Thursday, February 14, 2008

Unintelligible Intelligence

Somewhere, deep in the labyrinthine catacombs that are the U.S. Intelligence Community, someone doing some red force thinking had a sudden, horrible revelation: women who appear pregnant have the perfect cargo carrying capacity that is seemingly above search. Who really wants to grope a pregnant woman to see if she really is with child? Combined with the fact that organizations have used women in the past to serve as suicide bombers, and the threat, perhaps borne of someone's dissatisfaction with their childhood, was solidified, at least in someone's mind. Thus, the word was spread all across the land, pregnant women are a threat and should be treated as hostile. As with most of the warnings since 9/11, this, too, springs forth from the fearmongering tendencies of the mainstream media. The way to be sure of this is the final paragraph of the aforelinked article, italics added for emphasis:

Authorities say there is "no specific, credible intelligence" that says terrorists are planning to use women and suicide bombers to attack, but the warning was sent to agencies across the country in the wake of recent attacks overseas.

There is no factual substance to this claim, and thus should not be regarded as credible. But, before I go into some of the threats as seen by the U.S. intelligence community, here is an article from Fox News' Mike Baker, who tries to crawl into Osama bin Laden's head and do some red force thinking of his own, and ultimately revealing his own prejudices. I can only hope that those who get paid to do this type of analysis work aren't as simplistic and biased. I like the line where he tries to take credit for being the first to use the complexity of snowflakes in a metaphor for unconventional threats.

This same intelligence community has also recently thought, or perhaps hoped, that bin Laden is dead, judging from a lack of temporal context from his last two videos. Also, the organization whose Director for Analysis went before the House Armed Services Committee and, making a political statement, said that Iran still possesses the technological and industrial infrastructure necessary to acquire a nuclear weapon. A community which exports its fearmongering to those who are notionally our allies, in order to adjust foreign policies, the most recent example of this being India. Mike McConnell, who as the National Director of Intelligence serves as the leader for the community, for instance, frames the threat posed by a newly re-invigorated Russia in terms of control over sources of energy. For an example of how the community is acting beyond the boundaries of the United States, one need only remember the extraordinary rendition program, or for a more timely example, the apparent assassination by car bomb of Hezbollah leader Imad Mughnieh in Damascus. Considering his position on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List, it is not hard to imagine the U.S. Intelligence Community having taken an active interest in Mr. Mughnieh's health.

In conclusion, it would appear that the public product is half cocked fear mongering. Thus, Bush admonishing House lawmakers to approve expanded surveillance powers for this intelligence community is fundamentally flawed. Considering that they can't use the tools they already have to produce anything of any value, any expansion of said powers should be laughed out of the Congress. Also, considering the role of intelligence in the run up to the War in Iraq, the new intelligence offered to the IAEA and the international community.

For some additional flavor, mix in a look at how Defense Secretary Robert Gates' long involvement with the U.S. intelligence community and how it is influencing his strategy in the War on Terror and satellite sleuths seeking secrets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Muslims Against Sharia congratulate the organization responsible for elimination of terrorist Imad Mugniyeh on a job well done!