WASHINGTON — A former White House staffer in the Bush administration Tuesday challenged the effectiveness of reforms to U.S. intelligence practices following the 9/11 attacks, saying the country needs to learn from that experience when addressing reforms to the National Security Agency telephone metadata storage program.

Michael Allen, a former staffer for both Bush administration national security policy and the House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence, said if he could go back to the intelligence reform movement of 2004, he would push for a “more deliberative” process. He said the reforms could have been more effective if the legislation creating an intelligence czar and other intelligence capabilities had been formed over years, not months in a hectic election year.

He said this approach could be applied as the country grapples with revelations by former government contractor Edward Snowden that the NSA is collecting and storing telephone metadata.

“It’s a lesson there that we need to go slower … we need to unpack the truisms we advance,” he said. “We don’t need to legislate in anger.”

President Barack Obama called for reforms to surveillance practices last month, and at recent hearings in the House and Senate, members of Congress have called for swift legislative action before the bulk telephone metadata collection program ends in June 2015.

Allen warned not to act too quickly in response to public opinion as he believes legislators did a decade ago.

In his new book “Blinking Red: Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence after 9/11,” Allen examined the reforms made to the intelligence community following the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion that national security practices adopted after World War II were no longer suited to address post 9-11 threats of terrorism.

In 2004, the 9/11 commission recommended the formation of a new office that would head the decentralized intelligence community in its attempt to thwart attacks from non-state terrorist actors. Less than five months later in a presidential election year, the Intelligence Reform and Prevention Act was signed into law, creating the office of Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center.

Allen said critics of the Director of National Intelligence call the position “an unnecessary level of bureaucracy.” There have been four directors since the office was created.

When the position was first proposed, Allen said three schools of thought opposed the office. The first was led by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who opposed the creation of the office and reminded President George W. Bush to act with caution.

Allen said current Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and current CIA Director Michael Hayden advocated for the CIA to lead the intelligence community’s efforts. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the position would create more bureaucracy in Washington and the president should be the leader of the intelligence community.

But Allen said overall the reforms to the intelligence gathering practices in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks were effective because the U.S. has not been hit with another terrorist attack of the same magnitude since.

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