20 Jul 2010

US security industry now too big - report

6:58 pm on 20 July 2010

An American newspaper says secret intelligence gathering systems in the United States have grown so much that no one knows their exact cost or size.

The Washington Post says since the attack on 9/11, the intelligence system has become massive and unwieldy and it is impossible to determine its effectiveness in keeping the US safe.

The report says the growth of the security industry has resulted in an unwieldy system lacking in oversight and with high levels of redundancy and waste

The BBC reports acting US intelligence chief David C Gompert has dismissed the picture painted by the report as inaccurate.

According to The Washington Post:

Nearly 2000 private companies and 1270 government agencies are involved in counter-terror work at 10,000 locations across the country.

Some 854,000 US citizens have the highest level of security clearance

fifth of the US government's anti-terror organisations have been created since the September 2001 attacks.

Various agencies publish so many reports that they are often ignored by officials.

The Washington Post said its investigation was based on government documents, public records and hundreds of interviews with intelligence, military and business officials and former officials.

The report is being published in three instalments this week.