What Did The Analysis Corporation Do, Anyway?

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be director of the CIA, went to work for a private intelligence contractor called The Analysis Corporation for a few years between stints as a high-ranking CIA officer and one of the Obama Administration's top homeland security and counterterrorism experts .

So what did he do there?

An administration official said simply, "As listed in its public press releases, TAC helped the U.S. Government assemble and analyze critical information on national security issues."

Federal contracting documents aren't much help, either: One contract with the Federal Acquisition Service worth up to $42 million is described as being for "ADP Facility Management" and "Other Computer Related Services."

In one of its press releases, The Analysis Corporation detailed a line of software products, including "Fuzzy Finder," "Russian Name Search," and "Arabic Name Search." The company said that its software products were made up of "exact, inexact, and linguistic-based algorithms that quickly rank and order results based on their similarity to a specified pattern."

And it boasted that "Fuzzy Finder" in particular had been "continuously operational within the government" since the software was written, and "has been a very effective tool for finding the names of suspected or known terrorists in various databases."