The Corner

Rudy Cuts to The Chase

Giuliani was asked whether he thought American intelligence agencies needed to be reformed or restructured — something the Commission has seemed itchy to recommend. His prescriptions were both more modest and more substantial (and meaningful):

1) Need more Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), combining FBI and local PDs. JTTF was created in NYC in the Weather Underground days of the late 1970’s. In JTTF cases, federal agents and police officers are partners; they investigate the same cases together, which opens communication flow between the agencies. It demonstrates to the FBI in a concrete way the multiplier effect of local law enforcement. (There are about 11,000 FBI agents in the entire U.S.; there are about 33,000 officers in the NYPD in NYC alone). Rudy pointed out that a terrorist attack on the NYC subways was foiled during his time as mayor because an ordinary citizen saw something suspicious and went in and reported it to a local police precinct. Because there was an open line of communication – the JTTF – the local cop referred the complaint to the JTTF, which used its intelligence and resources to mobilize and thwart the plot.

2) We need more human intelligence. We get mounds and mounds of information, and it all says bad people are threatening us. You need an interpreter to figure out what’s urgent. You need operatives to infiltrate these groups. That’s how we dismantle organized crime families and drug organizations. Over the last several decades – no particular administration is responsible for this – we seem to have fallen in love with our high technology and gotten away from the tough, dirty work of human intelligence. But it’s the human intelligence that we need the most.


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