A memo obtained from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence indicates the Washington Post
is preparing to "publish articles and an interactive website that will likely contain a compendium of government agencies and contractors allegedly conducting Top Secret work." You can view the memo below. The series is likely to launch Monday.
WaPo's Dana Priest
According to another memo
from Art House, the director of communications for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the series will be written up by Dana Priest and culminates two years of research. He postulates Priest is likely to advocate:
Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic reports
- The intelligence enterprise has undergone exponential growth and has become unmanageable with overlapping authorities and a heavily outsourced contractor workforce.
- The IC [intelligence community] and the DoD have wasted significant time and resources, especially in the areas of counterterrorism and counterintelligence.
- The intelligence enterprise has taken its eyes off its post-9/11 mission and is spending its energy on competitive and redundant programs.
, "Priest's story is said to focus on redundancies, particularly the number of individual counter-terrorism analytical cells costing the government billions of dollars. Some of the redundancy is deliberate because of the nature of intelligence work. But a lot of redundancy, especially in terms of information technology, is probably just wasteful."
The Washington Post
is also working on a television component with PBS's Frontline
Priest has targeted America's clandestine intelligence agencies in much of her research over the years, not least of which with her 2005 article
, "CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons: Debate Is Growing Within Agency About Legality and Morality of Overseas System Set Up After 9/11." She won the Pulitzer for her reporting on the "black sites." Many on the right
hold the opinion this article was detrimental to America’s national security and intelligence gathering capabilities and have hurt the war effort. There have also been questions raised
about her sources.
At first glance, we at the Big Blogs are unclear what the public is supposed to do with this classified intelligence contract information, and it certainly doesn't seem to fall under the "public right to know" umbrella either. The report may expose billions of dollars of government waste and provide other useful insights, and we'll be sure to highlight those if we see them, but given the reporter behind the exposé and the paper publishing it, be prepared to witness the Washington Post
go to battle with our intelligence agencies at a time of war.
We'll be sure to update you on the Big Blogs as this story develops.