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Event: Interview of Mark Mi ller

Type of Event: Interview


Date: December 23, 2003

Special Access Issues: None

Prepared by: Caroline Barnes

Team number: 6

Location: FBI Headquarters/SlOe

Participants Non-Commission: DOJ Assistant General Counsel Bob Sinton

Participants - Commission: Caroline Barnes and Mike Jacobson

• 9/11 Classified Information

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Strategic vs. Tactical Analysis. The Bureau has always had analysts. The
problem has been that the analysts were appended to the operational units, so provided

primarily tacticalcase support rather than strategic (big picture) analysis. Therefore,
Miller's first priority in the CT analysis area was to reorganize Intelligence Research
Specialists (IRSs - the more strategic analysts) in the CT Division into a standalone

• branch and get them focused on the broader, big picture mission. It was easier than he
thought it would be to take these analysts out of the operational sections. The CT
Division's operational leadership (Pistole, Mefford and D'Amuro) weren't thrilled with
the change but knew the Director wanted it to happen so were supportive. The
,Intelligence Operations Specialists (lOSs - more tactical) remained in the operational
sections. Miller's second priority was to show the IRSs how to do strategic analysis
rather than the more descriptive analysis they had been doing. They had been producing
case summaries and other descriptive products rather than producing products with added
analytic value. In reality, the IRSs were gophers for the lOSs, and morale among the
IRSs was "very bad." Miller's third priority was to create a training program focused on
analytic tradecraft.

During his FBI tenure, five or six of the CIA analysts detailed to the FBI
produced the national threat assessment mandated by the DOJ IG's Office. Miller
asserted that the FBI analysts wouldn't have been able to produce it. Miller stated that
they didn't come up with their own methodology to do this, but simply focused on the
IG's questions (who, what (WMD, etc.), key vulnerabilities, etc.). The assignment was
very straightforward but no one had ever done a national level look at the threat before.
They got very little input from the operational units. The operational units did direct
them to important information in ACS, but that was the extent of it. Miller thinks the
operational units simply didn't see the value to them in the threat assessment; they were

"busy chasing bad guys" and found the threat assessment project a "nuisance." Once it
was published, senif managCWl:11t found it very useful, but some unit chiefs never did .
,Miller has heard th~. ~BI analysts later had trouble updating it. Miller feels
there was a "noticeable change in attitude" toward this kind of analysis by the time he
left, however. Miiler believes it was also well received outside the FBI. The Director
said he had gotten good feedback from recipients. The CIA and DRS policy personnel
liked it. Mil1~r himself was quite pleased with how it turned out given that they'd only
had a few months to work on it.

Anatytical vs. Descriptive. Miller feels he was able to make a lot of progress in
getting lRSs to produce truly analytical (vice descriptive) products, and the Unit Chiefs
saw the value-added in these products. Miller feels that FBI analysts are especially good
at looking for patterns and trends across cases, and performing link analysis (linking
individuals together). Miller thinks they are "behind the curve," however, in producing
.nyiy strategic analysis.
Culture. There is no analytical culture at the FBI. FBI analysts are still
considered second-class citizens, and it is going to take time to change the culture. Miller
tried to get them to drop the word "support" for the analyst positions, for example. Miller
felt that he himselfwas treated well, but he had a lot of "juice" behind him (the DCI,
etc.). In contrast, he saw evidence of poor relations between analytical and operational
personnel at the Section Chief, Unit Chief, and working analyst levels.

. .~
Management ~~,~,~Jtants,fr()~ ~alled the Bureau's endeavor
tofocus.moreonanalysis and intelligence a "cultural revolution" that would take 7 years
- - -.-

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• to fully play out in the private sector, and probably longer in the public sector. Therefore,
Miller advised Maureen Baginski that it would take her at least five years to "tum the
comer" and find out if this initiative is really working.

Asset Validation. Analysts are in the best position to know if asset reporting is
on track. Culturally this will be a hard sell within the FBI, however.

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• Miller stated that it is essential that there be buy in from the field on the value of
analysis because that is where the "rubber meets the road." Currently there are not
enough analysts in the field, and no reports officers, as far as he knows.

Investigative Services Division. When Miller first arrived, the response he got
to a nwnber of his proposals was "this is the old ISD again." Miller discussed ISD with
Dave Stenhouse, who had worked to set it up and was assigned to Miller and the Office
of Intelligence for that reason. Miller thinks there were a number of good things about
lSD, but it failed because it didn't have enough support at the senior level.

Executive Briefings. FBI analysts do get diverted to executive briefing tasks, but
this is the nature of the work. It happens to analysts at the CIA as well. The Bureau
simply needs more analysts in order to perform all of the types of analytical work that
must get done.

Director's Daily Brief. Operational personnel hated this product because the
Director used it to identify the holes in operations and investigations and then held the

operational personnel accountable. This product helped analysis to drive investigations
and showed that analysts can spot links that the operational personnel don't see.


• Field Intelligence .and Analysis. Miller and D' Amuro wanted the Field
Intelligence Groups set up by the Office of Intelligence to include both analytical and
operational persormel, and to focus on CT. The model would hold for CI as well, but
their focus was primarily CT. Miller is not sure how the JTTFs and the FIGs would
interact, he said he hasn't done much thinking about that and suggested we ask 0' Amuro.

A lot of field analysts aren't really analysts. A lot were promoted as a reward for
good performance in other jobs but not because they could do the analytical work. Miller
guessed that there might be a decent amount of analysis going on in New York, but not
elsewhere. There is very little analytical support in the field generally. He believes that
Maureen is trying to hire reports officers in the field.

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The FBI needs reports officers at the field and HQ levels in order to get the
information out to those who need it - it's just hard to hire and train the right peopJe. The
Bureau needs a system to push more information in a usable format out of the field. It

needs to be centralized and come through HQ, however. You cannot have all 56 field
offices sending information out to the USIC unilaterally because it would be chaotic .
Who would ensure the protection of sources and methods? This should be done at HQ.
Also, there may be conflictin riorities in the field. The field is too decentralized. He
suggested we as ore about the reports officer function and the idea of
centralizing di~,~emlnahon at

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Despite the initial problems, Miller thinks that the CIA employees had a positive
impact. Once relations improved they were able to show the FBI analysts the kind of
•• ii product they needed to produce, and this in turn increased the understanding of the threat.


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• Information Technology. The IT support available at the Bureau is a "complete

disaster." It's a "rocky road," and it's not clear they've turned the comer yet on this.
Miller mentioned SCOPE, SAMNET and Trilogy as three IT systems the FBI is
attempting to put in place that are not user friendly. He said that the demonstrations of
these systems always look great, but then they attempt to deploy them and they fail.
Analysts were not yet using SCOPE in the summer 0[2003 when Miller left. He doesn't
think that SCOPE will be deployed in the field, at least not for several years. The FBI's
IT priority for the field is Trilogy's Virtual Case File System (YCF), so getting SCOPE
deployed in the field is an unrealistic proposition. During Miller's time at the FBI, the
Trilogy initiative amounted only to getting new computers for everyone.

Information Sharing. FBI analysts must break their dependence on the

operational sections for information, Often the operational personnel are too busy to
share the information with the analysts, and other times the information ownership
(information is power) issue comes into play. The analytical mission cannot be
dependent on the operational side of the house. In order to connect the dots, analysts
must have access to all of the available information.

At the Field level, offices are so understaffed and agents are so overworked that
information is not being uploaded into ACS. Instead, the communication between offices

and to Headquarters is informal, by email or phone call. There is no way to capture this
information so everyone who needs to access it can do so.

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Miller stated that the FBI collects a lot of information on what's going on in the
United States but it doesn't get to the people who need to see it. Information sharing has
improved but it is still slower than it should be. He thinks the Bureau was collecting the
right information even prior to 9/11. They understood the priorities and were trying to
collect against those. He wasn't on the operational side of the house, though, so he has
no empirical data to back up that assumption.

The joint FBI-CIA analytical "flying squads" Miller put together found terrific

information at the field offices they visited. He was amazed at the information they found
in the files. It was not getting into the system or to the people who needed to see it. He

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• thinks the FBI should send more of these groups out to field offices - it worked well and
produced very valuable data.

Resources. Recruitment of analysts was a big problem for the FBI. There
weren't enough analysts to do the job, and the CIA analysts who were detailed to the FBI
along with Miller were only there for one year. The FBI had trouble getting the right
people. Miller didn't have the opportunity to vet the new hires because the process was
underway before he arrived. The FBI hired some good folks in the most recent wave of
hiring, and some "dead wood." Miller stated that it was hard to know if the crux of the
matter was that the right people weren't applying, or that the hiring process itselfwas
flawed. Miller thinks that the FBI's hiring qualifications for analysts are fine, but the
first choice for a lot of folks who are interested in intelligence analysis is not the FBI, but
the CIA or DIA. Miller stated that the FBI needs to get rid of those who are not
performing during their probationary period - the FBI was able to do this to some extent.

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• The administrative support at the Bureau is "terrible" - one must wait weeks
sometimes for a computer or a phone.

Benchmarks/Performance Measurement. Miller stated that there are several

benchmarks that we can use to aid in assessing whether or not the Bureau is succeeding at
this new mission:
1) Are they going to solve the IT problem? It's all about getting information to
the people who need to see it. If the Director doesn't fix this problem, he is
never going to get a handle on everything else.
2) Recruitment and retention rates. Both must improve.
3) Quality and usefulness of the analytical product. The Bureau must survey all
of its customers - internal and external- as to the value added of its analytical
4) Analytical culture. The Bureau must create one.
5) Creation of a new CT/intelligence career path. Without this new occupational
category and career path, the new intelligence mission cannot work.

CT Operations. The biggest improvement that Miller saw during his tenure was
in the CT operational area. Agents were collecting more information, makirtg more
arrests, "busting up networks," identifying potential suspects, etc. The operational side of

• the house hired more personnel, produced a good plan/strategy, and put SACs in place
who understood that CT was now the FBI's top priority. Centralizing the CT mission at
Headquarters was key to all of these improvements. The Director insisted that CT
investigations be run out ofHQ. HQ put pressure on the field to clean up its backlog of
leads and gave operational personnel a new sense of purpose and direction. SACs had
fiefdoms before, but now there is stronger oversight.

Role of the Director. If you want to get something done, you must get the
Director involved. Otherwise your concern will fall through the cracks. For example, the
Information Resources Division (JRD) would tell Director that "everything was fine"
with the IT modernization plan, but Miller knew differently and would tell the Director
that. Then, the Director would pressure IRD and things would improve. However, once
the Director turns his attention away, things don't move as quickly. Miller thinks this is a
cultural reality and affects every area of the FBI. This key role the Director plays is in
contrast to that of the DCI. CIA Office Directors have more clout than their FBI
counterparts. At the FBI, if you don't have the Director behind you, you start losing

Miller believes there is too much bureaucratic red tape at the FBI due primarily to
the Director's lack of "special authorities." These are authorities the DCI has, and Miller
thinks if the FBI is to become a first class intelligence organization, it needs to have these

authorities. For example, DO] shouldn't have to sign off on things like contracts and
other legal obligations. In response to the argument civil libertarians would make that
strong DO] involvement is necessary, Miller stated "you can't have it both ways." You
have to decide what the priority is. In order to make the Bureau most effective and
efficient, the Director needs some special authorities. You can argue as to what those are,
but the current structure is not going to "cut it."

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Office of Intelligence. After 9111, everyone saw the need for the Bureau to
remake itself as more of an intelligence agency. The White House pushed the Bureau to
do this. Miller is not sure how it all transpired. Director Mueller asked for the DCI's
help and that is why Miller and 20 analysts were detailed to the FBI. Also, the PFIAB
report was critical of the FBI in this area.

Initially, no one knew what this office was to do. The Director said it was to
oversee an "intelligence program" write large. He didn't want to take analysts from the
CTD. Miller argued that the CIA analysts needed to report to him directly (vice
• D'Amuro) per the agreement between the CIA and FBI that arranged their detail

• assignment, and stated that since he had no staffhe couldn't set up both the Office of
Intelligence and the CT analysis section. The Director told him the CT analysis section
was his priority and to focus on that first. Maureen Baginski was the first Office of
Intelligence Director to get at least a small staff, but Miller is not sure she had received
her full complement. The Office of Intelligence's role should be to serve as the executive
organ of the Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for Intelligence. Its operational staff
should oversee the implementation of the FBI's intelligence mission (information
sharing, promotion policies, collection requirements, etc.). Analysts should have major
input into the designation of the collection requirements because they can see where the
gaps are. Collecting against those requirements has to be part of an agent's performance

Separate CTlIntelligence Career Path. The FBI needs to create a new type of
Agent, an agent/intelligence officer hybrid. The Bureau cannot rotate agents in and out
of the CT field and expect them to be effective. They must create an occupational
category focused on CT (and CI, if they want) - this will then be a career track for agents.
He said that D'Amuro was supportive of this concept as well. Miller knows that the FBI
has created intelligence units in the field, too, and hopes they don't rotate people in and
out of those too frequently. Agents must work the CT area for at least five years. They
have to re-train criminal agents to not look to making the case but to getting the
intelligence, learning the CT groups, etc. This learning curve probably takes about two

years to complete .

Idea of Separate (MI-5) Agency. Miller said that despite all the Bureau has to do to
become more focused on intelligence, it would take even longer to get things in working
order if a new agency is formed. Miller pointed to the Department of Homeland Security
(DRS) as proofofthat. It might be easier to create a truly analytical entity ifit were
housed in a separate agency, but you would have to transfer a lot of operational personnel
from the FBI to this new agency anyway. The creation of a new agency would be very
disruptive and would increase the country's vulnerability in the short run. One has to do
a cost/benefit analysis when making such a decision. Also, Miller thinks that when push
comes to shove, Congress won't approve the creation of a domestic intelligence agency.

However, Miller thinks the specter of this new agency "broke a lot of things lose
here." In other words, the fear that this new agency might come to pass energized the FBI
to make some necessary changes.

Miller thinks that the idea of a new domestic intelligence entity reporting to the
DCI as outlined in the MacGaffin group article is ''whacky.'' He's not sure you could do
it legally within the current system, and he certainly cannot see FBI agents being willing
to report to the DCI.

TTIC. Miller has heard that TIlC is supposed to move into its new building in
May 2004, and that CTD and CTC are to move in September 2004. He knows that CTC
doesn't want to leave CIA HQ. Miller thinks there are too many players right now in the
• CT analysis area. TTlC only looks good on paper. Its relationship with the CTC is not

• resolved. There is overlap, turf battles, etc. The Kerr group was supposed to resolve
these issues and he thinks the report may be out but isn't sure. Miller doesn't see the
TTIC adding any value. The CTC faced the same issue that the TIIC is facing - a lack
of a career service. TTIC has to ask for people, and they come for a short time and many
are without a CT background. As TTIC grows it is "hollowing out" the CTC thereby
"divorcing" analysis from operations. The CTC didn't have a career service until some
time in 2000. In other words, until that time there was no incentive for people to take
assignments in the CTC because they could not be promoted from within - they could
only be promoted by their "home manager" and their assignment to the eTC wasn't
going to make them any more worthy of a promotion.

DHSlInformation Analysis and Infrastructure Protection. The DRS/IAIP

hasn't known what its mission is. Miller hopes that Patrick Hughes, the new head of this
entity, will be able to change that. However, he thinks that Hughes has a "talent
problem" and that IAIP is not set up infrastructure-wise to get the information it needs.
Miller thinks that!AIP should take the FBI's and CIA's analysis and use it to identify
vulnerabilities and targets and then remedy those vulnerabilities. It shouldn't re-analyze
the same information. Right now there is too much duplication of effort in the analysis
area and it is inefficient. Everyone is trying to get the most current intelligence to the
President, so no one is actually identifying vulnerabilities and addressing them. All
agencies are out looking for resource - this is bureaucracy at its worst and it's as big a

threat to us as AI-Qaeda.

Nortbcom. Miller hasn't had any contact with Northcom. He suggested we do a

wiring diagram of every agency involved in the CT analysis area and we will see what a
mess it is.

JITF/CT. JITFICT is part ofDIA and is the main analytic unit on the military
side. He hasn't seen any of its products, but doesn't think it's seen as a major player.

Director of National Intelligence. Miller thinks we need a ONI. All of this CT

work is too much to coordinate and no one is in charge. The two jobs that the DCI has
are too much for one person. The DCI tends to focus on the CIA because that is where he
has control. He cannot control the USIC budget and needs that ability in order to be
effective. Miller is certain that the Pentagon won't cede that authority, however.

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DODlDefense Humint Service. He cannot speak to the rQle ofDHS ~ecause he

hasn't seen much that it has produced. He found its reportin~ ras not
very useful. He doesn't have a feel for its CT reporting. !

Domestic Fusion Center. Miller thinks that to create something like this
modeled after NATO is not a good idea. He finds that NATc? and Intelligence are an
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oxymoron. Miller believes that you cannot have too much liaison and cooperation in the
CT area, and suggested we talk to eTC personnel about the value of liaison .

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