US officials push back at ‘troubling’ spy agency report

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
By Paul Martin

Obama administration official describes Washington Post report critical of bloated US intelligence network as ‘roadmap to our adversaries’

US officials pushed back Monday at a lengthy Washington Post report critical of the bloated and sometimes inefficient US intelligence network, which one called a “roadmap” for US foes.

The second segment of the three-part Post series on the intelligence bureaucracy comes out Tuesday, the same day that President Barack Obama’s nominee to head US intelligence efforts, retired air force general James Clapper, heads to Capitol Hill for a confirmation hearing.

The US intelligence network is so unwieldy and secretive that even principal actors within it are unable to grasp its size or scope, according to the newspaper’s two-year probe.

“There has been so much growth since 9/11 that getting your arms around that — not just for the DNI (director of national intelligence), but for any individual, for the director of the CIA, for the secretary of defense — is a challenge,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Post.

Homeland security and intelligence programs take place in some 10,000 locations across the country, while the various agencies produce 50,000 intelligence reports each year, a volume so large “many are routinely ignored,” according to the Post.

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