Understanding US public policy, both domestic and foreign, is impossible without considering the role of intelligence operations, government, contracted to government and private. The roles of domestic surveillance, foreign infilitration, and exploits directed at US assets are not reported in traditional media unless the breaches are yawning.
Marcy Wheeler is on this beat, and reports upon it at emptywheel.net. We discuss espionage and its role in contemporary policy making.
from Wiki: 'Human Intelligence (frequently abbreviated HUMINT) is intelligence gathered by means of interpersonal contact, as opposed to the more technical intelligence gathering disciplines such as signals intelligence (SIGINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT) and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT).'