Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first president to take office in the Age of Terrorism. He inherited two struggles — one with Al Qaeda and its ideological allies, and another that divides his own country over issues like torture, prosecutions, security and what it means to be an American. The first has proved to be complicated and daunting. The second makes the first look easy.
Eight years into the war, the U.S. intelligence community is only “marginally relevant” to the overall mission in Afghanistan, a senior intelligence official for the international forces wrote in a report released less than a week after seven CIA employees died in a suicide attack.
The overhaul announced Monday will broaden the scope of intelligence gathering from hunting down extremists to gathering information about local attitudes, concerns, people and leaders as part of an effort to win over the Afghan population.
Officials in the Obama White House are considering the possibility that the Christmas day attempt by Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Mutallab to blow up an airliner about to land in Detroit was deliberately and intentionally facilitated by unnamed networks inside the US intelligence community. This was the gist of a report by Richard Wolffe delivered in this evening’s edition of cable network MSNBC’s Countdown program, hosted by Keith Olbermann: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#34694889.
Phi Beta Iota: The US IC is a complex mess, and nothing now planned will fix it because all cosmetic fixes that leave the “base” untouched (this is a deliberate pun) leave the original legacy culture, mind-set, incapacity, and lack of accountability “as is.” Webster Griffin Tarpley is a distinguished historian, his last piece is much more speculative than the original source warrants (in last half of the cited tape), but he's on to something. Ed Landsdate introduced the US IC to staged terror events as a routine means of advancing US agendas, never mind the collateral damage or the strategic immorality of the same. We know one thing for certain: Obama is not being told the truth; has no one advising him that actually knows how to fix the US IC; and is ultimately going to fail as President because he and his staff are incapable of getting a grip on reality–they lack a strategic analytic model; a truth-telling IC; and a non-partisan commitment to the public interest.