If it’s September, then it must be budget time in Congress. This article over at Federal News talks about protecting intelligence community workers from the big, bad sequestration monkey. There’s a teeny-weenie bit inside that talks to the decimation of the IC workforce. Doesn’t even scratch the surface. What I’d like to see is a quantitative assessment of the past four years. It’ll probably take another ten to twenty years before the data can get sorted out. (Aka: the truth sees the light of day)
The guy in the picture, General Clapper (ret.) is a decent guy in a crappy, political job. His mandate is threefold: keep the system running, improve it, and do it cheaper. Those that believe in reality know it can’t be done. Yet, many folk elected to the edifices of Washington, DC (District of Corruption) actually expect him to succeed. Or fall on his sword in the attempt. He’s been at it for about eight years. I can only be certain of my belief that he holds a lot of keys to some very secret political closets.
Which gives me a segue into Monkey Jibberish, or to put it in PC terminology: politicianese. (A regal dialect of ancient Sumerian, from which all sorts of strife has promulgated.)
Bill Clinton once asked, ‘what the definition of ‘is’ is. I’ll ask what the definition of ‘fix’ is. To fix something, that something must either not work correctly or be completely broken. To fix something means to repair or replace. Each segment of the IC runs well in its own fiefdom. But history shows us that fiefdoms rarely work out for the best. To repair these fiefdoms would require trusted emissaries in each other’s courts. But the emissaries are quickly sidelined, banished to a cubicle of security.
Alternatively, replacement of the whole shebang is equally unattractive – from a fiscal point and including the mental capacties of the worker monkies. it just inst there.
Whats to do? First and foremost, design from scatch. No more 16 agencies, just one happy IC. One vetting service – with one set of simple rules. One re-vetting service to keep tabs on those that make it in. Special services for collection, analysis, dissemination. It is past time to pigeon hole information where one part could supply key insights into another analyst’s problem.
Off my soapbox now. None of the above will be taken seriously, because of one rule – follow the money. The economies of scale are actually negligible. The top ranks get decimated through streamlining. Worker bees continue their standing. The end users might contract ever so slightly. But the sharing of Intel will flow, as if from multiple broken water mains.
I’m sure many of you can poke holes in this hornets nest. I encourage you to do so – as long as we get to the starting point to fix the intelligence coruptocracy.