By Amy B. Zegart
In this pathbreaking ebook, Amy Zegart presents the 1st scholarly exam of the intelligence disasters that preceded September eleven. previously, these disasters were attributed mostly to person errors. yet Zegart indicates how and why the intelligence method itself left us vulnerable.
Zegart argues that when the chilly struggle ended, the CIA and FBI did not adapt to the increase of terrorism. She makes the case through engaging in painstaking research of greater than 300 intelligence reform options and tracing the background of CIA and FBI counterterrorism efforts from 1991 to 2001, drawing largely from declassified govt records and interviews with greater than seventy high-ranking executive officers. She unearths that political leaders have been good conscious of the rising terrorist probability and the pressing want for intelligence reform, yet didn't in achieving the alterations they sought. an analogous forces that experience stymied intelligence reform for many years are accountable: resistance inside of U.S. intelligence corporations, the rational pursuits of politicians and occupation bureaucrats, and center elements of our democracy comparable to the fragmented constitution of the government. eventually mess ups of version resulted in disasters of functionality. Zegart finds how longstanding organizational weaknesses left unaddressed throughout the Nineties avoided the CIA and FBI from capitalizing on twenty-three possibilities to disrupt the September eleven plot.
Spying Blind is a sobering account of why of America's most crucial intelligence businesses did not comply with new threats after the chilly struggle, and why they're not likely to evolve within the future.
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Extra info for Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11
S. intelligence enterprises crowned the checklist of issues for either the 11th of September fee and the Congressional Joint Inquiry. In 2001 the Intelligence neighborhood used to be 50 percentage larger than it used to be whilst the CIA was once created in 1947, however the director of valuable intelligence had simply a little extra energy to supervise it. because the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the September eleven assaults darkly concluded, “The lack of ability to realign Intelligence group assets to strive against the danger posed through Usama Bin Ladin is a comparatively direct final result of the restricted authority of the DCI over significant parts of the Intelligence neighborhood. ”90 The 9-11 fee agreed, noting that the Intelligence group “struggle[d] to assemble on and research . . . transnational terrorism within the mid-to-late 39 CHAPTER 2 Nineteen Nineties” largely as the neighborhood was once a suite of “loosely linked organizations and departmental places of work that lacked the incentives to cooperate, collaborate, and proportion info. ”91 The Intelligence group used to be so fragmented earlier than September eleven that even Tenet’s 1998 announcement of warfare opposed to bin encumbered and al Qaeda didn't appear to have gotten a lot past the CIA’s partitions. ninety two The Congressional Joint Inquiry and September 11 fee additionally came across significant deficiencies within the Intelligence Community’s method for prioritizing assortment and research. The Joint Inquiry famous that intelligence officers discovered the method “confusing” and “so wide as to be meaningless,” with greater than 1,500 formal priorities for the nationwide defense corporation on my own by means of September eleven. ninety three The 11th of September fee concluded that the surroundings of transparent intelligence assortment priorities “did no longer take place” earlier than the September eleven assaults. ninety four Even a few of these liable for surroundings priorities agreed. Former nationwide Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke famous that the White residence “never quite gave solid systematic, well timed counsel to the Intelligence neighborhood approximately what priorities have been on the nationwide point. ”95 regardless of calls to greatly improve human intelligence efforts, the CIA’s clandestine Directorate of Operations endured to languish. After the chilly conflict, cash used to be briefly offer for all intelligence wishes, and the clandestine provider was once quite not easy hit. In 1995, the low aspect for recruitment, merely twentyfive trainees turned clandestine officials. ninety six by means of the overdue Nineties, the Directorate of Operations had minimize by way of approximately one-third the variety of its group of workers deployed abroad. ninety seven even supposing information about U. S. intelligence spending stay labeled, to be had facts means that among 1991 and 2001, greater than ninety percentage of the U. S. intelligence funds endured to be spent on instead of recruiting spies. ninety eight As one former senior CIA respectable positioned it, “I’m cynical, yet i feel the explanation humans desired to continue the [intelligence] finances mystery was once to not shield spies in Moscow, yet simply because they didn’t wish humans to grasp that ninety nine percentage [of the finances] used to be caught in a few satellite tv for pc. ”99 additionally, the 1995 directions limiting recruitment of international resources remained in position until eventually after September eleven.