Wednesday, July 18, 2007

NIE for Dummies

The new NIE is out. And my, isn't it insightful. Americans understand very little about, say, tax policy. But they know a few things about the so-called war on terror. They understand, for instance, that bin Laden yet runs around and means to do us harm and that our failure to capture him is, on the whole, not the best thing for our safety. They know that al Qaida is a terrorist organization and will use unconventional means to blow up innocents in the most dramatic, telegenic way they can imagine. And they have a sneaking suspicion that Bush administration-led intelligence agencies don't know their asses from a hole in the ground. And of, course, they're right. The brand-spanking new National Intelligence Estimate, purportedly a draft of the best knowledge we have at our fingertips, offers the most obvious insights that even 12-year-olds already know.
  • "We judge the US Homeland will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years."
Comment: They limited the horizon to three years, because who knows what might happen after that. Maybe the threat will be over!
  • "Al-Qa'ida is and will remain the most serious terrorist threat to the Homeland."
Comment: Good thing we invaded Iraq.
  • [A bulleted point] "As a result, we judge that the United States currently is in a heightened threat environment."
Comment: Well in that case ... better invade Iran.
  • "We assess that al-Qa'ida will continue to enhance its capabilities to attack the Homeland through greater cooperation with regional terrorist groups."
Comment: Which have proliferated as a result of the Iraq invasion.
  • "We assess that al-Qa'ida will continue to try to acquire and employ chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear material in attacks."
Comment: Oh no! I thought they would constrain themselves to shovels and discarded baseball bats.
  • "We assess that globalization trends and recent technological advances will continue to enable even small numbers of alienated people to find and connect with one another, justify and intensify their anger, and mobilize resources to attack—all without requiring a centralized terrorist organization, training camp, or leader."
Comment: The CIA has discovered the internets, and suspects the terrorists have, too.
  • "The ability to detect broader and more diverse terrorist plotting in this environment will challenge current US defensive efforts and the tools we use to detect and disrupt plots."
Comment: It's likely we won't be able to stop future attacks, but hey--vote Republican!

Three monkeys and a bottle of vodka would have produced a more interesting assessment.

1 comment:

Red Hog Diary said...

Comment: You are all in grave danger so shut up and support the president and keep sending your cards and money. We will protect you or get damn rich trying!