Amy Zegart speaks this Thursday evening at 7:30

If you’re in or near Los Angeles and care about how bureaucracy can get in the way of national security, you don’t want to miss it.

The 4-Star Democratic Club is an offshoot of the Wesley Clark campaign, centered on the Westside of Los Angeles and dedicated to the idea that Democrats needs to be able to talk sense about national security. We’ve had a series of dinnertime meetings where a distinguished speaker addresses an audience of about 40. So far the talks have been great and the Q & A lively and well-informed.

This Thursday at 7:30, Amy Zegart, my colleague both here at RBC and in the Public Policy Department at UCLA, will be the guest of honor. The question she has posed for herself is:

What information would the next President need to receive to stop the next 9/11, and how can we (or can we) organize our intelligence and homeland security agencies to provide that information?

More detail on Amy, and her new book Spying Blind: The FBI, the CIA, and the Road to 9/11 at the jump. If you still believe that the set “Interesting talks on bureaucratic politics” must be empty, come and disabuse yourself of that notion.

When and Where

June 12th, 7:30 pm

Bellagio Ristorante

11800 W. Jefferson Blvd. (at Mesmer Ave.)

Culver City 90230


Tickets: 4-Star Democratic Club Members: $30; Non-Members: $35

Special Offer: $45 for Event + 4-Star Club Membership

Price includes buffet & non-alcoholic beverages.

You can also RSVP TO & and send your check to:

4-Star Democratic Club, 10008 National Blvd., #439, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Or sign up on line at:


Amy Zegart received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford. Her thesis (with Condoleeza Rice acting as faculty chair) examined how the National Security Act of 1947 left the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council incapable of doing their assigned tasks. It won a major award from the American Political Science Association, became her first book, Flawed by Design (Stanford University Press, 1999), and is considered a must-read.

Her latest book, Spying Blind, (Princeton University Press, 2007), asks how it came to be that the FBI and the CIA, which between them had all of the pieces of the 9/11 puzzle by the summer of 2001, failed to see what was staring them in the face until the planes hit the World Trade Center.

No conspiracy theory is needed. A careful analysis of the incentives facing the agencies, their component parts, and individual agents – in particular, the pressures that maintained the “need-to-know” principle but ignored “need to share” – explains not only that failure, but the additional failures still to come unless drastic reforms are forced on the intelligence community from the outside.

Gary Hart calls her book “breathtaking in scope and revolutionary.” Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, describes Spying Blind as “pathbreaking.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: