Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

fixing the CIA...

Yes, but will they ever become fully apolitical... Anyway, read on McDuff...

A new study published by the CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence calls for a fundamental reconceptualization of the process of intelligence analysis in order to overcome the "pathologies" that have rendered it increasingly dysfunctional.

"Curing Analytic Pathologies" by Jeffrey R. Cooper has been available up to now in limited circulation in hard copy only. Like several other recent studies critical of U.S. intelligence, it was withheld from the CIA web site. It has now been published on the Federation of American Scientists web site.

Author Cooper provides a thoughtful critique that notes the intrinsic difficulties of intelligence analysis and observes how current organizational practices have exacerbated them.

"The Intelligence Community presently lacks many of the scientific community's self-correcting features," he writes. One major impediment to improving analysis is the hypertrophied secrecy practices that prevail in intelligence organizations.

"Unfortunately, the more that evidence and judgments are restricted in dissemination by compartmentation and distribution limitations, the more likely it is that questionable judgments will pass unchallenged."

Fundamentally, the whole concept of the "intelligence cycle" -- referring to the conventional sequence of collection, processing, analysis and dissemination -- is misleading, Cooper argues, and should be jettisoned.

"With its industrial age antecedents, it usually conveys the notion of a self-contained 'batch' process rather than a continuous spiral ofinteractions."

Taking Cooper's thesis seriously, one could respectfully say that his new study embodies some of the defects in intelligence analysis that he writes about.

Thus, the study presents what is essentially one moment in an ongoing conversation and freezes it in a nicely produced but static document. This reflects the kind of spurious finality that Cooper dismisses as the "conceit of finished intelligence." And then the CIA, by disseminating the document in hardcopy only, sharply limited its audience and effectively precluded a "continuous spiral of interactions" regarding its contents.

That last part, at least, can be corrected.

See "Curing Analytic Pathologies: Pathways to Improved Intelligence Analysis" by Jeffrey R. Cooper, Center for the Study of Intelligence, December 2005 (5 MB PDF):

Author Cooper said he would welcome feedback from interested readers. Comments can be posted on the Secrecy News blog:
So there you have it, capitalism's meanest, ugliest abattoir, concerned only with furthering America's political agenda, says it's interested in pure analysis. Can pigs fly?


Blogger Mike B) said...

If you give them wings, they can. Air America used to. Now, I hear that they're flying people to Eastern Europe--FREE! These people are just asked a few questions and they get to stay in Bucherest or Warsaw for nothing. And then, if they play their cards right, they get to be flown to Egypt. All for nothing!

May 04, 2006 10:42 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

The CIA is to freedom and democracy what the Mafia is to free enterprise and law abidingness. No wonder they sing from the same song sheet... Bastards, all of then!

Nice of you to drop in, Mike. Hope to see you around lots...

May 05, 2006 8:15 PM  
Blogger phil said...

To pick a bit at random:

"evidence and judgements..." Well the way it works is:

1) the evidence gets distorted to fit the outcome desired;
2) the judgement is exercised by the recipient (eg government), not the source (the intelligence agency).

May 06, 2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Yeah, exactly, Phil. All they want "inteliligence" for is to figure out how best to achieve GlobalCorp's agenda. By the time workers figure out that GlobalCorp's ultimate agenda is to enslave the worker to service the major shareholders, they (workers) will no longer have any rights left. Do I pity them? No. Because they will have, by then, failed to have hit the streets oten enough and in big enough numbers to have prevented it from happening.

In a democracy, you get to be responsible for your failure to educate yourself, your failure to act, and your failure therefore to change the course of events.

When the shit hits the fan (about three years from now), 90% of voters will be responisble for being too stupid to understand this old Chinese proverb: "If you don't change direction, you'll end up where you're headed."

I love ranting...

May 06, 2006 6:18 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

looks like methodical improvement of fundamental intelligence gathering will have to wait until all the dust settles from the prostitutes and whatnot.

For now, the preznit is trying to replace anybody in the CIA who won't just tell him what he wants to here.

Why doesn't that shithead just pray for some answers and can the whole lot at the CIA?

May 08, 2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hey Greenie! Good to see you back here!

Of course the CIA does a whole lot more than just gather intelligence. It manufactures it. It runs airlines. It recruits and trains torturers, death squads and mercenary armies. It installs right wing dictators and despots. It undemines socialism and communism wherever it can. In short, it "enables" and installs capitalism wherever it's not wanted.

But you knew that...

May 09, 2006 12:21 AM  

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