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Domestic Intelligence

By Matthew Yglesias on March 26, 2007 at 10:53 am

"Domestic Intelligence"

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Speaking of John Edwards (of which I’ve done too little) and his views on national security (of which I think he’s done too little), does anyone know if John Edwards still favors creating a domestic intelligence agency? It was kind of his signature national security proposal just 3-4 years ago. I think this idea could have some merit to it. The absence of a domestic spying agencies doesn’t mean we don’t have domestic spying, it means that domestic spying is either done illegallly (as in the NSA wiretapping affair) or else ineptly by the FBI which, appropriately, is primarily focused on its core law enforcement mission. I don’t take the view that we should be dramatically expanding the quantiyt or scope of domestic intelligence activities in the United States, but I think it makes perfect sense to locate them in a designated agency.

That said, the org chart for intelligence and law enforcement in the United States is so messy that it may not make a difference. The whole thing, though, could really use an overhaul since it’s path dependence run amok. One way or another, the Edwards camp should address this subject since a lot of news has been broken about domestic intelligence abuses since he first made the proposal and things look different in that light.

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