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“Bureaucratic Bog”

“The Central Intelligence Agency should be asking some painful questions this week about its performance: How could a suicide bomber have flown to Detroit despite a strong warning to a CIA station that he might be a terrorist? How could a Jordanian double agent have penetrated a CIA base in Afghanistan and killed seven agency employees? Talking to veteran counterterrorism officers, I hear a common theme that unites these two disastrous lapses: The CIA has adopted bureaucratic procedures that, while intended to avoid mistakes, may actually heighten the risks. In the words of one CIA veteran, ‘You have a system that is overwhelmed.’ The two cases are very different. Yet they both illustrate what can happen when intelligence managers are eager for results but worried about risks.”
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