Barbara Bank

One-third and III/I.

“The official American definition of the material delivered by the intelligence is ‘reviewed information’. ‘Reviewed’ refers both to the authenticity of the information – comparing new data to the existing ones – and the reliability of the source. These two factors cannot be entirely separated. (…) What counts as a reputable source also depends. A highly reputable source may provide thoroughly reliable information but we always have to ask the question: why? The risk of disinformation is always real. (…) The demand for secret information is a consequence, not a cause. It is the consequence of human conflicts or competition on a wide international scale from inevitable squabbling and rivalry between allies through the cautious maneuvering of potiential enemies and the disguised skirmishes of secret war all the way to open hostilities. Regardless of the degree, the situation stems from an interpersonal conflict. In all these situations, the most potent and valuable information is that which we have without the enemy’s knowledge. Therefore, the word ‘secret’ in ‘secret intelligence’ has a very particular meaning.”