Monday, June 3, 2013

Our Expensive Jumble Of Intelligence Agencies

The Homeland Security Act was passed in 2002, calling for the establishment of a Department of Homeland Security with a primary mission to:

“prevent terrorist attacks within the United States”;
“reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism”; and
“minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States.”

How are they doing?  After 10 years and a Homeland security budget of $59 billion dollars for 2013, how much are you getting for your money??

Yes, there have been some 40 terror attacks foiled since 9/11, so that's pretty good--but at what cost?  (let's see, there have about 4 plots per year, so that works out to $15 billion per foiled attack!)  There are plenty of other intelligence agencies that already existed, so it's difficult to claim that these attacks were foiled strictly due to the Homeland Security department.

How many terrorists has the $7 billion TSA found in screening lines since 9/11?  None!

Add to that another $52.6 billion in 2013 budget request for the CIA and 15 other intelligence agencies, how do you feel now?   Has the CIA EVER done anything right?  They didn't get it right about Iraq.  They don't seem to know ANYTHING about Iran.

Add another $8.2 billion for the FBI, yet ANOTHER intelligence and law enforcement agency who appears to be constantly butting into state and local jurisdictions.  But at least the FBI DOES something!

Here's a summmary list of our extensive and expensive intelligence agencies from  Wikipedia:

The IC consists of 16 members (also called elements), most of which are offices or bureaus within federal executive departments. The IC is led by theDirector of National Intelligence, whose office, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), is not listed as a member of the IC.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
United States Department of Defense
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
National Security Agency (NSA)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA)
Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM)
Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)
Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
United States Department of Energy
Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)
United States Department of Homeland Security
Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)
Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)
United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI)
United States Department of State
Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
United States Department of the Treasury
Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)
Gee, do you think we have enough intelligence????

You can imagine the overlapping of responsibilities between all this bureaucracies?  How many highly paid people descended on Boston to chase two criminal terrorists?  I bet it was over 1000 people at a cost that is unimaginably high.   At the end of the day, it was local citizens who saved the day.

In summary, we spend about $120 billion per annum on a huge jumble of intellegence bureaucracies.  I'm sure that there is room for a lot of consolidation and cost savings.

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