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View Diary: Olbermann Reports on Tracheotomy Kits for Waterboarding (131 comments)

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  •  Let me suggest a hypothesis to explain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drational, polar bear

    what was going on.

    Donald Rumsfeld was aware that there had been a failure to collect good intelligence prior to the mayhem that arrived here from the Middle East.  But, what needs to be remembered is that, contrary to the impression he gave to Congress, Rumsfeld is an aficionado of electronic systems and when he admitted that satellite info and SIGNET was not adequate and needed to be enhanced with better HUMINT, he was not referring to better trained troops and Arabic speaking personnel.  What he apparently meant, considering what actually happened and the fact that Arabic speakers continued to be dismissed for their sexual interests, was that more people needed to be rounded up and information needed to be extracted to feed into the computerized data base.
    This would explain why men, women, children were rounded up indiscriminately for data collection purposes.  Rumsfeld apparently believed, as did his counterparts on Wall Street, that feeding data into models based on algorithms would be certain to produce accurate predictions of what would happen next.

    Nobody predicted the economic collapse and nobody could have predicted the Iraqi resistance because there weren't any models for that.

    I don't mean to seem hard-hearted, but focusing on the victims doesn't get us to addressing the flaw in the whole electronic "protection" system.  Satellite data have proved insufficient.  Intercepted communications have proved insufficient.  Data extracted from humans via torture is also insufficient.  The idea that an American empire can be run on electronics is insane.  There will never be sufficient data points to create a program that works.
    In large part that's because humans are even more unreliable than electrons.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 09:07:31 AM PDT

    •  good point, hannah, but we also want to focus (0+ / 0-)

      on the torture victims themselves, just for humanity's sake.  But your larger point is well taken, and heeding it would result in fewer injuries to so many, worldwide.

      •  Well, the victims of torture are, for the most (0+ / 0-)

        part, still alive.  The victims of 500 lb bombs and hellfire missiles are, for the most part, dead and their relatives are in a living hell.

        On the other hand, people who dropped those bombs and dispatched the missiles are more insulated from their victims than are the people who took part in the torture regimen.

        Let's remember that while the black prisons and detention facilities were supposed to operate largely in secret, the whole air war against Iraq was classified top secret to prevent the American people from reacting badly and insisting that the carnage stop.

        The people who argued for Vietnam and Iraq to be bombed back to the Dark Ages by dropping a nuclear bomb or two lost their argument, but only to the extent that the "mission" wasn't accomplished "cleanly," but was, instead, extended over many years and many tons of munitions to level the cradle of civilization to the ground.  The neocons are 21st Century vandals--i.e. the antagonists of civilized behavior.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 04:43:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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