07 February 2004

Weapons of Mass Disinformation

I am deeply concerned about the composition of George III's panel that is charged with looking at "intelligence failures" leading up to the 11 September atrocities and the yes-we-have-no-WMDs-in-Iraq fiasco. As the Perfesser notes, there is plenty of top-level experience on the panel. But that is precisely the problem. Not one panel member named thus far has any apparent experience dealing with raw signals or human intelligence data, with actual intelligence-gathering or analysis operations, or with any variety of fieldwork. My analysis of open sources indicates that any "intelligence failures" occurred at the raw-data or immediate-analysis levels—precisely those areas for which the designated committee members must rely upon outsiders for even basic context. Further, there appear to be a lot of policy failures resulting from policy-makers (appointed and otherwise, Republican and Democrat) coopting the analysis process; but, no doubt, these will be termed "intelligence failures" if there's no expendable fall guy at the policy level when the report comes out.

The media is right that this committee is unlikely to even ask the right questions so that it could obtain the necessary data, let alone reach a good conclusion. The media is completely off-base, both factually and doctrinally, in why this committee will be at best a whitewash, and at worst… let's not go there, ok?