Monday, July 26, 2004

I Thought We Were Doing This Already

It took me a couple of days for the lightbulb for the lightbulb to go "bing!", but a conversation with my friend Drew brought this Scrappleface article reading (jokingly) about the 9/11 commission calling for the hiring of evil imaginative people in order to predict what terrorsists might do in the future.

If I recall correctly, either the CIA or the FBI enlisted a number of Hollywood screenwrtiters shortly after 9/11 to envision scenarios that might highlight security weaknesses. There was also the story of Tom Clancy being brought in by the CIA for debriefing shortly after "The Hunt for Red October" was published. I do remember for certain that the idea of a passenger jet being deliberately piloted into the Capital building (in the scenario it was during the State of the Union address) in Clancy's "Debt of Honor".

Some anecdotes I have heard have it that the CIA, back during the bad old days of the Cold War, did hire writers as consultants and analysts to look over a given situation and offer their conceptions as to the likely next steps to occur. The ability to encapsulate a broad range of variables involved in creating well structured, plausible story, is much the same as a  professional intelligence analyst, yet the writer would be able to approach the scenario without the institutional bias that would infect any full-time analyst.

One other point that can probably go without saying: weblogs must get picked over constantly by analysts and folks looking for fresh viewpoints of publicly available information. Additionally the weblogs coming out of Iraq, Iran, and other nations are street level views that the CIA has been criticized for lacking. I've referenced in the past that the true detail of a situation is best realized by a large number of independent viewpoints than attempting to make a single God-like overview.


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