January 25, 2010


I finished reading The Looming Tower, and Dean Barnett was right: it was very good.

One thing I am curious about is the wall between the CIA and the FBI.  I had always understood it to be a legal thing, that the two branches were forbidden to share intel.  But this book makes it sound more like a turf war instead, that some of the more egotistical officers intentionally withheld information from each other because they didn't like the other branch's approach.

Does anyone know more about this, or have links they could point me to?  In reading Ashcroft's book last year, I never got the sense that our intelligence gatherers were being petty and tribal.  But this book gave that impression.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:33 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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This might be a good place for you to start.  Google Jamie Gorelick.  She put up "the wall".

This article pretty much fisks Jamie Gorelick and her defence for doing so.


"The wall generally forbidding intelligence agents from communicating with their criminal counterparts was a suicidally excessive way to ensure that what little information intelligence agents were permitted to pass would be admissible in court. This is the product of a mindset that insists, beyond all reason and common sense, that terrorism is just a law-enforcement problem. The object of a rational counterterrorism approach is to prevent mass murder from happening in the first place, not to improve your litigating posture for the indictment you return after thousands of people have been slaughtered."

Posted by: jw at January 26, 2010 11:29 AM (spEu4)

2 Thanks, jw! I was wondering what the rationale for the wall was.

As for the CIA and FBI being "petty and tribal," those traits seem hardwired into the human species. Our team won't help your team. Our team doesn't need help for your team. But aren't both teams supposed to be part of Team America?

Posted by: Amritas at January 26, 2010 01:26 PM (+nV09)

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