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Spying on Ourselves...Maybe Necessary?


I’m sorry to say I missed this excellent piece by Michael Tanji, which appeared a week ago. It deals with the shocking story of some army reservists in Los Angeles who–knowing full well what they were doing–stole classified information to share with one another. The information had to do with terrorist threats. My initial reaction was “good grief, these guys have been watching too many old Clint Eastwood flics,” but Michael, as is his wont, gave it deeper thought. And he concludes that we need to restructure our domestic “intelligence” setup. Because, it turns out, this important information just couldn’t be shared in the system as it currently exists. Many commissions, and countless thoughtful officials, have concluded that without proper intel sharing, we’re just kidding ourselves about domestic security.

You should read it carefully, keeping in mind the bottom lines:

A dedicated domestic intelligence capability is a necessity that is long overdue. If things hold true to form we are likely to suffer another attack on the homeland before the widespread realization sets in that bloated and ill-conceived measures like the Department of Homeland Security are not the answer to our domestic security woes. A domestic intelligence capability is a hard sell, but the threats are real and the risks of not having such a capability exceedingly high. That we lack the political will to attempt to solve this problem before it is too late speaks more ill of those who chose not to change the system, than of those who felt compelled to break it.


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