MAKING INTELLIGENT ERRORS

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by LT_Southpaw, Aug 12, 2005.

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  1. http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/05/errors.html

    A MINORITY VIEW
    BY WALTER E. WILLIAMS
    RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2005, AND THEREAFTER


    We're not omniscient. That means making errors is unavoidable. Understanding the nature of errors is vital to our well-being. Let's look at it.

    There are two types of errors, nicely named the type I error and the type II error. The type I error is when we reject a true hypothesis when we should accept it. The type II error is when we accept a false hypothesis when we should reject it. In decision-making, there's always a non-zero probability of making one error or the other. That means we're confronted with asking the question: Which error is least costly? Let's apply this concept to a couple of issues.

    The stated reason for going to war with Iraq is that our intelligence agencies surmised Saddam Hussein had, or was near having, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Intelligence is never perfect. During World War II, our intelligence agencies thought that Germany was close to having an atomic bomb. That intelligence was later found to be flawed, but it played an important role in the conduct of the war.

    Since intelligence is always less than perfect, we're forced to decide which error is least costly. Leading up to our war with Iraq, the potential errors confronting us were: Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we incorrectly assumed he didn't. Or, he didn't have weapons of mass destruction and we incorrectly assumed he did. Both errors are costly, but which is more costly? It's my guess that it would have been more costly for us to make the first error: Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we incorrectly assumed he didn't.

    <follow link for the rest of the column>
     
  2. So what's the point of this?
    If you want to use it as a justification for ilegally invading and subsequently banjoing Iraq, it won't wash.
    The intelligence reports on Iraq turned out to be surprisingly accurate. They were, however, substantially rejigged to present the scenario required by Bush and Phoney Tony to underpin their desire to walk around listening to their own ball clanging. In the meantime, nobody (with any credibility) doubts this was the case.

    The example with the FDA is redundant in that the FDA is a slave to the pharmaceutical industry and bases most, if not all, of its approvals on research financed by said industry. It's a f****ing joke, but a highly dangerous one too!

    Back to you LT_Southpaw.

    MsG
     
  3. And the intent to use them against CONUS or American interests. That certainly has not been proven in any way , shape or form.
     
  4. I don't need to use it to do this. I believe that repeated violation(s) of UN resolutions was reason enough to into Iraq. Also the fact that Saddam did not account for the "WMD's" that the UN and everybody else knew that he previously had.

    Rejigged?

    From the BBC - "In January Lord Hutton's inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly cleared the government of inserting material it "probably knew to be wrong" against the wishes of the intelligence community in its dossier on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. "

    and

    "Lord Butler agreed his committee had been less critical than other inquiries, for example in the US, but he insisted that they had criticised some of the procedures for assessing intelligence.

    On the 45 minute claim, Lord Butler told reporters it had been an "uncharacteristically poor piece of assessment."

    He said his inquiry had looked at whether the claim had been spun by the government but he decided it had not. It had been seized on by the media because it was new and striking, he added."

    and from the CIA

    "In September and October 2002 before Senate Committees, senior intelligence officials in response to questions told members of Congress that we differed with the British dossier on the reliability of the uranium reporting.

    In October, the Intelligence Community (IC) produced a classified, 90 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq's WMD programs. There is a lengthy section in which most agencies of the Intelligence Community judged that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Let me emphasize, the NIE's Key Judgments cited six reasons for this assessment; the African uranium issue was not one of them."

    Are these the reports you refer to that are lacking credibility?



    Roger that on the FDA.
     
  5. LOL you were doing allright until you quoted Lord Huttons report to prove your point!
     
  6. Disadvantage of me being American I guess. I wouldn't know Lord Hutton from Lord of the Flies, but did know he did a report on the Intel fiasco.

    Have a good weekend.
     
  7. Lt Southpaw

    Unless I am mistaken, I seem to recall that this topic was well exercised / exorcised about 2 years ago.

    When a number of us have moved on, many to face new challenges, I sense perhaps that some of us may just be trying to re-invent the wheel around here??

    Perhaps you have a personal interest in this "new" topic??

    Is that you again Jake??
     
  8. I agree that this topic needs to be religated to the archives. But never fear Lt_Southpaw there will be many future topic's here requiring american perspective. 8)
     
  9. I haven't been around too long here so I guess I missed the first go 'round. Exorcise away...won't hurt my feelings a bit.
     
  10. Keep your powder dry. :)
     
  11. Yes Sir...Thank you Sir(pulls forelock).