The Fourth Eye

Cultures of Spying

Sherr, J. (1994). Cultures of Spying. New York, National Affairs, Inc. 38: 56-62.

The left was suspicious of the CIA , “not because it advanced American values, but because it stood in contradiction to them.”

 

  • Stimson, in 1929 closed up the State Departments cryptographic section with a quip, “gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”
  • The left was suspicious of the CIA , “not because it advanced American values, but because it stood in contradiction to them.”
  • “These are the values of enlightenment liberalism. Respect for what is rational and provable, the conviction that the national interest lies not simply in advancing interest but in placing international relations on a higher plane, the association of peace with cooperation, the belief that interdependence not only demands tolerance but breeds it…p.57
  • “In the public mind at least, satellites and other “national technical means” are intrusive without being physically invasive; their job is not to create deception but to uncover it.” They uncover secrecy, they record what is there.
  • But intelligence is processed by humans, fallible, faulty unless the mentality of the opponent is understood. Mistakes were made, about the weapon stocks of the GDR, the existence of refire missiles for Soviet ICBMS, underestimated the nuclear weapons inventory by 50 %. Why did UNSCOM have such a poor understanding of Iraq’s weapons stock.
  • “There is too much complacency in the view that technology, the weapon of the rich, will always prevail against resourcefulness and guile, the weapons of the poor.” P. 58
  • Effective, cost effective and deniable – penetration, provocations, disinformation and agent of influence.
  • The FAPSI – Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information – inherited the assets, academies and troops of the KGB . “..while it is a “strictly classified organisation, it is also a business with ta right to lease communications to foreign investors, invest in foreign commercial entities and set up companies abroad. “ p. 62
  • “In a world of such players, when does business become intelligence – or for that matter, sabotage and crime? How is intelligence to be defined, identified and countered when the entities conducting it might be pursuing a mixture of private, institutional and state agendas.” P 62

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