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« Why else has Kentucky avoided attacks thus far? | Main | Elm and Cornwallis rezoning meeting »

Dec 02, 2008


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1. No coincidence---between their amazing discovery and absence of terror on our soil since 9-11, and
2. Damn good thing---in light of today's Washington Post terror assessment . Do you think Obama will thank Bush that in addition to a wrecked economy, he won't be inheriting a neglected national security apparatus?

Roger Greene

"for a world in which technology allowed near-perfect information flow, enabling the president to make accurate, black-and-white calls about whether that threat exists." I don't know if that's the author's assessment or his portrayal of the administration's viewpoint. Either way, it's ludicrous to assume the technology is giving you 'near perfect' information. It's an old adage, but 'consider the source'. Just because you can get misinformation or skewed information at warp speed doesn't enhance the quality of that information. That doesn't discredit all the information either.

Giltheganymede youre thinking like an epistemocrat.


"accurate, black-and-white calls about whether that threat exists"

Ed Cone

RG, don't forget the following lines: "Instead, in its first application to a real-life conflict, the debate turned into an endless feedback loop, reinforcing faulty assumptions. People talked about how many days would be required to get to Baghdad, not whether the evidence for invasion was good enough, or the possibility that the occupation would go awry."

Technical perfection is a goal, but no matter how close you get to it, you're still screwed if it's not part of a sound overall strategy and subject to rigorous analysis.



Did you catch Ed's title to this post ?

What does it mean to you ? Do you, or family, have active duty experience.

Here'sa piece to a search string of 'risk analysis of being terrorist victim".

Some snips from that article:
In the next 12 months, 120 times more Americans will die of heart disease than died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

But risk perception is a matter of emotion more than rational factual analysis.

The electorate's emotions are played like a violin to further corporate business, in my not so humble opinion.


So it would take about 120 more 9-11's to REALLY get your attention. Well I think there's a fairly large concerted effort going on to prevent heart disease, too. So what were we supposed to do, decrease the size of the national security apparatus after 9-11 just to show you calm factual analytical pundits that we're not over-reacting to irrational fear? Try selling that strategy to Isreal. And God forbid anyone ever make a profit from strengthening national defense. And WTF does it matter whether I've served active duty? No one told me this was a war vets-only forum.

Ed Cone

One 9/11 was more than enough, thanks. But look at the chart linked in the post -- we spend an amount on defense that's hard to correlate with actual, y'know, defense, especially against terrorism.

Also, the correlation between the government bureaucracy discussed in the post and actual results has not been established.

As the passage highlighted in this thread by RG suggests, successful policies require more than technology and equipment.

Profits are fine. Profiteering, and programs that spend tax dollars needlessly, less so.

Eisenhower knew what he was talking about when he warned of a military-industrial complex.



LOL ! My, my aren't you sensitive ! To think I was going to ask about your age !

I was merely looking for elements in your experience that would allow effective dialog.

Speaking of which, I think Ed's reply is quite effective !


ed; thanx four finely crackin dowme own the spellin inn hear


Yeah, sometimes I get a little thrown off, thinking someone is actually serious vs just trying to get a rise out of somebody. However, on the off-chance that you ARE a veteran, I would hate to miss the opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude for your service to my country, regardless of how foolish I might appear to you if you are not.

Graham Shevlin

cheripicker, engaging in hyperbole and sarcasm is not an argument. It simply makes you look like a smartass. Care to try again?


Don't forget slogans and platitudes. I'm just taking what the guy said at face value. I don't know him well enough to do otherwise. Apparently you think you know me well enough to. Ed, I can't say you didn't warn me, these guys are vicious!



Just for the record, re: "war vets-only forum" there are other types of vets, i.e. peace time vets.

gratitude is not the issue, either.

Depending on your computer literacy level, you might want to search on some of Ed's points like maybe Eisenhower and the 'military-industrial complex' phrase.


.....wait , for the slow amongst us, am i hearing that Obama should send Osama a whole bunch of frozen healthy choice meals?( may i suggest blackened chicken or beef tips portobello?) I think we should send him a smapling of the finest halal brisket from texas..on a serious note kudos to Obama-emmanuel for keeping gates on.... the most significant move yet!


Sorry. Didn't mean to be exclusive in defining vets. But can't gratitude be an "issue" here if I choose to express it? Also it seems that sarcasm is noticed here only when it comes from one particular side of the political spectrum.


errr, significant ?

How - to repeal the Patriot Act, stop domestic eaves dropping, ? - yeah, I'm being facetious !

Really, could you provide some substance to that cherished opinion ?


ok...substance huh? well picture any military sh-t storm, like when our butt is still in iraq 2 years from will be gates fault.. he will be paraded out as a reminder of bush2 ....remember the main point of a honeymoon is that everyone gets i said this move smells like a RAHMa dom a ding dong


Surge Gates is the guy for me. Then Hillary Hawk, Yesiree. Throw in a neocon for ol' VeePee. Presto, change-o, in the new DeeCee? WTF


Let us not forget the Great Cynic's definiton of change: Trading a devil you are familiar with for a devil you don't really know.


Bobthesurgeon: At this stage of honeymoon, ---kfest, groupgrope or debauch for change, wollowing in the wet spot is part of the ritual. When the rash arrives, the stickers come off the Volvos first, then the new doodlebugs. Wait..I take that back. There are still some Bush/Cheney and W stickers out there on pickup trucks with rifle racks.


BZLBBA: ya mean they didnt paper over W with " I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands"? an observation: 1)people driving volvos donating money to the big three: do as i say not as i do? Thats as misguided as telling certain rednecks ( or bluenecks) that the tax system is actually voluntary.......

Dave Ribar

In The Limits of Power, Andrew Bacevich observes that much of this additional infrastructure was developed to work around the existing military and intelligence agencies because they weren't trusted by the administration and weren't producing answers to its liking. He also points out that Bush 43 wasn't the first to do this.

Bacevich also points out that these changes don't make us safer but instead are disfunctional and costly.

Ed Cone

Dave, you and your fancy books can't change the fact that asking questions about enormous military spending and bureaucratic growth equal capitulation to the turrists.

Lean, smart, and responsive are just code words for surrender. Eisenhower was an agent of jihad.

Jeffrey Sykes

+1 to Ribar for quoting Bacevich.

That book is a blue print for the future and I encourage everyone to read it. It is less than 200 pages.

Lean, smart, and responsive are just code words for surrender

From a "former US Navy officer (Lt, USNR)" at Sic Semper Tyrannis regarding responsive as in weapons systems:

I do, however, have one observation; in all most likelihood, not unlike the funding the Army deals with, where the focus is on major weapons systems more in line with conventional battlefield doctrine, vs. budget for a single infantry soldier’s gear, the Navy’s budget still remains heavily oriented towards systems more in line with fighting blue water adversaries such as the former Soviet Navy using Carrier battlegroups (and a submarine force whose number of hulls far exceeds the threat) than against small and medium craft using covert tactics. The Navy, in my time (‘80 to ‘87), little focused on the kinds of warfare needed to counter today’s piracy, especially in such distant waters. Applying big blue water solutions to zodiac-boat equipped pirates is a mismatch of solution to problem similar to the one you have pointed up quite well in regards to applying battlefield armies to terrorism which is essentially an intelligence-blackops-law enforcement job. Our blue water warships and the Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) are well trained but not much trained for this kind of mission. I’m not even sure we have many small medium-range surface platforms (such as hydrofoil and like equipments which would be part of solution) available in the region if at all in the fleet.


it boils down to the age old joke:
1)Q: what is the definition of a democrat?
A: Someone who has just been mugged

2) Q: What is the definition of a republican?
A: Someone who has just been arrested

Amazing how simple definitions are best.... I do feel more secure when a maniac like W is watching over me...just as long as the other maniacs think he is capable of more maniacal behavior than they are....


I thought a democrat talked about the chirruns while they made government larger and republicans talk about making government smaller while they make government larger.

Amazing how simple definitions are best

For simple models, certainly. Ideology that is the product of this US 2 party system exists quite comfortably in that sort of model.

One can see the consequences of that sort of thinking e.g. making people into 'the other'.


In summary, this post is about how the electorate is being manipulated for vested interests purposes.

This source is Sic Semper Tyrannis.

I was lucky enough to have Dr. Silverman in a class I taught a while back. He has returned the favor by today sending me two short papers on The recent WMD report and the Mumbai attacks...Adam L. Silverman, PhD is a Social Science Advisor with the US Army's Human Terrain System ...

Dr. Silverman's WMD link

Some snips from that link:

On December 3, 2008 the Graham/Talent Commission released a new report on the potential threat of Chemical, Biological, and/or Radiological(CBR) terrorism. While I agree with many of the commission’s recommendations, especially the one's about reducing the social and structural roots of terrorism around the world and increasing security at labs.
And I strongly recommend that everyone read it for themselves and form their own opinions. All of that said the report has some serious flaws and these seem to be largely overlooked in all the sensational play that the report is getting on the news...There is nowhere in the text any explanation of how this forecasting is being done and the conclusions being arrived at ... As Professor Mueller at Ohio State has demonstrated and argued in his excellent book, entitled Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them, the probability of being caught in a conventional terrorist attack is very, very low (actually one is more likely to be killed by one's bath tub - someone actually ran the numbers). Given an n of 20 cases of actual Biological and Chemical events, the real probability is even lower - almost zero ... The media, of course, has worked itself into a lather and will spend the next several news cycles doing its best to scare you all into tuning in and watching more of the frightening predictions for yourself...
Ken Larson


While we observe Wall Street go through an implosion and our lawmakers mortgage the future of America with the associated bailout, let us keep an eye on another adjacent and related tower with a weak foundation, teetering dangerously in the wind. The Military Industrial Complex (MIC) is also subject to bad decision-making by misinformed and manipulated government officials.


Congress has just funded the MIC for the next fiscal year at only slightly less than the one-time 700B necessary to bail out the US Financial catastrophe. The Pentagon now burns 60 cents of every tax dollar. The MIC is monumentally dangerous and has led our country into a continuing series of costly, fraudulent wars since Korea. Eisenhower forecasted the danger in his departing speech:

The most recent MIC adventure is being fought in the memory of 3,000 dead civilians attacked by a terrorist the US created by not leaving the Middle East after the first Gulf War. That excursion has killed thousands of our finest youth and maimed the lives of countless others. The average American will pay for this ruin in decades to come through taxes supporting hospital care, social services and veteran's homes.


I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 misguided years working in the defense industrial complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. Given a clearly defined mission and the best armaments and systems in the world, I believed that another Vietnam could be avoided for the American Soldier.

I was wrong.

I live in a Veteran's home, having recently undergone treatment through the VA for PTSD and Depression, long overdue some 40 years after the Tet Offensive that cap stoned my military 2nd tour in Southeast Asia with a lifetime of illness:

Politicians make no difference. I saw this on a daily basis from inside the MIC. The real power in the massive machine is vested in people that never go away, are not elected or appointed and stay for 40 years, training their replacements carefully in the details that no newcomer can fully grasp and manage in 4 years in office.


It is corrupt and driven by corporate influence:

It is broken and riddled with incompetence:


The MIC, like Wall Street, will go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous. The situation will right itself through yet another trauma.

A government ENRON is on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning. The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. They will try to fix the financial mess and become pawns of corporate America in widening our military influence attempting to mend corporate bank accounts. But the MIC tower will implode as well - the next big event in government you will watch is the collapse of that establishment.


Non-profit visionaries and small business know the course that must be taken and they are taking it:

These "Action People" are not in our government. They are more practical than that. They are the communicators, the true venture capitalists setting up worldwide non-profit foundations (Gates and Buffet for example). They are like the Bill Moyers, perpetually exposing waste fraud and abuse and then going one step further to fix it from the inside. They are the young inspirational members of the small business base in this country that will be tasked with picking up the pieces and re-inventing the future so our government can follow along.

As a volunteer counselor, handling 30 cases a week through SCORE I see every form of unique small business inventiveness imaginable - efficiently created, using technology to the max and not seeking financing to the hilt - only the opportunity to succeed:

The US GDP is still the largest in the world.

Our high technology cannot be matched.

We have enough weapons systems and science to beat all our competitors and solve our problems.

We need to come home.


men will grow weary of liberty ~Mussolini

We have enough weapons systems and science to beat all our competitors and solve our problems.

And who would be so foolish as to pull a 'home invasion' on the US ?

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