Once upon a time, in my youth, we had an expression in the intelligence world: “W.A.G. it.” It meant Wild Assed Guess. (Sorry if that offends, but the context is important)
“Wagging” was used when you had a minimum amount of information, but you wanted to “be the first on the street” with your report. If you lucked out, you would be praised for your amazing insight into the issue. If you screwed up, someone else would top your error within a month in such a spectacular manner that you’d be off the hook outside of your immediate circle of friends. They’d never let you live it down. Which was good, it kept you from doing it again – for the most part.
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There was a second “sin” that we saw quite a bit. Let’s say that someone at the C.I.A. “wagged” something. Inevitably, someone in our command would cite that as evidence in their own conclusions. Up next, another command would say, “Well, the C.I.A. and those guys over in Rota all agree that this is the situation. Let’s go with it.” That is known as circular intelligence. Because the next guy placed all his faith in some moron who was wagging it, and as the numbers multiplied the only real “intelligence” was the original wild assed guess. Nice.
This morning, watching several news networks, I saw a log of wagging and more than a bit of circular intelligence. They added in a dash of “retired expert” who then cited a Tweet – yes, a twitter announcement, as his source. They knew literally nothing other than an explosion took place in a Fedex sorting facility, and that there was a reported school shooting in Maryland. The sheriff had announced that the school was on lockdown and the shooter “contained.” That’s it.
Next thing you know, the geniuses on the networks, the same crew that is wrong about almost every-single-thing they talk about on guns, is opining on trigger mechanisms, placement of, and types of explosives. I guess none of them read my book, or they’d be using that as their source. (Remember, in the pre-book rambling I warn that I lied a lot to make sure you couldn’t use it as a guide to making real bombs.)
As a result, I’m going to just go back to reading my book on Jewish humor. I’d rather know about how Mel Brooks got to where he got than what some collection of botox, hairspray, and implants thinks about a bombing campaign.
WAG that circle, kids.
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