Professor questions U.S. intelligence policy


    By Sarah Bills

    Creating a new intelligence agency won”t reduce America”s vulnerability to terrorism, according to a BYU professor who is a former member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Instead, in a lecture presented Tuesday Jan. 28, Stanley A. Taylor called for internal reform of intelligence agencies.

    Students and faculty lined the aisles and doorway of the library auditorium to hear the one-hour presentation, which included a question and answer period.

    “We have too many agencies with similar jurisdiction who fail to communicate and correlate their actions,” Taylor said.

    For this reason, Taylor said he thinks the new Department of Homeland Security, which is composed of members from all the other intelligence agencies, won”t work.

    Forty-five separate agencies deal with terrorism within the Central Intelligence Agency, Taylor said.

    “That”s way too many,” he said. “It discourages efficiency.”

    The director of Central Intelligence is responsible for directing and coordinating all intelligence, but he only has control over the Central Intelligence Agency, Taylor said. This is one of the main problems, he said.

    “Reorganization would help if it reduced the number of agencies and gave jurisdiction and authority to one agency to correlate between existing agencies,” Taylor said.

    Intelligence agencies, like the Secret Service and FBI, loan their officers to the National CounterIntelligence Center, but the officers” first loyalty is to their own agencies because that is where they receive their pay, Taylor said.

    “When we have a problem, and we don”t know what to do we usually throw money at it,” he said.

    Money may or may not be an answer to the problem he said. The Intelligence Committee”s budget is classified, but Taylor estimated it to be somewhere between $40 billion to $50 billion, up at least $3 billion since Sept. 11, 2001.

    “I think it depends not on how much money, but on how we spend the money,” he said.

    Taylor said he doesn”t think more personnel would help the situation. But, he said it would depend on how the people were used and where they were placed.

    “I didn”t know there were so many agencies who do the same kinds of things,” said Josh Beers, 22, a sophomore from Boise, Idaho, majoring in chemistry. “They”re basically pitting one agency against another.”

    Taylor offered seven suggestions for reforming Central Intelligence, including preventing unauthorized information from leaking to the press.

    “I didn”t realize how much information the organization deals with and how much depends on following our organizational pattern,” said Jenny Cook, 23, a senior from Ririe, Idaho, majoring in international studies.

    More than anything the intelligence agencies need internal reform, Taylor said.

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