Monday, July 14, 2003

Intelligence Unglued This story on the Alternet website sheds some interesting light on the whole faulty intelligence blunder in the Bush Whitehouse. It is basically covering an open memo written by a bunch of former CIA analysts. It is clearly well researched and makes it fairly clear that there were some agendas getting in the way of what seem to have been well known truths. Their main point is that it was well known by US intelligence that the document regarding Iraq trying to purchase uranium from Niger was a forgery. But the Bush Whitehouse (and specifically Cheney) used it anyway because it better made their case for war.

It reminded me of this open letter written in 2002 by Michael Moore about George W. Bush and Enron. After the collapse of Enron, Bush denied any friendship with Kenneth Lay, the CEO of Enron. What I found interesting in Moore's letter was his extremely effective use of hyperlinks. Each time he would point out a statement that Bush made about Enron or Kenneth Lay, the statement would be hyperlinked to a story in some mainstream (often in Texas!) press website that made it clear that what Bush had said was not true. (eg. if he didn't know Kenneth Lay what was Lay doing letting George Bush borrow the Enron corporate jet).

Both stories made me think of what it will be like when blogs link to broadband content. So, someone like Michael Moore will write a letter that will string together a bunch of audio or video clips that will create a half hour television show that you can watch at your own pace and pause and rewind the smoking gun moments. Or maybe the former CIA spooks will string together a bunch od declassified intelligence documents along with some real-time satellite feeds from the Middle East that show what the real situation is or was. It's going to get interesting. It will be interesting to see how conservatives and liberals use the technology differently. Maybe one side will link to all facts that bore the hell out of mainstream audiences while the other side will link to a bunch of emotionally charged but factually inaccurate clips. Oh wait, I think they do that now.

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