Critics Charge “Huge Gap” In FBI Intel Sharing


The junking of the FBI’s $170 million Virtual Case File (VCF) system is just one example of the difficulties facing FBI chief Robert Mueller in overhauling the bureau, says U.S. News & World Report. Citing Mueller’s top aides, one official said, “there’s no way they were going to tell him the bad news because VCF, it was his baby, and no one was going to say, ‘Your baby’s ugly.’ ” State and local police, and homeland security and intelligence officials say that although the FBI has come a long way in its efforts to share information, it still has a long way to go. “There is still a huge gap between what they know and what they report,” says a senior intelligence official. “For every two pages they report, there’s another 15 or 20 pages they don’t want to provide.”

Some say the FBI remains compartmentalized, a series of information stovepipes. When a lead comes in that crosses internal bureau boundaries, the FBI’s bureaucratic instinct is to create a task force, promise to work with other agencies–and then shut them out entirely. Some complain that Mueller has insisted that every terrorism tip be investigated thoroughly, but but almost none of them has resulted in prosecutions. Some key aides are optimistic. “All you can do every day is come in and put one foot in front of another,” says Maureen Baginski, who heads the FBI’s new Directorate of Intelligence, ” ’cause if you start to think about it, you might just run, you know. It’s a lot of work, but I have nothing but confidence.”


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