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Go beyond ‘Dunce’ caps
Intelligence Failure can be Harmful and even Fatal to Innocent People. Accountability for Agencies is Becoming a must
Issue Date - 09/06/2011
Ever since American President Abraham Lincoln created the first official secret service of the world in 1865, several countries followed suit and these institutions became critical to their security. Yet, the best of intelligence networks often display a distinct lack of intelligence!

In 2001, CIA shot and killed a family of American missionaries as they were travelling in their private aircraft over the Peruvian sky with the help of the Peruvian air force. They thought that they were drug lords! In 2007, CIA intercepted the telephonic conversation of Mrs. Marilyn McAfee (the American ambassador to Guatemala) to come to a conclusion that she was not ‘straight’. It was found later that she was happily married, and the tapped telephone conversation was with her poodle! FBI failed to provide evidence against Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, which led to postponement of his execution in 2004. British Security Service MI5 had reports of Richard Reid’s (a British citizen) link with al-Qaeda and their omnipresent plan for 9/11. Yet, they did nothing! A Moroccan immigrant to Norway, Ahmed Bouchiki was mistakenly murdered by Mossad agents who thought he was responsible for the Munich Olympics massacre! And on May 20 this year, embarrassed Indian authorities withdrew the list of fugitives claimed to be residing in Pakistan, when it was found that at least two of them were in India itself!

Sheer irresponsibility and poor judgment by these agencies has lead to harassment, pain and even death of innocent people. Accountability for these agencies is becoming increasingly critical, and so is punitive action; whatever the cause of the failures. India needs to now have an act where CBI and other intelligence department officials, who misrepresent accusations are taken to task for criminal breach themselves.


Sayan Ghosh           

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