Intelligence school in Denver, CO was thought-provoking, complicated, and opened enigmatic doors I never thought existed. We mastered the art of dissemination; gained knowledge of codes; planned and plotted and analyzed envisioned missions; studied Soviet military equipment to master photographic interpretation; and were privy to a few top secret particulars that are now prehistoric. As Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago in his military masterpiece The Art of War, “Know your enemy better than you know yourself.”
On the first day in the first minute of the very first class, we were told, “Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see.” Good advice back then, but in this high tech world the latest mantra is, “Don’t believe anything you read and absolutely nothing you see on Facebook or the Internet or gather from the mouths of babbling politicians.”
Intelligence is not a perfect art. Physicians practice medicine; talented musicians practice to achieve perfection, and Intelligence operatives do the best they can with the information collected or distributed to them. The television broadcasts of 9/11 brought terror on the home front into our living rooms and workplace. As building debris covered the streets of New York City, as fires raged at the Pentagon, and as a charred hole in the fields at Shanksville, PA was identified as the missing passenger jet, the Americans were seething for revenge.
Forget the pacifists and Bill Maher, and don’t buy into Hillary Clinton’s notion of ‘respecting’ and ‘empathizing’ with our enemies. The people presently attempting to kill us are not interested in gaining territory or natural resources; their objective is to subjugate us or kill us, plain and simple. In order to avoid this catastrophe, the intelligence community has to plan, plot, gather the available intelligence and figure out how to destroy the bad guys before the bad guys destroy us.
Home-grown terror and murder perpetuated by losers has been classified as the ‘new threat,’ as if a new ‘fad’ has caught the attention of media moguls. Home-grown terror is not a current phenomenon to be exploited for ratings using fear tactics. What we face today is another step by the terrorists to achieve their sick goals, and those abominable goals are more readily available as we continue to weaken our military and handcuff the intelligence community.
The latest air-your-dirty-laundry multi-million dollar report by California Senator Dianne Feinstein condemned the Central Intelligence Agency for interrogation tactics used after 9/11 and exposed sensitive information that will cripple our intelligence-gathering capability for years to come. The 81-year-old Democrat is the 5th wealthiest Senator in Washington with a net worth between $47 and $99 million. Her actual net worth is hidden in trusts and other ‘filters’ Feinstein uses. Just another case of the wealthy criticizing the less fortunate who keep this country safe so more wealth can be acquired by those unqualified and unwilling to do the dirty work.
Hypocrites sit on both sides of the aisle, but it is an unfathomable ‘lack of intelligence’ to recklessly jeopardize our intelligence community and our military when our very existence is on the line. Personally, I do not have any qualms with ‘enhanced interrogation tactics’ on people willing to murder 150 school children in Pakistan or gleefully slice the heads off of innocent victims. We all need to get a grip on the future, and it’s not respectful, and it’s not empathic--it’s cold-blooded.
Pete Mecca is a Vietnam veteran, columnist and freelance writer. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or aveteransstory.us.