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Key Passages from The 911 Commission Report

Chapter 13

“How To Do It?  A Different Way of Organizing the Government ”
pp. 399-428


Emphasis added.


p. 400

…[N]o one was firmly in charge … and able to draw relevant intelligence from anywhere in the government, assign responsibilities across the agencies (foreign or domestic), track progress, and quickly bring obstacles up to the level where they could be resolved. Responsibility and accountability were diffuse.

The agencies cooperated, some of the time. But even such cooperation as there was is not the same thing as joint action. When agencies cooperate, one defines the problem and seeks help with it. When they act jointly, the problem and options for action are defined differently from the start. Individuals from different backgrounds come together in analyzing a case and planning how to manage it.

p. 401

... Reasons for joint action — the virtue of joint planning and the advantage of having someone in charge to ensure a unified effort. There is a third: the simple shortage of experts with sufficient skills.…

[Comment — Information on this page indicates that in 2004, these analytic units were duplicating effort :
 •  Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), created in 2003, based at the CIA
 • Counterrorism Center (CTC), intelligence " fusion" center, also at CIA
 •  Defense Intelligence Unit (DIA)
 •  Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
 •  FBI Terrorist Screening Center (analytic capabilities being developed at that time)
The State Department Counterterrorism unit was not mentioned.]

The U.S. government cannot afford so much duplication of effort. There are not enough experienced experts to go around. The duplication also places extra demands on already hard-pressed single-source national technical intelligence collectors like the National Security Agency...

A "smart" government would integrate all sources of information to see the enemy as a whole. Integrated all-source analysis should also inform and shape strategies to collect more intelligence .…


p. 407

Members of the U.S. Intelligence Community

Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, which includes the Office of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Community Management, the Community Management Staff, the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, the National Intelligence Council, and other community offices

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which performs human source collection, all-source analysis, and advanced science and technology

National intelligence agencies:

 • National Security Agency (NSA), which performs signals collection and analysis

 • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which performs imagery collection and analysis

 • National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which develops, acquires, and launches space systems for intelligence collection

 • Other national reconnaissance programs


Departmental intelligence agencies:

 • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the Department of Defense

 • Intelligence entities of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines

 • Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) of the Department of State

 • Office of Terrorism and Finance Intelligence of the Department of Treasury

 • Office of Intelligence and the Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Divisions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice

 • Office of Intelligence of the Department of Energy

 • Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) and Directorate of Coast Guard Intelligence of the Department of Homeland Security


p. 408

The need to restructure the intelligence community grows out of six problems that have become apparent before and after 9/11:

 • Structural barriers to performing joint intelligence work. National intelligence is still organized around the collection disciplines of the home agencies, not the joint mission. The importance of integrated, all-source analysis cannot be overstated. Without it, it is not possible to "connect the dots." No one component holds all the relevant information.

 • Lack of common standards and practices across the foreign-domestic divide.The leadership of the intelligence community should be able to pool information gathered overseas with information gathered in the United States, holding the work — wherever it is done — to a common standard of quality in how it is collected, processed (e.g., translated), reported, shared, and analyzed.…

 • Divided management of national intelligence capabilities.\ While the CIA was once "central" to our national intelligence capabilities, following the end of the Cold War it has been less able to influence the use of the nation's imagery and signals intelligence capabilities in three national agencies housed within the Department of Defense: the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office…

 • Weak capacity to set priorities and move resources. [The DCI] must have the power to reach across agencies and reallocate effort.…

 • Too many jobs. The DCI now has at least three jobs. He is expected to run a particular agency, the CIA. He is expected to manage the loose confederation of agencies that is the intelligence community. He is expected to be the analyst in chief for the government, sifting evidence and directly briefing the President as his principal intelligence adviser. No recent DCI has been able to do all three effectively.…

 • Too complex and secret. Over the decades, the agencies and the rules surrounding the intelligence community have accumulated to a depth that practically defies public comprehension. There are now 15 agencies or parts of agencies in the intelligence community…



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