just in from new york times

  1. 4,434 Posts.
    Rebellion in the ranks! Oh no! Could this be the end of OHMS(Bush) USA Ship?
    (I've cut a bit off at the end. If you wish, check it out at NYT.com)

    The New York Times
    December 5, 2004
    Bush Pressuring G.O.P. to Approve Intelligence Bill

    President Bush sought to stem a near-rebellion by members of his own party in Congress yesterday by describing a sweeping intelligence-overhaul bill they oppose as an effort "to do everything necessary to confront and defeat the terrorist threat" and calling for its passage during a brief Congressional session this week.

    The president's remarks in his weekly radio address came a day after a powerful Senate Republican, John W. Warner of Virginia, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, expressed doubts about the bill, which would enact the major recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission and create a cabinet-level director of national intelligence.

    Mr. Warner, the first member of the Senate from either party to raise such concerns publicly since the final bill was hammered out last month, said he wanted to resolve issues in the legislation that "may impact the time-tested chain of command" within the Defense Department.

    His comments echo those of a group of House Republicans who blocked a vote on the bill last month.

    Under the bill, the Pentagon, which is now believed to control about 80 percent of the government's estimated $40 billion intelligence budget, would have to cede some authority to a new national intelligence director, resulting in a similar loss of oversight authority for the Senate committee led by Mr. Warner, as well as the Armed Services Committee in the House.

    Congressional officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity given the delicate nature of the discussions, said the White House chief of staff, Andrew H. Card, and Vice President Dick Cheney were involved in talks to appease the bill's opponents on Capitol Hill. One option may be to rewrite the legislation to provide additional guarantees to the Defense Department over its control of three large spy agencies that now reside within the Pentagon but provide intelligence to agencies outside the Defense Department.

    The largest of the three is the National Security Agency, which is responsible for electronic surveillance in foreign countries.
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