Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Really Central Intelligence Agency

Legislation intended to reform the federal government’s “intelligence community” is on its way to the Senate and then, presumably, to the President for signature – the House having passed a compromise version of the bill today.

It seems odd that so many people believe that the intelligence community -- which suffered from “group think” on important issues regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq -- could be improved by greater centralization of control under a new official known as the National Intelligence Director.

Perhaps there is less to the centralization than meets the eye, since compartmentalization of access to classified information will still be necessary to protect important secrets.

If so, the probability of being worse off because of “group think,” lost secrets, and an absence of competition among the different agencies may not be so great.


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