Friday, October 5, 2007

The two broad divisions of Intelligence

Good intelligence prevents major calamities

A book that seems to have touched raw nerves is “India’s External Intelligence: Secrets of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)’’ (http://www.manaspublications.com/) by Major General (Retd) V. K. Singh. It discusses “several lacunae in the functioning of the country’s top intelligence agency” and calls for “an increase in accountability of our top intelligence agencies” since “the Indian taxpayer has a right to know how his money is spent”. And, now, the book’s publisher and the author have come under the lens of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

How does the “right to know” work with regard to intelligence? “Most countries have a 30-year period after which all documents are automatically declassified. If this were not so, we would have never come to know about Enigma — the Ultra Secret code being used by Germany in the Second World War which the Allies had broken,” answered Mr Singh, when recently interacting with Business Line, over the email.

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