Ignorance is strength

These two links have been in my publishing queue since this morning, but now that Kevin has posted one of them, forcing me to break my self-imposed “1 a day” publishing pattern.

First, it would be nice if the new head of the NSA knew the constitution that he has sworn to uphold. Unfortunately, not only doesn’t he know it, he believes fervently that he does know it. Sure, as with the case below, you can make an argument that he has his own spin on the spirit of the 4th, but the fact remains, he doesn’t know the letter.

Then there was the whole Battlefield 2 incident, with folks from SAIC claiming that terrorists had extended Battlefield 2 to be used as a recruitment tool. But wait, unlike propaganda games like America’s Army, BF2 allows you to shoot at American soldiers. It’s not a terrorist recruiting tool, it’s a feature!

Again, they claim that they may have been wrong in the details, but they caught the spirit of the thing: terrorists are using video games to recruit. Well, perhaps when collecting intelligence–especially open source intelligence–it might be a good idea to get the facts right. Especially, when the facts don’t take long or cost much to get right. Folks are saying “computer game experts disagree,” but the truth is, anyone who is even moderately aware of the gaming world or popular culture (the “training video” included a voiceover taken from Team America: World Police) would have been able to give the group a reality check. That’s not to say video games are never used to recruit insurgents, just that they had it wrong in this case. And this was one of the cases they decided was especially worth showing congress as demonstrative of their abilities.

While ignorance may not be strength, those with a great deal of power in the “intelligence” community seem to be short on some basic sense.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 6/25/2006 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I really wondered if the Pentagon Terrorist Experts actually bothered to ask game researchers about this… they seem to think they know everything already.

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