By Martin Matishak - 05/02/14 11:29 AM EDT
Rep. Hunter opposes possible nominee to lead Pentagon spy agency
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) on Thursday voiced his opposition to a possible nominee to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency, saying her past work raised “significant concerns” about her qualifications.
Hunter criticized Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Army Intelligence Lt. Gen. Mary Legere’s involvement in a controversial Army intelligence project, the Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) program, in a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Her work on that project, he wrote, “presents significant concerns, due to mismanagement of the Army’s failed attempts to provide a functional cloud-computing environment in response to multiple requests from theater.”
Hunter, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said that Legere and Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, the head of the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, who worked on the program, “should not be considered for higher levels of responsibility, especially when there are several other qualified candidates from the joint community to assume senior military intelligence positions.”
Hunter said Legere held “principal responsibility for failing to deliver urgent capabilities to the warfighter and overseeing initiatives that have repeatedly failed to meet budget and schedule requirements.”
According to reports, Legere is seen as the top candidate for top Pentagon intelligence post.
Hunter’s letter is the latest round in his fight with the Pentagon over the DCGS-A program, which sought to build a cloud that could gather intelligence from multiple sources, such as drones and satellites, and analyze that data for users across the entire intelligence community.
Soldiers in Afghanistan have said the program is slow and difficult to use and that another program, Palantir, developed by a company in Hunter's home state, is easier to use.
Hunter, a former Marine who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, has been the lead critic in Congress of the DCGS-A effort and last year got into a heated exchange with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno over the program.
In his letter, he criticized the DCGS-A program, saying it is “now clear that Congress has received false assurances that the Army would provide cloud capability as part” of the DCGS-A program.
He noted that Congress has appropriated $500 million for the effort’s cloud computing development yet field reports and other assessments show it “is still not operational in theater.”
He called the Army’s cloud capabilities “inadequate and outright dysfunctional.”
Hunter said the administration “must hold leaders accountable” to avoid future costly mistakes.