Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Spooks R us -- or bureaucrats are us?

By Aussiegirl

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.

Read more:

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.


At 9:59 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Unfortunately, America has fallen back into the `90`s mindset where political considerations trump the common defense. I knew shortly after the 911 attacks that if we did not experience another attack here at home this would happen. The ``loyal opposition`` are more concerned with reacquiring power than with protecting America, and the Republicans are too afraid of losing power to accomplish much. We are going to relearn our lesson in a very, very painful manner.

Check out Jihad Watch for an inkling of where things are headed!

The next attack will dwarf 911, and then America will come to her senses, but it will be too late. Our leaders need to stop acting like children and actually lead.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Yes -- the loyal opposition is interested in reaquiring power, but even more outrageous and tragic is the failure of the Republicans to lead -- from the President on down. Beginning with the complete disregard and even flouting of the country's obvious demand for border enforcement and immigration reform, the President blithely chums it up with his buddy Vicente Fox and labels loyal and peaceful Minute Men acting in the perfectly legal spirit of a neighborhood watch as vigilantes. This is inexcusable. The President is in his second term, the Republicans were handed an even bigger majority in both houses, and they are cowering and hiding more than ever -- I can no longer blame the media OR the democrats, who are simply doing what we already expect them to do, but it is now a primarily Republican failure of leadership and unwillingness to fight. And the rank and file, who ARE conservative, whatever Karl Rove thinks, are becoming disaffected to the point where they are disgusted and completely either tuning out of politics altogether (and sometimes I'm tempted), or turning against the Republican party. This is a dangerous development which can only lead to a Hillary victory in the next election.

And with the chummy attitudes of the Bushes towards the Clintons, one almost thinks that they have decided to simply hand over power to her. They certainly have provided Clinton with a completely brand, spanking new and refurbished and gilded "legacy" -- and when Hillary is sounding like she is making more sense than anyone in the Republican party -- you know we are in trouble.

And what are those at the top doing about this? Beats me.


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