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The sadder reality, Mr. President, is that NSA itself had enough information to prevent 9/11, but chose to sit on it rather than share it with the FBI or CIA. We know; we were there. We were witness to the many bureaucratic indignities that made NSA at least as culpable for pre-9/11 failures as are other U.S. intelligence agencies.

NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong | Consortiumnews – 1/7/2014.

Unless and until better informed, I’m inclined to regard the source of this pass-along, Consortium News, as a struggling but credible and well grounded organization steeped in investigative journalism in Washington, D.C.

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The world was new in 2006 when I began reading the English-language editions of foreign newspapers.

Back then, I wanted to excoriate Greenpeace for failing to address clean-up of the littoral along the Somali coast.  🙂  Little did I know what lay in store by way of becoming caught in the whirlpool of conflict-related news that funnels down to the Islamic Small Wars.

The next stop: Pakistan, where I lingered awhile, virtually.

On the tour in which intellectual adventure and life collide, and another powerful magnet from which no Jew can or should escape: Israel, still virtually, and the middle east conflict.

These days, the majors have caught up with bloggers and news aggregation in general, but along the way some things may have failed to become a part of the the common knowledge base of the field of foreign correspondents who, after all, report the news generally more than analyze events along specialized lines.  Language and political psychology will remain a strong part of the interest here, would that I too could fund scholarship in the area, and, more recently, “political spychology” has become of interest as our “digital communicating” lends itself to computer-driven collection and analysis projects — see, for example, the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) program description for “Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT)”.

Technology may help us leave worlds behind, and we call that progress, but it may also bring us to worlds in which we may not wish to live and caution — and reportage — may be warranted in areas that may pit engineering prowess and vision against the humanity of humanity and the values we assign to the experience of a preferred natural humanity.

For the romantic, “electronic data processing” has been a nightmare from the first spinning magnetic paint disks and shuffling 80-column card deck (and fondly I recall being among the last to run such a database through a Univac at the University of Maryland); however, Rousseau’s “noble savage” hasn’t borne out well in reality: there’s nothing noble about throwing bakers into their own ovens as appears to have happened in Syria last month.

This blog may see fewer than 5,000 hits annually (as it does, so far), but it’s reach remains pretty good (it got look-sees from more than 100 nations in 2013), and it would seem there’s room on the margins of the news business for responsible reportage about wonky subjects and second looks at topics combed over by Big Media.

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I’ve listed Consortium News in the blog roll and may be watching it a bit.

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