FBI Birthday Gifts

The FBI turns 100 this month. Here are 5 gifts I’d love to get the Bureau:

1. An electronic case file system that actually works.

2. Phone books that stop labeling analysts “support,” the catch-all category for non-agents that lumps analysts with secretaries, janitors, and mechanics.

3. Filling the 38% of international counter-terrorism supervisor positions that are currently vacant.

4. Filling them with counter-terrorism experts. Short video training sessions don’t count.

5. An honorary picture of Bassem Youssef in every FBI field office and HQ. Youssef, the Bureau’s highest ranking Arab-American agent, gave hair-raising whistleblower testimony before Congress a few weeks ago.

Author: Amy Zegart

Amy Zegart is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. She is also a faculty affiliate at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and a professor of political economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (by courtesy). Her research examines national security agencies, American foreign policy, and anything scary. Academic publications include two award-winning books: Spying Blind, which examines intelligence adaptation failures before 9/11, and Flawed by Design, which chronicles the evolution of America’s national security architecture. She is currently working on a book about intelligence in the post-9/11 world. Zegart writes an intelligence column at foreignpolicy.com, and her pieces have also appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. Previously, she taught at UCLA and worked at McKinsey & Company. A former Fulbright Scholar, she received an A.B. in East Asian Studies from Harvard and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford. A native Kentuckian, she loves to watch good college football and bad reality TV.