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Andrew Meacham
Worked at Tampa Bay Times
Attended Eckerd College, USF St. Petersburg
Lives in St. Petersburg, Fla.
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Andrew Meacham

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A man to whom all obit writers since the early 1980s owe much, Jim Nicholson, has done something he always swore he wouldn't -- write a book. Like his career, there is nothing expected or usual in "Because No One Else Can -- Inside the Military Intelligence Secret Sausage Factory." This nearly 800-page tome, available on Amazon, is as he says, a textbook for intelligence analysts.

It is also a history book, a primer on strategic thinking and an an amazingly full inside view of the kinds of challenges intelligence agents face in a post 9-11 world. A few years ago, the Army recalled Lt. Col. Nicholson to Iraq to address problems in establishing reliable working relationships in that troubled country.

This is the same man who, as a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, revolutionized the obituary form we now practice. 

More on Because No One Else Can:

Book Description
“Because No One Else Can”
(ISBN: 1479206156)
(As it appears on the Amazon page)
   “Because No One Else Can” is a textbook. But, some may want to read it as part textbook, part “Playbook,” part history book, part intelligence primer for the uninitiated and part Military Intelligence career memoir. This book is basically divided into three sections; Nicholson Sea Stories, the wisdom of some of the best analysts in the Intelligence Community as imparted in the Epilogue by “The Tribal Elders” and the Annexes; more than sixty Operational Plans, SOPs, Operational Security Templates, Memoranda, Concepts of Operation, Matrices and more. It is a guide for the young analyst or manager but also a “look inside” for those who know little of the Military Intelligence Community and always wanted a tour through the “Secret Sausage Factory” but were forbidden. In Post-9/11 America, everyone has a “need to know.”
    The author gives his views on how to reduce the military rape problem, his theory on what is behind the “Green-on-Blue” (“Insider”) deadly assaults on allied troops in Afghanistan, the SEAL book controversy, the outing of CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame Wilson by a member of the Bush Administration and why Military Intelligence troops facing discharge in the post wars cut-backs could be retained and used in the “three wars” the United States is presently fighting within its own borders. In the Annexes there is a complete Report of Counterintelligence Survey conducted on a military base by a team supervised by the author. In the years leading up to 9/11 it was a nice-to-do, thorough security survey. Today, it should be a must do.” But, it is costly and labor intensive, which begs the questions: “How many are being done and how often?
   This book explains why today we are all in the intelligence business. The Intelligence Community – military, government and private - has got to be better than it ever has been before. Everybody had better start sharing. Elitism, exaggerated classification, agency pride and personal egos must be set aside. Otherwise, as a nation we may wind up “Secret Squirreling” ourselves out of business.
  For Intelligence Instructors the E-Book version offers special advantages:
·        The SOPs, CONOPs, OPLANs, templates and other material in the Annexes can be printed as a hand-outs for students or seminar attendees
·        The E-Book Kindle can be hooked up to an over-head projector for slide presentations to accompany a lecture
·        Graphics, such as the detailed line-and-block Intelligence Architecture charts showing how data flows into a major Intel unit and products flow out are readable and clear in every detail for projection or reproduction.

A few Highlights from “Because No One Else Can”
·        A complete 13-page Index
·        The role of the analyst
·        Examples of Threat Assessments
·        The power of OSINT
·        Evaluating an Intelligence Unit
·        Intelligence Architecture
·        Operation Security
·        Deception
·        Building an Analytical Center
·        An Intel Training Plan for Third Nation forces
·        “Tribal Elder” wisdom from the best in the Intel business
·        A Report of Counterintelligence Survey (in an Annex) of a military post. An important security inspection Post-9/11
·        A Foot Surveillance Exercise (in an Annex)
·        “Enhancing” intelligence collection with an Analyst-Collector partnership; an essay (in an Annex) by two former CIA Officers, who are also “Tribal Elders” in the book
·        Steps on how to “keep a good unit good” (in an Annex)
·        What is motivating the “Green-on-Blue” (“Insider”) attacks on Coalition troops in AFG (in an Annex), by the author
·        Characteristics of a terrorist surveillant and a terrorist training camp
·        Creating a direct channel: CIA overseas collection to local law enforcement users
·        How to reduce the military rape problem (in an Annex), opinion piece by the author
·        The SEAL book controversy, opinion piece by the author
·        Identifying unlikely OPFOR collectors (in an Annex)
·        Characteristics of a terrorist surveillant (in an Annex)
·        The Strategic Analysis Cell (SAC) (in an Annex)
·        OPLANs, CONOPs, Matrices and SOPs for Intelligence support to Law Enforcement
·        A comment to the author by Valerie Plame on her reaction to be outted
·        The kind of Intelligence effort needed on the US/MX Border
·        The US runs a Soviet-styled “Gulag”
·        Was 9/11 our “Reichstag Fire?”
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Andrew Meacham

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  • Tampa Bay Times
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St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Eckerd College, USF St. Petersburg
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