Intelligence Quotient

By Zachary M. Peterson / September 12, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Advisers to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama talked about intel last week, urging U.S. agencies to better coordinate and share information at home and abroad, Inside the Navy reports:

"The New York Police Department intelligence unit, I think, is the best intelligence unit in the world," John Lehman, a former Navy secretary under Ronald Reagan who advises McCain, said Sept. 10 at a conference on homeland security sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association. "I would far sooner get a briefing from them every morning than I would CIA -- they are small, they're lean, they're agile and they bring in people with outside expertise; they're not bureaucratic."

Lehman argued the intelligence community in the United States is "bloated."

"In my judgment, though there have been great efforts made and some tremendous leaders and professionals trying to work and rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic, it is worse than it was at 9/11 in producing usable intelligence product for the president, for commanders engaged in combat," he said.

"Fundamental reform is going to have to be addressed to the intelligence community, including the FBI," Lehman added.

Also quoted is Rachana Bhowmik, Obama's adviser for homeland security:

"One of the important issues that we've seen under-exercised in the last eight years is the role of intelligence in the Department of Homeland Security," Bhowmik said. "I think we're still kind of getting our sea legs. How does the director of national intelligence interact with the Department of Homeland Security? How does the Department of Homeland Security handle its intelligence role? This is still not clear, but what is clear is we do not have an effective, cooperative relationship with our state and local governments."