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Why Spying Doesn't Work

Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2006 2:29 AM

The White House is dutifully trotting out foiled plots and unmasking horrible terrorist conspiracies. They'll assure us, with patriotic gusto, that these are the fruits of our secret, warrantless wiretap efforts.

Never mind the fact that financial action was one of the first tricks pulled out of the bag. Forget that Osama bin Laden hasn't used a cell- or satellite-phone since 1998, because he knows we have the capability to monitor his calls.

And certainly, don't pay any attention to this article, which shows this whole magic-intercept theory of fighting terrorism is nothing but the worst kind of shell game.

The Air Force is studying blogs and bloggers, looking for patterns of relevance (entries related to terrorism), timeliness (is the entry current), credibility (is the source trustworthy), and specificity (terrorism as it relates to a specific person, place, or thing).

All of which, somehow, is supposed to, "... provide the warfighter with a kind of information radar to better understand the information battlespace."

Um, okay, right. Yeah. Whatever. I'm cool.

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