Friday, November 25, 2005

It's Funny When The CIA is Wrong

Popping my head up for a moment... I'm doing a bunch of research for an essay due... tomorrow. Anyway, just came across a funny article on intelligence failures. It starts with a Russian joke: "If you come across a Bulgarian on the street, beat him up. He'll know why."

I guess it works better if you've had a bottle of Stoly.

Also funny is this list of the CIA's admitted failures - important events that it failed to anticipate:
-The Likelihood of North Vietnam Intervention in South Vietnam
-The Likelihood of All-Out Soviet Support of Hanoi
-The Sino-Soviet Split
-The First Chinese Nuclear Test
-The Soviet ALFA-Class Submarine
-The OPEC Price Increase of December 1973
-Nicaragua (The Nature of Somozas Opposition)
Boy. And that's just what the CIA admitted to dropping the ball on in 1983. That doesn't include all the crap they've missed in the last quarter-century!

A cousin of mine has a saying - "The CIA only knows about the shit it starts." It's a good rule to remember.

(The article, if you're curious, is "Learning from Intelligence Failures", by John Hollister Hedley (International Journal of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, v. 18, p. 435-450))

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