US President George W. Bush has ordered the creation of a new National Security Service inside the FBI to combine the law enforcement agency's counterterrorism, counterintelligence and intelligence efforts.
Bush accepted 70 of 74 recommendations by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, a panel he set up in March last year. In its final report released in March, the intelligence commission criticized the 15 intelligence agencies in the United States for their 'major intelligence failure' before the Iraq war.
It said the intelligence community was 'dead wrong in almost all of its prewar judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.' Also, it said the flaws 'are still all too common' two years after the war and the intelligence community knows ' disturbingly little' about the nuclear programs of America's foes in the world.
The commission called for 'dramatic change' to the intelligence community. It recommended that John Negroponte, the new director of national intelligence, be given broader powers for overseeing the nation's spy agencies. It also suggested the creation of a new national nonproliferation center to coordinate the fight against weapons of mass destruction, which Bush adopted.
'It's a fundamental strengthening of our intelligence capabilities. It's not simply moving the boxes,' said Frances Townsend, the president's homeland security adviser.
Bush also signed an executive order allowing the freezing of any US financial assets of anyone doing business with entities in Iran, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Syria thought to be involved in weapons programs.