MSNBC is reporting that U.S. ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, will be the first "National Intelligence Czar".
First, let me just say that I was against this reform mainly for the reason that it is redundant. We already have a national intelligence czar. He's the Director of Central Intelligence. Contrary to what most people think, the DCI is not just the head of the CIA. The National Security Act of 1947 established the DCI as the head of the entire U.S. intelligence community, not just the CIA - a fact that even the State Department's website gets wrong (see sub-chapter 1, section 403) . Now, admittedly, it did not give the DCI budgetary authority over all the different agencies. But this could have been corrected without adding another layer of bureaucracy to an already red-tape heavy government sector.
Still, Negroponte has been selected so as the Brits would say, "Let the whinging begin!" (I love that word.) Expect groups such as Amnesty International, the International Red Cross and Human Rights Watch to vigorously oppose his nomination. Expect to hear a lot about how Negroponte has no respect for human rights due to his having been ambassador to Honduras during the early 1980s. (You might recall that the United States was trying to prevent Communist expansion into our hemisphere during that time.)