The analyst did it

July 8, 2011
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Just out of the frame of that now-famous photo of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others as they watched the operation against Osama bin Laden was the CIA analyst who led the way to that moment.

 

Just out of the frame of that now-famous photo of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others as they watched the operation against Osama bin Laden was the CIA analyst who led the way to that moment.

He had been a standout in the agency’s Russian and Balkan departments. When Vladimir Putin was coming to power in Russia, for instance, John pulled together details overlooked by others and wrote what some colleagues considered the definitive profile of Putin. He challenged some of the agency’s conventional wisdom about Putin’s KGB background and painted a much fuller portrait of the man who would come to dominate Russian politics.

That ability to spot the importance of seemingly insignificant details, to weave disparate strands of information into a meaningful story, gave him a particular knack for hunting terrorists.

Though I don’t hear analysts in business identifying with intelligence analysts, the two have similarities worth observing. This story illustrates a few obvious ones.

Read the whole Associated Press story here.