August 13, 2004

WHAT PROBLEM HAS BUREAUCRATIC CENTRALIZATION EVER IMPROVED?:

Terror center 'hurting intel operations' (Shaun Waterman, 8/12/2004, UPI)

A secret report to outgoing CIA chief George Tenet earlier this year warned that one of President Bush's flagship intelligence reforms, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, could undermine the agency's offensive operations against suspected terrorists overseas.

The report's author, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Richard Kerr, declined to discuss his findings or recommendations in detail, but he confirmed to United Press International that he had real concerns about consolidating counter-terrorism activities in a single center like the integration center -- which Bush pledged to create in his January 2003 State of the Union speech.

The center is designed to fuse and analyze all information the U.S. government collects from every source about terrorist intentions and plans.

Kerr said the subsequent plan to develop it into a National Counter-Terrorism Center, one of the recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission that the president has embraced, "reaches even farther."

"The concern is that you dilute the offensive operational efforts" of the CIA, Kerr said, by deploying its best personnel outside the agency to a center doing essentially defensive work, "mainly concerned with analyzing threats and providing warnings."

"Those operations have been very effective at stopping terrorist plans, breaking up their infrastructure and capturing their leadership -- all overseas. They are critical activities in the war on terror."


Passively gathering and analyzing data is just as likely to be effective as any field operations--probably more so--but gathering disparate information and opinions together and then screening them through one central government functionary seems unwise.


MORE:
Former Director Tenet Leaves CIA Following June Resignation, CIA Totally Suprised (The Torch, 7/21/04)

Having suddenly ended his seven and a half year tenure as Director of the CIA with his July 11 departure, George Tenet has thrown the intelligence community into a quagmire of disarray as the former Deputy Director has been forced to assume the rank of Acting Director. In response, now Acting Director John McLaughlin has ordered the remaining staff to begin a crash program to determine as quickly as possible exactly what he is supposed to be doing.

According to McLaughlin, “The information pertaining to the now permanent absence of former Director Tenet has been collected and analyzed and propagated to the highest levels of our organization within the last 48 hours, and we are preparing to take all appropriate action to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible intelligence gathering and analysis possible.”

Addressing the criticism that the approach of the recent move had been public knowledge for over a month, McLaughlin pointed out that the sheer volume of information that is continuously created and transmitted in the modern world renders the real time analysis of all appropriate data virtually impossible unless an organization is “really set up for that kind of thing” in advance.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 13, 2004 7:16 AM
Comments

"WHAT PROBLEM HAS BUREAUCRATIC CENTRALIZATION EVER IMPROVED?"

Irrigation in Egypt, Babylon and Assyria?

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at August 13, 2004 8:22 AM

Yes, God put the rivers there.

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2004 8:31 AM

God didn't dig the irrigation canals.

And how about the Bureau of Weights and Measures?

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 13, 2004 2:13 PM

Papaya:

People did.

Government bureaucracy tried giving us the metric system. 'nuff said.

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2004 2:20 PM

The NOAA?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 14, 2004 10:52 AM

**2**

Posted by: at September 18, 2004 8:30 PM
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