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The more things change . . .

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Ever since I was a kid, I've always been interested in the "why" of stories rather than just the "what." It's hard to understand any event or process without knowledge of how it came about, and the why is often what makes things interesting.

Sometimes, if you pay attention, you can see the causes of events before they even happen. For instance, the continued failure to appropriately reform the intelligence community portends continued failures of the community itself. There are both structural and analytical problems with U.S. intelligence, but many of them are eminently fixable with the right leadership . . . which we so sorely lack. Most of the issues are the same ones that we all found out about nearly five years ago, after the most massive intelligence failure in the history of our nation.

The report also criticized continued lack of communication between spy agencies and a cumbersome bureaucracy that governed security clearances. Noting that information sharing within the community is one of the most critical tenets of intelligence reform, it stated that progress on that front was limited to understanding the task at hand.
So progress in sharing within the IC is limited to . . . understanding the task at hand? WHAT?? I mean, I'm happy that all elements of the IC now recognize the common task of, y'know, protecting the country, but maybe communicating better on the actual issues and information might further that common goal.

There's also this fun little nugget, which is the "why" of future articles about how the FBI has become the U.S. version of MI-5. I'm not totally opposed to the idea of a domestic spy agency, but isn't it at least worth a public debate about whether we want to turn our federal police force into an intelligence unit?
The changes at the Federal Bureau of Investigation were also noted in the House report, which concluded that the transformation of the F.B.I. to an intelligence agency with law enforcement power is starting to take root.
These kinds of things happen just beneath the surface of public consciousness, and then everybody is shocked when the detrimental effects are felt down the road.

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