As a former intelligence professional with more than 25 years of experience with the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, Air Force intelligence and other entities that make up the so-called intelligence community, I was not surprised by the findings in the Sept. 11 commission report ["Bush Set to Act on Advice of 9/11 Panel," front page, July 26]. I was, however, underwhelmed.
I can't count the number of times I worked on analyzing this or that panel's report on the latest intelligence failure -- and how to avoid the next one. Most of these reports also suggested creating a Cabinet-level "national intelligence czar."
Creating such a position or moving the pieces of the intelligence community around the bureaucratic chessboard will not fix the multiple intelligence failures associated with the terrorist attacks. The reasons for those failures may be found in the government bureaucracy, a culture that does not encourage or reward individuals to "think outside the box." There is only the threat of penalty for doing so.
Who is going to risk swimming upstream? Who would dare to disconnect the badly connected dots of a National Intelligence Estimate?
Until the intelligence community, with or without a czar, changes this culture, we will continue to have numerous small intelligence successes and huge intelligence failures. That's the real slam-dunk in this mess.
WARREN H. MILBERG