In CIA: The perils of being a good citizen, Dmitry Shlapentokh tells us why we missed the coming of 9/11:
It also means that naive folks who look for "truth" and "efficiency" usually do not exist in real life. They are mostly characters from Hollywood movies where the good guys finally triumph over the bad guys. Those who work in the CIA, as well as in any big US organization, understand that real life is a far different story and that their behaviour as "good citizens" should produce endless paperwork, meticulously following all rules, attending all prescribed meetings and, above all, being nice to colleagues.
As to bin Laden and other similar chaps, it would, of course, be nice if they would be caught or eliminated; but it is hardly a priority. Or to be precise, the catching of bin Laden, the "final product" of the CIA, is the last priority. And it becomes important only when the agency, as happens with other US institutions, from universities to medical establishments, asks for public money.
This kind of problem isn’t unique to the CIA. It explains, for example, many of the woes we experienced with Katrina, especially at the federal level.