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Video: Richard Clarke on the Christmas Day terrorist attempt

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  • William "Chris" Yount says:

    Mr. Clarke brings up the disturbing point that Homeland Security wasn’t even aware of the information about Abdulmutallab. Wasn’t the HSDN supposed to offer a portal into the NCTC On-line? The CIA says that they passed the information along to the NCTC, so it should have been included in their system. Did Homeland Security simply fail to access the information?

    This, once again, reminds me of the difficult situation we have painted ourselves into. We have the CIA and FBI both focused on CT, but battling over the turf. Then we have the NSC oversight along with the DNI. We also have a (sometimes) Cabinet-level chief counter-terrorism adviser to the NSC, the post that Mr. Clarke pitched and then held through 2003.

    Similar to the number of special envoys we’ve got around the globe (something touched on as a possible trouble area on your VOA interview), we have created additional layers which seem redundant in many cases and foster inefficiency and allow for information to fall through the cracks with greater frequency. Even information with flags as red as this Christmas Day case.

    Hopefully Obama’s top-down review of the intelligence sector yields improvements and not simply another layer of oversight/filtering between the collectors and analyzers of intelligence and those that can put the reports/suggestions into action.

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Welcome! Who am I?



Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.