Nusbacher Associates

This NYT story, if accurate, is truly disheartening for American intelligence professionals in two ways:

1) The supervisor felt it necessary to skyline an issue to the point of sending someone home like a naughty schoolboy as well as documenting that, and it did not cause a review.

2) This facepalm of a finding. A senior law enforcement source is paraphrased as follows:

“The electronic systems the C.I.A. and N.S.A. use to manage the security clearances for its full-time and contracted employees are intended to track major rule-based infractions, not less serious complaints about personal behavior…”

What the…!?!? Anyone in this line of work knows that personal behaviour issues are often the first sign of a problem. Those may be minor (few) to political (none), but someone being sent home from work is damned serious when you’re dealing with this level of information; in the civilian world that’s a step short of firing, reflecting not an inter/personal problem but rather an actively- manifesting personnel situation.

Most importantly, it means that whoever designed the computer system simply doesn’t understand the human end of the business. That’s a shocking disconnect between the office and ops!

So for now I’ll sit back and see how that plays out. But if it is accurate then there is something seriously broken over there, philosophically and in an entrenched way.

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