Intelligence: CIA Seeks The Special Sauce

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October 6, 2007: The CIA wants to make better use of intel non-CIA U.S. government employees accidentally, or on purpose, pick up overseas. After all CIA stands for CENTRAL Intelligence Agency, and the job is supposed to consolidate all the intel, and analyze it. While this is sort-of done (everyone at least goes through the motions), there is a lot of good intel collected that never gets to the CIA. No, not the stuff that evil bureaucrats keep from the CIA, in order to further another agenda. What is sought is reports from those operatives, like USAID or other government employees who are out in the field in foreign countries, doing non-intel work. These are Americans getting a street level view of what's going on. They are not spying, in the classic sense, they are just experiencing whatever the local vibe is. The CIA, and especially the State Department, often miss this element. Time and again, this results in the CIA being surprised by new developments. While trolling the Internet (foreign language message boards and the like) will bring in a lot of this stuff, why waste the fact that we have U.S. government people there. All the CIA has to do is talk to them, or exchange email. But bureaucracy being what it is, this is easier said than done. The struggle to make this happen, has been going on for years. It's a low key thing, hardly ever gets any publicity. But many intel analysts believe this kind of input is the special sauce that will make CIA analysis quite a bit more accurate.

 


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