By Jay B Gaskill

First read CONTAGOUS JIHAD {  }; then consider the daunting but necessary revolution in approach on the ground level that will be necessary.

First we address the inflexibilities and institutional idiocy.

Bureaucracies represent the mechanization of official personal relations.  Algorithms are the mechanization of thinking.  Neither of these inventions is particularly flexible or adaptive in real time.  But terrorist threats operate in real time; are they not particularly hampered by bureaucratic paralysis or dumb algorithms.  Hence, the task ahead….



“CIA, FBI Flagged Him for Concern, Raising New Questions About Missed Opportunities to Prevent Fatal Boston Attack

“Russian officials contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in March 2011, then reached out to the Central Intelligence Agency in September of that year, citing concerns Mr. Tsarnaev might have been associating with extremists, according to U.S. officials.

“The FBI has said it interviewed Mr. Tsarnaev and conducted a threat assessment, but found nothing ‘derogatory’ that could prompt further investigation. A U.S. law-enforcement official said the case was closed after three months, after the FBI asked Russian counterparts for additional information, but received none.

“U.S. officials said Wednesday that at the request of the CIA, Mr. Tsarnaev was added to a broad database called Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, which holds hundreds of thousands of names flagged by multiple U.S. security agencies.”


If I need to explain the problem further, we are in more trouble than I thought. In my referenced earlier article, I proposed Protective Preemptive Profiling, Adding that,  “The problem to be confronted and solved is this: Superficial appearances are almost worthless.  We need to get to the otherwise private level to uncover revealing communications, attitudes and other tells.  No one advocates arrests or detentions for acts not done based only on a profile.

But there is a powerful deterrent effect by interviewing each target, explaining why he is “a person of interest and concern” and warning him that he is being closely followed.” This technique has been used by organized crime, and our people, with civilized restraint, should be allowed to use a bit of intimidation as well.

This is not a check-the-box-and-move-on exercise.

Contrast the mindless bureaucratic TSA approach that US travelers experience with every flight with the experience of someone who travels on Israel’s airline, El Al.  If you are even remotely suspicious, you are treated to an in-depth conversation with a savvy human being with the insight and the power to keep you off the aircraft.  The Protective Preemptive Profiling model must employ such people and empower them to protect us.  We have more than enough operatives who could accomplish what needs to be done, with efficiency and the necessary finesse.

My last point in the earlier piece, A Matter of Will, not Capability, bears reemphasis:

“Prevention and deterrence, accomplished through proactive, intelligent and individuated profiling, is a bargain, both in the civil liberties calculus, the human damage calculus and the national security calculus.  The missing elements are not talent and resources. It is purpose, coordination and the iron will to pursue this course against all obstacles for one simple and compelling reason.  It is how we will win.”



First published on The Policy Think Site { }and hosted blogs.

Copyright © 2013 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at Law

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