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Marrin--Creating a Code of Ethics for Intelligence Analysts--IsA 2007

Marrin--Creating a Code of Ethics for Intelligence Analysts--IsA 2007

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Published by Stephen Marrin
Paper presented at 2007 ISA Conference.
Paper presented at 2007 ISA Conference.

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Published by: Stephen Marrin on Nov 08, 2010
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Creating a Code of Ethics for Intelligence Analysis
Stephen MarrinAssistant Professor Intelligence Studies DepartmentMercyhurst CollegeErie, PA 16546smarrin@mercyhurst.eduPaper Prepared for Roundtable on Intelligence Ethics #3International Studies Association ConferenceChicago, IL2 March 2007
 
Intelligence analysis is currently professionalizing, but a corresponding code of ethics--anecessary component of every profession--is still in rudimentary stages. Before aneffective code of ethics can be created, analysts and ethicists will have to address themultiple entities that the analyst has ethical obligations to, and resolve the dilemmaregarding what to do when the interests of those entities conflict.In a prior article addressing the nature of intelligence analysis professionalization and therole that a code of ethics plays in this process,
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my co-author—Dr. Jonathan Clemente— and I advocate the creation of an overarching American Intelligence Analysis Association(AIAA) modeled on the American Medical Association. We used the AMA as a model because it played an important in the professionalization of medicine, and we believe theAIAA could play a similar role for intelligence analysis.As part of our argument, we observe that an important function of the AIAA would be todevelop a code of ethics for intelligence analysts because “many different kinds of intelligence analysts—both within and between organizations—can be bound together through a single code of ethics that can be standardized across the broader intelligenceanalysis community.”
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 In this way, the code of ethics would “provide a mechanism for integrating the different intelligence analysis disciplines and specialties into a coherentwhole” in the same way that the AMA’s code of ethics dedicated to improving the healthof the patient provides a mechanism for binding its different specialties together.
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We suggest the AIAA would be an effective way to bring together intelligence analystsfrom the national security, law enforcement and business intelligence arenas into a singlecoherent profession. An analytic profession is not the only kind of profession that coulddevelop out of the broader intelligence community, but it is one of them. As MichaelDavis, an expert in professional ethics, observes, “Each profession is a continuingdiscussion. . . . To join a profession is, in part, to enter that discussion, gaining somecontrol over a common enterprise by giving up the right to act as a mere individual.”
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 Accordingly, defining the characteristics of the participants in the discussions can be animportant determining factor in the direction of the future professionalization process.Specifically, intelligence analysis could be considered a profession because its practitioners use similar techniques to achieve the same goal: providing information toimprove decisionmaking in all of their respective fields.As of today, however, the code of ethics for intelligence analysts is still quiterudimentary, consisting in essence of independence and objectivity. But “the CIA has begun articulating a code of ethics for intelligence analysts based on the doctrine
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For example, see Marrin and Clemente’s “Modeling an Intelligence Analysis Profession on Medicine.”International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Vol. 19. No. 4. (Winter 2006-2007). 642-665.Also see: Marrin’s “Intelligence Analysis: Turning a Craft into a Profession.” Proceedings of the 2005International Conference on Intelligence Analysis. McLean, Virginia. May 2005.
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Marrin and Clemente, “Modeling…” 657-658.
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Marrin and Clemente, “Modeling..”, 657.
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Michael Davis. Codes of Ethics, Professions, and Conflict of Interest. Professional Ethics. V1N1&2. 190.
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espoused by Sherman Kent in the 1950s and 1960s. …Frans Bax, the founding Dean of the CIA’s Kent School, enumerated a list of principles for intelligence analysis, includinga focus on policymaker concerns, avoidance of a personal policy agenda, intellectualrigor, a conscious effort to avoid analytical bias, and a willingness to consider other  judgments.
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In sum, the principles form a rudimentary code of ethics that all intelligenceanalysts should follow as they do their analysis.”
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Recent “additional work on the applicability of ethics to intelligence analysis—includingthe derivation of ethical principles and the development of a professional code of ethics —is being done by” members of the International Intelligence Ethics Association(IIEA).
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In addition, the January 2007 Intelligence Community Directive Number 200--which articulates the principles that govern the ODNI’s oversight of intelligencecommunity analysis--appears to be an extension of the Kent School’s analytic principles,thereby expanding and deepening the analytic code.
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One issue that has not yet been addressed is the question of which “client” the analyst hasthe greatest obligation to. Dr. Clemente and I have pointed out that a “characteristic of every profession is a distinctive code of ethics which promulgates ideals of service to asociety’’
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as well as to the client, who, in the case of intelligence analysis, is the decisionmaker. But the nature of the code can matter a great deal in terms of the autonomy of theintelligence analyst and his or her relationship with decision makers.Specifically, the agency model ‘‘takes the professional to be the assigned agent of thewill or decisions of the client . . . who directs the professional to achieve the client’saims’’ within constraints defined by the norms of the profession.
By way of contrast,the fiduciary model ‘‘sees the professional as acting in the best interest or for the benefitof the client’’ with ‘‘authority to act . . . ceded to the professional’’ based on trust.
Inthe absence of a formal code of ethics, controversies have continued to arise over theappropriate relationship between intelligence and decisionmaking.”
Most intelligence analysts appear to embrace a fiduciary model, and for the most part sodo most decision makers. But complications for analysts arise when either the decisionmaker embraces the agency model—in which the analyst is perceived to be on the staff of the decision maker, and will provide analysis that supports his or her policy preferences
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Jack Davis, ‘‘Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis.’’ The Sherman Kent Center for Intelligence Analysis, Occasional Papers, Volume 1, Number 5, November 2002. The entire list of these principles can be found in Marrin’s “CIA’s Kent School: Improving Training for New Analysts.”International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Vol. 16. No. 4. (2003). 630-631.
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Marrin and Clemente. “Modeling….” 652.
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Marrin and Clemente, “Modeling…”, 652. Also see the IIEA website at: http://intelligence-ethics.org/
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For an adaptation of ICD 200 into a code of ethics, see: John Lunstroth. “Analyst’s Code of Ethics.”Unpublished paper. February 23, 2007.
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Stephen F. Barker, ‘‘What is a Profession?,’’ Professional Ethics, Vol. 1, Nos. 1&2, 1992, pp. 73–100.
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Carol Gould, ‘‘New Paradigms in Professional Ethics.’’ Professional Ethics, V1, N1&2, 1992. 144–45.
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Ibid.
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Marrin and Clemente. “Modeling…” 648.
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