DEA’s Use of Intelligence Analysts

“The number of DEA intelligence analysts has grown from 11 since the DEA’s inception in 1973 to 710 stationed around the world as of March 15, 2008,” according to a new report from the Justice Department Inspector General (IG) on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as an intelligence agency.

The new report (pdf) provides the most detailed public account available of DEA’s intelligence function and its role as one of the sixteen member agencies in the U.S. intelligence community.

The IG report noted a generally favorable evaluation of DEA intelligence, except for significant delays in publication of time-sensitive intelligence information.

“The DEA Chief of Intelligence told us that when reports officers receive information related to terrorism, weapons, or a foreign country’s military, the cable must be prepared and disseminated to the intelligence community within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. Of the 4,500 cables prepared since June 2004, we tested 81 cables for timeliness of dissemination. Our testing showed that cables are transmitted on average 34 days from the date the original information was received by the DEA.”

See “The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Use of Intelligence Analysts,” Audit Report 08-23, Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, May 2008.

Some of those who idly speculate about nominees to cabinet positions in the next Administration have mentioned Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, who is widely respected for his independence, as a possible future Attorney General.

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