Excerpt - Michael Ladeen's introduction of Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)
I just want to give you a couple of deep thoughts - deep, a relative concept at 8:30 in the morning, but since I’ve now been in Washington neigh on to 30 years, I remember some of the processes - the results of which we are going to see this morning. Pete Hoekstra as you know is the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which in Washington is known as an oversight committee. There are three great mysteries in the modern world - at least three on the history of words. One is, how did the word ‘virtue’ that used to stand for the masculinity of men come to be applied to the chastity of women? The second is, how did people who advocate revolution come to be called conservatives? The third is, how did the word oversight come to be applied to people who actually look at things when the word oversight means the opposite? Right? So I would give those are the three great mysteries of language in contemporary Washington.
The second is that we should all recognize that in the evolution of committees that are known as oversight committees, the great iron rule of bureaucracy has once again come into play. Since these committees - both Pete’s committee and the counterpart committee in the senate were created famously to ride herd on rogue elephants at the CIA. And now if you follow the events of these committees they have of course evolved to become a rogue elephant themselves and are now trying to become the CIA as far as one can tell reading the newspapers. And if they are riding herd on anyone, it would seem from recent events - at least in the Senate, they are riding herd, not on the intelligence community but on the Executive Branch - and particularly on the White House and the secret corridors - presumably secret corridors in the Pentagon.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) - Description of Al Qaeda
We continue to be a nation at war against a very, very dangerous enemy. And in some cases I think perhaps we’ve become a little bit complacent. The very nature of our success in stopping terrorist attacks in the homeland has led some to believe whether we are really at risk today. I believe all of the intelligence that is out there and all of the facts support the very nature that it is not an overstatement to say that we continue to be a nation at war -- and it's a global war. If you take a look at the report, you'll see a number of the activities that go out from Al Qaeda or their affiliated organizations that indicate this is a global effort. It's not just concentrated in Afghanistan or Iraq, you know there have been attacks in Europe. It's a global effort.
As we have made progress in this war against radical Islam, radical Islam has changed the way it operates. The loss of key operatives at some of Al Qaeda’s major training camps has forced Al Qaeda to relinquish some of it’s operational control to an extended network of like-minded terrorist groups to ensure the movement’s longevity and survival. What does that mean? It means from my perspective, Al Qaeda has morphed into a decentralized, entrepreneurial organization. In the private sector we used to call it participative management. Let me explain it for you.
Some of you may be familiar with the former chairman of the board of the company I used to work for and he will be very upset to learn that Bin Laden may have read his book called “Servant Leadership”. But when you take a look at how Al Qaeda has morphed into this decentralized, entrepreneurial organization, you can - I see elements of what Max Dupree would have talked about in Al Qaeda because as we talked about management philosophy of Herman Miller, we defined the roll of leadership. Leadership’s responsibility is to outline the current situation and reality - to define a vision. Has Bin Laden defined a vision as to where he wants to go? Absolutely. Have they set a direction in objectives in place? Yes. Are they providing resources to the various affiliated groups or identified how those resources might become available to them? Yes. And then the most important things in a participative management company or what we would call a decentralized entrepreneurial organization - these are the last two things - empower your employees - or in this case, empower your appendages to carry out actions independent of centralized control and then get out of the way. And in many ways, I think that you can see that this is exactly what Al Qaeda has done. They have set a vision, objectives, provided resources so that their affiliates are people who are like-minded understand what the strategy is and where they are heading - and then because in some cases they’ve lost operational control, but I think selectively, they’ve made the conscience decision that they’ve empowered their affiliates to act independently, so they’ve gotten - the centralized leadership has gotten out of the way. There is not a centralized command and control structure within Al Qaeda.
The very nature - and why did we use those kinds of management techniques in the business world today? And what are the results when you empower and create that kind of structure? Speed and Agility. Speed and agility, those are the hallmarks and the capabilities of where I think Al Qaeda is today. We have an organization that can act relatively quickly. And they can be relatively nimble on their feet. Let me give you a couple of examples. The report pays a great deal of attention to a relatively new phenomenon known as homegrown terrorism. These individuals are difficult to identify because they are self-radicalized. They have picked up the message and the vision of radical Islam. They may have no formal association with Al Qaeda, no criminal record, there is nothing in their past to draw the attention of law enforcement officials to these individuals.