The Washington Post ran the first article in their series called, Top Secret America, focusing on the ineffectiveness of U.S. intelligence instituted since the 9/11 attacks. The Washington Post claims to have been carrying out a 2-year-long investigation into the U.S. intelligence community.
The Washington Post reports disturbing news in its Top Secret America series on July 19, 2010. Specifically, the article says the number of intelligence-related personnel in the U.S. has multiplied so haphazardly since 2001 that the U.S. government itself is clueless as to the amount of money being spent. Also, the Top Secret America article says government personnel do not know the total number of individuals serving in intelligence capacities. The Huffington Post reported the intelligence community is “largely lacking in oversight,” according to Top Secret America series (Huffington Post website link).
Apparently, the sheer size of the U.S. intelligence community makes it nearly impossible to figure out whether the community is making headway in the fight to protect the U.S. and its citizens. Phenomenal figures are coming out of the Washington Post‘s investigation. Statistics discussed in the Washington Post Top Secret America‘s first article follow:
• Since 2001 in the country’s capital, Washington, D.C., 33 buildings said to be related to “top-secret” business are either currently being built or already in existence to house intelligence employees.
• Over 1,200 government entities and nearly 2,000 privately owned corporations are presently responsible for such tasks as protecting the country’s safety, fighting terrorism, and performing top-secret duties.
• The above-mentioned governmental offices and private businesses are spread out over 10,000 U.S. locations.
• “Redundancy” in duties exists among over 50 agencies just in relation to monitoring funds for terrorism.
• 50,000+ documents are published every year delineating intelligence information gathered. The Washington Post reports these documents are often not examined due to, again, the incredible number of documents.
Even the Defense Secretary, Robert M. Gates told the Washington Post (Top Secret America series) recently it is a “challenge” to oversee such monumental numbers of organizations, locations, and employees working in the country’s best interests.
TheTop Secret Americaarticle of July 19, 2010 reports horror stories of new intelligence personnel being inundated with so much information after instructions not to write anything down that they yelled out in defeat. The Post series claims it conducted “hundreds of interviews” in addition to checking out a wealth of government papers and various other sources to obtain information included in Top Secret America.
U.S. citizens will no doubt draw their own conclusions from what can only be described as alarming facts regarding the country’s intelligence system provided in the Top Secret America series. How will the political powers respond to the Post‘s Top Secret America series? Will the dissemination of such knowledge change how the intelligence community operates? Or will it simply become more difficult for future reporters to obtain such “delicate” information?
Future articles in Top Secret America series will cover how the U.S. intelligence community is largely composed of private, subcontracted businesses and a portrayal of just one top-secret intelligence employee. For more in-depth information on The Washington Post‘s Top Secret America series, see this link.
Top Secret America: A Washington Post Investigation. July 19, 2010. The Washington Post website.
Washington Post ‘Top Secret America’ Investigation: Intelligence Community Inefficient, Unmanageable. July 19, 2010.Huffington Post website.