Guest post from T.R.Ramaswami
I write with reference to your editorial “Chidambaram’s Proposals” (BS 28 December 2008). The proposals are nothing but a rehashed version on what the US did after 26/11. Faced with the problem that the FBI, CIA, NSC etc had different objectives and did not talk to each other, the US created the TTIC – Terrorist Threat Integration Centre. However post 26/11 the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Senator Richard Shelby, made some important statements that Mr. Chidambaram may do well to consider. The report, inter alia stated – the FBI has deeply entrenched mind sets that prize the production of evidence supported narratives over the drawing of probabilistic inferences based on incomplete and fragmentary information …..Law enforcement agencies just think differently from intelligence organisations…….Intelligence analysts would doubtless make poor policemen and it has become very clear that policemen make poor intelligence analysts.
Our IB and RAW consists of more than 80% IPS officers at levels higher than Assistant Director, and many of the deputationists are those who do not want to do routine police work or have been sent to these bodies because the state government does not want them. Intelligence aptitude is not their forte or even a criteria. However having spent time in the IPS they have become personal adjuncts of the government in power, keeping watch over opposition moves, helping in toppling governments and even funding the purchase of MPs/MLAs sequestered in their safe houses from the secret budgets they have. What security and intelligence the country can get from such outfits is a moot point. However to be fair it must also be stated that an intelligence body is the only one where failures become public but it cannot publicise its successes as that would alert the other side and may lead to more failures! A real Catch-22 if there was ever one.
In a recent TV interview Mr. Chidambaram slammed the state governments for not giving a tenure to key officials and admitted he could do nothing. Can he at least start with his own Congress state governments? And how about denying central police support for those who do heed to the Centre’s advisories. Other wise it appears that the Union Home Minister’s writ runs only over New Delhi, some central police organizations and the IB and RAW.
– T.R.Ramaswami