How 9/11 Transformed the Intelligence Community

How 9/11 Transformed the Intelligence Community

Sep 7 2011

 

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

It's no longer about 'need to know.' Our guiding principle is 'responsibility to share.'

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

It's no longer about 'need to know.' Our guiding principle is 'responsibility to share.'

 

It has been a decade since our nation suffered the greatest strategic surprise on American soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the aftermath of September 11, as the country sought to understand how such a complex attack could go undetected, much attention was focused on the intelligence community. Pundits, scholars, commentators and others quickly labeled 9/11 an intelligence failure.

 

Some suggested that on 9/11 the intelligence community was still operating in a Cold War mindset with too much of its attention and resources focused on threats from nation-states. Others argued that intelligence agencies were resistant to change and unwilling to work together. The belief that intelligence agencies failed to link critical fragments of information that could have revealed al Qaeda's plot, and prevented the attacks, began to take hold.

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