Dispatch: WikiLeaks and Implications for Intelligence Sharing
Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton discusses how the U.S. Intelligence community may return to a pre-9/11 approach to information-sharing.
Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
In aftermath of the WikiLeaks disclosure Stratfor sources are indicating that the US intelligence community are looking at ways to further compartment information to prohibit this kind of disclosure in the future.
In the pre-9/11 world there was not a steady flow of information, primarily between the FBI and the CIA. But the other government agencies were also affected. As a result of that, one of the recommendations of the 9/11 commission was a much broader dissemination of information so analysts saw more so they could reach accurate assessments. As a result of WikiLeaks, what you're seeing is the desire to restrict that flow of data. In essence analysts will not have access to perhaps operational channel messages which contain very granular data on the sources as well as the kind of terrorism information they may need to do their job.
Analysts like to see all source reporting. That would be open-source to highly classified intelligence information in order to make the most accurate assessment on whatever topic it is. By restricting what the analysts can see as a result of WikiLeaks, does impact upon that analysts ability to get an accurate read into a specific topic.
In the intelligence business there is always a friction that exists between the collectors; the agents in the field, the case officers that's meeting with the sources and reporting that data back, and the analysts that are sitting behind the desk at headquarters. There has to be a very careful balance between the two to ensure that the analyst gets the data that they need to do their job as well as the operators can protect the sources identity to ensure that individuals are protected and providing information to the US government.
So this is a very cyclical kind of process that we're going through right now and it's usually as a result of disastrous events like WikiLeaks or aircraft hijackings or embassy bombings or 9/11 kinds of events.