Sunday, April 10, 2005
Even before the latest budget-bloating ''reforms,'' the U.S. government was spending $30 billion annually on intelligence, and in return its intelligence agencies got everything wrong. British and French intelligence also get a lot of things wrong, but they get them wrong on far smaller budgets. One of the great sub-plots of the post-9/11 world is the uselessness of ''experts,'' the guys who get unlimited budgets to run 24/7 agencies devoted to their areas of expertise. What's startling about the glimpses we get of CIA operations -- that red-hot presidential briefing from August 2001, Joseph C. Wilson IV's non-fact-finding mission to Niger -- is how generalized it all is: Anybody who watches cable news or reads an occasional foreign paper would know as much.
How about if that $30 billion was allocated to, say, a program for subsidized bicycling helmets for grade-schoolers or some other federal boondoggle, and they bulldozed Langley, and gave the CIA director 20,000 bucks to put all his agency's global ''analysis'' up on a blog -- spook.com -- and invite comments from readers around the world? It couldn't possibly be less informed than the CIA's decades-long record of incompetence in the Middle East. U.S. intelligence needs a fresh start, and short of buying ol' Sandypants a larger pair of trousers and getting him to smuggle out every single classified document, it's not clear how it's ever going to get it.I didn't notice when Steyn came back from his hiatus, but I am very glad he's back.
Links to this post:
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]