What should we make of the Department of Justice Inspector General’s analysis of the FBI’s role in preparing FISA requests?
This paper argues that historical analysis, necessarily written with hindsight, often underestimates the uncertainties of the past. We call this tendency explanation bias. This bias leads individuals—including professional historians—to imply greater certainty in causal analyses than the evidence justifies. Their analyses will treat what is plausible to be probable. We offer a few intuitions about why explanation bias exists, its relation to other well-established psychological biases, what it leads to, and how it might be combatted. Appreciating the depth of uncertainty and ignorance in our world is critical for accurately understanding, interpreting, and drawing from the past to illuminate the present and the near future.
Former Defense Secretary and retired General James Mattis is said to have told Marines in Iraq that the most important six inches on the battlefield were between their ears. He was referring to the need for calm under fire. Today, his warning is appropriate for everyone, everywhere, because …
Terrorist attacks were once the product of organized groups with assailants directed, financed, and trained by terrorist commanders. But every one of the tragic shootings in the United States this past year was perpetrated by a lone gunman without any demonstrable affiliation to, or membership in, an identifiable terrorist organization.
Recent years have seen a cascade of revelations regarding Russian attempts to interfere with or disrupt elections in the West. While the Russian government’s influence campaign in the 2016 US presidential election is the most well-known, it was by no means an isolated incident. Western governments are waking up the threat that Russian cyber and information operations pose to the integrity of their elections and the stability of their domestic politics. However, the question of how to counter these efforts remains unanswered.
This is an interesting one to watch for a few reasons. While not defending the guy, I am wondering how things would be different as the judge does, and how many of these radicalizations and influence activities are not exposed?
- Last week’s unusual wins for the defense in cases like this
- An example of how the FBI relies on professional informants (yes if you did not know the exists and I know more than a few of these snakes) who also inform on other informants: “The FBI then planted a professional informant, identified only as Mike, as an employee at the restaurant where Steve and Hamzeh worked. Mike and Steve didn’t know the other was also an FBI informant until a few days before Hamzeh’s arrest the following January.”
- How the FBI, through its informants (further) radicalized and pushed this guy whether he was predisposed or not
- Using Freemasonry conspiracies and making Freemasons targets
- I usually do not quote news article conclusions but this comes from “the” anti-Islam right wing news outlet (short of Breitbart) article
- Good job thwarting “machine gun attack at Milwaukee Masonic Temple”!
A man accused of plotting a mass shooting to ‘defend Islam’ says he was entrapped by FBI informants who badgered him for months to get a machine gun.