Lind on the 9/11 report (he's right on):
When bureaucracies fail, one of their favorite
ways to deflect demands for reform is to offer reorganization instead.
That appears to be what has happened in the report of the 9/11
commission and Washingtons response to that report. Worse, the
reorganization envisioned is to further centralize intelligence by
establishing a national intelligence director and creating a
counterterrorism center. One is tempted to ask, if centralization
improves performance, why didnt the Soviet Union (democratic
centralism) win the Cold War?
What American military and national intelligence really require is that bureaucratic anathema, reform. And reform in turn means not centralization and unification, but de-centralization and internal competition.
What did us in both on 9/11 and in the run-up to the Iraq war was an
intelligence process that valued committee consensus and internal
harmony above the open rough-and-tumble disagreements that surface new
ways of looking at things….
He ends with:
At the heart of our inability to reform instead
of merely reorganize and further centralize our national intelligence
is the crisis of the state itself. The state cannot reform because
reform endangers the money and power of the New Class, which controls
the state and feeds richly off its decay. As we will see in
Washingtons response to the 9/11 commission report, the public is
decoyed by puppet shows while the old games continue. And non-state,
Fourth Generation enemies, who unlike the New Class really believe in
something beyond themselves, will hit us again and again.
Remember, government bureaucracies dont get
more money and more power when they succeed, but when they fail. With
an incentive system like that, it is fairly obvious what the rest of us
are going to get more of: the consequences of intelligence failures. [John Robb's Weblog]