Thursday, January 03, 2008

Veteran Spook's Wish List for Prez Candidates

After what feels like a thousand years of campaigning, the presidential election kicks off in earnest today, with the Iowa caucuses. Michael Tanji, who spent nearly two decades as an intelligence officer, tells us what he'd like to see in a candidate...

  • Vetoing defense spending bills that contain (or directing agencies to ignore) any earmarks. At the start of the long war would be a good time to send a strong, clear signal to a pork-crazed Congress that this is indeed war -- and that we're going to make war-related spending decisions based on what the troops need and what their leaders feel is essential; not what some constituent-contractor back in the home district thinks will boost the bottom line.
  • Purging the intelligence community of long-time incumbents and golden-handcuffed dinosaurs. The people who presided over the greatest intelligence failures of the last generation and who continue to prepare for wars that will never come need to make way for the baggage-less generation. No one has led these communities through an intelligence-driven war, so their departure is no

There are quite a few of them posted over at Wired, but this is my favorite (I think):
  • Protecting what is truly secret and dispensing with what is not. Over-classification and abuse of the classification system is rampant, which means we spend too much time protecting information of dubious value. Enlarge the Information Security Oversight Office and enhance their capability and authority to produce and enforce a sensible and effective classification policy.

To this list, I would have to add:

Restoring the Constitution is vital to America's health. With the "changes" that Bush has made, America is no longer "Land of the free, home of the brave." A specific plan detailing what restoring the Constitution is a must.

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