Saying you are in favor of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is like suggesting you are a Republican in D.C. – the odds against are 20-1 and you are considered either peculiar, dense, or deviant. But, there is a purpose for the DNI. It is needed still. And the sooner former Senator Dan Coats can be cleared for the job, the sooner the Next Generation of DNI can begin.
It is lost in the antiquities now, but the DNI was set up because of two successive, structural intelligence failures on the part of the Intelligence Community – the 9/11 attacks and the lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. The Congress, the Bush Administration, and a sizable portion of the public decided the Director of Central Intelligence running both the CIA and the Intelligence Community (IC) was simply not working any more. The Director had enough to do without worrying about budget and program for the entire U.S. Intelligence Community. And they were right.