Dana Priest says United States intelligence agencies’ inability to recognize Russian meddling in the 2016 election showed the limitations of relying on secret surveillance and classified information.
Priest, the John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, writes in The New Yorker that while intelligence agencies failed to warn Americans of the threat, non-government researchers — limited to public information — have done a better job identifying such campaigns.
She writes that the more secretive information-gathering techniques authorized after Al Qaeda’s 9/11 terrorist attacks were not effective in either stopping the Russian effort or alerting Americans it was happening.
Priest, an investigative reporter for The Washington Post and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has spent the majority of her career focusing on national security, military operations and U.S. intelligence agencies.
At the University of Maryland‘s Merrill College, she oversees the student-led Press Uncuffed project, which has focused attention on the plight of journalists who are jailed around the world.