PDF (28 Pages): 2009 Intelligence Failure by Uri Bar-Joseph and Jack Levy
The literature generally traces major intelligence failures to an ambiguous threat environment compounded by the adversary’s strategic deception, to collective mindsets and individual cognitive biases, and to familiar organizational pathologies. This study aimed to shed more light on the neglected subject of the role of conscious action in the study of intelligence failure, with a primary emphasis on “intelligence to please,” organizational restructuring, and insubordination motivated by a we-know-best attitude.
Phi Beta Iota: George “Slam Dunk” Tenet established a new low, arguably treason, in failing to confront the 935 lies led by Dick Cheney to justify an elective war on Iraq. More recent US Directors of National Intelligence and Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency — as well as Directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have mixed records when it comes to integrity. In the case of recent Directors of the National Security Agency, there is nothing positive to say — Mike Hayden and Keith Alexander did not quite match Tenet in enabling the gratuitous waste of blood, treasure, and spirit including international moral standing, but they certainly set new low standards in violating the Constitution, wasting trillions, and generally betraying the public trust.