The Needle in the Database
: Former FBI intelligence agent prescribes changes. "blame usually falls on the F.B.I. and C.I.A. — agencies the public thinks it understands. "Why can't they work together?" people ask, ignorant of the fire walls that separate the agencies in order to protect the personal privacy and civil rights of all Americans.
Why don't they get along? Because they shouldn't. Law enforcement and the intelligence community are pegs designed not to fit in the same hole. One works on rule of law to gather legally admissible evidence; the other digs up intelligence that may be used even when it doesn't meet a standard of reasonable doubt.
First, the government should integrate all intelligence programs in a single agency. Make the Central Intelligence Agency just what it is supposed to be: central. The director of central intelligence serves, at least in principle, as the president's chief intelligence officer. Give him the resources and authority to go with the title.
Second, we should divide the C.I.A. into counterterrorism, war-fighting and diplomatic directorates to better manage all national security objectives. Make the C.I.A. a service provider for other government agencies; create a common strategic goal.
Third, the government should define the differences between foreign and domestic spying but provide for both. It is naïve to think we don't need some sort of internal surveillance capacity.
Finally, we need to standardize the classification process and make secrets accessible to the people who need them. Classification should be a means of channeling information, not hoarding it. Knowledge of a Qaeda plot is useless if we can't pass it on to local and state authorities." 7:54:51 PM
Rise of an 'Iraq generation' in Europe?: "In the short term, European public disgust at the pictures probably rules out any chance that America's NATO allies will offer military help securing the transition to Iraqi rule in Baghdad. In the long run, some observers worry, the photographs could perpetuate a graver transatlantic rift. "They might help create an 'Iraq generation' in Europe like the 'Vietnam generation,'" suggests Bernhard May, an expert on European relations with the US at the influential German Foreign Policy Society in Berlin. "If a whole generation comes to think of America in terms of the Iraq war, then we are in trouble for years to come." ..
US officials had hoped to persuade NATO to take a formal role in Iraq after the transition to Iraqi rule, but no such decision is expected now at the alliance summit next month in Istanbul. With European mistrust of the US administration running so high, "the last thing the Europeans want to do is come to the June summit and allow George W. Bush to preside over the alliance as a great leader," said Philip Gordon, a Brookings Institute scholar and coauthor of a new book on the transatlantic rift over Iraq, in a recent speech to the Transatlantic Center, a Brussels think tank." 3:50:15 AM