How Did We Miss It? - Return of the "Oh We Are So Stupid Department"

A friend forwarded the above article to me as a link, assuming I would find it interesting. I did, but not for the reasons he thought:

From the "Oh We Are So Stupid Department"

How Did We Miss It?

Shortly before 911, suspects on watch lists moved money in curious ways. Internet and phone "chatter" had risen in recent months. A foreigner paid cash to learn how to fly—but not land—a jetliner. How did our governmen t ever miss these clues?

Researcher Joseph Kielman thinks the problem is that we don't look for patterns. Most nuggets of information about 911 were buried in a landslide of data arriving faster than analysts could make sense of it, and these nuggets sometimes contradicted each other.

Most nuggets of information come to us in unstructured, "fuzzy" data. The same face—or is it?—may appear in three surveillance videos. Someone in Florida is snapping up potential makeshift detonators on eBay. Such clues don’t come conveniently packaged in a tidy spreadsheet or searchable text; they must be inferred from photos, videos, voice recordings. So how can we prevent the NEXT 911?

At the National Visualization and Analytics Center, mathematicians, logicians, and linguists are trying to make the collective universe of data assume a meaningful shape. They assign brightness, color, texture, and size to billions of known and apparent facts, and they create rules to integrate these values so threats stand out. For example, a day’s cache of video, cell phone calls, photos, bank records, chat rooms, and intercepted emails may take shape as a blue-gray cloud on a US map. If there seems to be a terror threat to a specific city, that city is highlighted.

"We're not looking for 'meaning,' per se," Kielman explains, "but for patterns that will let us detect the expected and discover the unexpected." Neither the researchers nor the analysts need to understand the terrorists’ language, which is good, given the shortage of cleared linguists. Nevertheless, it will be years before visual analytics can automatically puzzle out clues from fuzzy data like video.

Kielman reminds us that "the pre-9/11 chatter didn't say, 'We're going to plow airplanes into the Twin Towers.'"



I knew it was a bunch of crap that did not conform to the known facts. I found it curious to find this on Whitley Strieber's site, as he does question 9/11.

Strieber wrote a brilliant 9/11 piece earlier this year which you can find here:

I scratched my head and wondered where the "How Did We Miss It?" article had originated, as it was not immediately apparent. What was apparent was the high level of propaganda. I eventually did some digging around and found an embedded link that Unknown Country had sourced. It was this:

It looks like a nice, basic news site. Near the top of this article, however I read the following:

Title: Google Meets Sherlock Holmes
Source: Department of Homeland Security
Released: Wed 14-Nov-2007, 09:50 E

Some times you find the expected.

I see the pattern very clearly boys. Nice try!

...and now you know ... the REST of the story!