Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Dick Cheney interview with Wall Street Journal --

As we finish up, Mr. Cheney diverts into a consideration of the sorts of responses governments may have to make when confronted by things in the news now, such as "flash mobs" using social media to organize riots through London. "It's going to present us with some pretty significant challenges that we've only begun to address."  "Tough problem," the public-policy lifer says, before finally stepping back from a challenge: "My generation is not going to have to deal with it. But yours is."

OK, there were certainly some complex social phenomena behind the London riots.  But conceptually and technologically, it's hard to see what's difficult about them.  Indeed, precisely because of the use of social media, the flash mob networks are much easier to monitor than the kind of snooping that Cheney wanted to do.

Which raises the question: did Cheney really understand the technological aspects of terrorism, or was it all just part of something alien to a man from another era, but a man who had been given the bureaucratic power to, seemingly, control it?

Also, that "public policy lifer" spent the years between his Bush I and Bush II assignments as CEO of Halliburton.

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