Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Intelligence: Remote medical diagnosis

There are still few areas of intelligence-work that are imbued with cloak-and-dagger mythos. A CIA study from 1979 has recently been declassified, dealing with remote diagnosis of foreign leaders. An example is the observation that French president Pompidou's face became swollen, indicating a high cortisone level and hinting a lympo-proliferative disorder (whatever that feels like) - that would eventually kill him on 2 April 1974.

These kinds of diagnoses are important when planning policy towards a country - and non-state groups. I guess there must be some interesting studies in secret drawers around the world on the mysterious end of Arafat (HIV was hinted - not a very "worldleaderly" disease, and thus not one you would advertise with yourself).

Download the article here (PDF) - via FAS.


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