David Axe at War is Boring:
I had just returned from Chad. I had drinks with Jimbo and Blackfive boss Matt Burden. While Matt sat quietly, Jimbo told me how he was frustrated with professional reporters who only report facts, and don’t help use those facts to promote U.S. national security. He said he envisioned building a privately run intelligence network that would use freelance reporters, operating under Blackfive’s auspices and sponsored by corporations, to gather information for transmission to intel analysts in the U.S. He asked if I would be interested in joining up.
I said no, in no uncertain terms. In fact, I recall cursing and yelling.
Jimbo - Jim Hanson - is dumb as a box of rocks, but this takes things to a new level. Axe is pissed off because such a plan would get journalists killed. Personally, I'm pissed off not because Hanson wants journalists to feed information to the intelligence types, but because Hanson is talking about propaganda, not just spying. If you wanted to set up a spy network using journalists, you only need one thing: Cash. But passing along gossip is one thing, shaping stories to fit a certain ideological end is another. If people did sign up for that, they've actually harmed the national security of the United States of America, because they're depriving people of the truth as best as they can discover it.
(Via Robert Farley.)