Courtesy Reuters

The failure to prevent the attacks of September 11, 2001, the failure to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, and the proliferation of official investigations trying to figure out what went wrong in both cases have combined to put intelligence issues in a very unusual position this year: at the center of a closely contested presidential campaign.

All the attention creates both an opportunity and a danger. The opportunity stems from the consensus that major reforms are necessary. Previous controversies over the quality of intelligence have generally been inside-the-Beltway debates leading to only minor reforms at best. That will probably

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