EU Intelligence - Too Many Cooks
Washington, DC -- Mar 15th, 2005 --- Over the past four years or so many European MEP's have suggested to us that Europe would benefit from a better private, unbiased Intel Briefing organization, especially to brief the MEP's. They are impressed with our mix of media and intelligence. I must agree with that.
Then the conversation usually goes downhill from that point. Where could this venture be located, and what languages of the Member States will be used to produce the multi-lingual output? Suggestions range from Portugal to depressed areas in places we can't pronounce without help. It's difficult enough producing timely Intelligence Briefings in one language, our own, but to expect fluent translations to not offend the sensitivities of smaller Euro members is a little restricting.
At ComLinks and Intel Briefing we have often incurred the wrath of US authorities by calling events virtually real time. The reason is that the world is copied in Washington, New York and London, and we track information utilizing the largest language cluster in the intelligence world, English. Chances are the Americans and the Brits have everything you need to know, somewhere. Either to impress US buyers, on academic studies, floating around the political, corporate and financial world, or on the millions of web sites in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, German and even French don't have that pool of information waiting to be conveniently tapped.
Intelligence is very time sensitive, if for no other reason than once out there it is often quickly modified, or deleted at source. The EU with it's cumbersome multi-lingual protocol driven bureaucracy does not lend itself to "following the bouncing ball" except by following memos in triplicate, with copies sent to both Strasbourg and Brussels.
Old wounds have not fully healed, and there are long memories in Europe, as opposed to the short attention span in the USA. Here 1950 furniture is considered antique. In 1999 when Aventis was created in the pharmaceutical world we heard again from many of our EuroSpooks about how the original company ran Auschwitz, and again in 2004 when Sanofi merged with Aventis, even though they are now predominantly French in nature. But then again the EuroSpooks have a sense of history, and know where the Nazi industrialists got their retirement jobs when the dust had settled.
In the USA you can freely analyze and report anything you want. True, lawsuits are thrown around like confetti, but companies risk us putting the details of the lawsuits on the wire and bringing their dirty linen into the public arena. Europe on the other hand likes companies to be faithful to the party line, and deal with respectable establishment approved institutions. No renegade ideas that will rock the boat. The crazy defamation laws protect the criminals and guilty from the media and investigation. That is very true in the UK, although smart companies are realizing that you can no more trust Whitehall as you can trust Washington, DC. Unless of course you are a multinational with seats on the board for key politicians. Lately the US intelligence services have made sure the UK uses their brand of intelligence and their spin on events.
That may be well and good on military and political intelligence, but when it comes to corporate and economic intelligence the US is very poor at looking after the corporate world. That is except US defense contractors, who have a "Special relationship" with the revolving door of government and intelligence, as have the pharmaceutical and oil industries.
The US capitalist economic model is beginning to fail as it is stranding more and more middle class without a living wage, whilst creating a pampered rich ruling class to rival Louis XVI. With uncontrollable immigration from the south topping 10% of the overall population and growing, the ability of the majority to live the "American Dream" is fading rapidly. The communist economic model crashed in 1991 and a socialist Greater Europe is beginning the slow process of healing. Most brave predictions see serious problems in the US around 2025, about the time others see the potential of a deadly conflict with China. Either way Europe needs to create it's own eyes and ears for economic survival.
But learn the lessons from Intelligence failures in US industry, they are mirror images of the US Intelligence failures in military and political ventures. The top people believe their own invincibility and won't listen to any scenario that doesn't fit with their own views. The powerful use their corrupt power to short circuit the system, and ensure their own financial and economic benefits will be huge when regulators look the other way. It's a sad indictment on the US political system, which had such promise in the beginning. If the founding fathers of this great nation could see Clinton, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld they would surely reconsider their Constitution.
The US is hugely successful in collecting data and information, and not so hot in analyzing and acting on that analysis. Even George Bush said in public the intelligence on Iraq from the CIA was flawed, and instead took notice of the totally fabricated party line created by the Office of Special Plans, the renegade outfit under Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Now if these fake intelligence units can be created to skew policy with their fabrications, and result in thousands being slaughtered, how reliable is low priority economic guidance for private companies. For a case study look at Rumsfeld and the pharmaceutical industry, and how he steamrolled the FDA into approving drugs and sweetners despite highly visible side effects. Deja Vu with the invasion of Iraq.
What this should tell the rest of the world is that US politicians can be bought! They may have been bought and paid for well before they move into the high offices of State, so the carefully crafted ethics checks leave them appearing clean. Sadly few Americans understand background research, or political intelligence, instead believing the political messages rammed at them in television commercials.
That again is all well and good for the masses, but hardly a basis for investing the farm on a project, especially overseas.
Unfortunately Britain is being sucked into the political cesspit of manufactured intelligence to meet an agenda that is alien to the British character. That is a stumbling block for a British led European Intelligence operation. Britain and Europe have some hard choices to make if they want to avoid the painful pitfalls that lay ahead for the United States, they had better start planning now.