Thursday, February 7, 2008
U.S. Annual Threat Assessment or 'Groundhog Day'
Let me outline some relevant quotes from the CIA's Annual Threat Assessment, always a February ritual on Capitol Hill:

"Osama bin Laden and his global network of lieutenants and associates remain the most immediate and serious threat."

Iran has shown a "willingness to use terrorism to pursue strategic foreign policy agendas…"

In Afghanistan, the "chaos here is providing an incubator for narcotics traffickers and militant Islamic groups."

In Pakistan, "Musharraf's domestic popularity has been threatened by a series of unpopular policies that he promulgated last year. At the same time, he is being forced to contend with increasingly active Islamist extremists."

The Internet enables "terrorists to raise money, spread their dogma, find recruits and plan operations far afield," and "acquire information and capabilities for chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear attacks."

Does any of this sound familiar? It should, they are direct quotes taken from the threat assessment as released on February 7th, 2001, a full 7 months before the U.S. 'homeland' was attacked. All of it was practically rewritten for the 2008 U.S. Threat Assessment.

The highlights of the 2008 Threat Assessment, as delivered before a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday, are depressingly void of detail or anything that approaches real insight into the virulent threat now faced by the U.S. and its Western allies.

Skepticism is a good thing, cynicism is not. Unfortunately I confess to feeling much of both as I listened to what the best minds in the U.S. intelligence community had to offer on the state of the threat.

They seem unwilling to share any of their material "intelligence," the kind that would have potentially tipped off a few suspecting citizens as mass terror plots have unfolded around the world in the last decade. The intelligence community would doubtless argue that to do so would compromise operations and compromise important individuals. I would argue that without real and specific information to enhance their threat assessment, the entire exercise is essentially meaningless, as the 2001 assessment so tragically proved.

From CNN's Paula Newton
There's nothing abnormal about an unclassified intelligence assessment being vague. The question that comes to mind though is why would anyone who analyses US intelligence expect a change when, though review of the events in 9/11 revealed significant problems in the intelligence process, most of the efforts made to address those issues were ones made within "enforcement" agencies as opposed to "intelligence" agencies or adressing "intelligence" processes across the spectrum(especially at a macro-level or with a macro-vision).

Truly, there should be no surprises then.
It all sounds the same because most of it is lies. When will Western society finally see that there is no real threat from extremist Muslims and that they are no more than a rudimentary gang of thugs like the Bloods and the Crypts in L.A.

All this talk of terrorism is just fear mongering in order for the government to line the pockets of big business particular, war businesses, with money instead of spending money on real problems like health care, education and the economy. Then again, health care and education don't make the elite any money.

Americans should really take a look at their country and its policies before everything falls apart and it's just utter chaos inside the country.

It's time for the people to take control of their country again.
The sad fact is American's (and the rest of the world) don't know whether we can believe anything anyone connected with the Bush administration says. Is this a true state facts regarding terror alerts or are the Bushies just trying to justify and push through their Pentagon and Homeland Security budgets through the same "fear factors" they've been playing up for the past 7 years.
News and observations on the threats to international security and the challenges posed by terrorism to societies around the world. From breaking news to background stories, from serious analysis to casual asides, if we think it's interesting we'll post it here.
• February 2008
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