I guess I backed off this point from December about the constant demands to fix intelligence failures with overcollection, but Julian Sanchez revives it with reference to the Senate’s Abdulmutallab report. Julian’s right on the merits, but in fairness to the Senate report, it really only looks at NSA for missing collection opportunities and hits the rest of the community for not adequately synthesizing. I recognize that when talking about overcollection it doesn’t do to say “ONLY the NSA” but just consider this a minor caveat.

Most importantly, Julian’s right, and intelligence isn’t some kind of pointillism in which the picture emerges once you add more dots. Though I’m sure Kriston Capps can tell me that’s not even how pointillism works.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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