Obama Chooses Bi-partisan Chairs for Intel Advisory Board

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Oct 28, 2009 4:55pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: President Obama announced today that he has chosen Senators Chuck Hagel and David Boren to serve as co-chairmen of his Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB). “Under Chuck and Dave's leadership, I will be looking for the board to provide me with objective, independent, and non-partisan counsel as we work to strengthen our intelligence community and our national security,” The President said today in the Cabinet Room noting the bipartisanship of his co-chairs, Hagel, a former Republican Senator from Nebraska and Boren a former Democratic Senator from Oklahoma. President Eisenhower established the President’s Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities in 1956.  The mission of the Board to provide the President with an independent source of advice on intelligence matters to insure the quality, effectiveness, an judge the performance of all agencies of the Federal Government engaged in the collection of evaluation of intelligence. Today’s meeting included administration officials and members of the intelligence community yet the board will report directly to the President and has “unfettered access” to intelligence, operating independently of the intelligence community. “They will report to me, they will have my full support, and they will have the full cooperation of my National Security Council staff and the organizations represented here,” the President said. Senator Hagel sat to the President’s left, and Senator Boren sat to the President’s right around the table in the Cabinet Room. The President said that he looks forward to each of the men’s “candid and unvarnished advice” on the quality and accuracy of the intelligence community. The President noted that the intelligence community, in partnership with law enforcement and homeland security, has had some success in recent months and made “real progress” against al Qaeda and its extremists allies. Mr. Obama said that he hopes this is going to lead to even more successes in the future, because the work remains. “We all agree that more needs to be done — to improve the collection of intelligence, to ensure that analysis reaches senior decision-makers in a timely way, and to provide strong oversight to ensure that our intelligence activities are consistent with our democratic values and the rule of law.” The President noted that he will be naming additional members to the board in the near future. -Sunlen Miller

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