When intelligence reorganization was proposed and then passed by Congress after 9/11 there was a great deal of resistance from the heads of the major US national intelligence agencies; CIA, DIA, NSA, State INR, etc. President Bush was not too keen on the idea either, but, in the end he went along to get along. The major "reform" was the creation of a leadership for the intelligence community that would be separate from the CIA. This would be the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
In the process of creation of the Director of National Intelligence’s office, most of CIAs functions were taken away for redistribution either to other agencies or to the new DNI.
CIA was left with the function of heading what was subsequently referred to as the National Clandestine Service, in other words, they were left in charge of the field operations involved in recruiting and running foreign human espionage agents.
This was a much smaller role than the CIA had fulfilled in the past. Formerly, they had controlled the apparatus that doled out the general intelligence funds to the other agencies. They had also controlled the national estimative function in the production of national estimates, and many other functions as well.
In addition, certain functions that properly had nothing to do with the information functions of intelligence were redirected to the armed forces.
In response to this truncation of agency roles, CIA people fought back with an intensive campaign of mobilization of the agency’s friends in general and the media in particular. As a result it was predicted or implied in the media that the DNI structure would fail and that in the end CIA would rule once again in the intelligence community.
Yesterday’s announcement of further consolidation of power and authority in the hands of the DNI is evidence that function follows form and that once having been given a theoretical mandate, the DNI’s office has proceeded to gather actual power into its grasp. In other words CIA has failed to eliminate its rival. Having failed, the CIA will continue its "descent" into the status of a service organization for the rest of the government rather than the alternative foreign policy establishment that it once thought it was.
Several Republican members of the House of Representatives oversight committee for intelligence walked out of the meeting in which they were briefed about the increase in the DNI’s power. They and the Democrats on the committee were upset that the change had been made without their agreement or knowledge. Their outrage is probably the proof of the continuing influence of CIA congressional liaison staffs.
"The king is dead. Long live the king!" pl