U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) voted today to pass the 9/11 intelligence reform bill embodying several of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to overhaul the nation's intelligence system. Among the more significant changes are the following: the creation of a National Counterterrorism Center; the naming of a National Intelligence Director to run the Center's operations; and the establishment of a Civil Liberties Oversight Board to ensure government actions don't infringe on personal freedoms. Kind released the following statement:
"Lapses in our intelligence system have had dire consequences on our country; the September 11th attacks, the misinformation on Weapons of Mass Destruction and the failure to accurately track the nuclear weapons programs of other countries have made it abundantly clear that intelligence reform is urgently needed. America can not afford to miss this opportunity to enhance our national security with desperately needed intelligence reform to ensure the security of the American people. "Combating terrorism also requires that we implement a new global strategy to positively engage the Arab and Muslim worlds. The 9/11 Commission devoted an entire chapter to this new foreign policy, and I believe it is one of the most important recommendations that we didn't deal with in this legislation. If we don't stem the rising anti-American tide throughout the world, then merely reshuffling the chairs of our national security will not make us more secure at the end of the day.
"This intelligence reform bill is a crucial step in securing our nation's safety, but it is the beginning, not the end, of our efforts to protect the American people. We have a great deal of work to do to implement these changes and develop a strategy of diplomacy that enhances our security, not compromises it."