The Austin Powers documentary
When you take a gander at the mountain of classified U.S. documents WikiLeaks offered up on Sunday, you are inevitably left pondering the phrase “intelligence community.”
Turns out, it’s an oxymoron.
The “intelligence community,” clearly, is neither “intelligent” nor a “community.”
In fact, when you ponder what America’s top spies are pondering, it’s not so amazing that Osama bin Laden has escaped capture for more than a decade. The alleged Maxwell Smarts overseeing America’s intelligence-gathering aren’t particularly smart – and they have a tenuous grasp on that important allies/enemies distinction, too.
What else are we to make of a July 2009 State Department cable sent to American diplomats based at that nation’s fortified embassy in Ottawa, blandly urging them to spy on us, their allies? Us, their biggest trading partner you know, the ones who recently acceded to their pleas we remain on the battlefields of Afghanistan for a few more years?
Us, whose prime minister rolls over to get his belly scratched by the White House so regularly he should be kennelled alongside Bo, the presidential pooch?
One secret document directs U.S. diplomats to “include as much of the following information as possible” about Canadian officials including “numbers of telephones, cellphones, pagers and faxes … Internet and Intranet ‘handles,’ Internet e-mail addresses, website identification-URLs; credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.”
Hey, um, Mr. President? If we object to our American allies cataloguing our critically important “frequent flyer account numbers,” does that mean we’re now with the terrorists?
More to the point, does Osama bin Laden have a “work schedule” that will finally assist you and your crack team of intelligence experts to dispatch him, so we can finally bring our troops home?
(Missing from the WikiLeaks leaks, surprisingly, was the Top Secret cable describing how – if you ask him to completely reverse himself and commit to a few more years of war – Liberal foreign affairs expert Bob Rae will fold like a cheap suit.)
Tellingly, the U.S. government got word WikiLeaks was going to dump hundreds of thousands of supposedly sensitive documents on the Internet from, well, WikiLeaks. The Americans said “countless” lives would be put at risk by disclosure, so they got very angry. They got very tough.
They had one of their lawyers send WikiLeaks a sternly worded letter!
To the surprise of none of us holding Top Secret “frequent flyer account numbers,” that didn’t work. Back in the good old days of the Bush regime, the White House would have bombed WikiLeaks’ HQ. Now it sends lawyer’s letters. Wow.
My 15-year-old daughter safeguards her Facebook account better than these clowns protect national security. These goofs make the Austin Powers movies look like a documentary.
When one eyeballs WikiLeaks’ stuff – when you actually read some of the idiocy that masquerades as “intelligence” within the U.S. intelligence establishment – I wouldn’t be astonished to learn the al-Qaida boss is now in the U.S., selling timeshares in Florida.
But wherever bin Laden is possibly still holed up in a cave somewhere – with cable and an Xbox – you can be sure of one thing this week.
He’s laughing his ass off.
Kinsella is a lawyer, consultant and Liberal Party spin-doctor. He blogs at warrenkinsella.com