Reference: IC-Zilla Epitaph

03 Economy, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Commerce, Corruption, DHS, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), DoD, Government, Law Enforcement, Media Reports, Military, True Cost

The Final Word from a Three-Agency SIS

28 July 2010

In my opinion the Washington Post series that exposed the exponential increase in the size and cost of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) was not taken seriously by official Washington and is considered a minor nuisance. That is why the only response to the series, as crafted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), was largely vintage intelligence agency boilerplate with a few bizarre additions such as the claim that the collection and analysis of intelligence are not essential government functions of intelligence agencies and so can be left to contractor personal. The series did not merit a serious response in the thinking of the Executive Branch and Intelligence Community.

In fact the series, although much touted, was a huge disappointment to readers expecting a more deeply researched and in-depth look at the IC. Clearly the craft of investigative journalism has fallen on hard times.

Also it is the case that in this country quantity always trumps quality. The growth in the size of the Intelligence Community is taken by official Washington as a priori evidence of the value it has provided since 9/11. The facts that the current IC is ruinously expensive to operate, is producing largely worthless intelligence, and has frequently failed even in the most basic warning functions are irrelevant. A bloated IC serves as ‘proof’ that political Washington is serious about protecting American citizens from terrorist threats. As with quantity, in the political arena form always trumps substance.

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Reference: Foreign Policy in Focus–South Asia

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Articles & Chapters, Media Reports

Strategic Focus: South Asia

Boats in Bangladesh. Photo credit: Ahron de Leeuw.

Home to well over one-fifth of the population, South Asia continues to be a hotbed of conflict and upheaval. Human rights abuses, the war in Afghanistan, and climate change all present critical challenges to the region and to U.S. foreign policy. In our new focus, FPIF contributors examine current obstacles and future solutions in South Asia.

U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan is built on two coups, one in Kabul and the other in Islamabad, writes Shibil Siddiqi in Obama's Surge and Pakistan.

The AfPak Train Wreck: Conn Hallinan says that the president's goals in escalating the war in Afghanistan are deeply flawed. Just ask the Russians.

Adil Shamoo, in Nation-Building in Afghanistan, writes that the United States can learn from the mistakes made in Iraq to craft a new approach for that country.

Robert Naiman, in ‘Legitimacy' in Afghanistan, points out that escalation has just brought more death and destruction. More escalation could close off opportunities for a political solution.

Much of the Afghanistan debate has been centered in the U.S. But what do Afghans think? Gabriela Campos interviews Mariam Nawabi in Underlying Causes of Security in Afghanistan.

Reference: Are Hackers Pioneers with the Right Stuff or Criminal Pathological Scum? Mitch Kabay Reprises

03 Economy, 04 Education, 10 Transnational Crime, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Ethics, Hacking, ICT-IT, InfoOps (IO), Law Enforcement, Media Reports, Methods & Process, Mobile, Real Time, Technologies

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Why Criminal Hackers Must Not Be Rewarded
Part 1: The Fruit of the Poisoned Tree

By M. E. Kabay, 11/30/2009

In 1995, I participated in a debate with distinguished security expert Robert D. Steele, a vigorous proponent of open-source intelligence. We discussed the advisability of hiring criminal hackers. Perhaps readers will find the polemic I published back then of interest today. I’m sure it will provoke vitriolic comments from the criminal hacker community.

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Reference: Berto Jongman Recommends

05 Civil War, 09 Terrorism, Media Reports, Monographs
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

Today's recommendaitons:

Who's who in the Somali insurgency: A Reference Guide

Interview with Maajid Nawaz:Becoming a Muslim Radical

New Quilliam report: British prisons are incubating Islamist extremism

Selected Translation of the LIFG Recantation Document

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field. Antonio Giustozzi gathers a renowned cast of journalists, experts, and academics to answer the most pressing questions regarding the Taliban today. Each contributor possesses extensive knowledge of the insurgency's latest developments, decoding its structure and organization as it operates within specific regions and provinces. They analyze the new Taliban as it expands, from the mature south, where they hold sway, to the southeast, where they struggle to penetrate, from the west and northeast, now in the initial stages of infiltration, to the provinces surrounding Kabul, which have been unexpectedly and quickly occupied.

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Empires of Mud: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007. Warlords are charismatic leaders who exploit weak authorities to gain control of subnational areas. Nevertheless, warlords do in fact participate in state formation, and this book considers the dynamics of warlordism within the context of such debates. Antonio Giustozzi begins with aspects of the Afghan environment that are conducive to the fragmentation of central authority and the emergence of warlords. He then accounts for the phenomenon from the 1980s to today, considering Afghanistan's two foremost warlords, Ismail Khan and Abdul Rashid Dostum, along with their political, economic, and military systems of rule.

Journal: China 8, USA 0

02 China, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Media Reports, Policies, Threats, Topics (All Other), Worth A Look
Full Op-Ed Online
Full Op-Ed Online
Phi Beta Iota: First, tip of the hat to the  New York Times for open persistent URLs.   Bravo! We strongly recommend a reading of the entire piece at the NYT website. Shame on the USA for not living up to the Founding Father's aspirations for a wise government and an engaged public.  No one now working for the White House can recite the ten high-level threats, the twelve core policies that must be harmonized, or the eight demographic challengers–including China–who we should be helping devise the World Brain with embedded EarthGame.  US voters are slow to anger, but that anger will rise in 2010 and crest in 2012.
Op-Ed Contributor:  Eight Idas Behind China's Success

By ZHANG WEI-WEI, Published: September 30, 2009

EXTRACT:  Critics of China like to claim that despite its economic success, the country has no “big ideas” to offer. But to this author, it is precisely big ideas that have shaped China’s dramatic rise. Here are eight such ideas:

1. Seeking truth from facts.

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Reference: Global Outlook Special on False Flag Operations

9-11 Truth Books & DVDs, Ethics, Media Reports, Policy, Reform
Global Outlook on False Flag Operations
Global Outlook on False Flag Operations

Here to the side is the cover of an extraordinary and appropriately titled Collector's Edition of Global Outlook, Issue 13 Annual 2009.  We consider it the New Age counterpart to the first Whole Earth Catlog, a non-violent alternative to the Aranrchist Cookbook.

As with most publications where passion is paramount, we retain a reserve of caution on perhaps 20% of the content, but the other 80% is not only truthful content, it is truthful content not available from any government or media source that has been artfully and intelligently integrated from a vast array of non-fiction sources.

Sub-titled Prescription for a World in Crisis, this volume has seven parts and a resource guide, the parts focusing on the invisible government; historic patterns of deception, why 9/11 was a false flag operation; why so many cannot see through the official lies; Swine Flue Vacinations and Internet Censorship (or Shut-Down as potential operations; other strategies of the invisible government; and a guide to surviving the global crisis.

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Journal: Rolling Stone on Sick and Wrong (Washington Corruption, Health Care Example)

Ethics, Legislation, Media Reports, Reform

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

SICK and WRONG: How Washington is Screwing Up Health Care Reform – and Why It May Take a Revolt to Fix It

Matt Taibbi

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Let's start with the obvious: America has not only the worst but the dumbest health care system in the developed world. It's become a black leprosy eating away at the American experiment – a bureaucracy so insipid and mean and illogical that even our darkest criminal minds wouldn't be equal to dreaming it up on purpose.

The system doesn't work for anyone. It cheats patients and leaves them to die, denies insurance to 47 million Americans, forces hospitals to spend billions haggling over claims, and systematically bleeds and harasses doctors with the specter of catastrophic litigation. Even as a mechanism for delivering bonuses to insurance-company fat cats, it's a miserable failure: Greedy insurance bosses who spent a generation denying preventive care to patients now see their profits sapped by millions of customers who enter the system only when they're sick with incurably expensive illnesses.

The cost of all of this to society, in illness and death and lost productivity and a soaring federal deficit and plain old anxiety and anger, is incalculable – and that's the good news. The bad news is our failed health care system won't get fixed, because it exists entirely within the confines of yet another failed system: the political entity known as the United States of America.

Just as we have a medical system that is not really designed to care for the sick, we have a government that is not equipped to fix actual crises. What our government is good at is something else entirely: effecting the appearance of action, while leaving the actual reform behind in a diabolical labyrinth of ingenious legislative maneuvers.  [Emphasis added.]






As Rolling Stone’s chief political reporter, Matt Taibbi's predecessors include the likes of journalistic giants Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke. Taibbi's 2004 campaign journal Spanking the Donkey cemented his status as an incisive, irreverent, zero-bullshit reporter. His latest collection is Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire