I urge you most strenuously to repair immediately to Arthur Silber's site, and there set yourself to school on the dangerously unintelligent uses of "intelligence" – not only by ever-deceitful regimes and their sycophantic courtiers, but also, most grievously, by staunch opponents of the imperial system as well: "Fools for Empire (II): The Inescapable Pervasiveness of the Ruling Class Paradigm."
The essay is eloquent, cogent, deeply informed, insightful – and important. In addition to his own unique insights, Silber mines wisdom from such trenchant observers as Chalmers Johnson, Ray McGovern, Barbara Tuchman and Gabriel Kolko to give the lie to the corrosive belief that any output from the "intelligence" agencies can or should be relied upon – and the accompanying lie that our leaders and their spies possess super-secret knowledge which we peons must defer to. As Silber notes, the historical facts demonstrate overwhelmingly and irrefutably that "intelligence" always has been – and, more importantly, cannot avoid being – manipulated, incompetent, corrupted and wrong. Thus his observation:
This is why I maintain that you must always argue the policy, and that you must never argue about the intelligence. To the extent you argue the intelligence, you are doing the ruling class's bidding. They can change the intelligence quickly enough when they think doing so is necessary, as they have done in the past and as they will again. If you grant the legitimacy and accuracy of intelligence assessments on even one occasion, and if you utilize those assessments in making your own arguments, you're making your own work that much harder, and your future arguments will be far less convincing than they would be otherwise.
But a brief excerpt risks doing the post an injustice. You should head over there now, and read the whole thing.
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