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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Michael Horowitz
One of NASA's renowned research centers has been under a four-year FBI investigation for the possible transfer of secret weapon-system technology to foreign countries, including China, two Republican congressmen have disclosed.
According to research on the psychology and efficacy of predictions, long-term expert predictions have been found to be about as accurate as monkeys tossing darts at a board labeled with potential future outcomes. And yet forecasting remains a growth industry, in both the intelligence community and televised political punditry.
A Republican House committee chairman said Thursday that a watchdog report on a bungled gun-trafficking probe in Arizona is a huge step toward restoring public faith in the Justice Department.
President Obama on Thursday called an inspector general's report of the Justice Department's bungled gun-trafficking operation an "independent" investigation that should silence critics of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
The internal watchdog of the Justice Department is faulting the agency for misguided strategies, errors in judgment and management failures during a bungled gun-trafficking probe in Arizona that resulted in hundreds of weapons turning up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico.
The failure of the White House to enforce threatened sanctions against countries that the State Department has accused of doing little to control human trafficking is "appalling," with the Obama administration — much like the George W. Bush administration before it — using "every loophole possible" to issue waivers to avoid punishing the offending nations by cutting U.S. aid, according to elected officials, human rights activists and others.
Mr. Horowitz said, is that they fall into a hedgehog-style trap of treating current conventional wisdom as a blueprint for the long-term future.
"I think what they wrote about terrorism reflects the fact that people knew the threat of non-state actors was growing in the 1990s," said Mr. Horowitz, who co-authored a Foreign Policy article criticizing the shortcomings of the Global Trends reports. "That was a clear trend noticed by people inside and outside the intelligence community. But there wasn't enough imagination to see that something like 9-11 could happen. What they are doing with these reports is extremely hard."