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Intelligence Reform What they are talking about, and What can not be said in public Michael Andregg, University of St. Thomas,

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Presentation on theme: "Intelligence Reform What they are talking about, and What can not be said in public Michael Andregg, University of St. Thomas,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Intelligence Reform What they are talking about, and What can not be said in public Michael Andregg, University of St. Thomas, mmandregg@stthomas.edummandregg@stthomas.edu

2 Main Proposals before the Public: 1.Create an Intelligence Czar, and a 2.Clearinghouse for Terrorist Information 3.Break up Stovepipes, Share Intelligence 4.Improve Training of Analysts and Spies 5.Improve Congressional Oversight 6.Fix the Culture Problem

3 What can not be said in Public: 1.Tradecraft induces mental illnesses 2.Obsession with secrets damages national security 3.The Clearance system is fatally flawed 4.Alcoholism, divorce & depression are as common as clinical mental illnesses 5.Hubris is pervasive in a vast bureaucracy 6.Congressional Oversight is very broken

4 Main Proposals before the Public: 1.Create an Intelligence Czar, and a 2.Clearinghouse for Terrorist Information 3.Break up Stovepipes, Share Intelligence 4.Improve Training of Analysts and Spies 5.Improve Congressional Oversight 6.Fix the Culture Problem

5 1. Create an Intelligence Czar a.What is the real difference between a DCI and an NID? (hint = slim to none) b.Libraries are filled with Reform Reports by Sincere & Professional Commissions c.Why have the institutions failed to change despite years of deep review by experts?

6 2. Clearinghouse for Terrorist Info: a.Whats the difference between a CTI and T-TIC? (Terrorist Threat Integration Ctr.)? b.None. c.What happened to more basic issues, like lack of linguists and HUMINT?

7 3. Share Intel, Break Stovepipes a.Great Idea!!! Who is going to shoot the Security Officers? They always fight this. b.Building real trust takes years, and DoD will never trust the CIA no matter what. c.The FBI needs cops, while the CIA needs criminals: how can such gaps be bridged? d.What about the legitimate concerns of case officers for the lives of their assets?

8 4. Improve Training of Analysts a.Isnt that what the CIA University, the Kent Center, JMIC, & the FBI academy are for? b. It takes 5 – 10 years now to train good intel analysts. How long do we have? c.Changing University cultures is at best a Sisyphean task. The inefficiencies and hubris of the clearance system make it almost impossible to change intel culture.

9 Improve Training, continued… …. And then, what about the serious problems of analyst mis-management? a.They are tasked by too many masters, so … b.Analysts have no time, but are always buried in information (a.k.a. drinking the fire hose) c.They are often moved abruptly from topic to topic, but are expected to be expert in all d.So they slowly go nuts, or give up to the booze and bureaucratic culture of sycophantic sloth.

10 5. Improve Congressional Oversight a.Great Idea !! Good Luck !!!! b.Vast egos and Low IQs make this … well, difficult. But, … c.It is so important that some fixes must be tried, like: 1.Consolidate, per the 9/11 recommendations 2.Make full-time and no distractions for members 3.Reform the Clearance process radically.

11 Parallels with the Moonies 1.If you require everyone who oversees a cult to be a member of the cult, you will not get genuine oversight. 2.They will overlook not oversee, because they will share the same assumptions & blind spots. This does not require evil. 3.The Catholic church provides some other examples among some very fine people.

12 The Revolution in Intelligence Technology also matters –By the way, there has been a revolution in information technology going on which has profound effects on the spy business too. –While Congress chews over organizational charts and training curricula, our spies are being overrun by ordinary journalists, etc. –Its like the Dinosaurs lecturing the mice while the mice are eating their eggs.

13 6. Fix the Culture Problem a.Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha … Who is going to burn the place down, and kill all those dinosaurs? b.Check out Robert D. Steeles work on Open Sources (12 yrs. @ oss.net) c.Then you must attend the even deeper issues of rampant alcoholism, illness, etc.

14 Finally: Politicization 1.Why is politicization such a challenge? 2.Can Porter Goss overcome that? 3.Could any partisan political appointee? 4.In ancient times, the mantra was: Tell them what they need to know, not what they want to hear. How to restore that?

15 What can not be said in Public: 1.Tradecraft induces mental illnesses 2.Obsession with secrets damages national security 3.The Clearance system is fatally flawed 4.Alcoholism, divorce & depression are as common as clinical mental illnesses 5.Hubris is pervasive in a vast bureaucracy 6.Congressional Oversight is very broken

16 1. Tradecraft induces mental illness a.Specifically paranoia, schizophrenia and clinical depression. b.Plus they are besieged by critics right now c.Plus their work is genuinely very hard, d.Plus the security gremlins make life hell. Its a wonder they dont all* resign.

17 2. Obsession with Secrecy Damages National Security a.The case of James (Jesus) Angleton b.The cases of Aldrich Ames (CIA), Robert Hanssen (FBI) and Jonathan Pollard (ONI), among others. c.The real purpose of Intel has been lost.

18 National Security Intel Needs: 1.To Protect our Citizens and Democracy, 2.To Know what is going on in the world, 3.And to Understand what to do under very difficult circumstances when moral dilemmas are profound.

19 But, the priorities of Bureaucracy … are radically different. A huge percentage of our entire, $40 billion annual national intelligence budget is devoted to maintaining broken security clearance and classification systems that are 100% anachronistic and dysfunctional.

20 You are not cleared to know that Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News Project has been waging a private FOIA battle on this exact point for years (budget #s). The CIA still maintains that it is exempt from the US Constitutions requirement for reporting basic, aggregate budget numbers to the public, and it spends thousands of dollars each year defending that big secret.

21 3. The Security Clearance System is also fatally flawed. a.It drives out moral* people b.It drives off smart* people c.It drives off competent* people d.It drives everyone nuts, wastes time, and extraordinary, astronomic sums of money e.But the folks who are left think they are Gods gift to you, me and the country!

22 The Commission on Protecting Government Secrecy, 1996 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan teamed up with Rep. Larry Combest (TX) and many others including Jesse Helms to reexamine the entire classification system of the US government because they recognized how dysfunctional it was. They produced a great report which was promptly forgotten.

23 4. Alcoholism, divorce & depression are as endemic as mental illnesses a.The only good answer to this most profound of the culture problems is infusion with genuine outsiders who are not cleared, but who do have real skills in the mental health arena. b.The paradox of the good people within must be recognized. They are doing the best they can within a very toxic system.

24 You can always look for better people. But if you put even the best people into a very toxic system, it will slowly ruin them. Our intelligence community does this all the time to some extremely talented and dedicated folks. They are good, they are moral, they try hard, but the system grinds them down until most either leave or give up. The System IS the Problem!!

25 5. Hubris is pervasive [And it really is a vast Bureaucracy after all] --This aspect of the problem is not so different from any other bureaucracy. Turf wars, budget battles, and ego issues often trump the most basic concepts of national security. Intel is only special in that the clearance system cultivates a cult-like sense of unique privilege and bloated ego.

26 6. Congressional Oversight is far more broken than they let on. 17 committees filled with very non-experts who are far more concerned about perks and politics is a guaranteed formula for failure. The other problem is clearances! Let me tell you a little story about a call I got at home from the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

27 Well, thats your 45 minute briefing on Intelligence Reform. Good Luck!!! mmandregg@stthomas.edu


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