SHOW: LIVE FROM... 13:00
April 16, 2004 Friday
Transcript # 041606CN.V85
SECTION: News; International
LENGTH: 3252 words
HEADLINE: Allies Bush & Blair Meet; Can FBI & CIA Work Together?
BYLINE: Miles O'Brien, Robin Oakley, Jamie McIntyre, Jeanne Meserve, Sean Callebs, Soledad O'Brien
(...) The probe into September 11 could entirely change the hierarchy of the U.S. intelligence system. The White House says today it is considering the creation of a new post to oversee all U.S. intelligence agencies. During recent testimony to the 9/11 panel, the FBI and CIA chiefs addressed the wall between the two agencies that is creating a dangerous communications gap.
CNN's Jeanne Meserve has more on what's being done to try to bridge that gap.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Smith Brandon International, a security consulting firm, is a mixed professional marriage. For 10 years Gene Smith was a CIA agent, Skip Brandon is a 23-year veteran of the FBI.
SKIP BRANDON, SMITH BRANDON INTERNATIONAL: There are times when it can be a bit like the War of the Roses.
GENE SMITH, SMITH BRANDON INTERNATIONAL: There's absolutely a difference in culture.
MESERVE: A difference that dates back decades. From the get-go the FBI saw the newly-formed CIA as a threat to its turf.
RON KESSLER, AUTHOR: When J. Edgar Hoover was FBI director, he actually ordered the FBI agents not to talk to the CIA officers.
MESERVE: The rivalry persisted. FBI spy Robert Hanssen was not detected before 2001, some say, because the FBI insisted the mole must be inside the CIA. More recently, the CIA did not share results from the Cole bombing investigation in a timely fashion, impeding FBI tracking of two 9/11 hijackers.
(on camera): Until the Patriot Act there was also a high legal wall between intelligence and law enforcement agents. In addition the FBI and CIA had different domains, missions, and tactics.
(voice-over): Gene Smith, the former CIA agent, sees herself as an independent undercover entrepreneur who looks at the big picture. Skip Brandon, the former FBI agent, is more of a public team player oriented toward a specific result. But for nine years they have collaborated successfully..
BRANDON: There are sometimes on projects we go both ways and then at the end we push them together. And I think it works pretty well, maybe the same thing can (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the CIA be the FBI.
MESERVE: Though that isn't in the cards, the FBI and CIA are sharing more with a new Terrorism Threat Integration Center, for instance. The 9/11 Commission has talked about building an entirely new domestic intelligence agency like Britain's MI-5.
A bad idea, say Smith and Brandon.
SMITH: It's putting a dog and an alley cat in a smaller box. They need the room to roam.
MESERVE: To roam, they say, and do their respective jobs.
Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.