America and the ubiquitous empty black suit

A reader writes:

There are few places where the empty black suit is more apparent than in our intelligence community, where analysis and reasoning are necessary capabilities. To analyze is to reason, and to reason is to consider and weigh multiple factors in assessing a situation and likely actions of an adversary.

Having worked with black soldiers in the intelligence division of a major U.S. Army unit during Desert Storm, I have known for a long time that the VAST MAJORITY of blacks cannot function effectively as intelligence analysts, try as the Department of Defense may to make thinkers out of them. Oh, to be sure, there are blacks who are “trained” to function as intelligence analysts. But they simply cannot cut it. Consequently, they become “section leaders,” responsible for the setting up of equipment and caring and feeding of soldiers, or they may come to master a particular intelligence tool such as “Analyst Notebook” or “ArcGIS” by simply memorizing the sequences of which buttons to press. I have often seen black sergeants who are tagged as the “experts” on a particular tool, but who not have any idea of how to use the tool to solve an actual problem.

I have brought this up because I have recently completed training for a new job requiring an intense orientation on new intelligence technologies. Our class consisted of nearly 30 analysts, none of whom were black (there were three mostly white Hispanics who did very well). An organizational cadre was responsible for training us. ALL of the cadre who taught analysis were white. ALL of the button-pressing teachers were black. Indeed, there was a trio of blacks who as far as I could tell did nothing—at least nothing that I was able to observe in the six weeks of my training. One had been tagged to teach us for two days, but decided he did not feel like teaching, so a white instructor had to pinch hit. Although the trio are assigned to the training division, they don’t train. They don’t teach. I wonder what they do and what function they are providing, other than present the fiction of a well-run, multi-ethnic organization.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 30, 2011 04:35 PM | Send

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