Information shortfalls that led to 9/11 attacks Essay

Information shortfalls that led to 9/11 attacks Essay

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Rules and constraints, or what many refer to as a “legalistic wall” misinterpreted by some and misunderstood by others, made it very difficult for the IC to share information before 9/11. Best (2007), maintained that the Intelligence Community failed to share information because there were “walls” between intelligence and law enforcement agencies. These walls kept analysts from talking to each other and from sharing pieces of information that, if they had been viewed in close relationship, might have yielded a coherent picture of the emerging plot.
In Grewe (2004), and Best (2007) they concurred that law enforcement and intelligence information was not regularly shared, and collectors and analysts were “walled” off from each other because of constitutional principles, statutes, policies, and practices that preclude sharing of such information. These regulations dated as far back as the National Security Act of 1947 requiring that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “have no police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers or internal security functions.”
As indicated on page 416 of the 9/11 report “The biggest impediment to all-source analysis-to a greater likelihood of connecting the dots-is the human or systematic resistance to sharing information.” In other words, success revolves around the ability of the IC connecting the dots. Regrettably Kramer (2005) believes that bureaucracies often get in the way by implementing a variety of mechanisms that tend to isolate the dots. The IC argued on several occasions that they were unable to share information because of vaguely written laws that were often misunderstood. As stated above, the information sharing barriers that existed prior to September 2001 had a long history b...

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...ns, ‘Intelligence Failures: Forecasting and the Lessons of Epistemology’ in
Richard K. Betts and Thomas G. Mahnken (eds.) Paradoxes of Strategic Intelligence:
Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel (London: Frank Cass 2003) pp77
Zegart, Amy. B. (2006). “An Empirical Analysis of Failed Intelligence Reforms Before
September 11”. Political Science Quarterly,121(1), 33-60. Retrieved from
Zegart, Amy. 2007. "9/11 and the FBI: The organizational roots of failure." Intelligence &
National Security 22(2) 165-184. International Security & Counter Terrorism Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed April 26, 2014).
Amy Zegart (2007) “CNN with Secrets:” 9/11, the CIA, and the Organizational Roots of
Failure.” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 20:18-49, DOI:

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