By Marc Guggenheim
The good news for Phil Coulson is that he's been reunited along with his former love, Lola - who, it seems, isn't a flying vehicle. The undesirable information is that she became his brain right into a weapon which can ruin the wonder Universe.
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Extra resources for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 002
Scholars in democratic societies would do well to pay more attention, for example, to the dynamics of accountability, in hopes of knowing more about – and thereby reducing – the incidents of scandal and failure by a nation’s secret agencies. As for the high levels of New York Times reporting on intelligence collection, warrantless wiretaps, drones of all shapes and sizes, and sophisticated satellites make for interesting reading, too, and thus gained space in the newspaper’s pages. Given less attention by New York Times reporters (or their editors, at any rate) were stories based on covert action (6 per cent of the total), except for a recent focus on the use of Predator 17 Loch J.
Doubtless other examples as well will emerge in time. The course of such discussions, of course, begs a larger question: why look for theory at all where intelligence is concerned? Espionage has got along just fine for thousands of years without much scholarly reflection. But longevity does not automatically mean understanding. Indeed, as reliable accounts of intelligence operations and then their actual documentation became available to scholars over the course of the last century, the lack of an intellectual context for these revelations hampered scholarship, both on intelligence itself and on the events it had affected.
2 This approach recently gave rise to a series of conference papers and articles on intelligence and ‘reflexivity’. Phythian (2012) has shown how intelligence goes beyond mitigating risk to understanding and narrowing uncertainty, defined in the more narrow economic sense as a situation in which (unlike risk, properly speaking) the probability of a negative event or of its potential impact cannot be determined. The more this form of uncertainty accrues around the subjects intelligence seeks to observe and influence, the more intelligence becomes like modern science in certain ways, especially in that science is entering a ‘post-normal’ phase where so many of its findings now seem to have far-reaching policy ramifications.