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Constructing CassandraReframing Intelligence Failure at the CIA, 1947-2001$
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Milo Jones and Philippe Silberzahn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785808

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785808.001.0001

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The Work of Intelligence

The Work of Intelligence

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 The Work of Intelligence
Source:
Constructing Cassandra
Author(s):

Milo Jones

Philippe Silberzahn

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804785808.003.0002

This chapter starts by making the case that intelligence work is best viewed as a problem of the sociology of knowledge. Expanding on this insight, the chapter introduces the book's theoretical viewpoint, social constructivism, and details what is meant by ‘intelligence analysis’, in order to underscore its social nature. Then, a distinction is introduced between two types of strategic surprises: secrets and mysteries; this distinction is used to compare and contrast intelligence failures. Finally, the chapter introduces the intelligence cycle, a model of an agency's work that is used throughout the book to examine how the CIA's identity and culture impacts its work.

Keywords:   social facts, secrets, tasking, collection, analysis, production, dissemination, Roberta Wohlstetter, surprise attack

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