Intelligence Information Sharing Lags, Officials Say

10.05.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Five years after September 11, the government’s capacity to share intelligence and threat information with state and local officials (not to mention the public) remains sub-optimal, some of those officials complain.

“Much of the needed intelligence information is locked away from those who need it in the field or on the scene because of outdated cold war mentalities regarding classification of intelligence information,” said Illinois State Police Col. Kenneth Bouche (pdf) at a September 7 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee.

“Critical information must be unclassified and disseminated appropriately if it is to be of any use in preventing domestic terrorism,” he said.

“The federal government must work towards a goal of declassifying information to the maximum extent possible,” Col. Bouche urged.

The Democratic staff of the House Homeland Security Committee issued a report last week proposing seven initiatives aimed at “improving information sharing between the intelligence community and state, local, and tribal law enforcement.”

See “LEAP: A Law Enforcement Assistance and Partnership Strategy” (pdf), September 28.