A Horse de Vour

Crashing on something that I hope will spark some interest. In the mean time, nibble on this gem (more to follow) from the WaPo (H/T AM):

When the State Department recently asked the CIA for names of Iranians
who could be sanctioned for their involvement in a clandestine nuclear
weapons program, the agency refused, citing a large workload and a
desire to protect its sources and tradecraft.

Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service
officer to find the names another way — by using Google. Those with
the most hits under search terms such as “Iran and nuclear,” three
officials said, became targets for international rebuke Friday when a
sanctions resolution circulated at the United Nations.

Keep reading. 140 people can’t look up 12 names. So how is that info sharing thing going then anyway? So much for “community.”

I had never heard of the phrase “classified open source” until an Australian colleague beat me over the head with it at a conference. Now you get an idea of just what kind of nonsense people STILL have to put up with. September 10th, here we come.

3 comments for “A Horse de Vour

  1. Mycroft
    December 15, 2006 at 12:05 AM

    Given the sheer number of new people floating around at CIA, State, etc., I wouldn’t be surprised if the office making the query didn’t know whom to ask, and got a “we’ll get back to you — eventually” as a reply.
    Simply figuring out how to get information in a bureaucracy can be a tremendous mess.

  2. Michael
    December 14, 2006 at 2:25 PM

    So they either didn’t go to INR or possibly they did and INR told them the same thing CIA eventually did (sources and methods)? I can see that.

  3. Jack Wiley
    December 13, 2006 at 6:49 PM

    I don’t fault the agency for not doing the lookup right away. State has INR and open source research is available to all. I would fault the agency if State had done the googling first, done all their analysis, asked agency then, and then were pushed aside. A good analyst should review available resources/products first before asking for support. This includes Google.

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