Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fidel is not dead (again)

The U.S. government is now backing off its claims that Fidel is about to die. He’s been bugging Hugo Chávez on the phone, telling Evo Morales he wants to visit Bolivia next month, hanging out with Gabriel García Márquez, etc. Thomas Shannon argues that Fidel is an obstacle to democratization since he remains powerful.

Here’s the part I really like:

Intelligence agencies are taking into account the new information on Castro's health, but officials declined to elaborate.

''The intelligence community is continually reevaluating our assessment of Fidel's health based on any new information,'' said Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which coordinates the work of all U.S. spy agencies.

After news stories pop up about Castro, the U.S. government often makes a statement, couching it in terms of gathering intelligence. If events of the past year or so are any indication, this top secret intelligence work mostly involves googling “Fidel.”

So, why make such statements, which only reiterate our utter lack of knowledge? I suppose we’re trying to send signals, hoping to prompt some sort of power struggle, which of course has always worked so well in the past. I would really love to be a fly on the wall at Cuba policy meetings in the White House and State Department. Does it not start bothering anyone that they’re wrong almost all the time?


Anonymous,  8:55 AM  

This brings up a larger point: the CIA has an international reputation for "intelligence" far beyond their actual capabilities. The current state of intelligence is a disaster.

How is it possible that, in a country (the USA) with 40M people who speak Spanish, the CIA can't find a few operatives to go into Cuba and figure out what is going on? Of course the CIA also blew it on Iraq. So far, that bill has cost us to 3,000+ American lives, countless Iraqi lives, a shattered reputation in the Middle East and beyond, and oh by the way about a trillion dollars from the US taxpayers.

And lastly, the CIA can't seem to track down a 6'5" terrorist who has one of the most recognizable faces in the world? Maybe Osama is in Cuba sipping mojitos on the beach right now.

Anonymous,  12:47 PM  

Does it not start bothering anyone that they’re wrong almost all the time?

I think they should be more like George Costanza and do the opposite of what they think they should do and say.

There is a saying "bicho malo nunca muere".

Anonymous,  4:19 PM  

Well If Georgy and friends, want the real intelligence about Fidel Health, they should stop in Cafe Versalles in Miami, Talking about in Fidel is the local sport in the sunny city.

Justin Delacour 4:48 PM  

The worse their intelligence-gathering capacity, the better. I'd rather they be mired in incompetence than organizing Pinochet-style coups.

Greg Weeks 5:59 PM  

I've never had comments that encompassed Osama bin Laden, George Costanza, and Augusto Pinochet.

Anonymous,  9:35 PM  

Fidel's death, or lack thereof reminds me of Francisco Franco's in 1975..

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