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Liberals aren’t just “children”; they are very special children. I’m thinking perpetual
2-year-olds living in a permanent temper tantrum, stomping their way through life, looking for
successful things to kick, hit and dismember for their own momentary gratification.

This week it was the intelligence community’s turn to be between them and the checkout stand in the supermarket. The Washington Post, in a vastly overhyped “exposé” of intelligence agencies (“Top Secret World,” published in three parts July 19 through 21) found that “out of 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are
contractors.”

In fact, that’s the gist of WaPo’s three articles: “Gosh, there’s a lot of people with clearances; many of them are private contractors, and we don’t know what they do!”

Well, duh – that’s why it’s secret.

The sub-gist of the “exposé” is, “It would be so much better if they were all government
employees.”

But then, don’t most major (and failing) news agencies think their reporters and editors should be government employees, too? In fact, they probably think EVERYONE should be a government employee. Like most 2-year-olds, it never occurs to them who would actually pay for all this.

In the intelligence world, top-secret clearances are like dirty diapers: they are everywhere, and changed frequently. In that small part of the intelligence world that I for a time inhabited, we were occasionally required to store material that had been classified “top secret.” We were
required by law to store it with the material that we had generated and labeled “confidential.” There is always a classification level beyond what you know exists.

There are real problems with America’s intelligence agencies, both overt (such as search
engines) and covert (such as eavesdropping agencies). Unfortunately, the questions that need to be asked are adult questions.

America’s intelligence agencies are attempting to create a fictitious life for most Americans – one in which we are at war only in places like Iraq and Afghanistan; not America’s shopping malls, schools and churches. They and the politicians who ostensibly control them believe that the really dangerous plots can be monitored and broken up before they are actually executed.

They’ve been remarkably (although not completely) successful. But it is a false reality and one that requires ever-increasing levels of technological sophistication. It consumes money and people, both of which could perhaps be better deployed through astute policy choices – based on telling people the truth.

Technology is relentlessly pushing sophistication downward, and it is only a matter of time before that sophistication becomes available to our enemies at the lowest common denominator. All faux realities come stamped with a product pull date.

The other big problem is, who watches the watchers? With the massive amounts of data
collected on everyone, using it for personal gain becomes a real likelihood for those in power who lack moral and ethical restraint. I think that pretty much describes Washington, D.C., today.

The fiction can go on for a while, but in the end, there is always a price to be paid.

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