Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, June 10, 2005

Disinformation From Intelligence Agencies

      The intelligence establishment fouls up again, allegedly, this time by underestimating China.

  • John Hindracker thinks this was deliberate.  I think he's probably right.

  • Hindracker thinks the motive was the "infatuation" of the analysts with the country they study.  Here, I think he's off.

  • Read it all, Gertz and Hindracker both.

In Depth:
      Bill Gertz of The Washington Times had a story today about our intelligence on China, claiming that it stinks.
  Over at Powerline, John Hindracker suggests that the problem is the tendency of intelligence experts to be:
infatuated with the people they are supposed to be evaluating critically. Thus, the "Arabists" in the State Department have long been anti-Israel Arab partisans; the CIA analysts responsible for the Soviet Union thought highly of that grotesque entity, and completely failed to notice that it was collapsing; and now, the panda-huggers apparently glossed over China's aggressive intentions.

      Close, I think, but not quite.  People who join government service frequently wish to "do good," and don't see any need to submit their judgment to that of the people.  I encountered this a lot in reading the history of the early Cold War, and the Atomic Energy Agency.  People who believed peaceful coexistence with the former USSR was possible and desirable acted to obstruct "provocative" programs in which the U.S. actually tried to build up defenses against Soviet attack, while hiding their motives for doing so.  Oppenheimer and his friends were especially good at this.

      And let's not forget the power of Liberals to blind themselves to reality, the better to see things the way they ought to be.  Nor can we lose sight of the fact that many on the left loath the U.S., and want it hindered and opposed.

      This is a problem that can't be solved until people in the Civil Service can be fired for a history of incompetency, and for hindering the Administration's policy.  Don't hold your breath.

      Finally, did I ever mention that I just LOVE typing "former USSR?"  Well, I do.  OOH!



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