Daily Archives: January 10, 2010

Creeping crud

I usually don’t blog this sort of thing but I seem to be losing a battle against some sort of bacterial or viral invader.  Chills and aches are all I have to report but just wanted to let you all know just in case this is stage 1 of some zombie infection.

Shiloh appears to be under the weather as well.  Never considered the possibility of zombie dogs.  Must keep an eye on him.

On the bright side, I have no desire to eat Mrs. TwShiloh’s brain.

Sunday reading

I don’t know how I missed the All things Counter Terrorism blog but assuming I’m not the last in the class to get it I recommend this post which hits upon some of the themes I’ve mentioned here.  She argues that law enforcement agencies share much more than intelligence agencies do which I initially would disagree with but she explains:

You put a group of cops together at an international conference and they’ll talk and share. And they’ll probably bond over stories about who has the best arrest story etc etc. Or get competitive about it (always funny to watch as a non-sworn analyst). And then of course there is the karoke factor.

That is totally true.  Cops are great at sharing over a beer or over chit-chat.  The problem is that such sharing is rarely institutionalized and relies on the cops with the needed information being in the right place and right time to meet and share with the other cop who just happens to need the information.

That leaves a bit too much to chance for my liking AND means that getting beyond anecdotal information is tough to do.  Sometimes you want to know if a trend is really a trend or just what people are talking about today and that’s hard to do when war stories are a primary source of information.

I guess the question is how to harness the preference for using informal information sharing to collect intelligence more efficiently.

Oh, and I strongly recommend the post by Attackerman she linked to.  This quote is worthy of reading a couple of times.

…intelligence analysts approach their craft rather differently. They look for patterns in information, and pass those patterns up the chain. They do not investigate in the sense of the word that you and I understand from TV. That’s why there was no APB inside the CIA or the National Counterterrorism Center on Abdulmutallab after his father’s walk-in. Abdulmutallab, in the intelligence world, is a data point. He is not a suspect.

This is one of the reasons I’m not sure intelligence analysts (as opposed to crime or investigative analysts) can mesh with law enforcement agencies.  They DO look at issues from very different perspectives and their requirements (or perceived requirements) are often at odds with each other.