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Outsourcing US IntelligenceContractors and Government Accountability$
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Damien Van Puyvelde

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474450225

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474450225.001.0001

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The Accountability Regime for Contractors during the Global War on Terrorism

The Accountability Regime for Contractors during the Global War on Terrorism

(p.118) 4 The Accountability Regime for Contractors during the Global War on Terrorism
Outsourcing US Intelligence

Damien Van Puyvelde

Edinburgh University Press

The post-9/11 trend toward intelligence outsourcing was accompanied by the emergence of a series of accountability problems. This chapter evaluates the accountability regime for contractors in the early 2000s and finds that this regime was imperfect but not inexistent. Six major cases of accountability failure shed light on three types of accountability problems involving contractors: inefficiencies, human rights abuses, and conflicts of interests. Intelligence contractors have not always been efficient, effective, or respected the law but they do not bear sole responsibility for the accountability problems in which they have been involved. These problems were caused by inadequate standards and deficient management on both sides of the public-private divide. While outsourcing can limit intelligence accountability, government accountability shortfalls also affect the outsourcing of intelligence. The chapter concludes that outsourcing and accountability are mutually interdependent.

Keywords:   Accountability regime, Outsourcing, Scandal, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interrogation, Corruption

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