Archive for September 10, 2013

COUNTERTERRORISM: Connecting the Dots and the Issues it Raises

9/11 2013

National Operations Center (Dept. of Homeland Security photo)

National Operations Center (Dept. of Homeland Security photo)

As we mark the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, we’re reminded of the continuing tension between gathering all the information needed to protect the United States from another attack and safeguarding the privacy and civil liberties of the people being protected.

Two seemingly unrelated events this year — the Boston Marathon bombing and the revelation of far reaching U.S. domestic spying programs – underscore the nagging problems a constitutional democracy faces while trying to protect itself.

The 9/11 Commission Report, issued by a blue ribbon panel following the 2001 attacks, recommended restructuring the U.S. Intelligence Community to eliminate structural barriers to performing joint intelligence work. “The importance of integrated, all-source analysis cannot be overstated. Without it, it is not possible to ‘connect the dots,” the Commission Report stated.

The Boston tragedy resurrected questions that surfaced after 9/11 about the ability of law enforcement and intelligence analysts to “connect the dots” that might indicate a potential terrorist threat. The domestic spying disclosures involving the National Security Agency (NSA) called into question how much intelligence the government needs to protect Americans and why all the data collected still hadn’t prevented an incident like the Boston bombing.
To read the rest of your 4GWAR editor’s article, click here to call it up on the website of the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement.

September 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm Leave a comment


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