The Department of Homeland Security sometimes fails to assemble and share intelligence adequately, Secretary Michael Chertoff told a House committee yesterday. The New York Times says he blamed lingering divisions among the many agencies merged two years ago to create the sprawling department. “Intelligence is the driver of everything we do,” Chertoff said. “We need to make sure that we are capturing all of that, we are pulling it together and we are fusing it at the top of our organization.”
Chertoff said he was determined to reorganize operations to increase the likelihood that intelligence tips are quickly shared. He hinted that he might propose a departmentwide director of intelligence. Frank Libutti, who recently resigned as the department’s under secretary in charge of intelligence, told the Times he had urged former Secretary Tom Ridge to make such a change. “That person would be the center of gravity, the centerpiece for the department for all intelligence activities,” Libutti said. By the end of May, Chertoff will recommend how he will reorganize the department, including possible changes in the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees aviation security, and Customs and Border Protection.