Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Bureaucratic Mindset and the Intelligence Community

“The greatest evil is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.” — British author C.S. Lewis, in his preface to The Screwtape Letters.

I used to wonder many years ago how the Intelligence community screwed up so badly about not forecasting the collapse of the Soviet Union – and how they did the same with Iraq and those non-existent “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Both were examples of catastrophic incompetence.

I realized it was the bureaucratic mindset.

I’m sure I encountered people with this mindset in high school but it wasn’t until I graduated college that I really encountered and understood this mindset.

These people with their bureaucratic mindsets were pretty good as managers – and by “pretty good” I mean marginally competent. But none of them could actually do anything.

I used to work for a man who had an MBA from the University of Michigan. He was a newspaper publisher. He was a second-rater who hired third-raters, who hired four-raters. He and everyone he hired ended up being catastrophes.

You might ask, how did an MBA become a newspaper publisher? Because he was part of the Old Boy’s Network (this really does exist).

You’d think he would have worked his way up from the bottom on a newspaper, but nope.

He was just a bureaucrat. Everyone he hired had the bureaucratic mindset. The rules were the most important things even if they didn’t work. None of these people could actually do anything.

I figure the same thing has happened in the Intelligence community. Bureaucrats who can only manage – marginally – but can’t do any Intelligence work. They lack the intelligence, knowledge and analytical ability.

Career bureaucrats are the worst.

Most of the bureaucrats I’ve met were what I call “high-IQ idiots.” Their knowledge was scanty and their analytical abilities weren’t very developed and they weren’t trustworthy because they played politics – they expected people to be loyal to them but they’d stab these same people in the back in a heartbeat.

And they rose to the top by being quite good at playing politics – but not by actually doing anything.

There were people who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union and also pointed out the impossibility of Saddam Hussein acquiring nuclear weapons. Did those administrations hire these experts and listen to them? Nope, of course not. Instead we had a bunch of incompetents busy judging things only on political considerations.

None of these bureaucrats had any substance. I don’t know of any who ever have.

I’m hopeful about Trump. I can’t think of anyone in his administration who is a career bureaucrat. He certainly isn’t – anyone who done what he’s done in the market can’t do it by being a bureaucrat. Bureaucrats aren’t flexible and can’t change their minds.

No one in Dubya Shrub’s administration could actually do anything, just oversee – “manage.” And not very well, either. Terribly in fact.

James Burnham once wrote a famous book called The Managerial State. I don’t have to explain what it’s about. You already know.

Working your way up in a bureaucracy is nothing to be proud of. It’s not an accomplishment in the slightest.

“Management” can be taught. Intelligence and analytical ability cannot.

I judge people on how accurate they are at predicting things. That’s the only sign of being of being really smart.

But when they’re wrong all the time – which means playing politics all the time - out with them.

"Whatever power you give politicians and bureaucrats to use against other people will eventually be used by future politicians and bureaucrats against you." - Michal Boldin

11 comments:

Glen Filthie said...

I disagree. I know you're wrong, as a matter of fact. Satellite imaging, worldwide networked law enforcement, cutting edge crime detection tools... these guys are not incompetent at all. You give them a credible threat and the order to neutralize it and they will come through every time.

The authorities knew about 911 before it happened. When it comes to terrorists, they know who those men are, they know where they train, they know who bankrolls them. The reason Dubya took America to war was not WMD's in Iraq - it was Saddam's POTENTIAL and INTENT that sent America to war with Iraq. (As far as that goes, though - we know he had them because we and our allies sold them to him and he used them on the Kurds). Had you the smarts, you would thank God and Dubya that he scared those mudflaps stupid - they know America WILL retaliate against mass attacks in the future and they're walking on eggshells despite their bluster. Not only will the perps be killed, their friends, family and military will get killed too. That is how you speak to moslems. You carry a big stick and you USE it.

We only see the tip of the intelligence iceburg but it's enough. Every once in awhile we read about some niggered dune coon getting droned and sent to heaven to pick his 72 raisins. Usually his aids and sycophants die with him.

Bush was the last to mobilize the big military machine. The game now has changed what with stealth and drone and data acquisition technologies. We can now make spam out of those monkeys right in their own homes and neighbourhoods. Problem is, very soon - they will be able to do the same to us.

Comparing the intelligence community to the media is laughable at best. Trump is flipping off the media all the time with the contempt that they so richly deserve. He's shitting bricks about the FBI and CIA because they can and WILL hurt him if he gives them cause.

Stuff like this is why Hillary wrote you rubes and hicks off that live in flyover country. You see the intelligence community as the key stone cops when they are far more accurately compared to the SS or the Gestapo. That's what America will face if they ever lose control of those agencies. Some would say they're halfway there now and they would be correct.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

The Bureaucratic Mindset:
Bonafide perfunctory and clinical. If it's not part of the "proper procedure" it either doesn't exist, or it's inappropriate, or you're "doing something wrong".
...No compromising. No alternatives.

James said...

"The authorities knew about 911 before it happened".

Hmm. This seems to either vindicate Bob's thesis or is proof that we should never trust these douches. I know you are a Bush fan, but if you do believe that the "authorities" knew about 9/11 before it happened, you should attempt to look at your cognitive dissonance of WMD's without your rose colored glasses. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice....well, you know the rest.

Bob Wallace said...

"these guys are not incompetent at all."

They certainly were.

Glen Filthie said...

No, they weren't. The guys that gave them their orders were. Big difference.

You gotta understand too - democrats can kill whoever they want and get away with it. Hillary killed those people in Benghazi and contemptuously blew it off afterward. What difference does it make, right?

No consider if Trump does that: the Donks lose their fuggin minds and start lining up the legal machinery to oppose him. Obutthole suspended immigration from the exact same countries Trump is trying to. Trump is lucky; he has the public back lash against leftwing liberalism on his side. Dubya didn't have any of that.

Use your mind and your eyes boys - lest you end up some gullible faggot like Alan Alda on M*A*S*H.

Mad Jack said...

I have a M*A*S*H rerun playing in the background. Pretty soon I'm going to turn it off and watch a movie of some sort.

If anyone requires proof of the competency of the intelligence community in the U.S., just tell when the last time a politician was assassinated by a foreign power. The Secret Service does a good job, as does the CIA and the rest of the alphabet soup.

What the US government knew about the 9/11 attack and when is still being debated, and we'll never know the full story. Which, by the way, is fine with me. I wouldn't want a government who told the public everything.

ray said...

Vast numbers of persons 'graduated' from U.S. colleges over the past half-decade with degrees in Managerial Science or Management Studies or various MBA tracks. Few of them can actually create, build, maintain, or DO anything. Instead, they are taught the (absurd and delusional) 'principles of management' and then sent by the hundreds of thousands into the workplace to . . . well destroy morale, productivity, and eventually the national GDP. Most of these persons, male or female, are leftists.

I worked at a small state government shop about thirty years back, Supreme Court and Court Admin. When hired the whole place had maybe forty employees; by the time I left, seven years later, that number had tripled, and yet the productivity of the place didn't change, probly decreased actually. The majority of those hires were females, bringing 'equality' (read: selfish iniquity) to court rules and systems.

Once the glut got rolling, each department at the shop attempted to add employees so as to 1)ensure the supervisors didn't have to work much; 2)make the world a fairer place by hiring more females; and 3)bring added power/clout to that particular department.

A disaster, in every way. Once you hit mid-management in gubbermint, about forty percent of your workday is consumed by CYA activities . . . creating various shields and outs to ensure that any error, mistake, or problem cannot be traced back to oneself. No I am not kidding.

All bureaucracies basically follow this same pattern. They grow unless they are forced not to.

ray said...

oops, make 'half-decade' instead 'half-century'.

Bob Wallace said...

"No, they weren't. The guys that gave them their orders were. Big difference."

All of them were catastrophically incompetent - Shrub, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Jew traitors like Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz. I've never seen such incompetence in one place in my life.

Anonymous said...


Government and other big bureaucracies tend to be "process" oriented, rather than "results" oriented like private entities that have to produce to compete and survive. As long as they follow proper procedure (the process, or just following regulations), no matter what the result, good or bad, it's deemed a success.

I remember reading that in U.S. in the past (like in the 1800's), the saying "good enough for government work" actually meant the opposite of what it means today: high quality - it was actually a compliment. Top notch people actually worked for the government, maybe not so much now unfortunately. Today this saying is more often a slight.

It does not have to be this way. The way government functions is a choice.

Robert What? said...

I have had experience working - as an outside consultant - with denizens of the bureaucratic state. The single most important unwritten rule is that nothing of any substance ever gets done, because you might just work yourself out of a job.