STREAMING LIVE WEDNESDAY: National Intelligence Council Chairman Thomas Fingar on What Goes Into a National Intelligence Estimate


Fingar McConnell TWN.jpg
(Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell chats with National Intelligence Council Chairman Thomas Fingar)
To my knowledge, I’ve never met National Intelligence Council Chairman Tom Fingar, but I’ve been an admirer from afar of his work and approach to intelligence estimate construction.
That doesn’t mean I’m always happy the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) products the public has been able to see, but I do know from a great number of intelligence professionals I’m privileged to pow-wow with from time to time that he is one of the best intel analysts and managers of covert information flow in the business.
I have been participating in the Directorate of National Intelligence’s Open Source Initiative in which very senior national security intelligence officials have been meeting with and interacting with think tank representatives, academics, and others in order to open some of the portals on info flow into the frequently walled off intelligence analysis and packaging process. This conference along these lines looks to be interesting — and I plan to participate.
Getting open source input from top intellectuals in the country into the intel pipeline is extremely important and could be one of the most important factors that cleans up the intelligence collection and assessment process that has gone so tragically awry in the past.
Largely because of the debate about NIEs — about the flawed Iraq NIE that some thought laid the groundwork for a military invasion to the Iran NIE that suggested that Iran stopped its covert weapons program in 2003 to other NIEs that have received either applause or criticism, depending on the issue and the corner of the political spectrum one sat — I have invited NIC Chairman Thomas Fingar to discuss at a public New America Foundation/American Strategy Program meeting the analytic standards and process by which an NIE is assembled.
I think that this could be one of the most fascinating lectures around for intel junkies and for anyone seeking to better understand the national security decision making process.
The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 4 June, at noon EST at the offices of the New America Foundation. The session is essentially full already — but I will be transmitting live internet streaming of the Fingar meeting and discussion on The Washington Note website.
— Steve Clemons


5 comments on “STREAMING LIVE WEDNESDAY: National Intelligence Council Chairman Thomas Fingar on What Goes Into a National Intelligence Estimate

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    Wait, it’s tomorrow, no problem now, just got the link confirmation in less than 5 min, very prompt of NAF.
    Thanks. Look forward to tomorrow’s hearing.
    Care to notice Bozell in the audience directly behind Soros 3 rows into the audience on CSpan @ the Commerce Committee hearing on price fixing?


  2. Mr.Murder says:

    Steve, you have a TWN link to liveblog it?
    Was trying to catch the Soros/Commerce testimony, was away for the pre event sign up.


  3. Steve Clemons says:

    liz — appreciate your comment, but it’s not an either/or situation.
    The intel community does both. But what is key is to be able to
    access smart networks — and for a long time, this was not being
    done well. best, steve clemons


  4. liz says:

    Steve, it is flooring that the intelligence community sits around in meetings with think tanks. Why aren’t they out collecting data and information on true enemies rather than sitting in meetings discussing all the what if’s, who done it’s??
    To me, this is another ” what’s wrong” moment.


  5. Lurker says:

    Steve, say what you will but many of us already know that the intel community reads this blog and your work all the time. I can’t believe that this is a first encounter. Some of those folks at Commentary Magazine actually think that your blog pushed the outlines of the Iran estimate. I know that is poppycock, but this guys love your blog I’m told.
    Good for you for having Dr. Fingar. I will be watching, and thanks for all of your hard work.


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *