Spooks R us -- or bureaucrats are us?
Herbert Meyer has an eye-opening and sober assessment of the current (sorry) state of our intelligence services, and the continuing outlook for little imrovement in the coming years, due primarily to the emphasis on structure as opposed to talent and innovation. He tells a fascinating tale of how the OSS was quickly organized and molded into a brilliant intelligence service which in many cases, performed almost impossible feats, utilizing talented people from all walks of life, but who shared a number of unique talents and characteristics. He also runs through a daunting list of looming international dangers facing the U.S., including an expanding China, growing leftism in Latin America, and on and on. This is another must read from today's American Thinker.
If your objective were to place a beacon atop a mountain, would you:
A: Get a beacon and place it atop the mountain, or
B: Get a beacon, suspend it in mid-air near the mountain using poles, wires and helicopters, then shove the mountain under the beacon?
If you chose Option A, you should consider a career in the private sector, where common sense often is rewarded.� If you chose Option B � your future lies in Washington.� For this is precisely the approach the Bush administration and Congress have taken to fix our country's broken intelligence service and get it back into action.� And no, I am not exaggerating.
. . .Instead, after two presidential commissions and a half-dozen Congressional inquiries, the Administration and Congress decided to create a new position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), to sit on top of the DCI.� He will be supported by a Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and an associate director who will serve as chief-of-staff.� But since the new DNI and his two aides would be suspended in mid-air, so to speak, several positions that had been in the DCI's office have now been shifted to the DNI's office.�� These include a Deputy Director for Management, another Deputy Director for Collection, a third for Analysis, and a fourth to be in charge of "customer service."�
. . . Putting aside the sheer fecklessness of all this reorganizing � and the cost, time and energy it drains from the business of actually doing intelligence -- the real problem is that by focusing on structure rather than on people, we are building a new intelligence service that won't be better than the one it replaces.� That's because it emphasizes management over talent.� Once you grasp how this combination works, you will understand why our country's intelligence service has sometimes been razor-sharp and playing offense, and other times has just stumbled along behind the curve.
. . . Judging from all the telephone calls and emails flying around right now among intelligence veterans, the mood is one of disappointment and genuine concern.�� A common thread in all these conversations is that � alas -- it will take another horrific attack before the political will is there to create the kind of light, fast, razor-sharp intelligence service we used to have and now need.� Perhaps.� Or perhaps Washington has become so muscle-bound and partisan that even should Dallas, Chicago or another of our great cities become a pile of radioactive rubble its only response will be yet another Presidential commission which probably will conclude once again that "structure" was the problem -- and will recommend that we create a Director of Inter-Galactic Intelligence, to sit atop the Director of National Intelligence, who sits atop the Director of Central Intelligence.
Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council.� His DVD on The Siege of Western Civilization� has become an international best-seller.