Nathan Hodge on Intelligence Reporting

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Wired's top-notch security reporter Nathan Hodge tends to stick to the facts, keeping his strong opinions close to the vest. (He also has a penchant for reporting on cool weaponry, though that's neither here nor there.) But the tragic killing of seven CIA agents in Afghanistan brought out his combative side in this post, where he upbraids David Ignatius for parroting the Agency's overoptimistic, and ultimately fatal, trust in Jordanian intelligence. Hodge catalogues Ignatius's misjudgments during his long and successful career as an op-ed columnist. (In fact, the Atlantic Wire praised Ignatius's first-hand reporting on Iraqi car bombs here.)

Hodge accuses Ignatius of acting as a PR man for the CIA when what's needed are:

journalists and columnists who are willing to probe deep, and present uncomfortable truths. Too bad in Ignatius we’ve got a stenographer to power, instead.

While it's hard to judge Ignatius's sins from outside, in an arena as veiled, secretive, and exclusive as intelligence analysis, it's worth applauding when the specialists keep one another accountable.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.