Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Why can't the CIA get it right?
We all know about the disastrously wrong National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) under the aegis of CIA Director George Tenet that helped the Bush administration propel the U.S. into an invasion of a sovereign nation. But you'd think they could find out who's the Prime Minister of America's closest ally and co-perpetrator of war crimes. Apparently not.
The Guardian's "Backbencher," a political gossip, asks "Do they know something we don't?" and writes,
The CIA is still under the impression that Tony [Blair] is still in charge. Yes, Britain - you know, the country that's slightly smaller than Oregon - is still led by Anthony [Tony] Blair, according to the last CIA World Factbook update on July 19. The Backbencher knew there were some issues around the agency's handling of intelligence - but really, this takes the WMD.
Now comes the news that the CIA has been editing entries in Wikipedia. I've linked Wikipedia as a reference a number of times. But if it contains information provided by the CIA, I may have to alter the practice—they have such a poor track record for accuracy.
It occurs to me, however, that there's still a way the CIA might make substantial improvements to their intelligence product: Instead of hiring drunken spooks, they might search the English or Journalism departments for some really good copy editors.