Birds Of A Different Feather . . .

Not to belabor the earlier NRO item, but U.S. News fleshes out U.S. vulnerability/over-reliance on overhead constellations. That China or any Rising/Non-Status Quo power (including now Russia) sees U.S. over-dependence here as a weakness for exploiting in an asymmetrical, cost-effective way is a no brainer.

It’s somewhat disappointing that senior people in OSD understood this years ago. They wanted to counter the vulnerability by moving the U.S. away from a few big, super expensive satellites to smaller, cheaper micro or even pico satellites. They can be spared and replaced by cheap and expendable launch vehicles. Long story short, that didn’t happen as envisioned. One direct report to Rummy told the Stiftung (who was not an AgitProp agent/Neocon/Cheney stooge) the simple ugly truth — the U.S. industrial base largely has forgotten how to build the requisite rockets well and economically. Moreover, the industry itself has little incentive to innovate and create smaller, cheaper satellites — the big birds make alot of money for them when they go up.


We’re not sure what we can contribute to the NIE summary meme bubble at this point. The NIE summary is no longer actually a real res (thing), nor is the NIE process and history of the least consequence. The posturing and talking points are the only thing real now. We just repeat again our profound unease that McConnell and Kerr have opted to insert themselves directly into the political process. Precedents matter.

Anyone who has read this blog/its predecessor at STSOZ 1.0 know our passionate alarm and disdain for the EOVP (Executive Office of the Vice President) and Necons’ assault on the Agency. (For decades we have argued that the Agency was nonetheless in need of non-ideological reform). The fact that Cheney et al. waged a ruthless and ideological war against the Community for policy reasons does not in the Stiftung’s view excuse the Community to encroach on policy making turf themselves. Intelligence is NOT policy. And should NOT be so regardless of which regime is in charge.

Congress has dropped that ball re playing their Constitutional role and enabled and abetted the Warlord and Cheney. Nor is it clear that Rockefeller in particular in the Senate Intel Committee (SSCI) has the proper Will and sense of equality to be effective. The solution to the Warlord and Cheney is not to mimic them but to restore the proper function of government that they suborned.

A long way of saying that unless something significant — which is certainly not impossible — emerges, we do not anticipate offering much here again on the NIE brouhaha. We just can’t summon the energy to care what Cliff May or any of them spout.

(We’re still mulling the comments here earlier about the undeniable American mass embrace of super heroes, sorcery/magic and the hyper mythic. It’s certainly an interesting divergence from the post-Vietnam gritty realism of the then new generation of directors).


  1. Hunter says

    re comic-cons etc: the widely recognized as ‘best’ comics are frequently critiques of some aspect of the “super heroes, sorcery/magic and the hyper mythic” (esp. the hyper mythic). When they killed superman (though he didn’t stay dead), when Batman went evil, the issue of Spidey after the towers fell, are bad examples from the bad old hyper mythic worlds… beyond that the art form has evolved (see: Y, the Last Man; The Filth; Safe Area Gorazhde; and on and on)

    it of course goes without saying that none of these are in any danger of a major movie adaptation, even though something interesting could probably be done here (see: Sin City). I’d love to see Jarmusch (as director) and Sabiston (as technical guru) adapt The Last Sane Cowboy and other stories…

  2. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    Excellent points Jon – had repressed some of the truly awful super hero stuff from the 70s and 80s. Today in passing had an opportunity to see a bit of the Transformers movie on a very large screen/High Definition DVD format — visually impressive. Probably not feasible even 5 years ago?

    Yet wonder if something else is at work, as evidenced by Comic-Con’s astounding growth as cultural and financial mecca. (Full disclosure mode — when the Iron Man trailer first was unveiled this Summer and it closed with Shell Head soaring off flanked by two Raptors, even the Stiftung’s corrosive cynicism took a back seat to a huge smile. And this also perhaps supports Jon’s point).

  3. Jon H says

    “(We’re still mulling the comments here earlier about the undeniable American mass embrace of super heroes, sorcery/magic and the hyper mythic. It’s certainly an interesting divergence from the post-Vietnam gritty realism of the then new generation of directors).”

    I’m not sure I’d make too much of it. To a large extent I think this is due to special effects having reached the point where they make it possible to do such films and not have them look like poo or high camp.

    There were Spider-Man and Captain America movies in the 70s, too. It’s just that they were crappy.

  4. A Random Quote says

    “The attitude among many people — like say, John Edwards — is that we dodged a bullet with this NIE. But that’s only true if this NIE is right. Indeed, as a matter of national security, it seems to me one could make the case that it would be better for the NIE to be wrong the other way.”
    ~Jonah Goldberg
    The Corner

  5. A Random Quote says

    Veil after veil must lift – but
    There must be veil upon veil behind.
    ~Edwin Arnold
    The Light of Asia

  6. A Random Quote says

    I love the doubt, the dark, the fear
    That still surrounds all things here.
    ~Alfred Austin
    Hymm to Death

  7. A Random Quote says

    ~Even grave divines submit to glittering gold,
    The best of consciences are bought and sold.
    ~Dr. Wolcot

  8. A Random Quote says

    Since knowledge is but sorrow’s spy
    It is not safe to know
    The Just Italian (V,i)

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