Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Is Obama Connecting the Dots?

Is Obama beginning to connect the dots himself? At a press conference yesterday, he announced that the intelligence community failed to connect the dots regarding the attempted Christmas bombing. He sounds like a died-in-the-wool conservative with this criticiism but then he turns his brain cells inside out and says that he won't tolerate finger pointing. He simply can't have it both ways. If the dots were not connected, someone failed to connect them. He can argue with some justification that the system is to blame but systems are designed by people. Processes do not make decisions. Let me repeat that: processes do not make decisions--people do. So who is responsible for implementing good intelligence decision making on his cabinet?

The real issue is that politically correct thinking seems incapable of distinguishing between causality that matters and causality that doesn't matter. It matters, for example, in criminal profiling that 80% of the prison population is black and hispanic. It doesn't matter that the disproportion exists; in other words the existence of a disproportion between the whites and other races in jail does not necessarily translate into racism. The causal reality is that a certain percentage of the population commits more crimes than the other. Why that might be is another story.

Things don't just happen. If you discover causal agents, then delineating and ultimately solving a problem is usually a lot easier. The inability to assign both causality and blame is disjunctive and ultimately disruptive. In other words, it separates cause and effect. Christians, Jews and Hindus, for example, do not blow themselves up on airplanes but some Moslems do. It is simply an inescapable fact that Moslems have become a group of focused interest when it comes to terrorism. The inability to engage this conclusion can only come from NOT connecting the dots or via the kind of intellectual contortions that liberals are famous for in order to protect real and imagined rights.

This same disjunctive thinking pattern can be seen in the response to the banking crisis by the members of the SEC and the Obama administration--no finger pointing. The parallels between intelligence failures and financial failure loom large from this perspective.

Here is the definition of the SEC to illustrate the issue: "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (commonly known as the SEC) is an independent agency of the United States government which holds primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws and regulating the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges, and other electronic securities markets. "

Given this definition don't you think the members of the SEC might have been punished? No, because the argument by the politically correct is always that the system failed, the process failed and the reason they think this way is because they tend not to believe in personal authority unless it is herd generated. What is most extraordinary is that the SEC was NEVER empowered to enforce its own rules. How dumb is that? The herd mentality of both political parties is to blame here and is a recipe for across the board failure. Individuals in positions of authority have to be empowered to make choices without lawyers, without committees and without fear of losing their jobs--then maybe intelligence enforcement will improve. And guess what? So will the economy.

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