Human sources of intelligence:
No matter the human source, questioning or interrogation is necessary to get as much info as possible,
even from the willing. If you're dealing with an unwilling one, it takes different forms. Torture,
physical sanctions. These are problematic as we have pronounced attitudes towards it. The majority see
torture as wrong, and so we're also inclined to think that torture doesn't work. “We don't use torture
because it's a bad source, it will give you bad results”. The dilemma is that its like any other source –
sometimes it gives good results, sometimes bad. There are strengths and limits. We don't use torture
even though it might work because we find it morally unacceptable. The earliest record we have of a
battle is one fought 1224 BC – Egyptians capture hittite scouts, use violence to get information.
On the one hand: quick way to get information using torture. Dilemma is that at a certain point people
will say anything to stop the torture, easy to get bad information this way. Historically, if you look at
how information is collected by forces collecting intelligence abroad, physical sanctions have been
used. Recently we have developed reluctance due to ethical reasons. Torture is, objectively though, a
source of information, good and bad.
Torture is most valuable when you need to know something immediately – can get material through
interrogation if you have a few months to play around with. Hard to know how sophisticated it was 5-
600 years ago, not easy to find a case where you can trace interrogation without physical sanctions and
what it acquired. Can play any number of games:
• two interrogators do “good cop bad cop” - spill to the friendly one
• knowing more than the interrogee knows you know, allow them to answer a lot of questions and
get caught in a lie “how is it you're telling me x instead of y?”
• if you know a great deal about their background, convincing the interogee that you already
know everything so you may as well talk
• english techniques of interrogating German POW's (also involved physical sanctions) – act like
a german officer, bark out commands like they would, try to use their military discipline against
them. German officers said to americans they'd say “yeah, those other guys fucked up and here
you are”, different technique with the english soldiers.
Alot of information can be gained from interrogation with no violence – a well prepared interrogator
can trap that person if they're trying to lie. With counterintelligence, trying to find an agent within your
system, the dilemma is it takes awhile to make it work. Need lots and lots of background information.
Can be interactive – share transcript of interrogation one day with others who come up with other
issues to press. Professional interrogator will read up a lot about you, people you know and are linked
The german atomic bomb program didn't work because the british rounded up the german physicists.
Ancient modes of collection. Up to 1000 years ago, human sources were the only ones there are.
Around 1000 years ago, more sources started to appear. Nowadays, human sources are not rated #1.
The best source you can get is a person in the paper or digital flow of another organization, high
enough up they can comment on what is meant by material, and can get it to you life – incredibly rare.
Polygraphs are still used, despite being questionable. Next source: Geospatial Intelligence/Maps
Maps are complicated in the sense that what they do is provide a means to represent to Party D all sorts
of data collected by PartiesAover a period of time. Representing data collected by hundred or
thousands. 800-9000 BCE forward is when they began to be used. Several pieces of papyrus, small
scale drawing of big piece of terrain – identify notable geographic locales and topographic features, try
to keep it scaled. Other maps are entirely verbal and written out – second form more common til the
1500's. Providing a route map, intended often for sea travel. “Start out in tyre, sail for 5 days, wind
condition will be _____, water colour will be green, when you see a volcano ahead turn left”. These
times of route maps don't allow you to see things to scale, but allow you to follow a means to get
somewhere. Early modern mariner navigation used rutters – these modes of representing data are useful
for merchants. If you don't have them, it's hard to travel long distances. If you do, you can use them for
Where maps take on power and make cartography the first mathematized mode of representing data for
strategic planning – when you represent angles of travel. The compass leads to compass markings,
allowing one to be very precise with maps, determine angles from point a to b. Scale representations
become increasingly accurate. In the 1800s, first in Portugal and Spain, what you find is the creation of
maps providing detailed accounts of topography, hydrography for every known continent. The chinese
government paid a great deal of attention to visiting catholics because they could teach them more
detailed modes of recording time and distance, and the chinese government adopts western modes of
representing geospatial areas. 500 eyars ago becomes possible for states to sit down and see the state at
a single glimpse. Much easier to understand intelligence strategically, as a source that emerges
around the 1500s, cartography is more important that cryptography.
Maps continue to be important intelligence source til modern era. Cartography becomes important
subordinate branch of statemanship. Military planning affected by using maps, finding choke points in
defenses, seeing means and avenues to approach an enemy. Can find world strategy using maps –
possible for a government to plan to project power to the opposite side of the world, or in the new
Maps have an important role in the formulation of strategy, show how a source can lapse in importance
Source: Communications Intelligence
Material acquired by intercepting and processing form of communication. Intercepting encoded morse
code diplomatic telegram in the 1890s, listening to a cellphone in the present day, reading mail, reading
On the one hand, has existed in theory as far back as we can go in terms of gov. Documents. The wa