of the house, "goes after one unnamed House Republican for his vote on the Medicare drug bill" last year."Hastert writes, 'Some members had assured me that they would be with us, but when the crunch came, they weren't. One prairie state member, a fourth-term representative from a solidly Republican district, voted no, then ran and hid.'The Hill suggests Hastert's description could only apply to Kansas Reps. Jim Ryun and Jerry Moran."Ryun claims he is an innocent man, pointing out to The Hill that he stuck around for the nearly three-hour vote and even took a phone call from President Bush. "Meanwhile, Moran's office declined to comment. "Our verdict: Moran is in Hastert's doghouse." Other links:Dennis Moore-Kris Kobach links[In Kansas, long shots can call the shots][5]Jim Ryun-Nancy Boyda links[Boyda, Ryun say they welcome all volunteers][6]How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][7] [1]: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Congress-Intelligence.html [2]: http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040908-122945-2859r.htm [3]: http://www.some-web-page.com [4]: http://www.thehill.com/under_dome/090704.aspx [5]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/9591376.htm [6]: http://www.ljworld.com/section/citynews/story/180792 [7]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


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