Friday, May 25, 2007

...Keep Digging, Watson

Great Britain’s been striking out on the espionage front lately: screw ups prior to the Iraq War include accusations of sexying-up intelligence reports and Whitehall officials’ lousy handling of the issue of invisible WMDs (1) that led to Blair’s “dodgy dossier.” Even James Bond, fictional badass supreme, can’t make it through a film or book without lousing up incredibly (after all, everyone knows his name in a business where anonymity is everything.)

All these problems have the British government wondering if perhaps it’s time to return to the basics. As part of this, spies and Whitehall officials expected to work with intelligence are now being required to attend refresher courses created by Tony Blair's former head of security and intelligence, Sir David Omand, that deal with case studies of an archeological hoax, a supposed Iraqi chemical engineer who turned out to be a “mentally unstable alcoholic” who wasn’t even in Iraq…and Sherlock Holmes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation is famous for his ability to solve seemingly perfect crimes based on very slight physical evidence and deep understanding of human nature. However, while this is certainly desirable for anyone interested in intelligence or criminology, it’s Holmes’s methodological ideology that the M15 and M16 officers are being tutored in. Drawing specifically from the text “A Scandal In Bohemia,”(2) British spies are being encouraged to follow Holmes’s advice to not "twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts".

While the new reliance on good old Sherlock may help the mental alacrity of Britain’s intel operatives, the real benefactors of this idea are Britain’s violin makers and cocaine dealers.

Same blog time, same blog channel.

Original story here:
(1)Weapons of Mass Destruction, as opposed to the more pleasant yet no less dangerous Weapons of Mass Distraction
(2)One of this writer’s favorites, not least because the chauvinistic Holmes gets his deductive ass handed to him by Irene Adler


Post a Comment

<< Home