77 by Crispin Black

By Crispin Black

How might a second of triumph concerning the Olympic Bid become a disaster? those negative occasions stick with at the carrying on with revelations that the intelligence stories that have been the government's foundation for the invasion of Iraq have been deeply wrong and the new admission via the Ministry of Defence that it did not foresee the dimensions and ferocity of the Iraq insurgency. whatever is particularly flawed in how Britain collects and analyses intelligence. In "7-7: What Went Wrong?", Crispin Black indicates that primary flaws in our present method of calibrating and figuring out the terrorist hazard -- an unwillingness for example to tackle board the results of our overseas coverage on loyalty at domestic and a mostly slack method of border defense have produced a poisonous danger to nationwide protection. Taken all jointly there's the uncomfortable suspicion that rather than collecting intelligence, their goal is to thrill their masters. In his compelling and authoritative research, Black indicates the...

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There are other aspects of groupthink which complicate an adequate security response to 7 July. We have been told that the security services had ‘no specific intelligence’ about the London attacks (how often have I heard this refrain before during my career). In effect, our intelligence services are saying—repeated by their political masters—we did not know because we did not know. Is this an acceptable response one may well ask? This is a tricky area and one in which people tend to betray their backgrounds.

It may have been quick for some, but not for others. The message at the end of the day seemed to be almost like the administration of a public sedative. * * * My conclusion was rather different: I was furious like everybody else with the killers themselves. But I was also angry because it increasingly looked as if we had been caught off guard. It was a feeling confirmed when I discovered that the country’s threat state had been reduced a few weeks before—without public announcement. How typical—an intelligence assessment system which did not appear to work (again) and that disseminates its information not on public channels but by a kind of ‘old boy’ network.

Islamist terrorists recognise no such division of responsibility. It is time to consider this reality against the question whether an intelligence system that thought globally would have performed better in run up to 7 July. Most advanced countries still operate a system like ours—responsibilities for human intelligence split into home and abroad—but it is instructive to see that the eavesdroppers in both the UK and the United States belong to a single national signals intelligence service with global responsibilities.

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