A New China Hand Witch Hunt is Brewing in Washington

Silicon Hutong Command Post
Nearly Midnight

The Washington Times, that bastion of neocon thought, is running a story on a report that has been laid on the desk of Thomas Finegar, the personal analyst to U.S. Intelligence Czar that looks set to start a battle inside the intelligence community.

The report details over a dozen major U.S. intelligence failures over the last decade or so vis-a-vis China’s military improvements. That’s not the big deal.

What is scary is the blamestorming that has begun, with some blaming poor collection (a common complaint about the U.S. intelligence community,) and others, more ominously, are blaming a small coterie of China Hands in the community who ostensibly hid these developments in order to curry favor with China.

This is a dangerous accusation. We’re sliding into McCarthy territory here, regardless of whatever may have motivated the reports authors. It stretches credulity to believe that such a conspiracy existed – and it will be miserably difficult to prove.

In the meantime, the U.S.’s ability to monitor China will take a hit as the analysts andcollectors spend more time worrying about saving their jobs than doing them.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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