The new Boiling Frogs Post/Sibel Edmonds site; John Cole on the whole 9/11, Marc Grossman espionage complex etc.

Sibel Edmonds & co have set up a new website called Boiling Frogs Post and they're going to be looking at a lot of shady stuff. The podcasts that have been going for a while have been really good & detailed material from whistleblowers and journalists about what's going on.

[BTW here is a good recent roundup on the Sibel Edmonds case via SkepticalEye.com]


The newest podcast, Boiling Frogs #8, in particular is really worth hearing -- it puts a lot of things in better context. John Cole worked in FBI Counter-Intelligence for quite a while, and in this podcast talks about the corruption and espionage riddling the FBI and other government departments. Cole had called for a special counsel investigation in the case.

Melek Can Dickerson, Douglas Dickerson & Marc Grossman are all getting exposed as agents of foreign powers, part of the big nasty foreign espionage complex -- I guess a shorthand way to a variety of actors that are basically protected from the FBI.

From the recent interview in American Conservative:

GIRALDI: What kind of information was Grossman giving to foreign countries? Did he give assistance to foreign individuals penetrating U.S. government labs and defense installations as has been reported? It’s also been reported that he was the conduit to a group of congressmen who become, in a sense, the targets to be recruited as “agents of influence.”

EDMONDS: Yes, that’s correct. Grossman assisted his Turkish and Israeli contacts directly, and he also facilitated access to members of Congress who might be inclined to help for reasons of their own or could be bribed into cooperation. The top person obtaining classified information was Congressman Tom Lantos. A Lantos associate, Alan Makovsky worked very closely with Dr. Sabri Sayari in Georgetown University, who is widely believed to be a Turkish spy. Lantos would give Makovsky highly classified policy-related documents obtained during defense briefings for passage to Israel because Makovsky was also working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

GIRALDI: Makovsky is now working for the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, a pro-Israeli think tank.

EDMONDS: Yes. Lantos was at the time probably the most outspoken supporter of Israel in Congress. AIPAC would take out the information from Lantos that was relevant to Israel, and they would give the rest of it to their Turkish associates. The Turks would go through the leftovers, take what they wanted, and then try to sell the rest. If there were something relevant to Pakistan, they would contact the ISI officer at the embassy and say, “We’ve got this and this, let’s sit down and talk.” And then they would sell it to the Pakistanis.

........GIRALDI: So the network starts with a person like Grossman in the State Department providing information that enables Turkish and Israeli intelligence officers to have access to people in Congress, who then provide classified information that winds up in the foreign embassies?

EDMONDS: Absolutely. And we also had Pentagon officials doing the same thing. We were looking at Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. They had a list of individuals in the Pentagon broken down by access to certain types of information. Some of them would be policy related, some of them would be weapons-technology related, some of them would be nuclear-related. Perle and Feith would provide the names of those Americans, officials in the Pentagon, to Grossman, together with highly sensitive personal information: this person is a closet gay; this person has a chronic gambling issue; this person is an alcoholic. The files on the American targets would contain things like the size of their mortgages or whether they were going through divorces. One Air Force major I remember was going through a really nasty divorce and a child custody fight. They detailed all different kinds of vulnerabilities.

GIRALDI: So they had access to their personnel files and also their security files and were illegally accessing this kind of information to give to foreign agents who exploited the vulnerabilities of these people to recruit them as sources of information?

EDMONDS: Yes. Some of those individuals on the list were also working for the RAND Corporation. RAND ended up becoming one of the prime targets for these foreign agents.

GIRALDI: RAND does highly classified research for the U.S. government. So they were setting up these people for recruitment as agents or as agents of influence?

EDMONDS: Yes, and the RAND sources would be paid peanuts compared to what the information was worth when it was sold if it was not immediately useful for Turkey or Israel. They also had sources who were working in some midwestern Air Force bases. The sources would provide the information on CD’s and DVD’s. In one case, for example, a Turkish military attaché got the disc and discovered that it was something really important, so he offered it to the Pakistani ISI person at the embassy, but the price was too high. Then a Turkish contact in Chicago said he knew two Saudi businessmen in Detroit who would be very interested in this information, and they would pay the price. So the Turkish military attaché flew to Detroit with his assistant to make the sale.

Central FBI management has turned up time and again to block local FBI actions against foreign intelligence agents.

It seems like the coverup basically encompasses a lot of visible neoconservatives, some scientists, some blackmailed civl servants, a few noxious former congresscritters, and shady military-industrial executives. These people have a lot of power, and it seems clear that it's not 'one agenda' so much as a ton of nasty rats in a sack, all of them pretty devious and many essentially above the law.

From Episode 3, Phil Giraldi (paraphrasing) -- "The fundamental problem: you have groups that are representing foreign governments, they are not required to register as agents of foreign powers ... which means you don't know where there money comes from, and you don't know where the money is going."

Giraldi adds a ton about AIPAC, the incident with Jane Harman and that AIPAC intelligence committee / wiretap situation -- which I called pretty early and accurately as the Scandalplex.


This bit is fascinating, it's one of those crazy secrets of how DC works. Grossman's duty at the State Department, during the time he was almost certainly trafficking in all his secret goodies, he also got notified whenever the FBI was busting down on foreign agents!! In essence, Grossman was getting told when the FBI started scrutinizing possible foreign agents/ agents of influence, in case the investigation triggered an international incident, Grossman would be prepared to mitigate the 'diplomatic consequences' for the State Department. But if he's a douche spy-hack type, 'National Security' is dead before it starts!!

In reality Marc Grossman was evidently a key officer in a criminal parallel power/espionage network, involving the marquee neo-cons and a lot of fixers for foreign governments and weapons corporations. Scooter Libby & Marc Rich aren't too many nodes away...

The terrible thing is that, Cole says Douglas Feith and Richard Perle were under a lot of heat for what they'd done over the years.

Now Sibel Edmonds contends that Feith and Perle were working on extracting the 'control files' that the government compiles on people -- i.e. the flagged points of weakness over which they could be blackmailed or otherwise controlled. The blackmail intelligence on these good civil servants gets trafficked & sold, a form of privatizing the passing of sensitive information, in a 'shadow' way. (We see this happening, such as in California, with breakaway rings of devious law enforcmement fusion center workers, caught trying to sell the data.)

So according to Edmonds, the blackmail documents were offered first to the Israelis, then the Turks, then on down the line to the cheap seats of international influence peddling. Foreign agents or units could take the blackmail material, use it to get control of these loyal American workers at nuclear research sites & wherever else, ("hook" them) Whenever the FBI flagged these criminals' operations, they would have to notify Grossman!!! (This of course let Grossman tip off the criminal foreign operatives and ruin the FBI's work against them.)


Interestingly, this was pretty much the same pattern with the Minneapolis FBI on 9/11, which whistleblower Coleen Rowley reiterated on a nifty segment with TheRealNews.com (which isn't too bad a new source it appears, with a lot of thoughtful videos).

In August 2001, the Minneapolis FBI was ready to roll in everything on this, they were even getting intel back from France on Zacharias Moussaoui, then the FBI headquarters management blocked the hell out of it. September 11, 2001 hits -- with the Minneapolis FBI narrowly held back from setting off against the 9-11 attack operation network (and almost certainly its handlers from the foreign intelligence agencies).


In case people haven't noticed yet, a lot of foreign intelligence connections came up all over 9-11, in particular Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but also Turkey and Israel.

Looking for links in that quadrilateral of shadiness nets a lot of data points, but it also dramatically underscores what happens every day except 9-11: These foreign governments hire operatives, lobbyists and agents to further the interests of the hawkish controlling cliques of these countries. The FBI is supposed to be the antibody to this nasty foreign flu bug, but it gets blocked time and again.

GIRALDI: So we have a pattern of corruption starting with government officials providing information to foreigners and helping them make contact with other Americans who had valuable information. Some of these officials, like Marc Grossman, were receiving money directly. Others were receiving business favors: Pentagon associates like Doug Feith and Richard Perle had interests in Israel and Turkey. The stolen information was being sold, and the money that was being generated was used to corrupt certain congressmen to influence policy and provide still more information—in many cases information related to nuclear technology.

EDMONDS: As well as weapons technology, conventional weapons technology, and Pentagon policy-related information.

GIRALDI: You also have information on al-Qaeda, specifically al-Qaeda in Central Asia and Bosnia. You were privy to conversations that suggested the CIA was supporting al-Qaeda in central Asia and the Balkans, training people to get money, get weapons, and this contact continued until 9/11…

EDMONDS: I don’t know if it was CIA. There were certain forces in the U.S. government who worked with the Turkish paramilitary groups, including Abdullah Çatli’s group, Fethullah Gülen.

GIRALDI: Well, that could be either Joint Special Operations Command or CIA.

And on it goes....

NAFTRACS Strategic Objectives: You're FUcked!

This, people, is from about four pages of One PDF file. Of which I have just gotten about 600 I think. Yes, 5 minutes into this stuff, we're already inside a huge all-encompassing grid of control run by Lockheed Martin. It's like Minority Report, see?

We'll cut our eyes out to escape the "prescence" provided along Interstate 35.

Wow that was quick eh?



by the way: I bet hillary knows.

Internet Radicalization Thought Crimes, Centers of Orwellian Excellence & Strategic Communication Laboratories: What Modules are

Internet Radicalization Thought Crimes, Centers of Orwellian Excellence & Strategic Communication Laboratories: What Modules are in an OpCentre?
Featuring Rep. Jane Harman's "Thought Police" Internet Radicalization and Crush These Meddling Kids Bill!
Norm Coleman co-sponsors Thought Crime Bill.

Here is what MnBlue said: Norm Coleman co-sponsors Thought Crime Bill | mnblue:

The bill has two distinct parts. The first establishes a Commission. The second establishes a think tank of sorts to study how better to hunt down Arabs, suppress internet democracy, perform datamining of raw data obtained via illegal wiretapping and such noble efforts.

Like NSPD51 which is so vaguely worded that President Bush could suspend the Congress, Courts and Constitution over anything he deems is a national emergency, this bill is so vaguely worded that an administration without any ethical principles (namely the Bush Administration) in cahoots with one or more ethically challenged Senator(s) or Representative(s) (and we certainly have plenty of them) might manipulate this bill to do things like I've described if it ever became law.

From my reading of this bill, they could drag anyone in front of The Though Crimes Commission. Imagine questions like this: "Have you ever aided and abetted the terrorists by saying anything opposing the war on terrorism?" Also, the word force is not defined. Couldn't a boycott be considered force? What about Ghandi, Martin Luther King ... they used force, didn't they? Might this allow for a Joseph McCarthy of the 21st century?

Furthermore the Thought Crimes Think Tank might need to analyze trends spotted by the Bush Administration's illegal wiretapping. Since the capability does not currently exist to do datamining of terrabytes of data, they might need to reinstitute the NSA's Total Information Awareness program under their aegis. After analyzing these trends they might find alarming results and need to begin analyzing in real-time. After all the bill states that our current law enforcement and intelligence aparratus are not capable of preventing homegrown terrorism (see Finding 6). Might they then spawn a Thought Police to stop the evil-doers before they strike?

Getting worried? Have no fear, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are here. This is the same leadership which caved on FISA. Oops, I guess not. This bill passed stealthily through the House resulting in a 404-6 vote for it. Oops. I guess Nancy Pelosi was part of some back room deal that allowed this blighted child of repression to slink through the House. The House voted to suspend the rules (2/3 majority required) and cut short any debate. Sadly, our entire Minnesota delegation in the House voted for it. We never heard about this when it happened on 10/23/07 because the debate was cut short.

What is this really about? That's what I ask myself every day.

Right now there is definitely some kind of insane Orwellian conspiracy involving setting up things called "Centers of Excellence" that would basically spy on all of American society in every possible way, then calculate which points on the system count as terrorists, thus employing hordes of Control Freak Cabal minions and creating the RFID SPP Total Control Grid along the NAFTA Superhighway (which is evidently 1.5 blocks from my house).

I first discovered the evidence of this from documents pried from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. See July's post @ my day job, SuperRondo? MnDOT, NASCO, and I-35 NAFTA Superhighway plans | Politics in Minnesota.

This is intense! What is it, in short:

Also released [from MnDOT] were NASCO public relations documents describing how to spin media coverage, and MnDOT emails about media incidents. Oddly, NASCO distributed PR material disambiguating themselves, the cross-border Security and Prosperity Partnership, and even the Council on Foreign Relations, among their materials sent to Minnesota.

Interestingly, NASCO discusses an advanced systems integration platform called NAFTRACS (North American Facilitation of Transportation, Trade, Reduced Congestion and Security Project), which would be developed by SAVI, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which already handles shipping container logistics for the Pentagon's Global Transportation Network. The NAFTRACS "integration pilot program will automatically gather, correlate, and interpret fragments of multi-source (Radar, AIS, & GPS tracks, Open Source, Intelligence, Watch list & Law Enforcement Report, CCTV, Bioterrorism sensors) data together into one collaborative portal-based environment, an [sic] ultimately a Total Transportation Domain Awareness Center of Excellence." The NASCO Center of Excellence and Total Domain Awareness Center would be the "centerpiece of the corridor coalition; will engage in studies, development and deployment activities; will seek funding & investment for a broad array of projects relevant to both the corridor and of current & national significance," including "the US-Mexico-Canada Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP); Hurricane Katrina/Rita impact; Cross-border trade facilitation and information sharing; inland ports network; counter-terrorism and security." In the last couple PDF files, the development of NAFTRACS through Lockheed Martin's advanced military-oriented research facility in Virginia is discussed at length.

This is what I am talking about. Basically cloning the military-industrial complex's tracking system and forcing it down our throat. Lockheed will always know where you are. They really love their "customers."

There was some speculation that big media events like 9/11 are manipulated in government psy-ops media centers, where video can get patched through and thus the stuff can be inserted or whatever. Evidently a UK company Strategic Communication Laboratories has OpCentres for just this purpose:


An OpCentre can be made up of many different custom modules. Any of the following may be incorporated into an OpCentre: Strategic Communication Laboratories : What modules are in a OpCentre?

  • Media capture & analysis
  • Concept Development
  • Secure Communications
  • Target audience archive filtering
  • Cultural Alignment Unit
  • Recruitment & Training
  • Target audience issue analysis
  • Command Interface
  • Scenario Planning Team
  • Archive and recall systems
  • Radio Production
  • Redundancy Unit
  • Evaluation & MOE Unit
  • Radio Transmission
  • Media Management Unit
  • Strategic Campaign Planning
  • TV Production
  • Word-of Mouth Unit
  • Risk Analysis Unit
  • TV Transmission
  • Communication Planning Unit
  • Print Production
  • Message Development
  • Distribution & Logistics
  • Channel Management
  • Forward Command/Tactical
  • Environment Development
  • Administration/Management

Wow! Strategic Communication Laboratories : Company overview

Strategic Communication Laboratories is the leading supplier of strategic communications, information operations and public diplomacy to governments and military clients around the world.

The company is the exclusive licence holder of the BDi strategic communication methodology, which is the most advanced and effective persuasion methodology for social and group communication.

The company provides solutions mainly for defence, internal security and foreign affairs governmental departments, but also provides solutions for tourism, financial markets & investment and health programmes.

SCL operates throughout the world and is based in London, UK. The Head Office employs about 30 people and there maybe as many as 2000 specialists employed on projects worldwide.

The company was formed in 1993 and produced a number of projects for the Behavioural Dynamics Institute, which was undergoing development trials for its methodology. The successful outcome of the trials led to the permanent association of SCL and BDi.

Today SCL is not only the unique licence holder of the BDi methodology, but more importantly, after 12 years, it is the only team fully trained in its operation.

Strategic Communication Laboratories : What makes SCL stand out

Strategic communication differs from orthodox commercial communication (such as advertising, public relations, etc.) in that it concentrates on the behavioural outcome of the communication not just concepts such as brand awareness.

For example, commercial advertising might encourage an audience to hold very favourable attitudes about a Ferrari, but that does not necessarily lead to all those with a favourable attitude buying a Ferrari. Conversely, cigarette smokers may be fully aware of the dangers associated with smoking, but will carry on anyway.

Broadly speaking, commercial communication is measured by attitudinal results (considering one brand better than another) and strategic communication is measured by results (changes in actions).

SCL uses the BDI methodology, which is the most powerful communication methodology to influence group behaviour.

Even though much greater effort and resources must be applied at the front end (as compared to commercial advertising), the resultant outcomes are far more effective and predictable.

Consequently, the SCl solutions are used primarily where the communication outcomes are critical.

Strategic Communication Laboratories : What is an OpCentre?

An Opcentre is a command facility for strategic communications.

In this always-ready environment researchers can identify target audiences using highly advanced statistical models, strategists can orchestrate campaigns using the most effective scientific methods and media producers have access to innovative production techniques.

These units of expertise combine to create one of the most dynamic and influential ‘weapons' in the world.

An Opcentre puts influence, control and power back into the hands of the government and military, giving them greater power to influence the enemy in time of conflict and enhanced access to their citizens during a crisis. For instance, an Opcentre can be designed to override all national radio and TV broadcasts, allowing the government and military to communicate with the public as the need arises.

The Opcentre is a formidable tool for Homeland Security, Conflict Reduction, International Public Diplomacy and un-mediated Government communications.

What can the OpCentre do?

  • Launch a powerful psyop campaign against an engaged enemy
  • Engender support within the national community for proposed military action
  • Re-engineer foreign perceptions to potentially avert conflict altogether
  • Develop national resilience and behavioural compliance for homeland security issues
  • Produce powerful public diplomacy campaigns for political, economic, military issues
  • Maintain an ‘always ready' public communication command centre for critical incidents
  • Develop more effective public information campaigns for social and health issues


Override ALL communications? So that's why everyone thought those holograms hit the WTC! Hah! Square the Quad Laser kids!

The idea is that they can keep building these things, and then make a lot of money declaring all the weird kids terrorists who need to be spied upon.

Frankly I don't know what the big picture is, but this is part of Rep. Jane Harman's "Thought Police" Internet Radicalization and Crush These Meddling Kids Bill, or whatever the fuck it is.

Everyone, I am planning a seriously large effort to expose this stuff and present in a way such that even the dumbest Baby Boomer can understand what this police state bullshit is all about.

Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence (By Which We Do Not Mean Nous) by Gary J. Schmitt and Abram N. Shulsky

Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence

(By Which We Do Not Mean Nous)

Gary J. Schmitt and Abram N. Shulsky

The topic must appear at first as a very strange one: what possible connection could there be between the tumultuous world of spies and snooping paraphernalia, on the one hand, and the quiet life of scholarship and immersion in ancient texts, on the other? However, intelligence isn't only involved with espionage and whiz-bang gadgetry; a large part of it deals with the patient piecing together of bits of information to yield the outlines of the larger picture. When one considers that this effort, called "analysis," often focuses on such major questions as the nature and characteristic modes of action of a foreign regime, then perhaps the juxtaposition of political philosophy and intelligence may seem less far-fetched. Indeed, in his gentleness, his ability to concentrate on detail, his consequent success in looking below the surface and reading between the lines, and his seeming unworldliness, Leo Strauss may even be said to resemble, however faintly, the George Smiley of John LeCarr?'s novels.

The trends in political science that Strauss polemicized against in his "Epilog" to Essays on the Scientific Study of Politics' also affected the world of intelligence. In a famous book, which laid out an agenda for the development of U.S. intelligence analysis in the post-World War II era, Sherman Kent, Yale history professor and former member of the World War TI-era Office of Strategic Services (the OSS, forerunner of the CIA) argued that intelligence analysis should adopt the social science method which was then being elaborated in the academy: Research is the only process which we of the liberal tradition are willing to admit is capable of giving us the truth, or a closer approximation to truth, than we now enjoy . . . . we insist, and have insisted for generations, that truth is to be approached, if not attained through research guided by a systematic method. In the social sciences which very largely constitute the subject matter of strategic intelligence, there is such a method. It is much like the method of physical sciences. It is not the same method but it is a method none the less.2 This method was meant to be a means of predicting the future, specifically, predicting the future course of action of a foreign government. It was applicable to any government; in a uncharacteristic bit of whimsy, Kent describes the application of his method to forecasting the actions of "Great Frusina," an amalgam of the names of the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, as if to emphasize that it didn't matter whether one was dealing with a constitutional monarchy, a chaotic republic, a mature totalitarian tyranny or a revolutionary dictatorship.

Kent's faith in the power of this method was so strong that he disparaged the more traditional types of intelligence information, i.e., the types of secret or "inside" information that could only be gathered by spies able to penetrate the foreign government's inner circle and/or steal its documents, or by interception techniques and codebreakers able to listen in on its communications and decipher them. As he correctly pointed out, a Soviet spy who had full run of American secret documents in the first half of 1950 could not have found one that laid out U.S. plans to defend South Korea from invasion by the North, for the simple reason that the decision to do so hadn't yet been taken, and, in fact, wouldn't be until the invasion had already begun. But this example also highlights the extremely high standard that Kent was attempting to set for the "social scientific" method: in principle, it was to be able to predict decisions that hadn't yet been made and about which the very participants in the policy process were uncertain; with this method, one could understand the decision-making process better than the decision-makers themselves.

This ambition depended crucially on the idea that, however disparate political systems may appear, the underlying political processes were universal (rooted in human nature, as it were, although a proper 1950s social scientist would have been the last person in the world to use the term). As a result, they could be discerned by an empirical method that observed behavior, tallied it, calculated correlations between particular actions and particular features of the context in which they occurred, and so forth.

Another nontraditional feature of Kent's program was that it explicitly downplayed the importance of the possibility of deception. An atomic physicist needn't be concerned with the possibility that the particles he studies are attempting to mislead him into thinking that they behave otherwise than they in fact do; and, generally speaking, social scientists can have the same confidence in their data (although, it has been suggested that, in the 1996 Israeli election, some voters vented their anger at the media by deliberately misrepresenting how they had voted when questioned by those conducting exit polls.) Given that he thought that intelligence analysis should deal with fundamental issues (such as a nation's capabilities and interests) rather than ephemera (what one of its leaders said yesterday), Kent believed that intelligence analysts could be equally unconcerned with the possibility of deception on the part of the governments they were studying. (How, after all, could Truman have deceived Stalin about his intentions in Korea if, prior to the invasion, he didn't know them himself?) While Strauss never, of course, addressed the question of intelligence analysis, it is easy to guess what he might have said about Kent's proposed methodology, since it was based squarely on the developments in social science that Strauss attacked. The primary point of attack would have been that it ignored the differences among "regimes" (or types of government and society) in its search for universal truths of social science. While Strauss was interested in understanding human nature, he understood from his study of the tradition of political philosophy-from Aristotle, most of all-that, in political life, universal human nature is encountered not in its unvarnished state, but as reflected through the prism of the "regime."

Because of the importance of the regime, it would be foolish to expect to be able to deduce theories of political behavior that would be universal, i.e., that would apply to democracies and tyrannies alike. With Tocqueville, Strauss would have argued that the regime shapes human political action in so fundamental a way that the very souls appear different. For this reason, among others, social science could never hope to be "scientific" in the sense of the natural sciences, which can be confident that the phenomena it studies do not vary from place to place. The other issue raised by Kent's methodology-the general disregard of deception-is also tied to the tendency of modern social science to submerge clear differences between various forms of rule in favor of explanations that rest on the sub-political. Although it should be obvious that some regimes are more inclined to be "open" than others, Kent's reliance on the universal aspirations of modern social science seem to have blinded him to that fact. Combined with American intelligence's great confidence in its ability to collect intelligence by technical means (space-based photographic reconnaissance satellites, ground-based listening posts, etc.), Kent's willingness to downplay the issue of deception meant that American intelligence analysts were generally reluctant throughout the Cold War to believe that they could be deceived about any critical question by the Soviet Union or other Communist states. History has shown this view to have been extremely naive.

Strauss is of course famous for his doctrine (or, rather, his discovery) of "esoteric" writing, i.e., the idea that, at least before the Enlightenment, most serious writers wrote so as to hide at least some of their thought from some of their readers. Strauss was attacked for this doctrine on various grounds. Many critics argued that it gave license for fanciful and arbitrary interpretation of texts; once one asserted that an author's true views might be the opposite of those that appear on the surface of his writings, it might seem that the sky was the limit in terms of how far from the author's apparent views one could wander. However, the deeper reason for the unpopularity of this doctrine was different; after all, Strauss was a piker compared to the very popular (at least for a while) doctrine of deconstructionism which gave readers complete carte blanche when it came to interpreting texts, and which completely lacked the rigor Strauss brought to the problem of textual interpretation. Rather, the dissatisfaction was political in origin; the notion of esoteric writing is clearly at odds with the main political tenet of the Enlightenment, i.e., that a good polity can be built on the basis of doctrines that not only are true but are also accessible: their truth can be "self-evident" (to quote the Declaration of Independence) to the average citizen. Even those post-moderns who no longer believe that it is possible to discover any truths at all on which a free polity might be based somehow still cling to freedom of speech, which was originally defended on the grounds that the propagation of anti-republican heresies can do no harm as long as prorepublican truths are left free to refute them.

Be this as it may, Strauss's view certainly alerts one to the possibility that political life may be closely linked to deception. Indeed, it suggests that deception is the norm in political life, and the hope, to say nothing of the expectation, of establishing a politics that can dispense with it is the exception.

On both of these counts, then, studying political philosophy with Strauss proved to be a valuable counterweight to the doctrines that were then prevalent, not only in the academy, but in intelligence analysis as well. By emphasizing the distinction among regimes as the basic political fact, political philosophy prepared one for a much better understanding of the world than did the "scientific" social science which sought to understand the various regimes in terms of universal categories. As many observers have noted, a characteristic failing of American intelligence analysis is what is called "mirror imaging," i.e., imagining that the country one is studying is fundamentally similar to one's own and hence can be understood in the same terms. As described by Eliot Cohen,

A far more serious problem ... centers on the possibility that if policymakers read [estimative] intelligence, it will mislead them or reinforce inappropriate prejudices. The official school of intelligence writing seems to pay very little heed to problems of deception and concealment, a serious deficiency in view of the premium placed by many regimes ... on such activities. But more pervasive, and even more pernicious, is the phenomenon of mirror imaging by intelligence analysts .... It is a varied and subtle phenomenon and can afflict those who pride themselves on their hardheaded realpolitik as much as it does those who take a sunnier view of international relations.'

This fault shows up in many ways. Cohen cites, for example, the use of the terms "moderates" and "extremists" to describe the various participants in Iranian political life in the 1980s. While there may well have been an internal struggle going on in Iran, use of these terms was misleading. For example, the term "moderate" would imply someone who wanted better relations with the West and who favored a relaxation of the rules enforcing strict religious practices; however, there is no reason why, in the Iranian context, someone holding the former view should also be expected to hold the latter. (Clearly, as Americans used the term, "moderate" meant nothing more than "more like us": but this is obviously a ridiculous category to use when trying to understand a very different society.) As Cohen points out, "That bloody 'extremist' Robespierre initially opposed a warlike foreign policy, as did the no less radical Lenin."4

Mirror imaging also affects the judgments of intelligence analysts concerning how foreign officials think about the strategic problems they face. Cohen cites a number of cases when assuming that foreign leaders who think about these matters in the same way as Americans proved disastrous. The problem takes an almost comic turn in the following defense of a 1962 intelligence estimate that incorrectly assessed that the Soviets would not put missiles in Cuba:

In that case, as Sherman Kent often said, his estimate of what was reasonable for the Soviet Union to do was a lot better than Khrushchev's, and therefore he was correct in analyzing the situation as it should have been seen by the Soviets.5

Many reasons are cited why this, particular problem should be so deeply rooted in American intelligence analysis: the failure of our educational system to teach foreign languages; a "universalistic" outlook which believes (not entirely incorrectly) that others aspire to an American way of life; the "melting pot" tradition, which suggests that, despite superficial differences of language, customs, etc., people are fundamentally alike and want the same things. While these are all plausible contributors, the influence of American social science may be an even more important and deeper cause. The study of political philosophy and its emphasis on the key importance of the variety of regimes is an important antidote.

Similarly, many critics of American intelligence have noted that it tends to ignore "open sources," in particular, what foreign leaders say about their beliefs and intentions. While one must be alert to the possibility of deception, one must nevertheless start with the "surface," as Strauss would have put it. The careful reading of what foreign leaders say would be an obvious beginning point for understanding what they really think, even though the two should never be considered as simply identical. For example, at the time of the Iranian revolution in 1979, it appeared that the intelligence analysts at the CIA did not have easy access to Khomeini's writings about religion. In part, this reflected the standard social science view that, in a modernizing society such as Iran, religion was destined to play an increasingly minor role. (A reading of Thucydides' account of the role that religious passion played in causing the failure of Athens' Sicilian expedition would have sufficed to guard against that particular mistake: Athens was clearly the most "enlightened" of ancient Greek cities.) But it also reflected the view that one could assess the views of a Khomeini from the outside, without having to try to understand him as he understood himself. Strauss's painstaking method of recovering the thought of thinkers of previous times would have been applicable to understanding someone like Khomeini, whose intellectual world was so different from our own.

With the end of the Cold War, the struggle of ideologies has come to a close. Some have foreseen an "end of history," in the Hegelian sense of the attainment of philosophic self-awareness; others, a "clash of civilizations," in the sense of the conflict of what are ultimately mutually incomprehensible value systems. For those brought up in the realist tradition, it will seem strange that theories of international relations should have such philosophic origins and implications. Nevertheless, such is the world we face; and the study of the classics of political philosophy with Leo Strauss was a surprisingly good preparation for grappling with it.

NOTES 1. Herbert J. Storing, ed. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962). 2. Strategic Intelligence for Americans World Policy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), , p. 155. Kent's influence on the goals and methods of intelligence analysis in the United States was not limited to the fact that his book became the best selling book of its kind and a bible of sorts for those within American intelligence. After the U.S. was surprised by the invasion of South Korea in 1950, Kent was asked to join the Office of National Estimates (ONE), a new intelligence unit charged with producing comprehensive, forward-looking intelligence assessments, thereby hopefully precluding further surprises of this sort. Soon afterwards, Kent became the director of ONE-at the time, the senior analytic post in U.S. intelligence; he held that position for more than 15 years. As Bruce Berkowitz and Allan Goodman note, "ONE and the process of developing NIEs [National Intelligence Estimates] bore a strung resemblance to the principles for analysis Kent described in Strategic Intelligence?' (Strategic Intelligence for American National Security, [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989], , p: 5)

Kent's views on the application of the scientific method to intelligence analysis also influenced the institutional arrangements for carrying it out. Even before World War II had ended, Kent and other analysts within the OSS's analytic arm had reached the conclusion that the positivist approach to analysis-resting on Max Weber's fact-value distinction-should be reflected institutionally in a sharp division between intelligence analysis and policy-making organizations. Historically, foreign intelligence analysis in the U.S. and elsewhere had been located in government departments directly responsible for carrying out the key national security functions of war or diplomacy. Under the new ethos of social science objectivity, however, scholarly distance was essential for intelligence analysts. Thus, the CIA is not part of a policy-making department of government and is located geographically in the Virginia suburbs, away from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.

Reflecting the general disillusionment among social scientists themselves with respect to the predictive capabilities of modern social science, scholars studying past intelligence "failures" began to question the assumptions and utility of Kent-like theories of analysis in the late-1970s. However, only in recent years has the intelligence community itself begun to challenge Kent's views and their hold on the practice of intelligence analysis. See, in particular, Douglas J. MacEachin's "The Tradecraft of Analysis" and Joseph S. Nye's "Estimating the Future" in US. Intelligence at the Crossroads, Roy Godson, Ernst R. May and Gary Schmitt, eds. (McLean, VA: Brassey's, 1995), pp. 63-96.

3. "Analysis," Intelligence Requirements for the 1990s, Roy Godson, ed. (Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath and Co., 1989), pp. 76-77.

4. Ibid., , p. 77.

5. Discussant remarks of Ray S. Cline in Roy Godson, , ed., Intelligence Requirements for the 1980s: Analysis and Estimates ('Washington, D.C.: National Strategy Information Center, 1980), p. 77. Cited in Cohen, op. cit., , p. 78, emphasis supplied.

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