Making a Difference
Washington, DC. Jan 10th, 2006 ---- It seems there are many out there working to unseat Congressman Simmons, (R CT2) who I mentioned in my piece on "Strange Bedfellows" yesterday and question why I support his efforts in the Intelligence arena, especially concerning Open Source Intelligence. Today there has been no end of tips about campaign contributions, coming from Democrats no doubt.
It reminds me of the lines from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones" . The game of Washington politics is brutal and the accomplishments of a new inexperienced Member of Congress can be quickly wiped out by unwelcome and often biased media attention.
Congressman Simmons is standing up and using his extensive intelligence background to try and unravel the whole intolerable mess we know as the Intelligence community. How many more years can we continue with highly publicized intelligence failures. Critics point to the media feeding frenzy, just beginning over Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, and whilst the resignation or unseating of a couple of dozen Republican incumbents can't be bad for democracy it must not be allowed to be the only yardstick this summer.
It makes sense that we closely watch the Senate and House for anything, and everything concerning intelligence, terrorism and especially Open Source Intelligence. These reforms are essential for our future, but many, or most are stalled and we are heading for another major Intelligence Failure. It is crucial that the key players embrace all the initiatives, as well as reach out to the media to ensure full public (read voters) understanding of their goals, and progress. For it is in the media interface that America, and the intelligence community has it's worst failure to communicate. There are those who would like to see the $44 billion intelligence budget slashed to a fraction, the troops all brought home, and an extensive program of social spending created.
Politically this could happen in November, and unless the Republican Congressmen and political Intel Appointees start thinking smart, they will be flotsam and jetsam on the Democratic Tsunami after the mid term elections.
The DeLay/Abramoff disaster is going to cause about as much paralysis as the pointless Republican persecution of Bill Clinton, for doing what a large number in Congress do with their Interns. But the world is an entirely different place in 2006. We need as a matter of extreme urgency to develop a joint private/public partnership for investigating the scenarios that exist around the world, and predicting the Cause and Effect of actions, political and military. The disastrous invasion of Iraq, with an ill equipped, ill prepared Army and generals who knew nothing but Yes Sir, No Sir, Three Bags Full Sir should be enough to spur congressional action
Now many Hawks are demanding an invasion of Iran, and like Iraq we haven't a clue of what will happen after the "Shock and Awe" passes. We don't know if Pakistan will collapse within days and the military regime in power replaced in a coup, by an Islamic Fundamentalist Theocracy. We don't know if a nuclear weapon is already on it's way to Iran from Pakistan, and as Israeli and American planes cross the Straits of Hormuz that a Chinese rocket won't be heading towards Tel Aviv, and World War III. We don't know if there will be a popular uprising across the Middle East and all oil supplies end, for both America and China. We don't know because the task is too huge for clandestine services to find out in less than 10 years.
That is why I support Simmons initiative in developing OSINT at breakneck speed. At least he knows what it's all about, and unless he wants to relive his days as a junior officer, knows that there must be a civilian answer to the problem of global ignorance pervasive throughout Washington, DC.
The nuclear clock is again ticking and the options for the world's major powers are slowly leaving the table, until the last one, Thermo Nuclear War remains. We need to understand the world, and OSINT is the only answer, provided it is broad based and includes many differing views. Our own expertise is in Global Media, Political and Energy Intelligence, with Telecommunications not far behind. In those fields alone we see looming disasters of global proportions. You can only fool the people for so long before the grim reality of the mess we have created becomes apparent. At least Simmons is making a start.