After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Meet the last resort for American intelligence information analysis...the blogosphere!

I had to read this to believe it. This is clearly an attempt to yet again muddy the reality that Bushco lied extensively about the WMD threat posed by Saddam's Iraq at the time of the invasion in 2003. For one thing, after three years one would have expected these records to already have been gone through for this sort of thing, especially given how central to the case for war WMDs were back before the invasion began. For another while I have respect for bloggers being able to sift through complex information and analyze it. it is also those bloggers that actually have professional training/expertise in the respective fields that tend to be the best and most credible examples of such. Somehow I doubt that will be the case with this idiocy. Personally, I think this is simply another way to hope that claims made that blogger X found evidence Y about weapons Z will be taken without much scrutiny, especially by desperate war supporters floundering about for a threat lifeline from Saddam's Iraq to be able to respond to all the criticisms and the ever increasing majority belief of Americans that the threat was way overhyped and that the Bush Administration was far less than honest with them about this threat. After all the Bush Trolletariat few remaining talking points on this issue are so stale and discredited they are useless to all but the most devoted members of the cult of personality surrounding GWB with his most hardcore base. Given the damage of the lack of WMDs for American intelligence credibility internationally it would also help perceptions there is real evidence was found, and even if bad evidence is found it can be spun as further anti-American knee jerk rejectionism when it is rightly dismissed for the nonsense bad information by definition is.

For that matter one would expect these records to be in Arabic and not English, so if they are translated then it would appear that the translators never noticed these WMD smoking gun everyone in the Administration has been looking for the last three years now. If they are not translated I have to wonder how many Americans can even read Arabic let alone do so fluently and clearly, which in turn makes mistranslation and the risk of false evidence being presented as new proof of the nonexistent WMDs existence and their ultimate fate. According to the article linked there will be English summaries for each Arabic page. Wouldn't those that created these summaries have noticed if there was any WMD related material let alone a smoking gun when they created these summaries? Come on now.

What is really disturbing though is the admission by Bushco that the intelligence services which post 9/11/01 were supposed to be massively improved and resources beefed up is still this incapable of doing this kind of work so far down the road from when they first got the documents. Given the priority finding WMDs had to have had within the Administration and the intelligence services the last three years it is mindboggling that bloggers are being asked to do work that rightly should already have been done by the American intelligence services. So why couldn't they do the work in house? This also shows a serious lack of faith in these intelligence services by the Congress (I originally typoed this to Coingress, I almost let it stand given how corrupt this GOP Congress has shown itself to be, especially for pay to play politics), even those responsible for chairing Congressional intelligence oversight committees. Not exatly something the American people should be pleased to be hearing and seeing this long after 9/11/01. If this is a serious plea for help it is also aiding the terrorists by giving them insight into just how poorly to this day the American intelligence services are doing in keeping up with translating and sifting through any and all documents and other information sources these groups may be using. If this is not a serious plea for help than it can only be a media strategy to help try and minimize the GOP losses in the Congress that appear to be coming this November, in no small part because of Bush's Iraq policy and his subsequent bungling and incompetence in its execution.

Not to mention the question as to how complete these records are and whether they were also cherrypicked like prewar intelligence clearly was to make the best possible case for the Administration. It is important to know the context in this matter, because if there are documents missing which run counter to the ones being released, well then one is looking at yet another attempt to mislead and deceive. So I am very much inclined to see this as yet another media stunt more than anything else. Although I will admit both politically for Bush and in general putting this sort of information into the public domain is good transparency in action, which is especially important for Bush's image since he and his Administration have been seen as one of the most opaque and non-transparent governments in American history. The problem though is that this is not something that is practiced by Bushco unless it helps them politically or because they have no other choice for one reason or another. It is not indicative of any sudden change in thinking regarding increasing transparency and public access to American government information and documentation, especially not after the last five years of massive increased classification of everything possible. This I should add started well before 9/11/01, so trying to claim that is the reason for it simply doesn't fly. While 9/11/01 did create a situation where some additional classification was clearly appropriate the manner in which that has been extended well beyond the point of recognition of any connection to these valid areas makes it clear that this Administration opposes transparency and openness to the public as much as it can get away with, whether it is legal or not.


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