Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Another great editorial on intel

Just read and learn. It lays out how to approach intel requirements better than a hundred commissions ever could.

If size were a measure of insight, the WMD Commission's just-released 618-page report would be an even more valuable guide to understanding the cascading series of failures that have plagued our country's intelligence service than the 9/11 Commission's 567-page best-selling opus. But there is no correlation whatever between size and insight and — alas — the most striking feature of both reports is their focus on what is obvious and their silence about what lies beneath.
For example, the WMD Commission concludes that "We need an Intelligence Community that is truly integrated, far more imaginative and willing to run risks, open to a new generation of Americans, and receptive to new technologies." Well, yes — but this recommendation is equally valid for large corporations, universities, and the 2008 U.S. Olympic women's synchronized-swimming team.

The 9/11 Commission concluded — after nearly two years of contentious hearings and deep thinking — that the horrific attacks on New York and Washington weren't prevented by our country's $40 billion-a-year intelligence service because it had suffered a "systemic failure." No kidding — but most Americans had figured this out even before the south tower of the World Trade Center came crashing down.

While both reports provide a detailed narrative of what precisely went wrong, neither report explains why things went so wrong.


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