Mr. Max Fisher, an associate editor of The Atlantic, yesterday wrote an article just after the release of the Wikileaks Spy Files (see Wikileaks I-II below), entitled ‘Stratfor Is a Joke and So Is Wikileaks For Taking IT Seriously’. In my opinion, and anyone who might have read it (if you have not here is the leak: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/02/stratfor-is-a-joke-and-so-is-wikileaks-for-taking-them-seriously/253681/), the article should have correctly titled ‘Max Fisher is a Joke and So Is Any Reader Who Might take Him Seriously‘.
I have always held an higher esteem for the platform, The Atlantic, for it’s intellectual freedom, and providing to all sort of parties, from purely outright nut-cases to right-wingers, leftists and so forth, a place to air and debate their issues and points of view, but Mr. Fisher’s article is rather shamefully so illogical and self-contradictory that only the article’s ‘penmanship’ seems to hold the entire argument together, and hence, the danger of any readers taking it/him seriously, and correct in his argument.
Mr. Fisher’s argument is that Stratfor ‘can get a little carried away in marketing itself as a for-hire CIA and end up fooling some over-eager hackers into believing it’s true’ [Para 4], and ‘the group’s reputation among foreign policy writers, analysts, and practitioners is poor; they are considered a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight’ [Para 5], after these statements, Mr. Fisher asks ‘So why do Wikileaks and their hacker source Anonymous seem to consider Stratfor, which appears to do little more than combine banal corporate research with media-style freelance researcher arrangements, to be a cross between CIA and Illuminati?‘, and answer himself by stating that ‘The answer is probably a combination of naivete and desperation. Wikileaks chief Julian Assange, after all, felt comfortable taking credit for the Egyptian revolution; how good can his understanding of world events, and the actors shaping them, really be? Anonymous, which tried and failed to hack the Vatican’s websites, doesn’t appear to have much of an ideology beyond mischief-making. Wikileaks has been declining rapidly since first releasing Bradley Manning’s trove of U.S. diplomatic cables; their finances are shrinking, their organization disintegrating (due in part to what former employees describe as Assange’s poor leadership), and their credibility with his past media partners is mostly gone’. [Para 7]
In short, Mr. Fisher starts with a direct attack on both parties, but more on the latter, Wikileaks, and his attack on stratfor losses the punching-power as he suddenly self-contradict himself by self-defeating his initial argument, that ‘stratfor is just a joke’, and not to be taken serious by anyone, as he suddenly sums up (and self-contradicts);
‘The group has spent over a decade trying to convince the world that it is a for-hire, cutting-edge intel firm with tentacles everywhere. Before their marketing campaign fooled Anonymous, it fooled wealthy clients; before it fooled clients, it hooked a couple of reporters. .’
In short, ‘though it might be a joke’, as all intelligence agencies are (state-run and private), not everyone think so, since they still contract the firm for their sensitive projects, even governments.
This is where Mr. Fisher self-contradiction kicks in; how can ‘a joke’, be taken serious’? To answer the question, one might say that, Mr. Fisher my either (a) be an apologists, or (b) deliberately attemtping to descredit the leaks, on pay of all parties involved, or (c) he actually lacks real knowledge of the world of intelligence, security and high politics of international affairs—-where perception is the king! In such a world, people sell and buy ‘pure bullshit’, since it is full of real gitters of insecurities and uncertainities, hence, any ‘perception’ of ‘facts’, or ‘truth’, or even ‘owned sources’ is enough to make all these realities, as I said yesterday to ThinkDefence, during Cold War, defence and security lobbyists (private and in-governments) all over-played and reinforced the perceptions of Soviet threat to cash in from such insecurities, not out of realities (as we know by now, with hindsight), but only for commercial or self-existence or relevance interests.
Intelligence world is a world of perception, even the most illogical is viewed as the most factual, Mr. Fisher needs to either re-writes the article or remove it, for the benefit of turth and readers.