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Heritage Panel Notes

As mentioned previously, I participated in a panel discussion about captured media at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. Most of the thunder was stolen by HPSCI Chairman Hoekstra, but I didn’t mind. The guy has his finger on the pulse of related issues and frankly I wouldn’t have cared if he had talked the whole two hours. Sitting in the green room prior to the event he gave you this piercing, vaguely Steven Berkoff-like look that says; “I’m using 11% of my brain compared to your 10% and that 1% is kicking your @$$.”

Most of the crowd was there to see the chairman and they bailed after he left, but not before we were all treated to two amazing performances of liberal media bias. Of course you’ve all heard of it and maybe watched it on TV, but watching it all take place live brings with it a whole new dimension. More on this after the pertinent reporters have published their pieces.

Self-critique: content-wise I did OK, but my schpeel was waaaay off. It’s clear I haven’t been in front of an audience of any size in over a year. In 2004 I would have come off as smooth as Brookes or Carafano, but by 2004 I’d given a couple hundred classes, briefings and presentations to probably thousands of people. Technically one never forgets how to ride a bike, but w/o practice that first time back in the saddle after a long absence is pretty shaky.

While there was no chance for a do-over, I’d like to think I redeemed myself in the various side-bars held after the main event. Maybe I’m now a tête-à-tête kind of guy.

Random bits:

  • Many thanks to Heritage for hosting the event (and me).
  • If progress is going to be made on this front it will most likely be driven by the chairman. His view on this is balanced (despite what may soon appear in the pages of The New Republic) and in a town where issue-hopping is the name of the game he’s been tenacious.
  • The limitations of old-school pol-mil-intel types becomes more clear every day. They’ve got their perspectives, their methodology and their mindset and they’re sticking to them; the realities of the world be-damned. I don’t doubt their earnestness, but any shine they have increasingly comes from plating, not purity. You’d have better success offering talk-therapy to a brick wall.

. . . and summer in DC still sucks.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.