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US security system appears deeply flawed

Results of two-year investigation into US intelligence aren’t good.

AN INVESTIGATION INTO America’s intelligence network says it is now so big that its effectiveness is compromised. The Washington Post conducted a two-year investigation into the intelligence services put in place by the US government after the 9/11 attacks.

Among the developments documented by the newspaper are the 33 building complexes set aside for top-secret intelligence work which have been built or are being built since 11 September, 2001. Over three-quarters of a million people currently have top-secret security clearance, “nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, DC,” the report writes.

The volume of reports produced by people engaged in intelligence work is so high that it many are simply ignored. The Washington Post writes that it was lack of focus, not lack of resources, which allowed the Fort Hood shooting in Texas last year and the Christmas Day attempted plane bombing to happen.

The CIA had been warned about the attempted bombing when the bomber’s father alerted the US embassy in Nigeria about his sons inclinations.

Today’s article suggests that the intelligence system has grown so big and unwieldy, no one really knowns how many people are involved – or how much it all costs. But US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told the Post he didn’t believe the system had grown too large too manage, but conceded that accessing specific information can sometimes be difficult.

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