We should be troubled. And we should demand changes.
It is an inconvenient truth.
How many would find themselves seeking viable employment if not seated at a desk analyzing jihad videos?
If there is money to be made with war, there is certainly a paycheck to be earned by analysts who spend their lives engaged in target practice with jihad videos.
We can scrub ninety percent of these videos from the internet tomorrow. And by staying on top of the problem we can narrow the gap on the remaining ten percent with due diligence. But we just cannot bring ourselves to do it. Too many are dependent on this cottage industry for employment. Gee! What would they do? Where would they go?
Several years ago there was an analytical group (I used the term lightly) in the D.C. area who bundled and sold jihad videos for thousands of dollars. I had viewed many of the videos myself and found quite a few of them to be without any real merit or intelligence value. But this cabal – was making money by repackaging a product which should have been scrubbed from the digital space.
Give me the real “James Bond” who put their lives up as collateral for the honor of serving in dangerous hot spots surrounded by hotheads who want to kill them. This is the real work of human intelligence: entering the networks, sitting across from the hothead with a cup of tea in hand.
Don’t provide an eternal paycheck for those who surround themselves with video hotheads in the comfort of their offices with their skinny latte made with almond milk ever present at their side.
Case in point: Have any of them coughed up Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri yet? Of course not. But this remains a parasitic industry which requires the host to be kept alive to survive.
Analyst v parasite? There are true analysts worth their $$. But I fear our taxes also support a large colony of parasites.