Monday, January 29, 2007

Mythbusting

So I see the Republicans are once again beating the drums about Iran, and this time they're resorting to that old standby:
I would say is that the Commander-in-Chief in the United States... has to understand the information that he is given, the the vast — that the vast majority of which the American public do not have
You see, "it's classified." You don't know what they know, so your beliefs that:
1) Iran doesn't have the bomb.
2) Iran isn't getting the bomb anytime soon.
3) Therefore, there's no reason to bomb Iran for having The Bomb.
simply don't count.

Here's the thing. This is never true. Ever. The vast, vast majority of intelligence gathering is open-source, as in available through public documents or media. If I had a staff of thousands, I could probably do at least as good a job as the CIA.

Ah, but you say, "what about the Cuban missile crisis?" It's true that I don't have access to U2 or SR71 spyplanes (if only...) and thus cannot match the capabilities of the US Government when it comes to reconnaissance. But note what JFK actually did: he gathered clear, unequivocal evidence of what the USSR was doing in Cuba, and shared it with the world at the famous UN meeting. Meanwhile, proving that the second time really is farce, Colin Powell's presentation at the UN pre-Iraq was debunked whole hours after he finished speaking. Debunked, I hasten to add, by open sources.

So, very slowly children: If the government says it knows something you don't, and refuses to tell you what it is, the government is lying. Here endeth the lesson.

1 comment:

Croghan27 said...

"Meanwhile, proving that the second time really is farce, Colin Powell's presentation at the UN pre-Iraq was debunked whole hours after he finished speaking. Debunked, I hasten to add, by open sources."

and what a shame it was too see such an admirable man, a war hero and possible Presidential candidate blow his opportunities by missplaced loyality to his CinC.