Monday, November 19, 2012

Stop obsessing about Stratfor

Y’know what?

I don’t care whether someone had a meeting with Stratfor.

Let’s see. Stratfor’s own internal security was lame. Which suggests that, along with people like a CIA boss or Sony, Stratfor’s security was a pile of steaming dung. No surprises there: the number of “savvy” people with a slippery grasp of computer security seems astonishingly high.

But here’s the other thing: Stratfor’s intelligence was lame. It was second-rate stuff, cribbings from the local media with the kind of commentary that you get when most of the grunt-work comes from that optimistic slave-labour that Americans excuse under the word “intern”.

In another era, the work that Stratfor did would have been carried out by junior embassy staff as their first-year familiarisation: crib the local newspapers for relevant stories, write summaries, get them approved, and send them back home under the boss’s signature.

It's Reader's Digest stuff, literally: a news digest of local stories of interest to the diplomats.

Apart from a gossamer overlay of “analysis” from Stratfor, that’s what the outfit provided, because budget-counting idiots cut back on staff and outsourced the job at a higher price.

So if I get the stunning revelation that the current foreign minister met with Stratfor, I don’t think “international conspiracy”. I think “why is Bob Carr wasting his time with a bunch of losers who would provide more value behind the checkout counter at McDonalds?”

No comments: