This “intelligence failure” can be broken down to violation of a few key intelligence principles:
- Know your Turf and your Target,
- Avoid thought traps like Confirmation Bias and Mirror Imaging,
- Never Believe Your Own BS.
Let’s unpack this:
Know Your Turf and Target
A good Ops Officer knows his operational area, the local language and the intelligence targets of interest therein. Knowledge of the Ops environment is the key to success. When street demonstrations break out in your assigned nation, the Ambassador and Washington want to know not only what is happening (they can go to CNN for that!) but what is LIKELY to happen in the near future. No passing the buck – one must make a sober assessment of the situation. And no whining!
Time and again, the mainstream media (MSM) and the Clinton campaign flouted this touchstone. Democrats belittled their opposition, never truly understanding Trump voters nor their depth of dissatisfaction. And no – the voters weren’t all cookie cutter “blue collar whites” – I found from the onset that Trump was broadly supported by a large swath of my local eastern Pennsylvania population. My “worldly” military/veteran/law enforcement contacts were in lockstep.
Trump signs were visible in every corner of my region – even back in late 2015. I befriended many African-American supporters at both the PA Primaries and the Cleveland National Convention. When I referred the media to them, we found these Trump voters were ignored because they didn’t fit “The Narrative” of Blue Collar Whites. From much of the press, there was expressed no interest in truth, merely the reinforcement of the Narrative.
Subscribing to any narrative is a fast way to get in trouble if you are a savvy Intelligence Officer.
This report’s original title is “How Hillary Clinton’s disregard for these rules doomed her candidacy.”