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Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.


United States Second Presidential Debate

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
That's actually a very valid point. The CIA kinda sucks at the actual intelligence gathering part of being an Intelligence Agency. They're much more interested in wetwork and strange schemes.
And whose to say the CIA people weren't the ones killed? They always have "front" jobs to hide who they really are. Hard to get info when the people who get you that info are dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
Actually if anything they are too invested in technological intelligence (communications monitoring and satelite surveilance) and not enough in building human intelligence networks. In a place like Libya I suspect the opposite configuration holds true. So if you post a fake protest to facebook while you meet clandestinely in large crowds to plan the actual attack, the CIA is helpless...
...yes...yes...yes!

*begins taking notes with evil laugh*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
That's actually a very valid point. The CIA kinda sucks at the actual intelligence gathering part of being an Intelligence Agency. They're much more interested in wetwork and strange schemes.
Based solely on intelligence effectiveness, the KGB would have won the Cold War hands down.

The inevitable Taiwanese take-down of the Prez debate...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Qb4UHFlzvpo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
That's actually a very valid point. The CIA kinda sucks at the actual intelligence gathering part of being an Intelligence Agency. They're much more interested in wetwork and strange schemes.
Agreed. It was true during the Bush years, and it hasn't changed since then (can't say anything about the period of time prior to then, as I was in elementary school and not paying attention to such things).

The biggest problem with the CIA (and other intelligence agencies) is that you need agents in place. Technical information gathering brings in lots of raw data, then you need to hire analysts to massage the data to gain what you're looking for, then you have people analyse the analyses to ensure that what is found is real, and not just an artifact of the analyst's obsession with finding patterns (which is a step that was missed in the past). And in all this, you have administrators who want to be hands-on, to feel like they control what's happening.
The big problem is that while you can control technical means, you can't control human intelligence gathering. That delivers results when they occur, not to a schedule. So administrators start off biased toward technical means. Budgets for human intel are a lot less cut and dried than technical. That's another negative for administrators. Human intel specialists tend to follow the rules of where they are (or else they tend to stick out) rather than the rules of the country paying the bills. Accountants and administrators usually react to budget lines such as bribery and other, less savory details the way vampires react to crosses. End result: human intel gets cut back, technical means picks up the slack.
And then something goes wrong, and the people on the ground are too thinly spread to get the information that is demanded. And the technical means specialists are incapable of knowing what a group of guys they've never heard of are saying to each other in places where they have no way of picking up their voices. All the intelligence gathering focus is on areas where there is nothing to pick up. Sure, given a few days and a 24-hour emergency tasking, they might be able to analyse all of the data take from an area and have some ideas of who said what to who via telephone or messaging system - but that's too late to prevent it.
The problem is systemic. There are too many chiefs who want too much control, too many technical specialists bringing in too much information for the analysts to process in a timely manner, and too few field operatives to do all that needs to be done out in the real world. The KGB could do it because they didn't have as much oversight or anywhere near the level of administrative control and demands for proper procedures as the CIA, and nowhere near as much focus on technical means. They had oversight, but looked more at the results, not the means used to achieve them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkaelis View Post
[*]Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, and her running mate were arrested outside the debate grounds, after they were denied access. I suppose corporate America can't deal with there being more than two voices heard in the "political discourse". She held an impromptu press release, calling the debate a "mockery of democracy"

[*]Several members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (My own party.) were at the site, protesting the lack of third party presence in the debates, but there was no media coverage of it.
Couldn't your Greens debate vs. Party for Socialism and Liberation and place everything on Youtube? Assuming that there would be so high demand for their views they would be easily accessible there. Or if they have too close views with each other, get another guy outside the mainstream like a libertarian supporting legal weed? (I've heard that the US had, at least previously, an utra-religious candidate supporting reintroducing prohibition, maybe you should try bring him too) That should solve problem of lack of competing, alternative visions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
Or maybe he had better intel on what was going on *in his own country* than we did. And perhaps we decided not to just take his word for it because he obviously wasn't going to say "the people have spoken, we are at war over this film". International intelligence and diplomacy is never as clear cut as the opposition would paint it when talking about intelligence failures.
So...
Your argument is he knew what was going on in his country better than we did, and that's why we shouldn't take his word for it?
How about our own reports coming out of the situation? How about alternative media reports coming from the situation? The only ones I saw talking about the video were mainstream media outlets and other journalists too lazy to dig up anything beyond the immediately obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
That's actually a very valid point. The CIA kinda sucks at the actual intelligence gathering part of being an Intelligence Agency. They're much more interested in wetwork and strange schemes.
I wasn't laughing with you when I read this. I think you've watched a little too many movies.

It's really hilarious to watch people who have no idea what they're talking about discussing the CIA and operational intelligence.
HUMINT is crap - anyone who's done something besides armchair quarterback operations knows that. HUMINT is nothing but unverified gossip - you wanna talk about wading through a flood of worthless data, try collecting from locals. SIGINT is sometimes good. Sometimes. From my own experience (receiving, not collecting - I'm not one of the secret squirrels), HUMINT will tell you everything and anything under the sun is true. SIGINT will get you a tiny fraction of the picture, and it might not be outdated. Intelligence operations are neither easy nor simple.

Oh, wow, jingoism from Solaris. How shocking. So a competent intelligence organ provides false intel on a nation as a pretext for war, misses the signs of the biggest terrorist attack in US history, misses the signs of the breakup of their biggest and most scrutinized enemy, singlehandedly alienates nations with clandestine wars, launches a utter farce of an invasion of another nation and has been regarded with distrust by administrations ranging in caliber from Nixon to Eisenhower? You sure have oddly low standards. But I guess all you need for perfection is just some stars and an eagle on the logo.

I would have made a similar argument about any intelligence agency's activities. Your personal attack is invalid.





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