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While reliability and HUMINT are words that more often than not remain at opposite ends of the continuum, it is quite apparent that there are numerous approaches that can be employed to improve on the reliability of HUMINT collection and reporting. One of the inaccuracies of HUMINT collection arises out of having their gathered intelligence reports doctored by the diplomatic and other official personnel who are supposed to pass over the collected information. This is informed by the fact that HUMINT agents work under the cover of these diplomats and as such, they are likely to appear suspects to the adversary governments. In light of this, the United States Intelligence community should establish means by which the information passed by these diplomats is be verified. This can be achieved by consulting HUMINT sources or seeking intelligence through other collection methods like IMINT, COMINT, and SIGINT among other avenues.
Another significant approach in dealing with this matter would be availing more training to the collectors. A well-trained collector should be able to discern some information that is of value from what is not. Training would also increase the collector’s awareness of the situation in his host country so that he can tell when to disperse certain sources of information and when doing so can be highly suspect. More important, HUMINT collectors should handle with ultimate suspicion information from adversaries or those who pose as defectors and sympathizers to the US cause. Indeed, the US intelligence community should put these individuals under constant surveillance until their trustworthy is proved beyond reasonable doubt. The case of the Jordanian doctor who posed to the CIA as a former terrorist and as such, an invaluable source of information only to kill seven American intelligence officials in a suicide bomb underlines this statement.