FBI Still Struggling In Conversion To Intelligence Agency


Philip Mudd, who joined the FBI from the rival Central Intelligence Agency, pitched a program called Domain Management to get agents to move beyond chasing criminal cases and start gathering intelligence, says the New York Times. Some agents were skeptical, because FBI culture respects “door-kicking investigators more than deskbound analysts sifting through tidbits of data. “There's 31,000 employees in this organization and we're undergoing a sea-change,” Mudd told the Times. “It's going to take a while for what is a high-end national security program to sink down to every officer.”

After interviewing more than 60 intelligence officials for a book, Amy Zegart, of the University of California, Los Angeles, reached a dismal verdict: “If you look at, for example, the four key ingredients for counterterrorism success – agents, analysts, managers and computers – the FBI is struggling to get the basics right on all of them. New agents still get more time for vacation than they do for counterterrorism training. Analysts are still treated as glorified secretaries.” The Times examines a supposed terrorist case from Lodi, Ca., to illustrate the FBI’s problems. The case produced worldwide headlines about an “Al Qaeda cell” in California, but critics, including former agents, say it has serious and revealing shortcomings. Officials concede that it was not an Al Qaeda case.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/10/us/10fbi.html?hp&ex=1160539200&en=3653c55395

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