The Security Czar
August 5, 2004
By Mary Pitt
The much-lauded independent commission on terrorism has finally
come to an end and, based upon their judgement of the information
that they gathered, have come forth with ideas regarding ways to
prevent future attacks.
First and foremost of these recommendations is that our nation
is in desperate need of a "security czar," one person who will recieve
all the reports from and be responsible for the efficiency and utility
of every department of the government having to do with national
Based upon the discoveries and recommendations regarding these
several departments, this "czar" is to recommend to the President
and the Congress, when asked, what steps could and should be taken
in order to safeguard the lives of our citizens and the security
and treasure of the United States of America.
(In order to implement this grandiose plan it will, incidentally,
be necessary to build a huge security complex to contain all these
various departments. Gone will be the J. Edgar Hoover building,
home of the FBI, and the impressive complex which is now the home
of the CIA would become surplus propety to be sold to the highest
bidder or used to house some of the many rapidly-expanding departments
of government of which the Bush administration is so fond.)
President Bush has been quick to jump into the breach and announce
his own plan for just such a czar but his plan would include only
some of the recommendations. He wants the power to fire the czar
in order to maintain total control over him/her; he wants the czar
to have no budgetary control, preferring to keep this prerogative
to himself, and he wants the reins of decision to remain in his
own hands as the supreme commander of the actions and the behavior
of all sections of the government.
Just what duties he does envision for the holder of this
position is, as yet, unclear.
Does he plan to put him, initially, in charge of one department
and then, gradually, absorb the other agencies under the umbrella
or is it his task to merely re-assess all the information that has
been gathered and assessed by the several departments?
Will he be responsible for the recently-disclosed misfeasance and
malfeasance that has been alleged in the interpretations division
of the FBI/CIA?
Will this person have the authority to hire and fire within the
departments in order to maintain efficiency and accuracy?
Will he be able to end the nepotism and favoritism that has recently
come to light?
Will he be able to say, "Shove it!" in response to an Office of
Special Plans who may be sent by the office of the Vice-President
or the Secretary of Defense?
Or will it just be another "honorarium" such as the Secretary of
But, wait. This concept of having one person to whom all law enforcement
and security departments of the government report in detail of the
state of the security and needs of the nation does ring a distant
bell. It seems that, at some point in our history, we had such a
This person received daily briefings from the head of the CIA and
the FBI as well as periodic reports from the Departments of Interior,
from Health and Environment, and even chatted now and then with
the Surgeon General regarding such health issues as immunizations
This man collected all the data, considered it in depth, and made
decisions as to the best course to take in the interests of the
American people. Based on this collection of information he set
priorities and suggested to Congress the steps he suggested that
we take to cope with problems.
While it may not be long in calendar years, with all the things
that have happened in recent times, it seems forever. But if we
strain our memories, we can remember such a person, who considered
all this information in a studied manner and, with the welfare of
the nation in mind, made serious, wise, and well-thought proposals
for legislation to implement the safety and continuation of the
Now I remember! We called him the President!
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is self-employed and
active in the political arena. Having three generations of descendants,
she feels obligated to leave them with the same rights and freedoms
which she has so enjoyed.