Feb 25 2015

Feeble-Minded Fantasies

I have not lightly chosen to re-think my categorization of sub-normal intelligence, but it has recently been pointed out to me that the range of 80 – 100 IQ is technically termed Feeble Minded.

“Despite being pejorative, in its day the term was considered, along with idiot (Goddard, Binet-Simon age of 3 or less), imbecile (3 to 7), and moron (8 to 12), to be a relatively precise psychiatric classification.”

We know that “Intelligence” is an oxymoron (there’s that word “moron” again) but your testosterone fueled delusions don’t quite kick in until your teens.

Spies, lies and fantasies: leaked cables lift lid on work of intelligence agencies

by Seumas Milne and Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian

Wednesday 25 February 2015 13.10 EST

Intelligence agencies thrive on impressing politicians and the public with their mystique, exploits real or imagined, and possession of information that supposedly gives them a unique understanding of the world.

The reality is often bureaucratic and banal, the information unreliable, uncheckable or available in open sources and their judgments frequently politicised and self-serving. All of those elements can be found throughout the spy cables leaked to al-Jazeera and the Guardian.

(I)n the world of espionage, today as in the past, spies peppering reports with half-truths, rumours, the outlandish and the downright ridiculous is par for the course, the secret cables show – and not that remote from the lucrative fantasies and inventions of Graham Greene’s fictional MI6 agent in Our Man In Havana.

Many of the reports, in spite of being marked “confidential”, “secret” and “top secret”, contain information openly available elsewhere, often written by journalists. One South African intelligence report on Israel’s Mossad quotes Chris McGreal, the Guardian’s former correspondent in Johannesburg and Jerusalem, who is now based in the US. “Chris McGREAL has claimed that ‘Israel provided expertise and technology that was central to South Africa’s development of its nuclear bomb’,” the report says.

So much of the spies’ work is banal, dominated by mundane liaison meetings with counterparts from other intelligence agencies. Far from swapping factual information or carefully analysed data, the agencies often supply one another with little more than their government’s political line.

Much of the rest of the time is taken up with watching one another, tracking movements through airports, logging phone calls, keeping tabs on their car registration and checking credit card transactions – or storming out of meetings and commenting acerbically on each other’s weaknesses and “arrogance”.

Oh, my B-S?  I’m too modest to brag but were the scale reversed I’d be a drowning turkey looking up at the rain.

Arrogant am I?  You betcha.

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