Get More Spies

silhouette of man in hat; spy; more spies since 9/11
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
No one really knows for sure, but the United States spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $44 billion — $44 billion — on spying every year.

One of the reasons it costs so much is that we spend a lot of money on satellites and gizmos that help us keep an eye on the bad guys. You'd think with all that technology, we'd be able to look into the cave Osama bin Laden's hiding in — but we can't.

That's the problem with gizmos: They're great because they don't endanger anyone's life. You don't have to worry about a gizmo becoming corrupted or switching sides and being seduced by another gizmo and giving away all of its secrets.

Gizmos, though, are no substitute for spies. A book I read recently said the United States had just one spy in Iraq before the war. That doesn't sound like enough to me.

While everyone in Washington turns themselves inside out over whom the new CIA director should be, I have a simple suggestion. Whoever you are: Get more spies.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.