CIA and common sense

A follow up post on the CIA book I talked about yesterday and John commented on. Apparently Porter Goss has started something interesting, reported by Time Magazine. Dan Drezner gets it right again too, why so late?

In what experts say is a welcome nod to common sense, the CIA, having spent billions over the years on undercover agents, phone taps and the like, plans to create a large wing in the spookhouse dedicated to sorting through various forms of data that are not secret–such as research articles, religious tracts, websites, even phone books–but yet could be vital to national security. Senior intelligence officials tell TIME that CIA Director Porter Goss plans to launch by Oct. 1 an “open source” unit that will greatly expand on the work of the respected but cash-strapped office that currently translates foreign-language broadcasts and documents like declarations by extremist clerics. The budget, which could be in the ballpark of $100 million, is to be carefully monitored by John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who discussed the new division with Goss in a meeting late last month. “We will want this to be a separate, identifiable line in the CIA program so we know precisely what this center has in terms of investment, and we don’t want money moved from it without [Negroponte’s] approval,” said a senior official in the DNI’s office.

2 thoughts on “CIA and common sense”

  1. “phone books–but yet could be vital to national security” – if, for example, al qaeda put in an ad I assume?

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