Authority: The Truth Is The Whole

Chaitanya Jyothi Museum Opening, 2000

In the Name of The Father, and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit, Amen.



The USA IC, at least its civilian end,
has declared Civil War on the USA
and the USA Constitution.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, the great Idealist Philosopher of the late German Enlightenment (Aufklärung), said famously, The Truth Is The Whole.  The renowned Danish Theologian Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a student of Hegel’s, as was the notorious Prussian Jewish Theologian Karl Marx.

The points of this post are (1) that the intelligence enterprise — to include intelligence gathering, counterintelligence, espionage and counterespionage — discovers the whole regarding its target or it harms itself and its patron, and (2) that the intelligence enterprise is a dance with its target.

The Truth Is The Whole

Those words should frame the portal of
every S-2 and G-2 shop in the world.

As you watch an enemy, they are watching you.  As you react to an enemy’s moves, they react to your moves reacting to theirs.  And vice-versa.  The intelligence enterprise is reciprocal.  It is dialectical.  It partakes of Heisenberg’s Indeterminacy/Uncertainty Principle, as does every dialectic.

A dialectic is a dance, a two-way, reciprocal, binary pas de deux.

The intelligence enterprise may become diabolical, but that is another matter altogether.

The truth of a situation in which an intelligence enterprise occurs is the activity of both actors in the dialectic under way.  An intelligence product describing only an enemy’s activities — and especially one not including an enemy’s reactions to your activities — harms you and your patron, your client.

You are dancing with a partner — your enemy — so the truth is the dance itself, the both of you in mutually-responsive motion together doing one dance.

An enemy is a dance partner.  Pick an enemy, or be picked by one, and suddenly you are on the dance floor, dancing a dialectic.  The whole, the truth about the situation, is the dance.  The dance is the truth.  An intelligence product must be about the dance, not the partners.

A report on what a partner is doing is only a part of the truth and harmful to you without its counterpart, namely, what you are doing.  Therefore, an intelligence product has to be about the dance itself, as a whole, and not about what one or the other of the dance partners is doing.

If you do not want to dance, you have two choices: (1) destroy your partner’s ability to dance, or (2) convince a potential enemy that not dancing with you will conduce more certainly to their happiness than inviting you to join them on the dance floor.  There is a third choice, but it is irrational: destroy your own ability to dance.

If you decide someone is your enemy, and if they cannot convince you that dancing with them will hurt you more than it hurts them, then do not whinge that you are dancing or cringe if your intelligence enterprise cannot cause your dancing partner to seek the solace of a sofa.

The truly great intelligence product is that which includes the whole, entire phenomenology of a situation (a dance, yours and your enemy’s) under scrutiny.  The truly great intelligence officer is the one who can hear or read intelligence products and grasp the full picture in an instant.  Classically, that ability is called a coup d’oeil.  Napoleon had it.  MacArthur had it.  Patton had it.  Caesar had it.  von Schlieffen had it.

Austin Bay writes: Thanks to the 19th-century German strategist Carl von Clausewitz, savvy American military leaders know experienced soldiers possessing insight are immense assets.  Clausewitz argued that genius military leaders possess insight in the midst of battlefield chaos.  Despite confusion, physical danger, fear and contradictory information, the “genius” sees in a glance (coup d’oeil) the essence of his army’s situation and the requisite course of action.

Byron York writes: Former top spy rethinks: Maybe we shouldn’t have attacked a new president.

Glenn Reynolds comments: That this obviously foreseeable consequence wasn’t foreseen demonstrates that these intelligence guys aren’t very good at what they’re supposed to be good at.  And it explains why their work product hasn’t been very good with regard to other countries, when they couldn’t even foresee an obvious result in their own.

Sara Carter writes: Who’s spying on who? FBI’s use of NSA foreign surveillance program needs to be investigated, say whistleblowers.

Glenn Reynolds comments: There’s been a lot of no-commenting lately. But this fits in with a lot of stuff we’ve been hearing about the use of intelligence and law enforcement agencies for political espionage.

VDH writes: Stacking the deck with anti-Trump staffers is proving to be a really bad idea.

Sathya Sai Baba says:

Do not focus on differences of caste, faith, communities, nationalities and religions.

True education focuses on equanimity amongst students.

Religions may differ, but the pathway is one.
Human beings may differ, but the divinity in man is one.
Nations are many, but the planet is one.
Stars are many, but the sky is one.
Men are many, but breath is one.
Flowers are many, but veneration is one.

Dennis Prager writes: Yes, Men View Women as Sex Objects

D. C. McAllister writes: Can We Be Honest About Women?

Alfred Graf von Schlieffen wrote: A man is born, and not made, a strategist.

To win, we must endeavour to be the stronger of the two at the point of impact.  Our only hope of this lies in making our own choice of operations, not in waiting passively for whatever the enemy chooses for us.  (That is von Schlieffen reflecting von Bismarck’s ruminations regarding Germany’s geography: between France and Russia.)

Paul Tillich wrote: The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.

The awareness of the ambiguity of one’s highest achievements (as well as one’s deepest failures) is a definite symptom of maturity.

The flag is going up.  That is how I read today this with Rex at the UN and this with Nikki at joint base Anacostia-Bolling.  And simultaneously there is this with POTUS on his way to FBI Quantico, saying how angry people are at the FBI for disgracing themselves.  That is at least one flag going up foreign, possibly two, and one flag going up domestic.  The man does not waste time.  Of course, the time to push into an enemy is right after you have rocked him back on his heels, or forced him to rock himself back.

Rule of war: an attack loses force over time.  The longer it takes to defeat an enemy, the more it takes to annihilate him.  Rationale of the blitzkrieg.

A tendency of intelligence personnel is to imagine that their products can, do and finally should govern policy.  This should not be a surprise.  One who thinks they know what is going on is likely to believe they should also decide what to do about it.  They are also prone to invent product to support policies upon which they have resolved a priori.  These footprints of ego and intellectual paralysis should surprise no one, but they almost always surprise many.  Sound administrators minimize their presence.  For said administrators, it is like cleaning a house or painting a bridge: the task is forever unfinished and evidence of absence of assiduity in its application appears with great celerity.

For decades, USA domestic and foreign policy has been swirling in circles to no one’s benefit because consecutive administrations failed to throttle the CIA’s self-serving contortions of national intelligence briefings and assessments.  The IC poisoned itself and the nation got sick.  Now the CIA and FBI are trying to poison a POTUS who is resolved to throttle their self-serving seditions.

Authority rests on the truth.  Who has the truth has authority.  And who has the whole has the truth.

The Whole  –>  The Truth  –>  Authority

An intelligence product should be based on data but not consist of it beyond bare minimums.  And it should be brief.  Brief is a noun, adjective or adverb which has been purloined into use as a verb and much abused.  The content of an intelligence product should be one or two sentences which vividly comprehend the direction of motion of the phenomena under scrutiny.

Behind those one or two sentences will be a welter of data, opinion, confusion, misdirection, conjecture and discussion. each of which is relevant to producing the one-or two-sentence intelligence product.  That sentence(s) likely is something entirely unpredictable from the data, opinion, confusion, etc., which gave rise to it.  Furthermore, the sentence(s) will have the characteristics of relaxing the entire enterprise and causing a good-natured chuckle among its producers.

The truth, when seen, always and invariably has a tint of humor to it, the sound of giggling.  And it brings one ease.  Intellectual ease.  Physical and spiritual ease.  Moral ease.  The truth truly is freeing.  Truth breaks the most intractable and least discoverable chains of spirit and psyche.  This is why giggling is heard and energy leaps forward when the truth is seen.

For example, from a study of what X intends to do with his army of Y soldiers bearing Z equipment, training and will, an intel product might note that the son of X is fond of reading military history … or bird-watching.

Never should an intelligence product predict an enemy’s action or promote a friendly one.  The former is unknowable and irrelevant and the latter is a command, not an intelligence, responsibility.  No competent commander awaits predictions of enemy action.  He sees that from his brief intelligence brief — and specifically from the enemy’s Order of Battle.  He desires to attack the enemy before he has a chance to decide what he wants to do.  Get inside the enemy’s OODA Loop.

So.  You want authority?  Get the whole.
Ergo.  Vos volo auctoritatis?  Ut totum.

Update 1: COL John Boyd on the OODA Loop: The second O, orientation — as the repository of our genetic heritage, cultural tradition, and previous experiences — is the most important part of the O-O-D-A loop since it shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act.



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