Winds of Change Net
by Dan Darling at December 21, 2004 09:09 AM
Back during the Cold War, the rule with intelligence was, “If it’s sensational, don’t believe it.” Of course, back then we were fighting something resembling a rational enemy, whereas these days it seems like we’re reliving the plots of far too many bad novels. I’ve got half a mind to recommend that they open up US intelligence to all of these comic book geeks who keep track of every detail of their favorite characters online. They, at least, could remember all of these damned names.
- Former senior US intelligence official in conversation to me, circa July 2004
As some of you already know, last weekend I was at a counter-terrorism conference in New York City at the behest of my patrons, who were nice enough to fly me out there and for the purposes of me posting on the Internet would prefer to remain anonymous, if for nothing else than so they can plausibly deny everything they say I’ve also been finishing finals and watching the extended edition of The Return of the King, so I apologize in advance for the number of Tolkien references that are likely to be used here.
The conference’s attendees included a wide variety of law enforcement, intelligence, military or former military, and think tank types from pretty much across the ideological spectrum and I learned a great deal both from the presentations and in conversation. None of the information that was shared at the conference was classified or anything like that, and I have my own doubts (and in some cases extreme disagreement) about some of what was said. Still, I figure that this may all be valuable to you, perhaps because it runs against some of what I have argued.