Effectiveness of US spy agencies questionable: US daily
Washington: The top secret world the US government created in response to the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has become so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine, according to the Washington Post.
The system has become "so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programmes exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work," the influential US daily said Monday after a two-year investigation.
"When hired, a typical analyst knows very little about the priority countries - Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan - and is not fluent in their languages," it said.
Still, the number of intelligence reports they produce on these key countries is overwhelming, the Post said citing current and former intelligence officials who try to cull them every day.
"Lack of focus, not lack of resources, was at the heart of the Fort Hood shooting that left 13 dead, as well as the Christmas Day bomb attempt thwarted not by the thousands of analysts employed to find lone terrorists but by an alert airline passenger who saw smoke coming from his seatmate," the daily said in the first part of the report.
"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 defence - is a challenge," Defence Secretary Robert M Gates was cited as saying in an interview with the Post last week.