I downloaded, “The Russian Military and the Georgia War: Lessons and Implications” from the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. I haven’t read the full report yet but something caught my eye. The report states on page 72:
U.S. intelligence and military assistance shortcomings are obvious. U.S. intelligence-gathering and analysis regarding the Russian threat to Georgia failed. The U.S. military assistance to Georgia, worth around $2 billion over the last 15 years and focused on the development of counterinsurgency capabilities instead of conventional warfare, did not prevent the August 2008 debacle. No scenarios of a Russian invasion were envisaged, wargamed, or seriously exercised. No force structure to resist a Russian invasion was built by the Georgian authorities with U.S. support. U.S. intelligence managers justified the failure by complaining that the satellite capabilities were redeployed for Iraq. Other intelligence sources told the principal author that ample warning was provided to the George W. Bush administration. Additionally, the war demonstrates that there is no substitute for high-quality human intelligence and raises questions with regards to the reporting chain to the National Security Command Authority.
One sentence in that paragraph leaves open the possibility that the intelligence community (IC) did its job in the lead-up to the Russian-Georgian conflict, but the rest of the paragraph indicates that the IC failed. And while the War College paper does not reflect the official position of the Army, Department of Defense, or U.S. government, its conclusion that the IC failed in issuing an adequate warning sounds similar to other accusations of the IC failing (September 11, Iran, the Egyptian Revolution, etc.).
So let’s accept the premise that the IC has repeatedly failed in recent years. Let’s forget that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence–the head of the IC–states in its “National Intelligence: A Consumer’s Guide,” that intelligence cannot predict the future (Adobe page 11; actual page 19). Let’s also forget that we here at home cannot accurately predict who will or will not run for president, even as we have firsthand, easy, non-life-threatening access on a scale that invades the personal lives of the people whose minds we are trying to predict. Instead, let’s just accept the criticism that the IC should have predicted or warned of the threats and revolutions that have occurred in recent years. And in doing so, let us also apply this same standard of responsibility to our domestic watchdogs (law enforcement agencies, politicians, news media, talk show hosts, and political pundits) that should be monitoring homeland safety and security. And then let’s ask them, “Why aren’t you concerned with the threat that leftists represent to the security of the United States with their Occupy Wall Street activities?”
The Occupy Wall Street activities consist of Marxist, violent, community organizing leftists breaking the law and creating chaos, all the while they compare themselves to the Arab Spring . . . the revolutions that overthrew various governments in the Middle East. On top of this, we see powerful Hollywood figures, big and wealthy unions, former public officials, leftist billionaires, leftist media outlets, leftist information operations personnel, and even current public officials sympathizing or backing them. The Daily Caller reports that a Democratic congressman actually said, “‘They’re standing up and saying the things they feel deep inside that are working unjustly and unfairly against them,’ concluded Larson, ‘and everybody ought to take heed, that it’s not only an ‘Arab Spring,’ but there is an ‘American Fall’ as well.'” Think about the words, “American Fall,” and consider that they came from a sitting congressman.
In other words, we have a growing group of people who overtly say that they want a revolution that overthrows our government. And as more powerful and wealthy figures and organizations back them, they now have the finances, resources, and means to act on their overtly stated desires. (See also what Daniel W. Drezner writes at Foreign Policy.)
So if the IC has been wrong during the past few years for not issuing sufficient predictions or warnings of the disasters and revolutions in other countries of the world, then surely the watchdogs of our nation must be held accountable for their continuing failure to issue adequate warning of just how dangerous the left is, and for their failure to take necessary investigative actions.
“The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in, The Gulag Archipelago
Solzhenitsyn’s quote perfectly describes where we are in America today. We say that those who are violent and a threat are peaceful protestors or those with legitimate grievances because we cannot bring ourselves to acknowledge them as the barbarians that they truly are. Meanwhile, we demonize and persecute those who follow the law because we know we can get away with it–we know they won’t actually act like we accuse them of acting. Hence, a peaceful, law-abiding, pro-life protestor in Massachusetts is a dangerous threat worthy of persecution and demonization even as open law-breakers in Massachusetts are appeased out of a fear of violence and further disorder. Or we deem Islam the Religion of Peace even as we demonize those opposed to the worldwide jihad as “Islamophobic” and “dangerous extremists.” And, of course, we deem those occupying Wall Street and other cities as people who are justifiably angry and thirsting for democracy even as we continue vilifying Tea Partiers and conservatives as violent and a threat to society.
I cannot prevent leftists from ratcheting up their revolution to new levels. However, if and when they finally do become so violent and destructive that the majority of people no longer will be able to deny who they are and what they are doing, I’ll be able to say with a clean conscience that I tried to warn people even as the watchdogs responsible for domestic safety and security said little and did nothing to stop them.