Baginski Reforms FBI Intel; Mission Impossible?


Maureen Baginski is leery of heights, says U.S. News & World Report. Every morning just before dawn, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s powerful intelligence czar wills herself to drive over a narrow, shoulderless, two-lane bridge across a river, part of a nearly two-hour commute from her home in Virginia to FBI headquarters in Washington. U.S. News says that Baginski, an FBI outsider, is trying to do “what many believe to be mission impossible: ensuring that the hidebound FBI not repeat the sort of catastrophic intelligence failures that plagued the bureau prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

Baginski, a 25-year veteran of the National Security Agency, must overcome institutional resistance. “I wouldn’t even begin to pretend,” Baginski told U.S. News, “that it’s not hard.” The 9/11 commission found that nearly two thirds of FBI analysts are unqualified for their jobs, and the good ones are raided by other agencies. “She’s embedding intelligence into the DNA of the FBI,” says recently retired FBI executive Steven McCraw. “She’s invaluable,” FBI chief Robert Mueller told U.S. News. “She has helped bridge the two disciplines of law enforcement and intelligence.”


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