9/11 Commission and a National Counterterrorism Center: Issues and Options for Congress [Updated October 22, 2004]   [open pdf - 157KB]

"The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (hereafter 9/11 Commission) issued its 'Final Report' in July 2004. As one of its 41 recommendations, the 9/11 Commission recommended the creation of a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). As proposed by the commission, an NCTC would have two primary functions - intelligence and joint operational planning. The director of an NCTC would be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and would report to the commission's proposed new National Intelligence director. On August 27, 2004, the President signed an executive order establishing the NCTC. Legislatively, there are numerous bills which have proposes the codification of an NCTC. This report, which will be updated, examines a number of issues as Congress considers codification of an NCTC. One issue is whether the centralization remedy the commission has recommended fits the problems associated specifically with the 9/11 intelligence failure and, perhaps more broadly, the systemic maladies affecting the Intelligence Community. While some say centralization is a remedy for lack of intelligence coordination, particularly across the foreign/domestic divide, others say it may have an unintended effect of creating a 'Groupthink' bias, or an inclination of groups working under pressure to bolster information which supports the group's perceived conclusion, while discounting contradictory information."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32558
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