Archive for December 8, 2010

Why WikiLeaks Is Likely Legit

December 8, 2010 9 comments

There are many who believe in conspiracy theories about wikileaks being a creation of some intelligence agency. I believe that is very unlikely.

The reasons are-

1] Intelligence agencies are full of social climbers, bureaucrats, cliques, clubs making them hotbeds of office politics and intrigue. Such an environment typically creates two kinds of schemes- conventional and hare brained. Well thought out, but unconventional, schemes are not the hallmarks of intelligence agencies.

Remember that the average employee of an intelligence agency is not a brilliant or patriotic zealot. He (or she) is a smarter than average government employee who wants a promotion, raise, plum assignment and bigger office.

2] The recruitment practices of intelligence agencies select for conventional cleverness and obedience to authority. They want mandarins, not unpredictable geniuses. They want people who think in a conventional manner and have a ‘standard’ worldview.

The ability of intelligence agencies to respond to unconventional threats has historically been piss poor. Their strengths lie in fighting similar sized organizations with similar shortcomings.

3] Since most governments have more than one intelligence agency, there are numerous turf wars. Most of these turf wars adversely affect their ability to coordinate everything from databases to procedures and strategy.

Do you really think that the people in various US intelligence agencies see each other as comrades?

4] Decisions are often made by senior, and therefore older, guys. If you believe that some of those guys are in touch with today’s world, I have a bridge to sell you. Remember that many of these guys grew up in a world very unlike the one that exists- a time where the technology and options were rather different from today.

Even a tech savvy and competent younger guy would have a hard time getting past the old fogies who do not want to lose power to some upstart. Do you really think that these agencies are any different from a large soulless corporation?

5] Many departments and groups in intelligence agencies exist for the sole purpose of making some buddy of a division head rich through sweet heart deals. The procurement policies of intelligence agencies are based on sweet-heart deals and outdated rules and regulations.

They are reactive and rigid instead of being heuristic and flexible.

6] Last, but not the least- People in such agencies are afraid of being attached to projects with a good probability of failure or unpredictable results. It looks super bad on your internal resume, especially given the types of people who work in these agencies.

If they have to screw up they will choose to do so in a conventional manner.

The level of ability, competence, patriotism and creativity most people ascribe to intelligence agencies exists only in movies, tv shows and novels.