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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kind of Amusing 

McCain has apparently, allegedly, been endorsed by Islamic extremists, according to Yahoo News.

It's kind of amusing because this rumour or murmer from the laundry sink or whatever is based on information from the SITE Institute, which was examined in The New Yorker a couple of years ago.

Katz conceded that her group doesn’t check the scientific accuracy of each manual, or the legitimacy of every threat—although she tries to make sure that the Web site that a particular item appears on has produced credible threats in the past, and that the threat seems serious. And, she said, vetting isn’t her role. “I’m telling people what terrorists are thinking,” Katz says. “Wouldn’t you rather know that they’re thinking about the Alaska pipeline, even if this manual wouldn’t work?”
[Rita Katz, co-founder of the institute, talking about an unfortunate misemphasis on possible threats to the Alaskan pipeline.]

Wel, so much for accuracy and so on. But what to do about all this unverifiable chatter? How best to proceed? What posture to assume?

Katz has a very specific vision of the counterterrorism problem, which she shares with most of the other contractors and consultants who do what she does. They believe that the government has failed to appreciate the threat of Islamic extremism, and that its feel for counterterrorism is all wrong. As they see it, the best way to fight terrorists is to go at it not like G-men, with two-year assignments and query letters to the staff attorneys, but the way the terrorists do, with fury and the conviction that history will turn on the decisions you make—as an obsession and as a life style. Worrying about overestimating the threat is beside the point, because underestimating the threat is so much worse.

Yes, blundering around in a blind fury the whole time would be the correct approach.



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.