David Isenberg


Isenberg, David. The Pitfalls of U.S. Covert Operations. Policy Analysis No. 118. Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 7 Apr. 1989. [http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA118.HTM]

"An examination of U.S. covert-action policy since World War II reveals two facts that are not always fully appreciated. First, both the scope and the scale of such operations have been enormous.... Second, the success of U.S. covert operations has been exaggerated."

[CA/80s; Reform/80s]

Isenberg, David. "The Real Intelligence Failure." IntellectualCapital.com,18 Jun. 1998. [http://www.intellectualcapital.com]

This is a judicious look at the problems involved in the Intelligence Community's failure to predict the Indian nuclear tests. Among other points made by the author is the argument that: "If there was a failure, it was one of mirror imaging on the part of the administration. It committed the classic mistake that Machiavelli warned against -- assuming the other guy will never do something you would never do. " The content of the article is marred by Isenberg's reference to Adm. David Jeremiah as "former CIA head."


Isenberg, David. See, Speak, and Hear No Incompetence: An Analysis of the Findings of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. Special Report 2005.1. London and Washington, DC: British American Security Information Council, Oct. 2005. [http://www.basicint.org/]

"Overall, the Commission's recommendations are not particularly impressive. Most involve initiatives that were already in the works before the Commission released its report, and doubts remain about how effective they will be. More significantly, however, the recommendations completely ignore arguably the most important aspect of the problem. Intelligence is inevitably murky and uncertain. Rather than simply focusing upon changes to the hierarchy, the Commission could have explored how to encourage dissenting voices and diverse opinions within the intelligence community, in order to prevent bias and distortion, or what some have referred to as 'groupthink' within the intelligence community."


Isenberg, David, and Ian Davis. "Unravelling the Known Unknowns: Why No Weapons of Mass Destruction Have Been Found in Iraq." British American Security Information Council (BASIC) Special Report 2004.1. Jan. 2004. [http://www.basicint.org/]

From "Executive Summary": With regard to Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), "[t]he conclusion is inescapable: there is nothing to be found. This means that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair made a WMD mountain out of what, at best, was a molehill.... The main conclusion [of this study] is that the failure to find banned weapons in Iraq suggests very strongly that the UN weapons inspectors succeeded in their mandate, and that the Iraqi government complied with its obligations."


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