In 2010, then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair convened a panel to review the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting committed by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan and the Christmas Day bombing attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab aboard Northwest Flight 253. A redacted version of the resulting panel report was finally declassified and released this week.
“Inadequate information technology runs through both the Fort Hood and the NW Flight 253 narratives, particularly the inability of IT systems to help analysts locate relevant reporting in a sea of fragmentary data or to correct for seemingly minor human errors.”
“NCTC [National Counterterrorism Center] analysts, for example, have access to more than 28 separate databases and systems, each of which, for the most part, has a separate log-on. This means analysts have to search each database separately before trying to identify connections among their results.”
The existing search capacity “is intolerant of even simple mistakes in the queries and does not enable questions like: list everyone that is potentially affiliated with AQAP and has a passport or visa that would permit entry to the United States or UK.”
ROBERT STEELE: IT was one of six challenges I identified in 1990, a quarter century ago. The graphic and article are below. The “leadership” of the US secret intelligence community was then and is now pedestrian in the extreme. These are smart people who have made a deliberate decision to “go along” with a pathologically dysfunctional system whose only “product” is the transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the banking and corporate cabals that pick the public’s pocket with the active aid of a very corrupt two-party tyranny that sells Member votes by the bloc. It just absolutely breaks my heart to watch the current “leaders” go through the motions of “digital innovation” and pay lip service to “open source.” Intelligence demands integrity. Integrity includes the ability to recognize when one is in constant betrayal of the public trust, and what one needs to do to begin honoring one’s oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies domestic and foreign. The original chart below, and the more recent chart that follows it, are my personal evaluation of the $100 billion a year black-green budget we have now. I was found qualified and referred to be DoD IG for Intelligence. Then they gapped the billet. That, in a nutshell, is why we will not get intelligence with integrity in the foreseeable future.
In fairness to the IC, they are as screwed up as they are because that is how the Congress and the White House want them. As Henry Kissinger has so famously said, Intelligence is not all that important in the exercise of power, and is often, in point of fact, useless. This is why I have concluded that my quarter century focused on intelligence reform — as with Tom Steyer’s $74 million focused on climate change — has been a waste. Electoral Reform is “root.” Until the USA has an honest diversified government that actually respects the public and makes strategy, policy, acquisition, and operational decisions on the basis of evidence-based decision-support — with a very robust counterintelligence capability against financial, religious, and ideological traitors — the IC will continue to a massive mediocrity going through the motions, in constant betrayal of the public trust.