Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Still At War - But Smarter... Sometimes.

In case you missed it, Tuesday wasn't exactly a slow day in news.

On the same day Republicans in the U.S. Senate filibustered against a bill keeping student loan interest rates low for another year, ignorant extremists in North Carolina passed yet another anti-gay amendment (their third) that will also likely harm everyone else in North Carolina, as well. Mitt Romney also had heads spinning on Tuesday as he  - somehow - attempted to take credit for the revival of the U.S. auto industry. This after his well publicized op-ed piece, calling for America to "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Elsewhere, Democrats in Wisconsin chose their standard-bearer on Tuesday for Wisconsin's recall election next month, while longstanding moderate Republican Senator Dick Lugar, from Indiana, was also run out of the U.S. Senate. His loss comes courtesy of the extremists and neo-cons in the GOP, after Lugar's exemplary 36 years of service.

All that happened on the same day that the CIA announced the news that the supposed next-generation underwear bomber they'd caught last week, was actually a double agent. To clarify, the guy the Associated Press and others thought was a bomber, was actually a CIA agent, who'd masqueraded as a terrorist and slipped back to the CIA with Al Qaeda's latest high-tech boomer bloomers.

Of all the stories we listed above, this last one - and the story about Sen. Lugar - are probably the two most important news items, though many in the media likely will miss them both today.

The reason why the CIA double-agent story is huge - especially in the week after the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden - is how the success of this latest anti-terrorism effort was achieved. It was done through a multi-layered approach led by old-fashioned intelligence analysis and information gathering - what military folks call "Hum Intell", or "Human Intelligence." This is exactly the same way the U.S. military caught Bin Laden - and it's a tool that President Obama and certain Congressional Democrats made important again when they took office three and half years ago.

There's been so much talk of drone strikes and advanced intelligence weapons lately - yet these two successes were accomplished by the modern version of good old-fashioned spying.

These two events aren't just flukes. As Col. Lawrence Wilkerson recently noted, military personnel have estimated that Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. on September 11, 2001 likely cost around a half million dollars. Estimates for how much America has spent on the legitimate war in Afghanistan and the illegitimate war in Iraq run somewhere between $1 trillion and $4 trillion. Huge amounts of money Americans spent on both wars actually went to military contractors and suppliers - what the famous Republican General, and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex."

These days, we call these same kinds of people "Neo-Cons" - the same kind of people that ran Senator Dick Lugar out of his job in yesterday's Republican primary race in Indiana.

Now, we're not about to say that President Obama's push for for Hum Intell hasn't been strongly resisted in some corners of the Federal government. At the TSA, policies trying to push for more solid human intelligence have often been shunted aside, in favor of buying millions of dollars in equipment, often from a different division of one of the same Neo-Con allied corporations that already sell expensive equipment to the military.

Unlike the Hum Intell successes, millions of dollars of that equipment now sits unused in government warehouses, according to a recent investigation. Meanwhile, the idiots we have allowed at the TSA have been breaking the insulin pumps of 16-year-old diabetics, and taking bribes from drug smugglers.

Even in the TSA, there have been some successes, like the TSA agents who found pieces of a gun dissambled and placed inside three stuffed animals. But the key, even there, was that it was human beings, like those favored by President Obama who foiled the teddy bear plot - not the million-dollar machines of the Neo-Con military-industrial complex.

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