Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2003

Abstract

Two lines of questions dominate discussions about how the nation ought to respond at home to the new (or rather newly perceived) terrorist threat: How do we ensure that information about potential terrorist activities is effectively gathered, shared, and used? And how do we ensure that the Government neither abuses the investigative authority we give it, nor demands more authority than it needs? Each line can profitably be pursued in its own terms. Yet to keep the conversations separate is to miss seeing how the very process of creating an effective domestic intelligence network may introduce a salutary level of accountability and balance in the system. The key lies in the relationships among the local, state, and federal units out of which the network must be created, and their organic characteristics. And the seeds of this promising institutional dynamic can be found in the recent history of the interaction among federal, state, and local governments in the policing area. This essay explores that history and its salience to current issues.

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