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details the major organizational transformations that will help in the battle against global and homegrown terrorism; i.e., radical Islam. The book compares America's current counterterrorism (CT) and counterintelligence (CI) efforts with the domestic intelligence agencies of six other free nations.
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There are revealing interviews with law enforcement (LE) and counterintelligence (CI) officials. In particular, the book examines CT and CI efforts domestically and details what it will take to create such an agency to protect America's heartland.
True, many loyal Americans believe too many agents of the CIA, FBI and local police are empowered to collect intelligence on U.S. citizens. However, I do not believe the CIA is involved in domestic "spying" to the extent suspected, and feel we should adopt Britain's MI5 model for domestic surveillance of suspected terrorists. They have maintained a true democracy that supports individual freedoms, despite MI5 domestic spying since WWII. Likewise, there is a way to use the CIA's resources to collect domestic intelligence in a socially acceptable manner and still maintain our civil liberties.
The overseas threats to America are increasing in number and sophistication and America's current paranoia of domestic intelligence-gathering by the CIA stems from past conflicts involving domestic intelligence operations. It's time to change that perception, for the world has changed and the Intelligence Community must adapt. Before 9/11 the CIA was focused on estimating the threat posed by the nuclear capabilities of the Soviet Union and later Russia. Law enforcement (FBI) was bent on arresting and prosecuting criminals.
After 9/11, law enforcement and the entire Intelligence Community are zeroing in on one mission...to prevent a terrorist attack in America's heartland. I do not believe the huge divide between the law enforcement and counterinelligence cultures will be narrowed, despite the seemingly radical changes made in the relationship between intelligence and law enforcement. America needs to assign the CIA as the one agency ultimately responsible for domestic surveillance and the remaining 16 agencies must follow its lead.
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes about the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean." The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form