The History of the Failures and Successes in Past Efforts to Integrate the U.S. Intelligence Community With the Law Enforcement Community
This is partly because of the widely varying picture observers and even IC employees have of the community and its work. Mark Lowenthal and William Odom both note that nearly every study of intelligence begins with a long definitions chapter. These chapters offer necessary context through the authors’ own operational frames for terms like intelligence, intelligence reform, the intelligence community, and intelligence failure.
By 1916, the Bureau had grown from 34 agents focusing primarily on banking issues to 300 agents with an expanded charter that included internal security, Mexican border smuggling activities, neutrality violations in the Mexican revolution, and Central American unrest. After war broke out in Europe, but before the United States joined the Allied cause, the Bureau turned its attention to activities of German and British nationals within our borders.
Nakhleh ). The Intelligence Community does not exist merely to steal secrets abroad, but to make brutally honest assessments, independent of a policy agenda about the information it gathers. For the IC, this means resisting inevitable political pressures from the agenda-bearers of any presidential administration. It means “telling truth to power,” having the backbone to offer unwelcome assessments when they are judged to be the most professional, accurate, and objective assessments possible. Of course, the reality is that the recipients of unwelcome assessments will not always greet them with such reasonableness. For those who must render the assessments, no guarantee is possible that the ratio of hitting the mark to missing it will change dramatically, best efforts notwithstanding. The problem of preventing intelligence misjudgments remains unsolved, because uncertainty itself is the problem (Richard Shryock , 1997). The seemingly unknowable is compounded by fragmentary and contradictory pieces of information from sources of questionable reliability. Having to make the assessment anyway, because some reading of a situation is needed, is the problem as well as the challenge.
The key to change is strong leadership in both communities. Leaders must understand and nurture cultural change that emphasizes a responsibility for providing information—not just for sharing it. They must also communicate to their subordinates a willingness to accept risk in sharing data and must deemphasize data ownership. These steps, along with clear guidelines, inter-community training, the exchange of lessons learned, and the effective use of technology, can open doors of cooperation that have been closed for too long.
Central Intelligence Bulletin, 5 October 1973, quoted by Fifty Years of Informing Policy , p. 206 .
Emile A. Nakhleh , Fifty Years of Informing Policy , pp. 205 – 207 .
Richard Shryock , “ The Intelligence Community Post-Mortem Program, 1973–1975“ , Studies in Intelligence , Vol. 21 , No. 3 , Fall 1997 , pp. 15 – 22 .