Examining The Excesses of the National Police Welfare State
Marc Ambinder got a hold of an internal National Intelligence Memo that should, if properly used, provide some fodder for the argument that perhaps the government could start "tightening its belt" by dialing back the new police welfare state before putting old ladies on a cat food diet:
I briefed the IC Deputies Committee this afternoon regarding the forthcoming Dana Priest articles in the Washington Post covering the growth of the Defense Department and Intelligence Community infrastructure since 2001. I was asked to share the briefing with the IC PAOs as part of our preparation for publication.
I reported to you last January on this planned series, culminating two years of work. Ms Priest advises that the most likely publication target is mid-July.
While we can't predict specific content, we anticipate the following themes:
· The intelligence enterprise has undergone exponential growth and has become unmanageable with overlapping authorities and a heavily outsourced contractor workforce.
· The IC and the DoD have wasted significant time and resources, especially in the areas of counterterrorism and counterintelligence.
· The intelligence enterprise has taken its eyes off its post-9/11 mission and is spending its energy on competitive and redundant programs.
The Washington Post may run a series of three articles, the first being an overview, the second focused on the large number of contractors supporting the intelligence enterprise, and the third looking at a specific community (the Fort Meade/BWI Airport area) that has expanded in part due to Intelligence Community growth.
The Washington Post is expected to work with Public Broadcasting Service's Frontline program to add a television component to this work, and will also present an interactive web site demonstrating growth of the intelligence enterprise and inviting comment and dialogue. The Post advises that "links" between individual contractors and specific agencies have been deleted, although the Post will still cite contractors and their locations.
This series has been a long time in preparation and looks designed to cast the IC and the DoD in an unfavorable light. We need to anticipate and prepare so that the good work of our respective organizations is effectively reflected in communications with employees, secondary coverage in the media and in response to questions.
I will be very interested to see what this turns up. I don't know if it includes Homeland Security, but if it doesn't I suspect another investigation should be done there. This gravy train has taken on sacred status as the right has managed to morph the "support the troops" mantra into a "support the Military Industrial Complex," which is just another way of maintaining the police welfare state for connected white guys. If there's belt tightening to be done, this is the place to start.