Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"Falling in Love with Your Source"

Intelligence case officers are regularly reminded not to "fall in love with your source." In the trade jargon, that phrase refers to losing objectivity about the accuracy of information and the honesty and motivation of the source providing it. Rarely, however, does a case officer develop a trusting, intimate relationship with a source. Sometimes they do, and when that happens, the outcome is almost always disastrous.

A reasonably good account of how it can happen is found in A Review of the FBI's Handling and Oversight of FBI Asset Katrina Leung. This account is the May 2006 redacted declassified report of the US Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General.


Anonymous brentandrews said...

This is always happening in the movies. The movies make it seems like it happens all the time, in fact.

8:46 AM, May 25, 2006  

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