A Judgment on Intelligence

Despite everything you've gleaned from spy novels and movies, the most important raw material for a successful intelligence service isn't information; it's judgment.  If you don't know what information is worth collecting, and if you cannot figure out what this information means soon enough and clearly enough for policymakers to use it -- you lose. The latest case in point is the fuss over allegations in the German press that our country's intelligence service has been listening in to Angela Merkel's cell phone conversations.  From the moment these allegations began to surface, American commentators and television talking heads -- a few of whom have actually served in US intelligence, most of whom claim to be intelligence experts because they once, perhaps, were allowed to read a classified document -- have been pooh-poohing these allegations as much ado about nothing.  "Everyone does it," they pronounce, usually with a shrug and a wink.  "So what's the big...(Read Full Article)