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Spy Management 2.0

December 1, 2007 Rather than control private agents, why not act like them? The Union army relied on civilian contractors to conduct surveillance in the Confederate capital and interrogate prisoners and deserters. The most famous of these hired spies were employed by a Scottish immigrant-turned-detective named Allan Pinkerton. The Pinkerton guards played a...

Principle and Peril

November 15, 2007 In his brief government career, Jack Goldsmith walked a precarious yet well-worn path. Not long after Jack Goldsmith started his new job, he thought it was time to quit. In the fall of 2003, he became the head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department. A conservative...

iTunes and Intelligence

November 1, 2007 What spies can learn from the music business. In 1999, the Billboard Hot 100 placed the following artists at the top of the charts for the year: Cher, whose comeback album "Believe" had debuted in late 1998; TLC, the female hip-hop trio; Monica, a solo R&B artist; Whitney Houston; and...

ADVICE+DISSENT: Intelligence File Making a List

October 1, 2007 Deciding who might be a terrorist is more of an art than a science. The FBI's Web site describes the Terrorist Screening Center as an "anxious" place, full of "serious faces-like you see at NASA's Mission Control right before a launch." The TSC is essentially a call center, staffed around...

Intelligence veteran aims to motivate young analysts

September 24, 2007 Mike Wertheimer may be the most dangerous man in U.S. intelligence. You would probably never guess it, judging from his lengthy and opaque title -- assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analytic transformation and technology. A perfect testament to the well-worn bureaucratic tradition of offering little insight by tossing...

Nixon Intelligence

September 19, 2007 Presidents have peculiar relationships with the intelligence community. That is to say, most of them have only a faint understanding of how intelligence works. Richard Helms, the late director of Central Intelligence under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, gave a bleak assessment of presidential savvy in his posthumous memoir, A...

How They Connect The Dots

September 1, 2007 This is what information sharing looks like. Information sharing: It has been hailed as a preventative for terrorist attacks, a prophylactic for miscommunication and the pinnacle of preparedness that every intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security agency in the government should strive to reach. Only days after the Sept. 11...

Nixon Intelligence

September 1, 2007 The federal director of the new presidential library will use spying to tell a story. Presidents have peculiar relationships with the intelligence community. That is to say, most of them have only a faint understanding of how intelligence works. Richard Helms, the late director of Central Intelligence under Lyndon Johnson...

After Gonzales, Justice seeks to regain trust of employees

August 31, 2007 Depending on who is sizing him up, departing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is either the Inspector Clouseau of the Bush administration -- a man who can't put one foot in front of the other without stumbling -- or a cunning political operative who does President Bush's bidding, no questions asked....

ADVICE+DISSENT: Intelligence File Precision and Privacy

August 15, 2007 Searching for Shane Harris. A few months ago, I had a cancer scare. A letter arrived at my home in Washington from a "lymphoma follow-up research nurse" with the National Institutes of Health. "Dear Mr. Harris," she began. "I am contacting patients who participated in a study at the [NIH]...

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