The September 11, 2001, attacks have created an intelligence community so large and unwieldy that it's unmanageable and inefficient - and no one knows how much it costs, according to a two-year-long
investigation by the Washington Post.
Ahead of the publication, many in the intelligence community worried that the stories would disclose too much information about contractors and the classified tasks they handle.
The Post article that appeared in Monday's edition says its investigation uncovered "a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine."
Update: Acting Director of National Intelligence, David C. Gompert issued the following response -
This morning, the Washington Post began a series of articles on the growth of the Intelligence Community following the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The reporting does not reflect the Intelligence Community we know.
We accept that we operate in an environment that limits the amount of information we can share. However, the fact is, the men and women of the Intelligence Community have improved our operations, thwarted attacks, and are achieving untold successes every day.
In recent years, we have reformed the IC in ways that have improved the quality, quantity, regularity, and speed of our support to policymakers, warfighters, and homeland defenders, and we will continue our reform efforts. We provide oversight, while also encouraging initiative. We work constantly to reduce inefficiencies and redundancies, while preserving a degree of intentional overlap among agencies to strengthen analysis, challenge conventional thinking, and eliminate single points of failure. We are mindful of the size of our contractor ranks, but greatly value the critical flexibility and specialized skills they contribute to our mission.
The challenges that lie ahead are difficult and complex. We will continue to scrutinize our own operations, seek ways to improve and adapt, and work with Congress on its crucial oversight and reform efforts. We can always do better, and we will. And the importance of our mission and our commitment to keeping America safe will remain steadfast, whether they are reflected in the day’s news or not.
David C. Gompert